Thursday, January 31, 2008


Back in Oct '07, we had Rep. John Mica--7th district in Florida--on the show to discuss the outrageous treatment of our soldiers and Marines during a layover at the Oakland airport. I posted about it here and Malkin linked the story as well.

In a nutshell, our Military Members were allowed to deplane in Oakland for the layover period but were not allowed in the airport terminal because the officals in Oakland had some "security concerns".

We interviewed Rep. Mica because he's the ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which oversees military transports. He was not happy about the incident at Oakland and insisted there would be action taken. The Inspector General would review the situation and file a report in due time, we were told.

Also, it was mentioned that Oakland would no longer be receiving military transports of this type in the future. Sacramento was being looked at as a possible new destination.

Well, the IG has submitted a report that says the Oakland Airport did not break any laws or regulations when it denied the 200 soldiers and Marines access to the terminal. Just a mix-up, folks. Here's a few passages from the article:

The contract to allow military layovers at the California airport "did not require that military personnel have access to the airport terminal; it only required that military personnel be allowed to deplane and stretch their legs on stops lasting over one hour,"

Airport officials were concerned that the flight's ground staff could not provide "an adequate level of escort and control of such a large group of military personnel in or around the terminal area," the inspector's report said.

The review also found "miscommunication about the proper storage and safeguarding of weapons carried on board aircraft during the layover" and that the airport "could not confirm that weapons [on the plane] would be secured and safeguarded in accordance with Department of Defense regulations and that the Marines and soldiers would leave their weapons on board."

The "concerns" by officials in Oakland about "escort and control" of our Military Members is insulting, at best. The "safeguarding of weapons" is even more of an insult as well.

Did Oakland think our heros would get access to secured weapons and run wild through the terminal firing at people, raping women, robbing stores? Cutting off heads?

I'm thinking they just wanted to use the restroom, maybe visit with friends and family, and grab some snacks for the final leg to Hawaii. But, I could be wrong.

Andrea Shea-King will be contacting Rep. Mica on Friday to see if he'll return to our show for a follow-up interview regarding the Oakland Airport and the IG's report. Check back.

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