This article questions the legality of a Navy SEAL training exercise that essentially grants the teams access to the entire Washington state coastline, whether on public or private land.  According to the sources there are many civilians and authorities in the training area who are upset about not being notified or given a chance to disapprove.  They should worry less about how the training was coordinated, and instead focus on why it is taking place – to properly train the men who are protecting their country.

By Kevin Gosztola | Shadowproof

Dahr Jamail: “through a source—actually within the Navy—I came across a couple of the Navy’s own documents, and these were documents that they’re not classified but the Navy had effectively hidden them from public accessibility by calling them something else. They basically made up their own designation for these documents in such a way as to make it to where they would not be available. If someone wanted to file a Freedom of Information Act request to try to get this kind of information, they basically made it so these documents would not come up in those searches but that they would not be breaking the law by hiding them in the way that they did.

And so, the source that I had was able to provide these documents to me, which essentially outlined an ongoing Navy SEALs training regime that was slated to start right now literally—yesterday to be specific, January 14—and be ongoing for the next two years, where they would essentially have access to basically the entirety coastline of Washington state, including most of the Puget Sound area, the coast going out the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the west coast that is right there on the Pacific Ocean.

They would have access to coastlines, state parks, private areas, to where Navy SEALs would be launched onto the beach areas carrying “simulated weapons” in areas that include 68 beach and state park areas in everywhere that I just mentioned, and they would be able to access the beach areas, residential areas, private lands, state parks, and go anytime, day or night, for exercises starting yesterday for the next two years without any public notification whatsoever. They hadn’t any of the relevant state, federal, or local government officials—So, things like police departments, things like U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, etc. Nobody had been notified. Even the governor’s office in Washington state had not been notified.

Needless to say, when we published these documents on Monday, it has basically created outrage across the better part of Washington state. And it has fortunately forced most of the local media outlets, including a lot of the bigger TV and newspaper outlets in Seattle and the surrounding area, to start covering the story. So, people are really, really upset about this and rightly so.”

KHALEK: So many aspects of this story are really stunning, but one thing in particular was the fact that this wasn’t even cleared with the federal government agencies, the federal government land that would be used for this. It violated all kinds of federal laws and state laws. It’s like nobody has any control over what Navy SEALs can train and do. The federal government doesn’t have control. That’s so bizarre to me.

JAMAIL: That’s exactly right. One example is the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer. This person on the state level wasn’t even consulted. The Navy used a really slimy method of excluding contact with these people that by law, by federal law, they were supposed to be in contact with to consult with, to do environmental impact statements, and then have public notifications and public comment periods, etc. The Navy bypassed doing any of this, and one of the ways, one of the chief means they used of doing it was they used an exemption process called a categorical exclusion. CATEX is their acronym.