US Navy commander drunk, abusive in Bahrain

This video is called Bahrain Protests: Security forces open fire on crowds in Manama.

We know that the absolute monarchy in Bahrain has its own police and armed forces (including mercenaries from Pakistan and elsewhere).

We know, that since the Bahraini people rose up this spring, demanding democracy, there are occupation soldiers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in Bahrain, adding to the death toll of anti-dictatorship protesters which is still rising.

We sometimes tend to forget that all the time, there are United States soldiers in Bahrain as well.

However, an Associated Press item today reminds us:

Document: Navy commander drunk, abusive in Bahrain

By BROCK VERGAKIS, Associated Press – 12 hours ago

NORFOLK, Va. — Angry that he was not invited to a group dinner, the commander of a Navy flight squadron hurled insults at subordinates and slapped another sailor several times while they were all drinking at a bar in Bahrain, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The misconduct led to a demotion for Cmdr. Karl Pugh, one of several officers who have tainted the Navy’s image this year by misbehaving. In January, a carrier commander was relieved of duty after he produced videos that included simulated same-sex shower scenes, anti-gay slurs and references to prostitution in foreign ports. Other Navy officers have been dismissed for marital infidelity and not addressing hazing.

The embarrassing episodes drew a stern reminder this spring from then-Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughead, who told prospective commanding officers that they are required to have exemplary conduct. Adm. John Harvey, head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, has also said he’d review the screening process for commanding officers in response to the rash of dismissals.

The Navy has fired 18 commanding officers so far this year. The highest one-year total was 26 in 2003.

Pugh’s actions in July violated a variety of Navy codes, including directives given to sailors intended to prevent them from embarrassing the U.S. while in foreign ports and jeopardizing international relations.

Pugh committed assault, disorderly conduct and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman, according to an investigative report AP obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request.

Pugh declined to comment on Friday through a spokeswoman, but in a statement to Navy investigators, he said he accepted responsibility for his actions and he embarrassed himself, his family and his air wing. He said he did not meet his own expectations as an officer.

“For offending my fellow aircrew, I am truly sorry. Their job is hard enough and any act I participated in should not make it harder,” Pugh wrote.

At the time, Pugh was serving aboard the Norfolk-based U.S.S. George H.W. Bush as the commanding officer of Electronic Attack Squadron 141. The squadron is comprised of EA-18G Growlers and is based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Wash.

Pugh was upset that his crew didn’t leave a dinner once they realized that he and his executive officer weren’t there, the report said. As Pugh drank at a hotel bar filled with others in the carrier’s air wing, he loudly confronted his crew about the dinner. His behavior continued to deteriorate, according to witness statements. Pugh was at the bar for about four hours until it closed.

“I didn’t think much of it at first since we all joke around and give each other a hard time. But as the conversation went on, his joking and actions reached a level where I felt very uncomfortable and was in disbelief in what was occurring. He was very drunk and not making a lot of sense,” according to a witness. The witnesses names were redacted in the report.

The bulk of Pugh’s misbehavior started after he joined a table, uninvited, that was occupied by the crew of a helicopter squadron, several of whom he said didn’t matter because they were enlisted.

“CDR Pugh said he wanted (to) tell us his philosophy of what is wrong with the Navy. He never got to a point. Instead he spewed hate talk and nonsense to us,” another witness said. “When asked why he was saying the things he was or if he disagreed and said that is not right, he ignored us. He would flick beer at everyone sitting at the table. He then looked at me and dumped his glass of beer on me.”

He pointed at the officer and said he wasn’t worth anything because he’s Mexican, according to the statements. Pugh eventually grabbed the officer and struck him hard on the face four to five times. He also pinched and twisted the chest of another person.

Pugh is currently assigned to the Electronic Attack Wing staff.

U.S. Looks To Sell Military Equipment To Bahrain: here.

Washington, DC – Human Rights First commends the leadership shown by Representative Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) as they fight to halt the proposed arms sale to Bahrain. McGovern and Wyden have introduced resolutions disapproving of a Department of Defense proposal to sell $53 million worth of weapons to Bahrain.

