“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ironic Naming of US Spy Submarine

A friend recently regaled me with some stories regarding the recently-decommissioned Sturgeon-class submarine USS Parche.

It seems that Parche was the predominant US spy submarine during its long career, from 1979-2004,

"Parche is the most decorated ship in U.S. Navy history, receiving a total of nine Presidential Unit Citations, ten Navy Unit Citations, and thirteen Navy Expeditionary Medal awards during her thirty years of service."

I'd read of Parche's participation in the famous undersea cable tap in Blindman's Bluff, a book written about a decade ago providing the first public information concerning the US Navy's extensive undersea espionage activities. It's riveting reading. According to my friend, the recently-published Red November is similarly informative and worth the price.

What seemed incredibly ironic to me was the text at the end of the Wiki article:

Parche's research and development duties will be assumed by Jimmy Carter, a Seawolf-class submarine whose construction period was extended to include modifications that will allow her to carry out the same types of research and development.[1] According to Robert Karniol, Jimmy Carter in succeeding Parche has become "Washington's premier spy submarine."

I get the connections. Carter was a nuclear submarine commander. Carter was a president, ineffectual, mean-spirited, petty and comical though he may have been.

But, really, the guy was about the most anti-military president we've ever had. He personally botched the Desert-One Iranian hostage rescue. It took Ronald Reagan to restore America's military strength and, perhaps more importantly, international respect for and fear of that military's capabilities.

Why would you name a premier piece of Navy espionage equipment for one of the most pacifist, embarrassing Commanders in Chief in our nation's history?

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