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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, April 06, 2020

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly addressed the crew of the [U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt] in a profane and defensive address that one crew member described in an interview as "whiny, upset, irritated, condescending." Modly took repeated shots at the integrity of Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command last week, and eventually injected partisan political tones into the address by attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly criticized Crozier's removal.

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Modly said Crozier was "too nave or too stupid to be a commanding officer" if he thought that letter wasn't going to leak. "The alternative is that he did this on purpose," Modly added. Modly also decried Crozier's "betrayal" and said his tale of being a "martyr" commanding officer had let everyone down across the chain of command.

On Monday, Modly responded to news of the leaked audio, issuing a statement to The Times saying he hadn't listened to the recording yet, but that "the spoken words were from the heart. I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis," Modly said. "Anyone who has served on a Navy ship would understand. I ask, but don't expect, that people read them in their entirety."

Modly's comments drew sharp criticism from Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

"Secretary Modly's comments were completely inappropriate and beneath the office of the Secretary of the Navy," Kaine said in a statement released by his office. "It's deeply disappointing that he would deliver a speech on board a U.S. aircraft carrier suggesting that Captain Crozier might be stupid' and bashing the media for trying to report the truth. These dedicated sailors deserve better from their leadership."

If Modly's intent was to reassure the aircraft carrier's crew that they would be taken care of as they attempted to limit the spread of Covid-19 aboard the ship, his address offered little in the way of concrete measures he intended to see through.

This is the sociopathy of Trumpism infecting the US Navy at its highest levels. There was no reason to demean Capt. Crozier nor to question his overall fitness for command when his record prior to this incident was beyond exemplary. Everyone fully understands why he was relieved of command.

It's always odd that erstwhile storied career civil servants with sterling records and impressive accomplishments immediately become persona non grata and scourges to the nation the second they cross the tender sensibilities of this chickenschitt President and the crew of pliable lemmings he's placed into vital positions, acting as though their constitutional purpose is to now support his unquenchable ego.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 02:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 7

I am sure he is active, but also apparently acting, and poorly.

#2 | Posted by bored at 2020-04-06 03:43 PM | Reply

This is the sociopathy of Trumpism infecting the US Navy at its highest levels.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma

The script for this came from Trump himself.

#3 | Posted by Zed at 2020-04-06 03:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Active Sec. of the Navy insults every sailor when he calls that Captain stupid. The Captain was trying to save the lives of his crew, that is what a good Captain of a ship does. Hopefully, Trump will lose in Nov. and a new President will reinstate the Captain. When the corrupt, incompetent, non-Senate approved bunch of Trump sychophants leaves I think the entire military will be cheering.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-06 04:22 PM | Reply

Modly said Crozier was "too nave or too stupid to be a commanding officer" if he thought that letter wasn't going to leak.

As if this was the only letter ever sent explaining a problem on board a ship. And as if it was the first communication he sent. Was the captain supposed to use a signal lamp?

#5 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2020-04-06 04:26 PM | Reply

The USS Thoedore Roosevelt is a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier.

Question - does the US Navy hand out command of such vessels to naive or stupid individuals?

I strongly suspect the answer is "no" and that in fact anyone considered capable of being the captain of such a vessel is probably an extraordinary individual, above average in many respects. Modly demeans and insults the Navy generally, as well as Crozier individually, with his comments. As a Trump appointee, is anyone surprised?

#6 | Posted by Foreigner at 2020-04-06 04:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 6

It's distasteful to see how the GOP consistently disrespects our warriors. I can't forgive it.

#7 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2020-04-06 05:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

I strongly suspect the answer is "no" and that in fact anyone considered capable of being the captain of such a vessel is probably an extraordinary individual, above average in many respects.

"Nuclear power school is a crucible," Mr. Craig said. "It's not for the faint of heart. Chopper (Capt. Crozier) would stay late, study on weekends, until he could not only pass the tests but had a deep understanding of the concepts behind them."

Mr. Craig said that during his time aboard the Roosevelt in 2015, the command regularly drilled to react to battle damage, fire and other catastrophes, but never practiced what they would do if infectious disease ravaged the tight quarters of the ship.

"Chopper always had the best interests of his crew forefront. I'm sure that was the case here," Mr. Craig said. "Chopper's character is not prone to hasty or uneducated decision making. Anything he did was well thought out."

