Finally Sack Katkus After National Guard Bureau Office of Complex
Investigations (OCI) Report On Sexual And Other Abuse
10/4/14 "Governor Says He Responded To Every allegation but was misled by leaders."
I've already written too many posts on Sean Parnell's reaction to the National Guard scandal.
But when I read Sandy Parnell's commentary in today's ADN, I couldn't help but do one more.
Here are some things she says that beg a response.
"I was with my husband, Sean, when he got the call in February with concrete information that called the Alaska guard command into question.""concrete information" - Anyone with concrete information knows you have to act. But sexual abuse victims and their advocates rarely walk in with concrete information. It's the nature of the crime that it's done in secret and without witnesses and without much evidence.
The governor is supposed to be a savvy person who can judge people and situations and then can act appropriately. The governor, in this case for sure, misjudged people and didn't know what to do.
It's like going to the doctor. A good doctor will diagnose the symptoms, do the necessary tests, and get you cured before you go to stage three. But when the patient came in to see Sean Parnell, he said, "there's no concrete evidence." He let the cancer in the Guard fester and grow causing far more pain and anguish than had he treated it right away. He simply didn't know what tests to perform to get the evidence needed, so he said there was none.
Doctors go through hellishly intense schooling. Politicians just need enough money and backing to get elected. Fortunately for politicians, there's usually not much concrete evidence of their bad judgments either. Nor can they be sued for malpractice. Unfortunately for Parnell, the evidence of his incompetence has been spelled out pretty clearly. And an upcoming election is the political version of a malpractice suit.
The point here is that when the Guard came to see Dr. Parnell, the Guard was sent home, and presumably didn't even get an aspirin.
"I am thankful that the bureau’s OCI responded so quickly and so professionally when my husband called for this independent, outside investigation."Yes, too bad Sean Parnell didn't act that quickly and professionally back in 2010.
"The insinuation by some that Sean would not take action is wrong. That is not who my husband is, and that’s not what I have seen him do. He took action, immediately, every time. When he got the facts, he acted. With every specific allegation of assault, he followed up personally.I believe that Sean and Sandy Parnell believe this. Unfortunately, the action he took was inadequate and ineffective. That's why people are upset. The governor wasn't up to the task and people at the Guard suffered another four years, before real action was taken.
My husband is committed to protecting the integrity of their mission, and ensuring they can carry out their work for all Alaskans in an atmosphere that is safe, with accountable leadership.Again, I believe Sandy believes this. Again, that's nice, but we need a governor who is as competent as he is committed. We don't have that.
I realize that it's hard for anyone to admit incompetence. It's particularly hard for a politician several weeks before an election. Good intentions aren't enough. You also need the ability to take timely, decisive, and effective action.
The governor can't blame this on a divided legislature, because it's not divided. It's full of his fellow Republicans. And because this was something the governor could have and should have handled all on his own.
One more comment on that first quote:
"I was with my husband, Sean, when he got the call in February with concrete information that called the Alaska guard command into question."Allegations of sexual abuse require a high degree of confidentiality. These aren't things you should share with people not directly responsible for acting, including the First Lady. Governor Palin was criticized for including Todd in policy issues. I say this, recognizing that the relationship between a husband and wife is special. Spouses need counsel from each other. But if that happens, the spouse's role is to never disclose what he or she knows. Like in a commentary in the newspaper where she acts as a witness to what her husband learned and when.