Bush got an update about the federal hurricane response from military leaders at Randolph Air Force Base. He heard from Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, joint military task force commander for Hurricane Rita, and Maj. Gen. John White, a task force member, who noted confusion in search and rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina.Needless to say, Bush said he welcomed their input and will discuss it in Washington.
With Katrina, "we knew the coordination piece was a problem," White said. "With Rita, we had the benefit of time. We may not have that time in an earthquake scenario or similar incident."
"With a national plan, we'll have a quick jump-start and an opportunity to save more people," White said.
President Bush's push to give the military a bigger role in responding to major disasters like Hurricane Katrina could lead to a loosening of legal limits on the use of federal troops on U.S. soil.Both Sen. John Warner, R-Va and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld are in favor of reevaluating these "very archaic laws".
...Bush did not define the wider role he envisions for the military…
[Pentagon spokesman Lawrence] Di Rita said Rumsfeld has not made recommendations to Bush, but among the issues he is examining is the viability of the Posse Comitatus Act. Di Rita called it one of the "very archaic laws" from a different era in U.S. history that limits the Pentagon's flexibility in responding to 21st century domestic crises.
Another such law, Di Rita said, is the Civil War-era Insurrection Act...
Politics · Sun, 09/25/2005 - 15:34 · Importance: 1