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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Friday, September 09, 2005


No Really, DBB

I blogged yesterday instructing those who have the opposite inclination: Don't Blame Bush. Well, this morning I ran into an article in the NYT that seemed to contradict that sentiment...until I got 2/3 of the way through it. Here are some statements from the NYT and quotes from Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco early in the article:

For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and the Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort. Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's control.
"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.
Officials in Louisiana agree that the governor would not have given up control over National Guard troops in her state as would have been required to send large numbers of active-duty soldiers into the area. But they also say they were desperate and would have welcomed assistance by active-duty soldiers.

"I need everything you have got," Ms. Blanco said she told Mr. Bush last Monday, after the storm hit.

In an interview, she acknowledged that she did not specify what sorts of soldiers. "Nobody told me that I had to request that," Ms. Blanco said. "I thought that I had requested everything they had. We were living in a war zone by then."

By Wednesday, she had asked for 40,000 soldiers.
Louisiana officials were furious that there was not more of a show of force, in terms of relief supplies and troops, from the federal government in the middle of last week. As the water was rising in New Orleans, the governor repeatedly questioned whether Washington had started its promised surge of federal resources.

"We needed equipment," Ms. Blanco said in an interview. "Helicopters. We got isolated."
Sounds pretty damning, doesn't it. Looks like Bush failed to act because he was afraid of political fallout. Of course, you've got to actually read the whole article pick up this little tidbit:

Aides to Ms. Blanco said she was prepared to accept the deployment of active-duty military officials in her state. But she and other state officials balked at giving up control of the Guard as Justice Department officials said would have been required by the Insurrection Act if those combat troops were to be sent in before order was restored.
So, the Governess wanted federal help in the form of troops...but was unwilling to give up (nominal) control over a situation that was clearly well out of hand. How stupid of President Bush to hold off sending federal troops to avoid violating the law (and the entire concept of (the misnamed) "States Rights").

Worse yet:

In a separate discussion last weekend, the governor also rejected a more modest proposal for a hybrid command structure in which both the Guard and active-duty troops would be under the command of an active-duty, three-star general - but only after he had been sworn into the Louisiana National Guard.
Sounds like the governor had a number of chances to invite federal help but failed to do so. Interesting, no?


Oh, and what about these? Do you think that maybe, just maybe they could have been used to evacuate people sometime before, say, September 1st? I just can't believe Bush didn't get drivers into these local school buses. What dereliction of duty. [/sarcasm]

(via The Galvin Opinion)

More 2:

Is anyone else tired of snide little comments and outright editorializing in the "News" section?

In an attempt to stem the criticism of the slow federal response to the disaster, Vice President Dick Cheney also toured parts of the ravaged Gulf Coast, claiming significant progress but acknowledging immense obstacles remained to a full recovery. (emphasis added)
Really, and here I thought he just wanted to get a better look at what the reality of the situation was. On second thought he's probably just looking for a way to help Halliburton exploit the situation.

More 3:

Protein Wisdom has a great post on this very topic.


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