Dan Goldenberg, another Naval Academy classmate of Captain Crozier's, said that "Modly is wrong no matter what."

www.nytimes.com

#8 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 05:22 PM | Reply

The recording of the speech is available online

#9 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-04-06 05:32 PM | Reply

These remarks sound as if they were written by Dear Leader himself, except for the use of the word "naive" which I'm sure Combover Quisling can neither spell nor define. Capt. Crozier is a 28 year veteran, I'm sure there a LOT of people in the USN who feel much closer to him than this "Acting" Drumpfsucking POS, or for that matter Cadet Bone Spurs himself. The Drumpf Regime is doing a fantastic job of alienating the military. I heard a Navy Chief interviewed a couple of days ago, the promotional path for a flat top captain is right to Rear Admiral. Capt. Crozier knew what he was risking for his sailors, the next POTUS should give him that promotion.

#10 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2020-04-06 07:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

It's almost like they're asking for a military coup. Or they're making the point that we're all too fat and lazy in the US to get off our sofas and vote the problem away. The TRump administration has done almost irreparable harm to the USA and almost no one is going to bother to attempt a fix. This particular situation with a decorated Navy Captain is but a symptom. Any elections going forward are going to be our only chance to save this country. Vote - local elections, national - doesn't matter. Educate yourselves on the issues and the people you'll be voting for. Don't vote to p0wn the conservatives or p0wn the liberals. That's all stupid crap to keep us at each others throats.

Sorry for rambling, get on with whatever you were doing.

#11 | Posted by Ilya_Koslov at 2020-04-06 08:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

GUNSLINGER

"These remarks sound as if they were written by Dear Leader himself."

Naw! Too complicated. Trump's orders sound more like. "Get rid of that bastard. He's making me look bad."

#12 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-04-06 08:11 PM | Reply

I looked him up thinking a Secretary of the Navy would be an active duty sailor.

Nope.

He's a 7 year retired Naval academy graduate who's been a "businessman" for most of his career. Likely just yet another unqualified Trump turd chosen for his unquestioning loyalty to Trump turd more than anything else.

#13 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-06 08:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Modly needs to step down ASAP.
He is unfit to command.
He sounds like a feral Trumper.

#14 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2020-04-06 09:27 PM | Reply

Actually, I believe SECNAV has to be a civilian. He can be retired Navy, but not active duty.

#15 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2020-04-06 09:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Retired for several years I think.

#16 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-04-06 09:46 PM | Reply

Ahhh thanks!

Maybe I was confusing with the chief of staff.

#17 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-06 09:49 PM | Reply

Of course Modly is a civilian. Also, he's only a placeholder (acting) SECNAV after Richard Spencer resigned/fired,and he is awaiting his replacement, who was selected to replace him last November, (Ret.) Admiral Kenneth Braithwaite, who is currently the Ambassador to Norway. If Modly is Trump's stooge, why isn't he being elevated from acting to the permanent SECNAV? Not long ago, Modly threw cold water on Trump's pipe dream for a 355 ship Navy in testimony to Congress. Embarrassed the White House. Modly is very pro-Navy and probably felt he was doing the best thing for the Navy overall. Trump could care less about this aircraft carrier incident, he has bigger fish to fry...

#18 | Posted by babyhuey at 2020-04-06 09:50 PM | Reply

Yeah, five years removed from service according to wiki.

#19 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-06 09:50 PM | Reply

If Modly is Trump's stooge, why isn't he being elevated from acting to the permanent SECNAV?

Would have to be approved by a vote in Congress.

#20 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-04-06 10:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And Trump's MO is to use acting officials because they're easy to remove and easy to replace and, therefore, are much more compliant.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-06 10:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

He's a 7 year retired Naval academy graduate who's been a "businessman" for most of his career. #13 | POSTED BY JPW

I would have imagined the managerial courses at HBS would have produced a graduate with a bit more finesse in leadership or PR management. There was a ~8000 mile flight to prepare to give this speech.

#22 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-04-06 10:18 PM | Reply

The fact of this matter is that by making his poisonous rant without insuring it stayed confidentially within the Navy's channels, Modly has done exactly what he fired Capt. Crozier for doing: Puting the Navy - and him as it's ultimate cabinet-level leader - into a negative light by allowing what should have been in-house remarks to get into the public. He not only chastised the crew members who cheered their departing captain, he besmirched his record and questioned his judgment which only begs the question, if Crozier was truly that lacking in leadership ability and perspective, why hadn't his superiors noted such and removed him from command before this incident?

