LASER INCIDENT 20 YEARS LATER
A major theme of Democratic talking points in Congress and on liberal media outlets in recent weeks has been the notion that Russia stole the presidential election from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through cyberattacks and influence ploys.
The anti-Russia political narrative that has ensued is in stark contrast to past efforts by Democrats to support Moscow under successive leaders, including current President Vladimir Putin, since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
A case in point is the cover-up by the Clinton administration of a laser attack against a Navy intelligence officer in the Pacific Northwest 20 years ago.
The April 4, 1997, incident took place in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, north of Puget Sound, when someone aboard a Russian merchant ship that was engaged in intelligence-gathering fired a laser at a Canadian helicopter surveilling the ship.
At the time, the ship was sailing inbound through waters used by Navy ballistic missile submarines. In fact, a Navy sub was outbound on the surface in the strait as the Russian ship was transiting inbound.
As the Canadian helicopter made a pass over the Russian ship, someone fired a laser that injured the eyes of Navy Lt. Jack Daly, an intelligence officer who was photographing the ship, and his Canadian Sea King helicopter pilot Capt. Pat Barnes.
The incident was kept secret by the Clinton administration Pentagon and State Department in a bid to protect its conciliatory policies toward Moscow.
The attack would be disclosed in a top-secret Joint Staff report and published in The Washington Times by this columnist weeks later. After a decision was made to search the ship for a laser, the State Department notified the Russian Embassy that the search would take place. The tipoff allowed the Russians to hide or ditch the laser weapon used in the attack.
A Pentagon spokesman at the time also provided false information to reporters by stating that there was no evidence the Russian vessel had been engaged in intelligence-gathering.
Lt. Daly, who has since retired, told Inside the Ring that the federal government and Navy have never acknowledged the laser attack.
“All I have to show for my efforts 20 years later are two eyeballs with 24/7/365 pain and a denial of any VA compensation,” Lt. Daly said.
“It’s painfully clear that both Bill and Hillary Clinton have had no problem throwing a military member under the bus without blinking an eye. Their disdain for anyone in uniform is well known,” he added.
Lt. Daly said the attack was “just one of many national security cover-ups by the Clintons.”
“Thank God our military men and women this day have a commander in chief named Donald J. Trump,” he said. “The alternative was unthinkable.”