REPORT: Navy to Charge Officer Who Fired on Islamist During Chattanooga Terror Attack.
A friend of mine at CENTCOM told me, before it was public knowledge that the two had exchanged fire with the terrorist, that there was talk about whether they could be eligible for Purple Hearts or even valor awards. Their actual chain of command has come up with the more obvious response. Joseph Heller, call your office.
UPDATE: Jim Webb says he'd set the Navy straight if he were President. I doubt ours will, but I expect we'll hear from Tennessee's Senators about this before too long.
UPDATE: The Chattanoogan gets a statement from the Navy to the effect that no one has been charged, though the matter is still under review. PJ Media considers that confirmation that charges are being considered; The Chattanoogan reads it the other way.
My sense is this: of course the Navy was, and perhaps still is, considering charges. It had regulations that were broken. That's why the title of this post was "Of Course." That process had gotten far enough along that LCDR White was given a heads up that he should prepare himself to face possible charges, and he prepared himself by contacting retired LTC Allen West. West had faced very serious charges himself under what White might consider similar circumstances, i.e., he violated regulations in a manner his conscience told him was right and necessary. In both cases, significant good came out of it (LTC West saved his men from falling into a waiting ambush, and LCDR White was able to assist in the evacuation of the recruiting station under hostile fire). West would be a natural person to reach out to for advice on how to handle a situation like this.
West has since become a Congressman, and after that a professional commentator, and decided to conduct a fire mission in support of White. That's appropriate in my view: one reason we sometimes advise servicemembers to "call your Senator" is that the bureaucracy often errs in favor of the hard application of the rule over the wise application of judgment. In a case where the rule is obviously wrong and the judgment was obviously well-considered and properly applied, it's good to provide a counterweight. As a former Congressman himself, West knew what could be done if he could garner Congressional support for White's case.
So, all of you who contacted your Senators or other Congressmen, thank you. You've probably helped to save a good man.