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Bonhomme Richard Investigation


There’s a suspect in the fire that destroyed the amphibious assault ship/light aircraft carrier Bonhomme Richard:

A federal search warrant unsealed Tuesday reveals for the first time the breadth of the early days of the investigation into the devastating fire on board the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard — and how a 19-year-old SEAL dropout became the prime arson suspect.

The records, filed in San Diego federal court by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, also suggest someone sabotaged the ship’s firefighting effort before the July 12, 2020, blaze, as well as tampered with crime scene evidence in the days that followed.

A search warrant doesn’t mean charges, charges don’t mean a conviction, and a even a conviction need not be final. There is precedent for the Navy scapegoating a sailor for a shipboard accident; there is precedent for a shipyard worker deliberately setting a fire that destroyed a major modern warship. My only additional commentary is that recruiters from the other services regularly complain about prominence of SEAL training in the Navy’s recruiting strategy, which tends to produce a lot of disappointed young men in places that they don’t want to be.

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