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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
In light of my previous post, I went in search of how the Denver and national media covered this story.
Denver Post on Wednesday: (from the AP story)
The government's response to the disaster was undermined by ongoing National Guard deployments to the Middle East, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said.
"I don't think there is any question if you are missing trucks, Humvees and helicopters that the response is going to be slower," Sebelius said.
New York Times: (Front Page National section)
With 80 square blocks of the small farming town destroyed, Ms. Sebelius said her fears had come true: The emergency response was too slow, she said, and there was only one reason.
“As you travel around Greensburg, you’ll see that city and county trucks have been destroyed,” Ms. Sebelius, a Democrat, said Monday.
“The National Guard is one of our first responders. They don’t have the equipment they need to come in, and it just makes it that much slower.” ...
In Kansas, the National Guard is operating with 40 percent to 50 percent of its vehicles and heavy machinery, local Guard officials said.
But then we get word that, well, all is NOT as it would seem:
Currently, the Kansas National Guard has 88 percent of its forces available, 60 percent of its Army Guard dual-use equipment on hand, and more than 85 percent of its Air Guard equipment on hand, said Randal Noller, public affairs officer for the National Guard Bureau. Under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is a national partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during governor or federally declared emergencies, Kansas has more than 400,000 Guardsmen available to it, he pointed out. However, Kansas has not yet requested assistance from other states.
You may have seen her on television when she said that, and she talked about Hummers, that we needed Hummers. There were Hummers sitting in front of my house every day. The National Guard was there," he said. "I saw people from all over who came right away to help and nobody sent them, they just came because they knew it was going to be big. The response was excellent, the rescue efforts were all night long, . . .
Now, there actually is one real, legitimate, and potentially verifiable element of this conversation:
White House press secretary Tony Snow responded to Sebelius by saying that there was no request by Kansas officials for extra equipment, and that if there is anyone to blame, it's her.
You would think that a good, serious journalist somewhere--ANYWHERE--would ask for a record of this request as it was sent along.
You wonder why no good, serious, professional journalist has done so.