The alleged behavior of military police at the General Dynamics Lima tank plant toward Blade staff members is at minimum abhorrent and reprehensible (“Blade files lawsuit over detention of journalists; Action claims violation of Constitutional rights,” April 5).
While military claims of suspicious activities or terrorism may have been an immediate concern, what allegedly followed is not acceptable.
Constitutionality aside, the treatment of Blade photographer Jetta Fraser was beyond the pale. If these security officers are confused about gender identity, perhaps after the lawsuit I could have a polite conversation with them about what it means to be a man.
Detained staffers should not gripe
The Blade and its two staff members who were confronted by military security have nothing to complain about. Any facility that produces material for national defense must be safeguarded. It appears the security personnel did not act improperly or overstep their authority.
Given the current state of worldwide terrorist activity, authorities are obligated to investigate all unusual or unexplained activity near such facilities, including a vehicle parked near the gate with one of the occupants taking photos. Had The Blade thought in advance to advise the tank plant of the staffers’ intentions, there probably would have been no confrontation.
In addition to showing up unannounced, the photographer refused to produce photo ID, which only added to the suspicion. Refusing to do so at the tank plant was an act of defiance and was dealt with appropriately.
That the staffers were wearing Blade credentials does not grant them a free pass. Fake credentials could be acquired by terrorists.
So swallow your pride and admit your staffers were out of line. I applaud military security for being on their toes and doing their job.