Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If Anderson Cooper Is Irritating The Governor, Cooper Might Be Asking Worthwhile Questions

Despite Infinonylove for the McMutrie sisters, and admiration of their determination and sacrifice, a few questions about the pomp-and-politics extraction were nagging even before CNN's Anderson Cooper began to voice concerns on the ground about the prospect of prospect of undesirable side effects of the extraordinary operation.

Some have mentioned the local political angling angle, but that issue seems relatively minor (so far).

As wonderful as the sight of the children's arrival in Pittsburgh was, everyone should hope that it was accomplished without disadvantaging the injured or starving to comfort the less-needy, without immoral line-jumping, without diverting scarce and invaluable resources (runway time, security) from greater moral imperatives. (Everyone also should hope no religious discrimination is involved in this story -- no religiously biased door into that orphanage, no religiously slanted door out of that orphanage, no role for religion in determining who was evacuated from the island first.)

There is no evidence (or little evidence) that the well-connected few benefited at the expense of the imperiled many, but there is also no evidence that good intentions did not generate lamentable consequences, and Anderson Cooper shouldn't be the only one interested in questions or answers.


n'at said...

Additionally, is the reticence of Haiti and other countries seen when the U.S. took over air traffic control to land our planes packed with troops and aid.
It is entirely reasonable to ask that question from the ground, and follow up with a review of U.S. participation in previous distasters/wars. If fast eddie was piloting a chinook during Katrina, a U.S. Aid ship after the tsunami in southeast asia and perhaps standing at the Syrian border with work and student visas during the Iraqi invasion, then I wouldn't ask the question Anderson has.

Bram Reichbaum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bram Reichbaum said...

I agree with your analysis. Anderson is asking worthwhile questions, but that doesn't mean those questions can or should lead to an indictment (colloquially speaking) of anyone. I'd be curious to learn the truth of how disruptive or whatever the Rendell operation was, and I'm hearing some unlikely-sounding things about the timeline and the who-asked-who, but for the most part it is looking like little to no damage was done and a lot of good.

Sorry for the hiccup above; bad grammar attack.

Infinonymous said...

No indictments from this source.

The McMutrie sisters are admirable, and are not to be faulted for seeking help or for being steadfast or stubborn -- but that doesn't mean their positions were reasonable or should have been indulged by those with authority over resources in a chaotic situation overrun by desperate need.

little_minx said...

Laura Vecsey on pennlive yesterday added this morsel of shameless political self-promotion by a Republican apparently in a snit over not getting what she deems a fair share of the glory as well:

"Former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, who is said to be considering a run against Altimire, the Blue Dog Democrat, said she was not informed about the plane's departure. / 'I had little prior knowledge of the attempted air rescue mission that departed from Pittsburgh today, though I have since been advised that some of the resources aboard the flight were collected through the efforts of myself and others,' Buchanan said in a statement."


Bram Reichbaum said...

LOL, I see the author of PennLive only had an interest in having people read the first half of that statement.


Jake said...

When I first read Ginny's plea (over at That's Church) for assistance I said it sounded rather selfish considering the situation. A one-runway airport surrounded by destroyed infrastructure should be used and managed to aid as many people as possible. Tying up landing time, airport space and military resources to get a singular group of 50 out of harm's way when tens of thousands were suffering just seems poorly thought out. I know the kids are toddlers and as such hold a special place in some hearts, but I still question the entire operation.

@little_minx: May Beth Buchanan was one of the first ones in the ring on this matter, and was single handedly responsible for seeing that the bulk of the legal hurdles were cleared. I can see why she would be marginally peeved that Rendell came riding in, shadowed her and then flew off to be at the center of the PR gold that followed. And even that aside, her remark wasn't particularly inflammatory.