Navy officer accuses officials of treason
Claims top personnel covered up Russian attack, espionage activity

By Geoff Metcalf

Lt. Cmdr. Jack Daly, a victim of a 1997 laser assault from a Russian merchant ship -- the Kapitan Man -- has charged several government officials with responsibility for a cover-up of the attack and related espionage activity.

Thursday, on the Geoff Metcalf radio show on TalkNetDaily, Daly for the first time went so far as to accuse the following officials of treason: Strobe Talbott, deputy secretary of State; James Collins, U.S. ambassador to Russia; Robert Bell, special adviser to the president for national security affairs; James Steinberg, executive director, National Security Council; and Jan Lodal, deputy undersecretary of Defense.

On April 4, 1997, Daly, a naval intelligence officer, was wounded by enemy fire while checking out a Russian ship as it was spying on U.S. nuclear submarines in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in U.S. west-coast waters off Puget Sound.

To disable Daly's mission, the Russian ship blasted his aircraft with a laser shot, partially blinding Daly and his Canadian pilot. The Clinton administration subsequently tried to cover up the incident, as the State Department under Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delayed a U.S. military inspection of the Russian ship while tipping off the Russian Embassy. When the ship was finally searched, there was, predictably, no sign of any laser weapon and the spy ship was allowed to leave U.S. waters.

"According to the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3, this cover-up was treason," Daly said. "These men committed treason. The nation does not have to be at war for treason to be committed."

WorldNetDaily asked Daly why he had been reluctant to accuse them previously.

"Because I did not have the proof, the so-called smoking gun to indicate that these [Russian] ships are, without a doubt, up to no good, that they are in fact committing espionage activities in our territorial waters." Daly said. "This is going on in our own ports for Pete's sake."

According to Daly, this Russian espionage activity isn't going on 12 miles out to sea or 100 miles off the U.S. coast.

"This is right in our own ports, in the Puget Sound specifically," said Daly.

"This was a treasonous act," Daly charged. "They stuck with the Russians on this. They provided them aid and comfort. They gave them an alibi. They let them get away with a search. They gave them warning of the search, and they are allowing them to continue their spying activities, as indicated in Bill Gertz's Washington Times article Monday, with absolute, utter impunity."

Gertz wrote, "Russian merchant ships are spying on U.S. nuclear submarines in the Pacific Northwest and reporting the information to Moscow's military intelligence service, according to classified U.S. intelligence reports.

"The classified July 2000 CIA report obtained by The Washington Times states that recent intelligence 'provides the first solid evidence of long-suspected Russian merchant ship intelligence collection efforts against U.S. nuclear submarine bases.'

"The confirmation challenges the official Pentagon response to the April 1997 incident involving the firing of a laser at a U.S. intelligence officer and Canadian helicopter pilot as they photographed the Russian merchant ship Kapitan Man as it spied on a nuclear missile submarine in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, north of Seattle."

Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon, however, has previously said there was no evidence the Kapitan Man was engaged in intelligence gathering.

Daly and his then-pilot, Canadian Air Force pilot Capt. Patrick Barnes, suffer constant agonizing pain in their eyes, and their vision continues to worsen from the incident, with little expected relief, as there is no known effective medical treatment.

Bacon reported in June 1997, however, that the men's injuries were healed, an assertion Daly flatly denies.