What's the beef?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What's the beef?

First there was last weekend's sensational paragraphs and mugshot on 27East.com1 about a woman with an "assault2 weapon" arrested for taking photos at Gabreski Airport.

How sensational was it?

Newsday picked it up two days later, as did the NY Post... nothing increases readership among the strap-hangers like a scandal in The Hamptons in the Summer.

Throw in the National Security angle, and it's a wowser!

(The only thing that could have made it better for the tabloids was if they could have described her as "a svelte blonde," but they're not even sure which side of 50 years old she is.)

Comes now a fuller follow-up from 27East.com with a much more low key headline:

Woman says trespassing arrest at Air National Guard base was misunderstanding

Yeah? Well, what else is she going to say?

But read reporter Vera Chinese's report very carefully.

(Disclosure: I do not know this woman, have to the best of my knowledge never met her, nor is she a member of the range to which I belong.)

Item:
"Authorities and ANG representatives said this week that Ms. Genovese had been explicitly warned in mid-July to stay away from the base. They also said she was arrested last week after she drove her car just outside the fence, near the entrance to the base."

Has anyone driven past the Air National Guard portion of Gabreski and noted the proximity of the fence to Old Riverhead Road?

I was six years old before I ever traveled that road from Westhampton Beach to Riverhead... there was a sentry booth just across the LIRR tracks and another close to the abandoned SCWA premises... then the hangar at a private aeroport. No non-military traffic was allowed to pass by the Army Air Corps base during WWII, supposedly because the United States was training pilots from a neutral country (Brazil... oops!) and that was a huge secret!

Gas Ration Stamp. Type A, circa 1942

When the field was operational during the '40s, one was obliged to drive to Riverhead by way of Quogue.

And if we think the impositions of Homeland Security are bad now, during gas rationing, that was tough!

So, 106th ANG, we love ya, but what's the big secret?

Item:
"Major Williams said Ms. Genovese had been spotted once before snooping around on base property, and ANG members had written down her personal information. They were told to notify authorities if she appeared on the base again, he said: 'They were keeping an eye out for her.'"

"Snooping?" Freakin' "snooping?!?"

Taking a photo from a distance of what is plainly visible from without?

(For actual "snooping," I would at least expect that she was caught wriggling on her belly beneath a fence!)

Item:
"'She was basically notified that if she didn’t have official business, she was not allowed on our grounds,' said Major Scott Williams, the wing executive officer and media contact for the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing."

So much for the basics, Major... what do you assert that the woman was told specifically?

(Relying on a "media contact" or an official spokesperson is always a dicey proposition as they have little if any credibility. Unfortunately, that comes with the job.)

But let's get to one huge specific: was the woman actually "on" the 106th's grounds?

Item:
"Major Williams pointed out that signs located next to the helicopter read 'the use of cameras or video equipment is prohib­ited,' and explained that the ANG prefers that no one take photos of the base."

Okay, but did the woman have a telephoto lens? How legible is that sign from the road­way without a long lens?

And if the Rescue Wing's helicopters are that "photo-sensitive," why aren't they secured from prying eyes and cameras?

Now the putative miscreant Nancy Genovese may be an al-Qaida mole or a genuine Right Wing wacky-pack3 as her Twitter pages suggest, but I still don't see the beef! If there are no FEMA internment camps at Gabreski, the 106th should have nothing to worry about.

When this matter was earlier discussed on a closed E-mail group, it was concluded that it was a case of enuresis ignavus in action.

Note
  1. The original story, for reasons probably unrelated to George Orwell, has been replaced with the current one.
  2. It must be noted that "assault" is a behavior, not an object, and that the subject's rifle has been used in less assaults than deposed Deputy Mayor Jim Kametler's 'possum-shooting Smith & Wesson.
  3. It cannot, however, be said that a dubious view of Governmental authority is all that "wacky."

Comments

1. Matlynn Carville said...

I was wondering if she had access to the range.

Not according to the range's President when I ran this past him last weekend.
Dean

2. Bob P said...

Dean,

When you go on Flickr, ANG members have tons of pictures on there. Just search Westhampton and or ANG. Not that I condone her behavior.

Best, Bob

Exactly what "behavior" are you not condoning, Bob?
Dean

3. Rob F. said...

So much stupidity. Where to start?

Since when is taking a picture of something in public view from the street a criminal offense? If it is, the-powers-that-be had better get an indictment against Google, because I just viewed the entire stretch of the ANG base along Old Riverhead Road via Google Maps' Street View.

Next, the guns angle is nothing but a load of sensational crapola used to hook readers. Just pathetic.

And what about the fact that the woman was held in jail for four nights on a trumped-up misdemeanor trespass charge? Four nights! And this is somebody with no criminal record. Obviously designed to "teach her a lesson."

Somebody please explain to me why, despite all the evidence to the contrary, some people still think it is a good idea to give the Government more power over our day-to-day affairs.

Hope the woman has a good attorney, although four straight mornings of Suffolk County's egg sandwiches suggests that she doesn't have one.

This is some shameful stuff indeed!
Dean

4. Speonk said...

HH3 aircraft restored by the 106th members and volunteers was built in 1966 and served throughout the world, including Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The aircraft served for 25 years before being decommissioned in 1991. I retired from the 106th, went there with my girlfriend to take a picture of her in front of the HH3, was told by the gate guard that it wasnt allowed... Base commander's policy... you can go to any air force base and take pictures of their static displays except the 106th ANG... the commander of the base sees al-Qaida behind every scrub pine.

I think that the Genovese woman has a case, and this would be perfect for the ACLU but for the fact that their ultra-Liberal sensibilities will balk that she's a "gun nut" and therefore not worthy of their attentions.

Institutionally, ACLU is as hypocritical as it gets.
Dean

5. Matlynn Carville said...

  1. What happens at Calverton by the old Grumman and cemetery property if people stop to take pictures of that jet?
  2. Honest to goodness, Speir, do you really believe this lady's non-transgressions, and the now-documented consistent reaction of the terrorist-seeking Commander (validated by Speonk's Comment above, rise to the interest level of the ACLU?
She MAY need a Legal Aid lawyer, but really....
"Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of these..."

William Kunstler would have been on this like a seagull on a orange peel. The ACLU's charter, however, is discharged selectively!
Dean

6. Nancy Genovese said...

People, with all the liberal blogs out there deleting anything in my defense, saying horrible things about me, your blog has made me very happy.

All of you appear to be intelligent people. You saw the big picture. You thought outside the box. You saw I committed no crime.

I was charged with Trespassing 3, 140.10, which means I would have been in a fenced area or a building such as a school. I was across the street from the base. I was on my way home from the shooting range in Ridge, they are open until 9 PM on Thursdays. I thank you all for seeing the truth, I was arrested for being a "right wing extremist, a tea bagger" And I was told over and over again, "we are going to use me to teach all right wingers and tea baggers a lesson."

Thank you. Nancy Genovese
If you have any questions; mystc4star@aol.com

So, who's your attorney, and when and where is your court date?
Dean

7. Nancy Genovese said...

DISMISSED!! November 17, 2009 Southampton Justice Court.

There were no laws broken while on the side of the road. This was a big witch hunt. My attorney is Robert C. Gottlieb.

Congratulations!
Dean

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