photo via flickr
Is it worthwhile to correct the record when it comes to Glenn Beck? The self-described "rodeo clown" has made a habit of saying outrageous comments to get media attention and properly enrage his audience, but words have consequences, of course, so despite his cynical plays it's still necessary to correct his wild pronouncements. Beck's latest misstatement involves the Navy's actions in the BP Deepwater disaster. Beck claims they haven't been brought in, but naturally the truth is the exact opposite. On his nationally-syndicated radio show, Beck said that the Navy "has not been called in" to assist with cleaning up the spill. In the real world, where there is recorded fact, the Navy was brought in right from the get-go, and it continues to help the Gulf Coast and try to put an end to this national nightmare.
Said Beck, speaking of the Navy:
"Get the hell out of the way. Let us take care of it...The Navy that is -- has not been called in."
Here's a partial list, courtesy of Media Matters, of the ways various ways the Navy has been involved.
Department of the Interior: "Navy assets have been involved since day #1." In a May 1 Department of the Interior press release, the Department stated that "Navy assets have been involved since day #1." The release went on to note that "[t]he Navy has sent thousands of feet of inflatable oil boom with mooring equipment, several skimming systems, related support gear, and personnel to support oil spill response efforts." Additionally, "Naval Air Station Pensacola is serving as a staging facility for Coast Guard contractor-provided equipment."
The Navy has shipped at least "98,000 feet of oil containment boom" to the Gulf. According to a May 20 Department of the Navy press release, "Navy pollution response experts have shipped 98,000 feet of oil containment boom as of May 20, to the Gulf of Mexico, as part of the combined effort to reduce the environmental impact of the underwater oil spill." According to the Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) commander, "A team of NAVSEA professionals are working around the clock to protect the sensitive coast lined with oil booms and perform open ocean skimming at the source." Additionally, the Navy has dispatched Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) personnel, "the Navy's oil pollution experts since the 1970s," to provide "technical, operational, and emergency support."
Navy deployed "ocean-monitoring instruments and sensors" to help monitor "currents affecting the oil's flow in the Gulf of Mexico." A June 2 InformationWeek article reported that the "U.S. Navy has joined the Deepwater Horizon spill monitoring effort, deploying ocean-monitoring instruments and sensors near the spill to help researchers examine surface and deep currents affecting the oil's flow in the Gulf of Mexico." The report also stated that "[f]loats, drifters, and gliders from the Navy were sent to the Gulf via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Thomas Jefferson late last week."
Navy has sent a blimp to "patrol the shoreline" of the Gulf. A July 7 ABC News report stated that the Navy has deployed a MZ-3A blimp "to patrol the shoreline from above, direct skimmers trying to corral floating oil, and look out for wildlife in harm's way." The article further noted that "[t]he Navy says the helium-filled ship, 178 feet long and capable of carrying 10 people or equipment, can stay in the air far longer than helicopters or planes, burning just 10 gallons of fuel an hour at its maximum cruising speed of 55 mph."