Letter: Skepticism of Navy over water issue is justified


I just had to respond to the letter from The Record of May 2 from Dennis Burns, “We should be thankful Navy is cleaning water.” Mr. Burns seems to have absolute faith in the good intentions of the Navy. A faith, I assume by the tone of the letter, that comes from having a long employment history with the Navy. I would strongly suggest that Mr. Burns do some reading about the history of water contamination at American military bases. I will mention just one here. Camp Lejeune. This Marine camp had a problem with water contamination directly because of chemicals dumped by the Marine Corp. There are long lists available of chemicals dumped by the base. It was determined that the water people drank and bathed in was “tainted” between 1950 and 1985 with toxins from 240 to 3400 times levels permitted by safety standards. This water was supplied by wells. Sound familiar?

The fact that you would denigrate the concerns of a fellow citizen over the quality of water that may be poisoned by chemicals used in everyday military life, along with a “dog whistle” comment about “American citizens as well as others living here both legally and illegally” and lumping these concerns into a snarky comment intimating that this concerned citizen is exposing an “elitist entitlement attitude” is beyond the pale. Citizens do indeed need to have trust in the service members who run the military business of America, but the problem is actual history and behavior does not make this blind faith tenable. Transparency and honesty are important. You seem to be OK with whatever the Navy wants to say about cleaning the water they have contaminated. I am not. History bears this skepticism of the military industry out.

Dan Freeman


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