Fury punches out early: Striking a Blow for Disarmament in Maine Shipyard
By Dave Lindorff
Let us pause to honor Charles Fury.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have protested America’s bloated, out-of-control military, and millions more are outraged that the US spends upwards of $1 trillion a year on war and preparing for war. The protests and the opposition to military spending have had little effect, as the military continues to grow in size and cost, backed by a Congress whose members are bought by the arms industry, and a ruling elite that wants its global investments protected--at taxpayer expense.
Fury, 25, while perhaps not an opponent of the US military, with one little action, managed to do more to damage the US war machine than all those protesters and war opponents put together.
Reportedly suffering an anxiety attack in the cramped torpedo room of the USS Miami, a 361-foot-long nuclear attack submarine that he and a group of fellow maintenance workers were renovating at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, and wanting to get sent home early, Fury, a civilian painter and sandblaster, lit a small pile of rags on fire. His plan was to create a small conflagration that would force an early end work that day. Instead, the fire he set spread and raged out of control for 12 hours, destroying the whole forward section of the massive vessel. Only one man, who fell through an opening on the deck breaking a couple of ribs, was injured by the fire.
The sub was destroyed as effectively as if it had taken an enemy torpedo. There was talk of repairing all the damage, but in the end, Congress decided it was not worth the estimated $750 million needed to fix everything, and so the Miami is being scrapped.
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