Prev | List | Random | Next
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2003 - 2007 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Nagin singled out Gov. Kathleen Blanco for criticism, saying that the governor had asked for 24 hours to think over a decision when time was a luxury that no one, especially refugees, had.It should be noted that in the last elections Mayor Nagin crossed party lines and endorsed Republican Bobby Jindal for governor.
?When the president and the governor got here, I said, 'Mr. President, Madame Governor, you two have to get in synch. If you don't, more people are going to die.? Blanco and Bush met privately at his insistence, Nagin said, after which Bush came out and told Nagin that he had given Blanco two options, and she requested a full day to decide.
?It would have been great if we could have walked off Air Force One and told the world we had it all worked out,? Nagin said. ?It didn't happen, and more people died.?
The story above is oddly absent from much of the national media - we found it via a comprehensive roundup at Instapundit. Glenn Reynolds also links to this transcript of a press conference with Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief, National Guard Bureau. The General provides a wealth of information on the military delivery of aid, and some candid responses on the reality of the situation. The General:
Martial law has not been declared anywhere in the United States of America. That keeps continually being erroneously reported. An emergency condition exists in parts of the states and there are curfews that are being enforced by the existing civilian law enforcement agencies. The Army National Guard, having police powers given to them or provided to them by the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi, are augmenting, expanding, giving manpower and extra capabilities to these existing police forces. They're actually acting almost as a deputy would. They're deputized, essentially, by the governors of the states to use their state militias for this purpose.Google the General's name and you'll find that most of the coverage of his comments comes from military news journals - with scant references elsewhere.
There are separate agreements, because the EMAC compact does not allow law enforcement support within the states. So there is a separate agreement between the governor of Mississippi and the states that sent their military policemen down there or their National Guard down there to do, for the purpose of military police work or law enforcement. These are legally binding, legally sufficient agreements that must be in place before we put National Guard military police law enforcement officers in that role out of their home state.
Q: Does that explain why it took several days to get to this point?
GEN. BLUM: No, there was no delay. The fortunate thing is with modern technology they faxed the agreement back and forth, the two governors signed it. It was a matter of moments. That was not the delay.
The delay was in, if you want to call it a delay. I really don't call it a delay, I'll be honest about that. When we first went in there law enforcement was not the highest priority, saving lives was. You have to remember how this thing started. Before the hurricane hit there were 5,000 National Guardsmen in Mississippi and 5,000 National Guardsmen -- excuse me. Let me correct the record. There were 2,500 National Guardsmen in Mississippi and almost 4,000 National Guardsmen in Louisiana that were sheltered and taken out of the affected area so as soon as the storm passed they could immediately go into the area and start their search and lifesaving work, and stand up their command and control apparatus, and start standing up the vital functions that would be required such as providing food, water, shelter and security for the people of the town. So it was phased in. There was no delay.
The real issue, particularly in New Orleans, is that no one anticipated the disintegration or the erosion of the civilian police force in New Orleans. Once that assessment was made, that the normal 1500 man police force in New Orleans was substantially degraded, which contributed obviously to less police presence and less police capability, then the requirement became obvious and that's when we started flowing military police into the theater.
It goes against the delay theme, you see.
Glenn addresses prescience in his post, I'll offer my own example. Mudville, 31 August, on the military relief effort:
We'll hope and pray their efforts are rapid, effective, and successful. As noted, this is the first big operational test - and what looks good in planning often must be adjusted on the fly in reality. As a wise man once said, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy". Likewise, because this effort will prove a point about "over stretched military" you might see some naysaying from certain quarters regarding the effectiveness of the effort, perhaps bolstered by that unavoidable truism noted above. Time will tell.As it turned out, not much time at all.
Update: More here.