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Much to the dismay of The Resistance, Navy again faults commander for COVID breach

American Wire
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Progressives of late have relished current and former military leaders openly criticizing President Donald Trump. This, of course, is purely driven by hatred of Trump and by little, if any, profound respect or concern on their part for the U.S. Military.

Earlier this year, one of the left-wing’s prominent heroes was Navy Capt. Brett Crozier. Crozier became a media sensation in April when he was relieved of command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, after the San Francisco Chronicle published a leaked memo in which Crozier lamented how COVID-19 was wrecking his crew.

Crozier was benched after the memo appeared — even as nearly a quarter of the ship’s 5,000-member crew was treated for COVID-19 and the carrier was temporarily sidelined. Navy leaders reconsidered, however, after the subsequent media-generated outrage, coming at the height of the blame-Trump moment of the coronavirus crisis, was fomented by a video of the crew giving Crozier a rousing send-off as he left the ship.

Last week, though, the Navy’s top brass announced the findings of a two-month internal investigation and concluded that their initial decision was correct — and that Crozier would not return to command.

According to the Navy Times, the report found that Crozier, despite complaining in his infamous email about how slow action would cost sailors their lives, “did not plan for or egress sailors off the ship and onto Naval Base Guam fast enough” during the days before his concerns became public.

A naval investigator determined Crozier was trying to get his ill sailors into unavailable hotel rooms in Guam rather than simply off-loading them at the Navy’s facility, where immediate care could begin. 

In fact, his memo appeared after the Guamanian government had already moved to secure hotel space, thus his correspondence “neither accelerated that decision nor had any positive impact on the outcome.”

An appendix to the report itself points out that the commander of the 7th Fleet told investigators, “I took no new actions as a result of Crozier’s email or memo because we had already been examining all options to get Sailors off the ship safely, get them tested quickly, and moved into appropriate locations efficiently. I can’t see how the letter didn’t slow things down.”

Crozier also was faulted for failing to tell his immediate chain of command, including an admiral who was aboard the USS Roosevelt, about the contents of his memo before it became public. And Crozier failed to request additional support despite having an opportunity to do so during daily video calls with his superiors.  

The Navy Times also reported that Crozier failed to “ensure physical distancing when possible on the carrier,” which was on display during his departure from the carrier. And that, in the words of the internal investigator, he also “exercised questionable judgement when he released Sailors from aft quarantine onboard the ship.” That latter shortcoming “allowed for increased spread of the virus,” the report noted. 

“He placed comfort of the crew ahead of safety of the crew at a time when he should have been focused on doing everything he could to slow transmission of COVID-19 by moving Sailors ashore,” the investigating officer observed.

According to the Times, Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations, told reporters at a Pentagon press conference that a briefing about Crozier’s emphasis on comfort, at the expense of safety, by Vice Adm. William Merz, commander of the 7th Fleet, “was an eye-opener for the crew.”

Gilday also played down the role of the email. 

“This all about what Capt. Crozier failed to do within his span of control,” the admiral told reporters. “His ship, his crew, his plan.”

“Had I known what I know today I would have not made that recommendation to reinstate Capt. Crozier. Moreover, if Capt. Crozier was still in command today, I would be relieving him,” Gilday added.

And so yet another hero of the anti-Trump Resistance falls flat once more of the facts are known.

Still, that didn’t deter Trump haters from trying to hoist Crozier as a martyr once his fate was revealed last week.

But their comments on social media only underscore what William Toti, a retired Navy captain and former submarine commander, wrote in The Wall Street Journal shortly after Crozier’s dismissal.

Their criticism reveals the “feelings-first zeitgeist” that arises with almost every issue surrounding Trump.

Said Toti: “No doubt Capt. Crozier was concerned about the Covid crisis and wanted to escalate the issue to protect his crew. That desire is to be commended. But the crew’s welfare is only part of a Navy captain’s responsibilities, which are global in scope. Capt. Crozier’s letter effectively recommended that the Navy take an operational, forward-deployed nuclear-powered aircraft carrier offline, an event that would be classified and carry significant strategic implications world-wide, hence would have to be escalated to the president. From that standpoint, the Roosevelt was not Capt. Crozier’s ship, it was America’s. But to shotgun that kind of recommendation in a letter via an unclassified email is a violation of the highest order.”

“The upshot,” Toti noted, “is that the Chinese received Capt. Crozier’s letter at the same time as the Pentagon.”

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