Regarding the Nov. 14 article, “Sentries on Cole could not have fired: Ship’s rules required sailors to get consent to shoot, crew reports”: The comments by the crew members of the USS Cole on the “limitations placed on their ability to defend the Cole, especially in the paradoxical situation of visiting a supposedly friendly port during a time of extreme tension in the Middle East,” struck a sad but familiar cord with me when I remembered the almost verbatim response of the crew members of the U.S.S. Pueblo.
The USS Pueblo was attacked on the high seas by rogue nation North Korea in 1968 and members were held captive and tortured for a year before a negotiated release. In his book, My Story, Captain Lloyd Bucher damned the Navy brass for failing to allow for contingencies in an ever-changing political scene. Apparently the Navy has learned few lessons in the last 32 years, or is it possible that the “new book” for the 21st century Navy is still at the printers?