What We're (Not) Allowed To Say In Public

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

If there was one speaker at the meeting who stood out in the minds of those attending, it was Lt. Cmdr. Tom Bush, a Navy F/A-18 pilot from Oceana Naval Air Station who regularly flies his Mooney to Washington on Navy business. It's possible that Lt. Cmdr. Bush (no relation) has some insights or operational experience that give him a more holistic view of the ADIZ, but, speaking as a private citizen at the hearing, even he didn't appear to give away any state secrets. He did offer some quotable comments ("Freedom and security are polar opposites, and I am not willing to give up my freedom for the sake of terrorists") but NORAD seems to have focused its attention on his more tangible calculation, as presented to the meeting, that while on an approved approach to Dulles, he could make a turn and have his Mooney over the White House in four minutes. Military officials were reportedly upset at the time and wanted the comment stricken from the record. Instead, it seems, they've stricken the whole record. NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek told CNET News.com that "there were some operational security concerns revealed by this person who had knowledge but appeared as a public citizen, which we think was out of line. The disclosure of that information could go directly to national security concerns." Bush has been unavailable for comment and appears to have an unlisted phone number.