"Wag the Dog" is a term meant to distract attention from a political scandal, often through military action. This term goes back to at least the 1870s.
Former President Bill Clinton put a new face on it, during his Lewinsky scandal, when he diverted this particular scandal by bombing an aspirin factory.
Now, the government scandal involves the Environmental Disaster at the former Pease AFB, in Newington NH.
I received a letter from the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force 4 years ago. It was for military and civilians who worked at Pease AFB between 1990 and 2014.
It focused on "possible contaminants" in the water supply. It was a "watered down" letter saying contaminants are everywhere in the world.
No need to panic, there is no action needed to be taken, such as testing, at this time.
But, be assured, the Air Force will notify members if action needs to be taken. (Comforting? Not so much.)
This letter has been sitting on my windowsill for the past 4 years.
I'd often think, weren't personnel stationed at Pease AFB included before these dates?
On Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor Day), there was a hearing on health issues regarding past and present members and their families. Doris Brock (whose husband died from pollutants), has taken on this incredible journey to find the cause of her husband's, and others illnesses and deaths related to contaminants on the base.
Thirty years ago. I was asked by a Base Closure Committee Member, a Colonel, to find the hazardous sites on Pease and do a presentation to the Base Commander.
There were, and still are, many areas of concern about contaminated water.
Here's just one:
The Hydraulic Shop... Hydraulic Fluid was "disposed" into a tank next to the shop next to the flight line since the base existed.
Was the hydraulic fluid ever pumped out....? Never: There was no tank at the time.
All these years, contaminates have been pumped directly into this once Pristine Aquifer.
Upon completing the briefing I became "persona non grata".
Did I change it? .... Nope!
The anticipation that these problems would be addressed and corrected at this hearing at the New Hampshire Air National Guard was short lived.
Less than 48 hours following this hearing it was reported a bipartisan group of 21 other senators .... led(?) by New Hampshire's own Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, had already signed and sent to the Centers of Disease Control to take "immediate action" to address "Firefighter(?)" exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate, (PFAS)
I'm not dismissing the concern for Firefighters, but, in Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's mind, they have been a large voting block.
"The senators were surprised that neither military nor civilian firefighters will be included in the first ever national PFAS study." Really?
Portsmouth's own D-State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark was at the 157th hearing.
Here's an action opportunity for you - the MEDIA - to stake out her Portsmouth office.
Ask her what she heard... Was it only about firefighters Martha?
As the hearing was ending, why Martha, did you make a "bee line" to the door.
I may have made a bad assumption that you left. You certainly could have returned.
The cameras still had operators. I'll wait to review the full tape.
You know, that would have been another fine opportunity to speak with and console those ill victims.
(To the Media - will you need to be provided a "questionnaire" also?)
Political potentates are opportunists who will rest their laurels on the blood, sweat and tears on the shoulders of those they consider mere "disposable props."
A former Marine (no such thing) relayed to me the following:
Senator Jeanne Shaheen has already spent "millions" studying the issue, one, not one red cent has gone to those afflicted! Plenty has gone to her "supporters" who conducted studies(?).
There was; Plenty of money to her "staffers"
Plenty of money for "Pettifogger/Chicanery Attorneys"
... (A little close to home, me thinks)
Don't worry, it just needs a few more years, and a few more MILLIONS worth of studies and we'll be able to make a decision to help those afflicted.
With a little luck and well padded pockets, all those affected will be dead.
I sincerely believe no one expected three members from the 1980s would be there or even be still alive.
I can't remove the memory of those who, so emotionally, spoke about their plight and those of their families and friends, present and future.
I can't remove the memory of the wife of a service member, looking lovingly, at her husband, cherishing every moment she has left with him.
I can't remove the memory of the young men and women who quietly watched those who spoke. I can only imagine if they were considering their own fates and those of their families and friends in the future.
To the political potentates, "humbly" led by NH Sen Jeanne Shaheen, who spent those four years refining "The Plan." may your Sub Rosa dreams "wilt" in the light of day.
- Lou Archambault,
Senior Master Sgt. USAF Ret.
224 Chesley Hill Rd