Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Madame Governor Sebelius, You Are Dishonest & Unethical

On Monday, Governor Sebelius charged on national television that the Bush administration and its conduct of the Iraq war was at fault for her inability to timely respond to the recent tornado in her state. Since Republicans do not seem to be responding to these charges, please allow me to do so on their behalf.

To Madame Governor Sebelius:

The F-5 tornado that killed nine and wholly devastated the town of Greensburg, Kansas was a tragedy for which we all mourn. But your using that tragedy to launch ad hominem attacks on the Bush Administration for the Iraq war is a partisan travesty. Specifically, you blamed the Bush administration's use of personnel and equipment of the Kansas National Guard in the Iraq war effort for somehow hampering your ability to respond to this disaster. You implied that the Bush administration is misusing the National Guard. The truth is that you have turned down federal offers of additional support, and your suggestion that Bush has misused the Kansas National Guard is fallacious. Yet you have done nothing to correct the public record on either point.

Madame Governor, you know that the Kansas National Guard, like every state's National Guard, is a construct of the federal government. It exists solely under the Constitution and federal law. The National Guard is not a state asset whose primary mission is to stand by in your home state if needed for disaster relief. Rather, the National Guard is "an integral part of the first line defenses of the United States" that must be prepared for call "to active Federal duty" at any time, and to be "retained" on active duty "as long as so needed." U.S.C.A. § 32-1-102. Most of the funding for the training and equiping of the Kansas National Guard comes not from your state, but from federal tax dollars paid by all Americans. The National Guard is a national asset.

The federal government has exercised its authority to use a portion of the Kansas National Guard and its equipment in the Iraq war effort. The Guard is taking part in a war against radical Muslims who have already killed thousands of Americans, and who every day dream of killing millions more. To suggest that employing the Kansas National Guard in this fashion is misuse by the Bush administration is utterly disingenuous.

Disaster preparedness, Madame Governor, is your responsibility. I will grant you the reality that most governors rely in part on their state’s National Guard to assist in responding to natural disasters. But in the time you took to make your unethical ad hominem attack on President Bush and the war in Iraq, the reality is that you could have simply asked for additional assets and they would have been provided. As it is, you have the bulk of the Kansas National Guard available. While a portion of the National Guard is off performing their primary mission, that has left you with 88% of your National Guard forces, 352 Humvees, 94 cargo trucks, 72 dump trucks, 62 five-ton trucks, 13 medium-haul trucks and trailers and 152 2 1/2-ton trucks. Moreover, there are another 83,000 Guardsman with vehicles and equipment at the ready in neighboring states available upon your mere request.

To look at this in practical terms, the town of Greensburg is only 1.5 square miles in size. Madame Governor, you could not even begin to fit all of these assets into the town and its environs, even with National Guard vehicles parked bumper to bumper and National Guard soldiers standing asshole to elbow. Yet with all of this available upon request, you chose instead to go on national television and claim that Bush and the Iraq War were hampering your response to the tornado. What a canard.

I was wondering, Madame Governor, if you would care to retract your thoroughly dishonest attacks in light of your subsequent statements to the White House Homeland Security Advisor praising FEMA and stating that you require no additional assistance of any kind at this time. If you are honest and have any integrity, Madame, you will apologize on national television for misleading the country.

Madame Governor, the fact that you are using this tragedy in your state as a propaganda tool against our nation’s war effort marks you as a very low class partisan. The fact that you have made these attacks on national television while near simultaneously telling the federal government that you require no additional assistance marks you further as a very dishonest and unethical one. And all of these combine, Madame Governor, to mark you as a modern day politician in the Democratic party, willing to twist any facts in order to get us out of Iraq. And you do so regardless of the cost to our national security. All Americans, and particularly the voters of Kansas, should take note.

(H/T Dinah Lord)

1 comment:

Dinah Lord said...

Excellent riposte, Scott.

Thank you for doing the work the RNC won't do...

This explains a lot to me - especially that part about the guard being a construct of the feds.

Thanks for setting the record (and me) straight.


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