The ongoing saga of the USS Theodore Roosevelt is quickly becoming a black eye for the Trump administration. Captain Brett Crozier was removed from his post aboard the aircraft carrier in question after he wrote a letter to the Department of Defense informing them of the serious outbreak of coronavirus aboard the vessel and requesting immediate help. The letter ultimately leaked. For choosing to advocate for the lives of his sailors he was punished immediately.
Earlier today, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly delivered a speech to the crew of the Theodore Roosevelt during which he slammed Crozier and referred to the distinguished captain as “stupid.” His disgraceful tirade included not only attacks on Crozier’s integrity and intelligence but shoehorned jabs at presidential candidate Joe Biden. One sailor described Modly’s remarks as “whiny, upset, irritated” and “condescending.”
A recording of Modley’s speech has been released. In it, one crew member can be heard screaming out “What the f*ck!” Another yelled out that Crozier was just trying to help his crew. Clearly, the men and women of the USS Theodore Roosevelt remain firmly in their former captain’s camp.
Our civilian-controlled military requires our troops to have confidence that our civilian leaders always have their best interests in mind. @SECNAV Modly has now lost that confidence. He should resign.#mondaythoughts https://t.co/aCyPn54lE0
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 6, 2020
Word of Modley’s inexcusable behavior spread quickly and now Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) is calling for Trump’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper to fire Modly “immediately.” Blasted out via Twitter, her demand is given extra weight by the fact that she herself is a 20 year veteran of the Navy.
Luria is absolutely correct that Modly has revealed himself as unfit for office with his unhinged speech. This kind of man shouldn’t be in any kind of governmental position of power, least of all one which deals directly with life and death.
Unfortunately, the Trump White House isn’t exactly known for holding officials accountable for bad behavior. The president cares solely about loyalty and so incompetence and unprofessionalism are frequently swept under the rug.
If you believe as Luria does that action must be taken, call your Representatives and demand they stand up for Crozier and put pressure on the administration. Modly must go.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.