General: Palin Never Ordered National Guard To Do Anything
Remember when the McCain campaign got all bent out of shape because CNN’s big, bad Campbell Brown beat up on campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds for not being able to name a single instance in which Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin ordered the state’s National Guard to do anything — after he asserted her position as commander-in-chief of the Guard constituted foreign-policy experience?
No? Well, allow me to refresh your memory:
Funny story. It turns out there’s a very good reason Bounds couldn’t come up with an example — there isn’t one!
The Anchorage Daily News reports the commander of the Alaska National Guard sides with Brown on this one:
[T]he governor has no command authority overseas or anywhere in the United States other than Alaska, said Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, the service commander of the Alaska National Guard.
“When members of the National Guard are federalized, they work for the president,” Campbell said Wednesday. “It’s not just overseas. They could be federalized to go to other states or they could even be federalized in the state.”
OK, but surely she must have issued some sort of directive within Alaska — a natural disaster perhaps?
No, Campbell said. The governor has granted him the authority to act on his own in most cases, including life-or-death emergencies — when a quick response is required — and minor day-to-day operations.
“Some authorities have been given to me that she has acknowledged that I can execute,” he said. “For others I have to ask her each time.”
The recent decision to deploy a C-17 cargo plane from the Alaska Air National Guard to Louisiana to assist during the Hurricane Gustav response was an occasion in which Campbell briefed the governor’s office and sought its approval, he said. Chief of Staff Mike Nizich signed off on it.
The flooding that occurred in Fairbanks in late July — for which the guard sent trucks north to provide clean drinking water — didn’t require the governor’s approval, Campbell said.
So it seems the “soul mates” on the GOP ticket have something else in common: a predisposition to cede their command authority to the military leaders on the groud. Why not just elect Gen. David Petraeus president and cut out the middleman?