The Voyage of the Good Ship Carl Vinson

What I believe to be the true significance of the mix-up over the wanderings of the USS Carl Vinson has been entirely missed, even by the alternative media. I think it provides an intriguing insight into the machinations of the nefarious, secretive – some say nonexistent – “Deep State”.

On April 8th Pacific Command announced that the Vinson (previously famous for being the carrier from which Osama bin Laden’s body was unceremoniously dumped in the presence of only a few top officers) was headed for Korea, a show of resolve lauded by the ever trigger-happy corporate media. On April 12th, in an interview on Fox, President Trump confirmed an armada was headed for the war-zone (we’re still technically at war with North Korea), a claim repeated later that day by administration spokesman, Sean Spicer. Then, on April 17th it was revealed that the Good Ship Lollygag was actually meandering around the Indian Ocean on its way to maneuvers with the Australian navy.

Was the announcement of the Vinson’s departure for Korea a ruse, meant to frighten the North Koreans and disrupt their military-hardware-boasting celebration of the 105th birthday of the state’s founder (on April 15th)? Was President Trump in on the joke, or did he really not know where one of the aircraft carrier battlegroups he commands was headed (only 3 of our 10 carriers were “in theater” at the time; seems like even he could keep track)?

If Trump didn’t know what the Vinson’s course was, it speaks volumes about who is actually in charge of our foreign policy. Who made the decision to send, or pretend to send, the Vinson to the Sea of Japan? This is no minor foreign policy decision as things go, considering the present chest-beating over North Korea. If Trump didn’t make it, who did? The admiral in charge of the Pacific fleet? Possibly, but the military’s role is to execute policy, not make it, especially at that level. If not him, who – some unknown personages deep within the bowels of the National Security Council? Were even these powerful troglodytes taking orders from some more profound puppeteers?

Those who would attribute the confusion over the Vinson to a simple misunderstanding between two branches of our government argue that the President simply misspoke, as is his wont. Or that he and the Pacific Command were misunderstood in that they, like a cable repairman who promises to be at your house on Tuesday between 10 and 2 but doesn’t specify what week, meant that the Vinson would someday be stationed off the coast of North Korea, which is true enough as the ship is now belatedly headed that way.

That the Vinson’s deployment has just now been extended by a month suggests the decision to send it north was only made after its much ballyhooed appearance on the frontlines failed to materialize. When its absence became public knowledge, the South Koreans went apoplectic, as they saw it as a bluff the North Koreans called and won. They question whether our commitment to come to their defense in case of attack is also a bluff. In light of our ally’s nervous reaction, we had little choice but to have the Vinson make an appearance, no matter how tardy, off their shore.

Questions about a Deep State raised by the soggy saga of the Vinson echo similar questions raised by another potentially revealing episode: the Stuxnet incident. This ingenious software implanted in Iranian nuclear controls caused hundreds of their centrifuges to explode. Who made the decision to carry out the sabotage, and who knew about it before Stuxnet’s malicious success was announced by the Iranians in 2010? Did Secretary of State Clinton know as she negotiated with the Iranians over their nuclear program, or was she oblivious as to why the Iranians were so hostile, they knowing but not yet revealing what she didn’t know: that the US had committed an act of war against them?

Trump’s ignorance concerning the whereabouts of the Vinson suggests even a President can be out of the loop when it comes to foreign policy (maybe Obama’s memoir will shed some light on this; if so, his $65-million advance will be money well spent.) Even without postulating a Deep State, what responsible member of our national security apparatus would entrust our deepest secrets to a buffoon who is likely to post them in a tweet (“@realDonaldTrump: Just told nuclear launch code. So obvious! Only four letters and rhymes with ‘tire’.”).

Obviously, the evidence backing up my speculations is thin (that’s what “deep” implies), but a world turned murky by mirrored machines belching smoke, curtains shut tight against the light, and suspicious shadows lurking in the dark legitimizes – in fact, demands – speculation, so long as we keep it wide-eyed, but not wild-eyed.

Ken Meyercord is a retiree living in the Washington, DC area, where he haunts think-tank events by asking impertinent questions of the pompous, the hypocritical, and the dishonest. He recently published his memoir of the Vietnam War years, Draft-Dodging Odyssey (under the penname Ken Kiask). He can be reached at: Read other articles by Ken.