The ruling says the US Navy does not have to restrict its use of sonar off the coast of California, even though scientists point to evidence that sonar is killing whales and other marine life. BBC News notes that "The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups." ABC News report on the navy's argument:
The Navy has conducted training exercises off the Southern California coast for more than 40 years. It argues that its current training exercises have taken on added significance since the United States has been engaged in ongoing hostilities.Some little-known facts about hostilities in which the US is engaged: 1) various terrorist groups are known to operate inside deep sea nuclear submarines; 2) the US Navy has proved indispensable in fighting the war against the Taliban in land-locked Afghanistan; 3) the Iraq war has amounted to one long series of naval engagements.
Is all this news to you? It goes to show that the American right will use the pretext of "hostilities" to justify just about anything the president commands.
I blogged more about this sorry legal case here.