In a January 10, 2017 meeting with the current regimental officers, Lt. McDade told them that they shouldn’t believe anything they read on KingsPointSentry.com. That echoed Deputy Maritime Administrator Rodriguez comments at the January 6, 2017 all-hands meeting in which he disparaged anything that the midshipmen might read on the Internet about the Academy. It’s interesting that MARAD calls into question the veracity of what appears on this site; yet, it has never asked us to correct anything on the blog — even when we’ve given it an “open invitation” to do so. Unlike MARAD, this blog documents what it posts (and where it speculates, it identifies the content as such).
There’s a reason MARAD doesn’t want the Academy’s stakeholders reading this blog. It’s called, “Control the narrative.” MARAD has desperately attempted to control its false narrative about SA/SH and sea year in order to avoid calling attention to the actual reason the Academy is in danger of losing its accreditation — poor leadership. (Ironically, despite MARAD’s efforts to control the narrative through the LMI Report, even LMI could not whitewash the fact that there is a complete lack of trust in the current leadership at the Academy. ) In any event, MARAD wishes to shut down all voices that challenge its narrative and this blog is one of those voices.
Another strategy MARAD employs in its effort to control the narrative is to withhold information from the Academy’s stakeholders. It lets out only the information it wants to, and on a schedule that is designed to minimize meaningful dialogue or feedback. The “town hall” conference calls MARAD and the Academy have hosted are a good example of this. In those conference calls, they have attempted (often unsuccessfully) to control who gets to speak; but, even when someone gets through with a meaningful question, we are treated to an answer that dodges the question. (That’s why it took so long to force Superintendent Helis to admit that he lied about what the accreditation report said about sea year. The issue was repeatedly dodged in town hall calls. It wasn’t until Helis was confronted in a forum out of his control, where a parent was able to ask follow up questions and press for an answer, that Helis finally admitted that he lied and my $100,000 bet was safe.)
Expect more of the same in tomorrow’s town hall conference call. They’ll be trying to tell you much of what they told the midshipmen: They’ll play up the LMI report and tell you that the Academy is now on an irreversible path. That’s all part of their narrative to try to get everyone to buy in to what they are doing. But, they are wrong. The path is going to change markedly after Inauguration Day. Secretary Chao — who considers the Academy to be her first priority at MARAD — can remove all of the IEDs left behind by the current administration; and there is every reason to believe that she will. And we will be here, behind the scenes and on this blog, to show her where the IEDs are.
A little bit later today, I’ll be releasing some recent information that MARAD has not shared with its stakeholders. It should provide for some good questions for tomorrow’s town hall call.