No liberty in Hong Kong for US Navy sailors as China tries to strangle democracy in its cradle

Analysis
USS Chafee departs Hong Kong on Oct. 6, 2017. ((U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin A. Lewis.)

Geopolitics aside, the ongoing demonstrations by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong against Red China's tyrannical rule have already produced strategic ramifications for U.S. sailors: cancelled liberty.

That's right, the godless communists have cancelled two planned port calls by U.S. Navy ships.


The amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 17, followed by the cruiser USS Lake Erie in September, said Cmdr. Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet.

"The U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue," Christensen told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.

Christensen referred questions about why the Green Bay and Lake Erie sailors would not be able to spend their liberty in Hong Kong to the Chinese government.

China has been ruled by the communist party since 1949. Thirty years later, the Chinese began adopting capitalism, but so far the powers that be have refused to consider political reforms in part because they blame Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to democratize the Soviet Union for its collapse in 1991.

A former British colony, Hong Kong came under Chinese control in 1997. The current protests there come almost exactly 30 years after the People's Liberation Army massacred students in Tiananmen Square.

As of Wednesday, the communist bureaucrats whose hands are firmly clasped around democracy's throat seemed indifferent to the fact that sailors will not be spending their liberty in Hong Kong.

The last Navy ship to visit Hong Kong was the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge in April, a defense official said. The last time the Chinese denied a port visit to Hong Kong was in September 2018, when the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp was not allowed to dock there.

Navy Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent. (U.S. Navy)

Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent may be gone, but she won't be forgotten.

On Wednesday, the Navy detachment at the Presidio of Monterey dedicated a stage and several buildings at the service's Information Warfare Training Command in honor of the 35-year-old cryptologic technician was killed while deployed to Syria in January.

The clutch of buildings will now be known as Kent Navy Yard.

Read More Show Less
AP Photo/Michael Sohn

An investigation is underway after an Army recruiting company commander in Houston, Texas, issued a memo that included a phrase used by Nazis and displayed in death camps during World War II, "Arbeit Macht Frei," which roughly translates to "work sets you free."

Read More Show Less
Jason Venne (Hampden Superior Court)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A woman has filed a civil suit against a former member of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, saying she has suffered emotional distress and "a diminished capacity to enjoy life" in the years since he used a hidden camera at Barnes Air National Guard Base to record explicit images of her.

Former Tech Sgt. Jason Venne, 37, pleaded guilty in February to six counts of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude and seven counts of unlawful wiretap. He admitted putting a camera in the women's locker room at the Westfield base, recording images and video between 2011 and 2013 when he worked there as a mechanic.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Five people have been indicted in federal court in the Western District of Texas on charges of participating in a scheme to steal millions of dollars from benefits reserved for military members, U.S. Department of Justice officials said Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
In this March 24, 2017, photo, bottles of hemp oil, or CBD, are for sale at the store Into The Mystic in Mission, Kansas. (Associated Press/The Kansas City Star/Allison Long)

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

As the military services each roll out new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol, or CBD, the Defense Department is not mincing words.

"It's completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time," said Patricia Deuster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

The warning, along with the policies issued recently by the Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of the Navy, comes as CBD is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country in many forms, from coffee additives and vaping liquids to tinctures, candies and other foods, carrying promises of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to sleeping aids and inflammation reduction.

Read More Show Less