Skip to main content

If Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston had had his way, the National Guard wouldn't have been at Monday's Boston Marathon when two bombs exploded, killing three and wounding more than 170. A year ago,
The Georgia Republican pleaded with the guard’s leaders to skip participation at the annual race because state-based troops were stressed by the oncoming sequester budget cuts and the need to be in global hotspots like Afghanistan and Bosnia.

“The Boston Marathon, we got to take a pass,” Kingston said last March during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the National Guard’s budget.

Awkward! As it was, at the time of that hearing, National Guard officials explained to Kingston that state, not federal, money was used when National Guard troops were deployed at things like the Boston Marathon. Now, he's kinda sorta walking it back, a little, since he can't just follow the lead of other Republicans in saying something generically positive about first responders:
In the interview Tuesday, Kingston explained that his concern a year ago was more about out-of-state guardsmen getting pulled in to work at the marathon or inauguration from other states. “What I’d ask still is what would be the reason out-of-state guards would go to a marathon or an inauguration of a governor and is that a weighted reason that’s higher than sending them to Afghanistan or a flood or a disaster?” he said.

“Random acts of violence, which could happen at marathons…an Olympics or sports event or NASCAR races or whatever, they can happen everywhere,” Kingston added. “And I don’t know that putting the National Guard there would stop a bomb.”

Maybe not. But last I heard, Massachusetts hadn't been blasted with any floods requiring massive National Guard deployments in the past week, and having added crowd control at a major public event isn't like some crazy idea that's unrelated to the public good, even if nothing happens. And if it does?
Immediately after the bombing, National Guard troops (there were more than 400 on duty all along the marathon route, Rice said) were dispatched to provide security for a 15-block area. “The Boston Police Department didn’t have the depth of force, and we had 460 soldiers and airmen already on duty along the route,” the general said. “We started pulling all of them into Boston to secure the crime scene and be in place to help as needed.”
We saw the photos and videos of National Guard troops being among the first responders, clearing barriers so that help could reach the bombing's victims. Is it so crazy or wasteful that the National Guard should be used for purposes other than war?

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site