Doubts emerge over 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix: here.

Amnesty International: Death of teenage Bahrain protester must be fully investigated: here.

10 thoughts on “US Navy commander drunk, abusive in Bahrain

  1. U.S. lawmakers seek to block U.S. arms sales to Bahrain

    WASHINGTON | Sat Oct 8, 2011 9:01am IST

    (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, concerned about the Bahraini government’s response to a popular uprising, on Friday introduced a rare measure that would halt a $53 million arms sale to the Gulf Arab state.

    U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and U.S. Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts, both Democrats, said they introduced resolutions in both houses of Congress to prevent the sale of U.S. weapons to Bahrain “until meaningful steps are taken to improve human rights” there.

    “Selling weapons to a regime that is violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent and violating human rights is antithetical to our foreign policy goals and the principle of basic rights for all that the U.S. has worked hard to promote,” Wyden said in a statement posted on his website.

    “The U.S. should not reward a regime that actively suppresses its people. This resolution will withhold the sale of arms to Bahrain until the ruling family shows a real commitment to human rights,” Wyden said.

    The Pentagon last month notified lawmakers that it had approved the sale of $53 million of weapons to Bahrain, including more than 44 armoured Humvees and 300 missiles, 50 of which have bunker busting capability.

    Prime contractors for the arms sale would be AM General [MAFHDG.UL] and Raytheon Co, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the part of the Pentagon that oversees foreign arms sales.

    The notice of the sale was officially reported to Congress on Sept. 14, triggering a 30-day period during which Congress can pass a resolution opposing the sale. Lawmakers seldom challenge arms sales notifications since weapons sales are generally vetted with Congress before being made public.

    In the wake of the so-called “Arab spring,” which swept the governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya from power, Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority turned up the political heat in the island country, which put down a pro-democracy uprising earlier this year with the help of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

    Many Shi’ite areas are witnessing almost nightly clashes with police. Opposition groups say heavy-handed police tactics are worsening tension on the street. Hundreds of Shi’ites were dismissed from their jobs over suspected roles in the protests and many remain in police detention.

    About 30 people, mainly Shi’ites, died when the protest movement erupted in February, but ongoing clashes and deaths in police custody have taken the total past 40, according to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

    McGovern said it was not in the United States’ national security interest to sell weapons to Bahrain. “Human rights ought to matter in our foreign and military policy,” he said. “Now is not the time to sell weapons to Bahrain.”

    (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill)


  2. Horner expresses Bahrain concerns

    (UKPA) – 2 hours ago

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has voiced his concerns with regard to the “rather worrying” situation in Bahrain.

    This year’s grand prix, which was due to be the season-opener, had to be cancelled following a political uprising that resulted in the deaths of a number of protestors. Last week 13 doctors and nurses were handed sentences of 15 years for treating activists wounded during the protests, whilst a further seven received terms of five to 10 years.

    Speaking to Press Association Sport with regard to the prospect of a race in the Gulf kingdom next April, Horner said: “Obviously it’s worrying when you hear the type of news that’s come out of Bahrain. But [F1 supremo] Bernie [Ecclestone], more than anybody, is probably acutely aware of the situation there.”

    He continued: “When the time is right for difficult decisions that have to be made, he’s demonstrated he’s not afraid of making them.

    “But yes, some of the reports that have come out of Bahrain recently, the situation is rather worrying.”

    Horner is naturally hoping if and when a decision is made, it is done so sooner rather than later to avoid the uncertainty that unfolded in the weeks leading up to this season.

    “Prior to the end of the year there is plenty of opportunity, with different world council meetings, for them to look at it,” added Horner.

    “So I’m sure at that level, between the promoter and regulators, it will be discussed in some detail.

    “We have to trust their judgment that they will make the right decisions, which I am sure they will.”

    Copyright © 2011 The Press Association.


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