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National Security Desk / July 15, 2016

Chattanooga, One Year Later

The Navy finally will put some armed sailors at recruiting centers.

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the jihadist attacks in Chattanooga. Since then, there have been numerous similarly motivated attacks in the West — Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando, Istanbul, and now Nice, France. That’s not to mention devastating Islamist violence prior to last July, or in other parts of the world — the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. Yet Barack Obama never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. His only “inherent resolve,” to borrow a phrase, is to refuse to call Islamist terrorism what it is. In fact, Obama was celebrating Ramadan the day of the Chattanooga attack.

It took him five days to order flags lowered after Chattanooga. It took five months to declare it a terrorist attack and to award Purple Hearts to the victims. And it took an entire year for the Navy to announce, which it did this week, that some sailors will be armed at recruiting centers. These armed watch-standers, according to Cmdr. Dave Aliberti, will be there “for deterrent value and to provide protection.” Sailors will still not be allowed to carry weapons on bases.

Last year, Mark Alexander wrote, “The deceased and injured at both facilities were, legally, restricted from having any means of self-defense — federal military installations are ‘gun-free zones,’ and there are thousands of locations that have no security force protection, such as recruiting centers.” Why? “A DoD directive signed by Bill Clinton in 1993 prohibits military personnel from possessing arms on military bases, installations or offices.” That said, on the fateful day last July, Lt. Cmdr Timothy White, a personal friend of Alexander’s, was carrying a personal weapon to defend himself.

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