I don't see any way that Modly just didn't self-fire himself for doing the same thing he fired Crozier for - with the difference being Crozier took the risk in order to protect his troops from a fast-spreading disease while Modly did what he did only to protect the President's tender sensibilities and the command chain above the Captain who didn't respond to his relief requests quickly enough.

#23 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 10:20 PM | Reply

Acting Navy secretary apologizes for scathing rebuke of ousted captain
www.nbcnews.com

...But several hours later, Modly reversed course and apologized for his remarks.

"Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is nave nor stupid," he said in a statement. "I think, and always believed him to be the opposite."

Modly went on to describe Crozier as "smart and passionate."

"I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship," Modly said. "I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused. I also want to apologize directly to Captain Crozier, his family, and the entire crew of the Theodore Roosevelt for any pain my remarks may have caused."

Modly's new statement came after President Donald Trump addressed the controversy at a news conference, saying he planned to intervene....


There is so much wrong in this whole situation that I think we need to take a step back and first make sure that the sailors on the ship are receiving proper medical attention.

#24 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-04-06 10:24 PM | Reply

I think we need to take a step back and first make sure that the sailors on the ship are receiving proper medical attention.

They are, thanks to Capt. Crozier's sacrifice.

What you just posted above reads like Modly's resignation letter to me. If he apologizes for what he said, then what he said never should have been said in the manner and words that he used. He brought shame to the ship, its crew and former captain along with the entire US Navy now having to publicly deal with his "loose lips."

Guess the Boaz Rulz is right on this one, he's gotta go.

#25 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 10:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Last thoughts, a compilation of reddit comments:


He made it so Crozier can never be exonerated.

Honestly that could've been SECNAVs play with this. Now it can never make it to court martial and no one will ever rule that the firing was unjust. Just a top-to-bottom politically fueled removal of the CO.

If you look into the courts martial regarding the collisions from a few years back, you'll see that they didn't move forward because the CNO made comments that could have influenced subordinates and prevented an impartial trial.

SECNAV appears to have done the same thing here. One speculation is that it could have been intentional. If the trial never moved forward because of his comments and the perception of undue influence, Captain Crozier won't get the chance to be tried. While that would prevent him from being found guilty of any charges, the lack of a trial would prevent the SECNAVs decision from being scrutinized and potentially deemed unwarranted."


Bonus $0.02:
In the speech he used the word "betrayal," on the CO's actions. Won't go into detail, but an accusation of betrayal is a large one.

#26 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-04-06 10:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

This is becoming very bizarre.

#27 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-06 10:46 PM | Reply

At President Donald Trump's Monday press briefing for the coronavirus task force, he claimed that he was angry about Navy Capt. Brett Crozier's leaked letter warning of COVID-19 spreading throughout the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt " but admitted he hadn't even read what was in it.

"I think it was five pages long, single-spaced," Trump said. "That's a lot of words!"

Raw Story

Ladies and gentlemen and all, your President of the United States of America. Commander of the Armed Forces.

And he couldn't even be bothered to read just a little bit about a crisis on one of his aircraft carriers. Not some minesweeper or whatever, a friggin' aircraft carrier!

What was the captain supposed to do with the virus coursing throughout the ship? He clearly wasn't given any guidance, or else he would have been ordered to head to the nearest port as possible.

Captain Crozier didn't leak the letter. Somebody else did. Somebody else who actually cared about the lives of sailors.

Before this bizarro world we live in now, conservatives used to support the troops. What is going on? Trumpublicans have become unpatriotic monsters, willing and allowing anyone to die - Americans, the elderly, the armed forces, the doctors and nurses. Any of us as long as it keeps his ratings up.

#28 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2020-04-06 10:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Before this bizarro world we live in now, conservatives used to support the troops. What is going on? Trumpublicans have become unpatriotic monsters, willing and allowing anyone to die - Americans, the elderly, the armed forces, the doctors and nurses. Any of us as long as it keeps his ratings up.
#28 | POSTED BY DEREK_WILDSTAR

I enjoy the fact that this place is typically not an echo chamber. I find myself at odds with those on the left and right on many different issues, which is why I appreciate the discourse that takes place here.

However, the past two days have been disappointing. Not nearly as much discourse or countering of arguments from those on the right, who I happen to be in general disagreement surrounding Trump's response to the pandemic.

It's frustrating. I'm so interested in their rationalizations as to why Trump walks and talks like a duck, but is in fact a tiger.

#29 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-06 11:05 PM | Reply

RSTY

"I'm so interested in their rationalizations as to why Trump walks and talks like a duck, but is in fact a tiger."

