Monday, September 05, 2005

Again on the LANG

Just to be clear (because some people refuse to acknowledge it):

Responsibility for the National Guard of each state is with the governor of that state.

As one guy said, “The constitution says the governor is in charge of the Guard. The president would have to invoke the Insurrection Act to over-ride that. No president has done that since the Civil War. And he would have to do it over the head of the governor. Bush is not there yet.”

People who blame the President and/or FEMA and/or any other federal agency because the LANG were not deployed appropriately or in a timely manner are simply mistaken about their chain of command.

Other good comments from the same guy:

--“None of those poor people were moved prior to the storm. They were told to go to the Superdome, but they had to walk there. Whose responsibility is that?”

-- “General Honore in one day got 20,000 people evacuated from the convention center with a ground and air evacuation. Have you heard about that in the media?”

--“The DoD has been tasked with 40-50 missions here. DoD is the go-to organization for DHS. DHS is trying to build the capacity, but doesn't have it yet. DHS is all brain power and no brawn.”

--“Michael Brown has not done a good job and is in over his head. But, in fairness, FEMA is not organized to handle a catastrophe of this size.”

--“There are no law enforcement problems in Mississippi. They have been acting there with the cooperation of the governor. In New Orleans, they don't have the same kind of cooperation from the governor or the mayor. It's not as stream-lined or as effective as it could be.”

--“The New Orleans police disintegrated. The national response plan calls for state and local to be the first on the scene. But the catastrophe wiped out the whole local infrastructure and the emergency communications. 80% of the police disintegrated and they are just not beginning to re-constitute.”

As is evident by my agreement with these comments (and what I've said elsewhere), no branch of government is free from error in this catastrophe.

Anyone who tries to single out the federal government for blame has an agenda. Period.

Simple as that.

Update: here's a guy who thinks the feds have done little wrong. I don't think I agree, but it is an interesting read:
    I have to disagree vehemently however with many of your posts on the Fed reaction to the Gulf Coast disaster.

    Has Brown made some comments that seem, I emphasize seem because many reports have not provided context, stupid? No doubt.

    Is the Dept of Homeland Sec probably a bureaucratic disaster. Yes.

    However, despite what you "think", it does not seem probably that Brown being more astute at press conferences, or FEMA being independent of the new dept would have made one iota of difference to the manner or the speed of the Fed response.

    It's all a matter of logistics. The logistics of getting federal responders and supplies, most of which can't be preplaced for fear of having them destroyed by the storm itself, into a disaster area that large is truly difficult.

    This isn't Star Trek. There are no transponder doohickies to make the NTl Guard and supplies of food, water, fuel etc appear magically when you want them to.

    Please please read Jason van Steenwyk at

    The guy's a guardsman who's been involved with disaster relief for many years in Fla.

    His conclusion is that this is the fastest the Feds have ever been, the fastest possible reaction.

    Please don't make the mistake the Left is making in using this disaster to promote some of your pet causes. Argue against the Dept of Homeland Sec as much as you want. But this isn't the time to do it, nor are they at fault on this.
I think Brown is in over his head. But I think the logistics point is an excellent one, as I've indicated implicitly in previous posts.

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