Saturday, September 10, 2005

Another Katrina failure: The New York Times

In a typical bullshit article the New York Times specializes in, we see the Administration is having some success in getting its spin out to the MSM. The gist of the story is this. Bush was reluctant to send active duty troops to the Gulf because that would require invoking the Insurrection Act, which would allow the regular military to perform domestic law enforcement (as opposed to performing law enforcement in someone else's country!).
While combat troops can conduct relief missions without the legal authority of the Insurrection Act, Pentagon and military officials say that no active-duty forces could have been sent into the chaos of New Orleans on Wednesday or Thursday without confronting law-and-order challenges.

But just as important to the administration were worries about the message that would have been sent by a president ousting a Southern governor of another party from command of her National Guard, according to administration, Pentagon and Justice Department officials.

"Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?" asked one senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the talks were confidential.
The official was anonymous so no one could be held accountable for peddling this kind of crap. But I guess there's no shit too odorous for the Times to eat it. How about sending active duty troops to rescue people, not shoot them? That doesn't require the Insurrection Act and was requested by Louisiana Governor Blanco (herself a major fuckup).

No one involved wants to "play the blame game," mainly because there is so much blame to go around. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat who is 80% Republican (thanks for voting for the huge tax cuts in 2001, Senator, not to mention caving on the Bankruptcy Bill; now you see why there's no dough for your levees), former Senator John Breaux, likewise, Mayor Nagin (whose attitude before the storm about everyone who couldn't get out was "you're on your own" and now sees what that really means), and especially, --yes especially -- Bush and his crony hacks who had the resources but didn't care enough because this wasn't Florida before the elections of 2004 when every effort was expended to cope with the four major hurricanes that hit that state.

And if you aren't convinced yet this article was bullshit, consider this reporting:
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security say the experience with Hurricane Katrina has demonstrated flaws in the nation's plans to handle disaster.

"This event has exposed, perhaps ultimately to our benefit, a deficiency in terms of replacing first responders who tragically may be the first casualties," Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for domestic security, said.

Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, has suggested that active-duty troops be trained and equipped to intervene if front-line emergency personnel are stricken. But the Pentagon's leadership remains unconvinced that this plan is sound, suggesting instead that the national emergency response plans be revised to draw reinforcements initially from civilian police, firefighters, medical personnel and hazardous-waste experts in other states not affected by a disaster.

The federal government rewrote its national emergency response plan after the Sept. 11 attacks, but it relied on local officials to manage any crisis in its opening days. But Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed local "first responders," including civilian police and the National Guard.
They didn't realize that first responders might be the first casualties? Didn't Bush stand with a bullhorn next to police and fire and mourn their losses on September 11? Isn't it perfectly obvious that first responders will be casualties along with everyone else? And the Times reports this ridiculous excuse as if it's news and not baldface lying? Give me a break! What's next? Professional Liar Scotty McClellan gets a by-line?