Just a guess, of course, but one of the rationalizations I've heard is that they believe Trump is a really a 'genius with a master plan' which everybody but them are too stupid to understand.

Personally I still go with the walk, quack, duck thing.

#30 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-04-06 11:34 PM | Reply

The Captain was trying to bring attention to the dire situation of his crew. Really, everything after that is an attempt to negate the truth of his warnings. I for one will not be satisfied until his superiors are relieved of their positions and he is returned to his, assuming hopefully, he will recover from the virus. This is a simple tale of good vs. evil and the Captain represents "GOOD", like it or not Trumphumpers.

#31 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-06 11:50 PM | Reply

@#25 ... They are, thanks to Capt. Crozier's sacrifice. ...

I am not yet convinced that Capt Crozier's letter assures the sailors are/will be receiving proper medical attention.

I also have a concern about other sailors on other ships.

Those who serve the Country also must be considered as people making a sacrifice for the Country, not just as deployment numbers to counter enemies.

The Commander in Chief has been down-playing this pandemic from the beginning because it seems he is concerned about his re-election chances.

imo, that is an incorrect focus.


#32 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-04-07 12:07 AM | Reply

Now it appears that Trump is taking Crozier's side, saying that he's heard good things about the Captain and that he might have just had a bad day, nothing to lose his career over. Dollars to donuts Trump's found out that Crozier probably donated money to his campaign or has made positive statements about Trump sometime in the recent past.

Sounds like Modly is being hung out to dry, got too far out over his skis and Trump just might yank them off. Serves him right.

#33 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 10:34 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Won't go into detail, but an accusation of betrayal is a large one.

#26 | POSTED BY GONOLES92

I know huh? Like when Trumpy betrayed America with his so-called "Perfect Letter".

That was a pretty big deal. Undermining American elections for your own personal gain.

Dude got impeached for that.

#34 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-04-07 10:38 AM | Reply

Sounds like Modly is being hung out to dry, got too far out over his skis and Trump just might yank them off. Serves him right.

#33 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 10

The man was told by Trump to say what he did about Capt. Crozier. It didn't have the desired effect so Trump will punish him for saying what he said.

It's good to be a god.

#35 | Posted by Zed at 2020-04-07 10:40 AM | Reply

Trump could care less about this aircraft carrier incident, he has bigger fish to fry...

#18 | POSTED BY BABYHUEY

Impeached Humpy has maga walls to build. Can't be having sick and dying Americans escaping to get some of that sweet sweet socialist health care in a pandemic. Thanos would not approve.

#36 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-04-07 10:43 AM | Reply

The man was told by Trump to say what he did about Capt. Crozier.

Naw, Zed, I really believe that Modly anticipated how Trump would respond and then tried to out-Trump Trump with his over-the-top vitriolic response. All the reputable reporting says that Modly didn't talk to the President at all and personally short-circuited the review process in unilaterally deciding to relieve him of command.

His mistake might have been in not knowing Crozier might have friends within Trump's inner circle that grabbed his ear. Or some of the career brass at the Pentagon pitched a big one behind Modly's back. The guy had a spotless record. Hard to turn him into an anti-Trump Democratic partisan with the career track he traveled.

#37 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 10:47 AM | Reply

Our nation is being governed by actors on a sitcom. There is not a single, actual serious person, in the entire administration. Worst part, it isn't really even a funny sitcom. In most sitcoms, the main character has to be, at least, likeable. Donald Trump is not likeable.

#38 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-07 10:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#38 He's an empty vessel that people fill with their own dreams And hopes. Like the mirror on the wall. Likeable has little to do with it. Mark my words,he's very dangerous for that reason, much like Hitler was. He may still win re-election, and not by fraud. I say this as someone who absolutely loathes the man but his spell on some people is undeniable.

#39 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-04-07 01:15 PM | Reply

They same types that supported Hitler, the lower middle class and the financier class are the same types who support Trump. The parallels are frightening if you look at the trends.
Trump may use the pandemic as a cover to start multiple wars of aggression, against Iran and Venezuela. If he is re-elected I expect a possible world war with the US in the role of Nazi Germany. This sometimes keeps me up at night. That fool is truly evil but half the country is down with that evil,no questions asked. Hitler in America. What will be our Stalingrad?

#40 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-04-07 01:22 PM | Reply

"CHINA COVERED IT UP!!!!"

-- the sacks proud cult members who cheered the dear leader when he fired a guy for not covering it up

#41 | Posted by MrSilenceDogood at 2020-04-07 10:33 PM | Reply

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