When all else fails, cite "national security." There's surely a sign to that effect in the Oval Office. George Bush used that excuse to invade, imprison and wire tap. Yesterday he used it to allow Navy sonar deployment off the coast of California, and likely Washington. Despite the harm sonar is thought to have on whales and other sea life, the Navy is back in court using the Bush exemption to seek a reversal of the sonar ban.
The Navy is known to test sonar off the Northwest coast as well as in Puget Sound - sometimes with deadly effect. That's in addition to use of underwater explosives in those same waters - 300 detonations a year in the Sound. The Navy also plans to increase its bomb tests in the Sound and Hood Canal while vastly expanding its coastal war games grid off the Olympic peninsula.
"This is not a national security issue," said Joel Reynolds, director of National Resources Defense Council's Marine Mammal Protection Project. "The Navy doesn?t need to harm whales to train effectively with sonar. It simply chooses to for the sake of convenience."