By the time you read this, the news will have broken that a contract has been awarded to construct an $8 million Multi-Purpose Machine Gun Range in Massachusetts. Before you spit out your coffee thinking that this is the MPMG planned for Cape Cod, this one is being constructed at Devens in central Massachusetts. You may, as I did, find this news surprising since, after all, one of the leading arguments in favor of the MPMG on Cape Cod was to avoid traveling out of state for training. You might be confused, as a careful reader of the environmental assessment of the MPMG proposal on Cape Cod, that you didn’t see any mention of the Devens facility.
Confused and surprised are legitimate feelings to have. I had them when I learned that a contract had been awarded in what is known as a Friday news dump. That is a tactic used when someone has to put out news but hopes no one notices. Friday news dumps on the eve of long weekends, as was done here, is next level execution of the art of obfuscation. But we noticed, and the press has as well. Questions are being asked about the relationship between these two similar facilities, and why more was not said about their relationship to one another and the need for both. We are asking those questions as are others.
The public has a right to know how these decisions are being made and why relevant information is being hidden from public view. The public is, after all, paying for all this. The public also knows that money wasted on duplicative facilities is money that is no longer available to provide additional training opportunities for troops charged with our protection, or to provider support and assistance to those harmed in service to their country who need and deserve the best we have to offer them. $8 million and $13 million, the respective costs of these facilities, is a lot of money and would do a lot of good for struggling military families.
The more time that passes, the more questions arise. The public deserves full and complete disclosure of all the relevant information related to this Cape project. We are still waiting.