Bill Sali Tells Untruths About Idaho's Military Heritage
In a profile of Congressman Bill Sali in the Idaho Statesman today I was surprised to read this little tidbit:
Sali was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, where his father, Gregory, a nuclear physicist, was working on nuclear defense projects. The Salis soon moved to Windsor Locks, Conn., where his father worked on the first nuclear submarine prototype.I would have to assume that the reporter who wrote the story didn't make up the part about Windsor Locks having the "first" nuclear submarine prototype, so one could reasonably assume that he heard that from Mr. Sali. Unless his father was commuting from Connecticut to Idaho Falls, there's no way he could have worked on the "first" submarine prototype, since that is right here in Idaho -- the S1W land-based prototype for the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), which reached criticality before Bill Sali was born (and therefore before his family moved from Ohio to Connecticut). The only prototype in Windsor Falls, CT, was the S1C reactor for the electric-drive USS Tullibee (SSN 597).
Concerned the Soviets were stealing his designs, the Canadian immigrant decided to give up his trade and start over in Idaho in 1962, when the future congressman was 8, Sali said. Even though his father spoke German as a child, he learned English, one of the reasons Sali wants to make English the official language of the nation.
I'm sure Bill Sali "remembers" his father telling him he worked at the first submarine prototype, and I know people are eager to believe everything their father tells them. After a while, though, people need to look for actual facts, and it seems like a Congressman from Idaho should be aware that the first land-based submarine prototype is in this great state. Of course, most Congressman are probably a lot more interested in at least trying to understand the military than Bill Sali apparently is. Since Sali's opponent, Walt Minnick, actually served in the military, western Idahoans have a chance to actually elect a Congressman next month who does know the military and its culture.
Update 0821 20 October: The error's been corrected in the online version of the story.