Why Now?
Sunday, September 25, 2005
  Does He Ever Listen?
I heard a report on the radio about Bush planning to ask Congress about making the military the lead agency in large disasters, in response to a military request for a national plan for catastrophes. Something just sounded wrong. The military has more than enough on it's plate, it doesn't need any more work, besides the only thing Congress would have to get involved in would be law enforcement matters, and the military is not very good at law enforcement.

Finally I caught this article at MSNBC: Military to Bush: U.S. needs search-rescue plan. The military wants to streamline and coordinate the search and rescue operations, not take over the responsibility for the catastrophe.

Bush wants Congress to change the "Posse Comitatus" law to fix a problem caused by the President not acting in a timely matter to allow the military to help, and the Department of Homeland Security not coordinating rescue operations with local governments.

After September 11th, it was determined that a large number of first responders died because of communications failures. The biggest problem in New Orleans was the loss of communications at all levels of government. Search and rescue operations were not being carried out in an efficient manner because of communications problems that prevented the effective coordination of effort.

Gee, I seem to detect a pattern, an item common to all of these situations. The Department of Homeland Security is supposed to coordinate in National disasters. It says that in its National Response Plan. You can't coordinate if you can't communicate.

Where is the emergency communication plan and equipment?

Why has nothing been done about the problem in New York City?

What does the "Posse Comitatus" law have to do with search and rescue or the lack of emergency communications?

If law enforcement was a real concern, any problems could be solved by the Pentagon expanding the regular military and sending the National Guard and its equipment back to the states that need them. If Congress wants to get involved, it could ban the deployment of the Guard overseas during the hurricane season.


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