The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has been conducting an “After Action Report” (AAR) at the request of DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch since March 12, 2011 (according to Lt. Col. Jacqueline Guthrie). This report, requested only four days after Judge Albert ordered the Capitol “opened” as it was prior to January 28, 2011, is expected to be delivered “sometime within the next couple of weeks” (Lori Getter – Wisconsin Emergency Management/DMA). The timing could not be better for Scott Walker and Mike Huebsch in their desire to maintain the status quo at the Capitol. Judge Albert’s court reconvenes on May 24th, and that report will be exactly what they need to keep security levels where they are at the Capitol. This is another example of Walker manipulation and payback, forwarding his agenda at the expense of free speech and expression.
Walking into the Capitol on Saturday felt like Mitchell International Airport – with the exception of TSA security being replaced by the DNR. The DNR has been providing additional security at the Capitol since the height of the protests. The requests have come from the DOA through the Capitol Police, and on Saturday the DNR sent 10 Forest Rangers along with 11 Game Wardens. The DNR sends volunteers as available, and bills the cost of these individuals to the DOA. One has to question the decision of using wardens and rangers in this manner, outside their realm of expertise (especially during fishing season) and crowd asessment capabilities. The cronyism regarding Walker’s pick for DNR Secretary (Cathy Stepp)is old news; the broader question arises in the context of security. The Governor and DOA are so concerned with security at the Capitol, they have ordered an AAR from the Department of Military Affairs. In recent state history AARs have been requested post 9/11, the great I90 snowstorm debacle, and for Y2K readiness, to lend context to the type of event warranting such a study. Yet they are “comfortable” (according to DOA spokeswoman Carla Vigue) with DNR officers providing security. The fact is, they don’t feel there is any more of a “threat” – this DMA report will serve a purpose for Walker and Huebsch.
The mike huebsch deposition (beginning on page 25 of the document) of April 25, 2011 states that this AAR is in the works. It had been for over a month at the time of the deposition, and when bdgrdemocracy requested information from the National Guard on May 10, here was the response:
Scott – thanks for your patience while I researched your questions. As I
said on the phone the Department of Military Affairs includes the Wisconsin
National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management. WEM has facilitated an
After Action Review session with other involved agencies that served in and
around the capitol in February and March during the budget crisis
demonstrations. The purpose of the review was to identify areas for
improvement in the areas of incident management, safety and security of the
Capitol and capture applicable lessons learned. The team is in the process of
compiling the report which will be provided to Secretary Huebsch when
LTC, Wisconsin National Guard
Director of Public Affairs
I then followed up with the DOA, requesting clarification on the timeline of the report. Less than 24 hours later, I received the follwing email:
Vigue, Carla J – DOA to me
show details May 11 (6 days ago)
The Department of Military Affairs – which includes the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management – facilitated an After Action Review session with other involved agencies that served in and around the capitol during the demonstrations in February and March. The purpose of the review was to identify areas for improvement in the areas of incident management, safety and security of the Capitol and capture applicable lessons learned. The team is in the process of compiling the report which will be provided to Secretary Huebsch when complete.
DMA conducts these AARs anytime there is a major event and the decision to conduct one about the events at the Capitol fits with the department’s past practice.
Virtually identical statements. Lt. Col. Guthrie confirmed she had contacted DOA before making a statement, since it is “the DOA’s report.” The report initiated by Huebsch will be exactly what he needs to avoid being found in contempt, and allow the Capitol to remain in lockdown. The reason the report will contain this information is another example of Walker cronyism and political payback.
In court testimony, virtually all law enforcement officers characterized the demonstrations as “peaceful,” citing “cooperative” demonstrators. Not even the testimony of the Capitol Police help Walker and Huebsch in this regard. The expert “testimony” and opinion they need will be found in the soon-to-be delivered “AAR” from the DMA/DEM. It will be another in a series of “tools” to allow them to quell freedom of speech and demonstration. The DMA/National Guard/DEM serves at the orders of the Governor, who is the Commander-in-Chief. The Adjutant General of the DMA/NG/DEM is Donald Dunbar. Dunbar is a Colonel in the Guard (Air Force), and is under investigation since June 2010 by the Air Force Inspector General for undisclosed reasons. Due to this investiation, Dunbar was denied a Federal Promotion by the Senate to Brigadier General after being nominated earlier in the year by President Obama. This has put his future in the Guard at risk, as under Wisconsin Statutes, the AG of the Guard must “be fully qualified to receive Federal recognition at the rank of Brigadier.” Based on an AFIG investigation, he may not achieve that rank. His appointed term ends in September 2012, at which time Governor Walker may choose to keep him or replace him. The AG of the National Guard serves solely on the appointment of the Governor, despite the qualification “recommendation” in statutes.
I submit a scenario in which AG Dunbar oversees the creation of a report at the DMA under his command, which has the necessary information for Secretary Huebsch and Governor Walker to draw the conclusion based on “expert assessment” of events at the Capitol to retain elevated security measures. This will be presented to the court as evidence of Secretary Huebsch “acting reasonably to maintain a balance of security and public access”. If you read the deposition, those are his own words. On page 26, he also foreshadows this conclusion by stating he doesn’t believe the report will call for return to an open Capitol. When I presented this scenario to Lt. Col. Guthrie, she stated that she couldn’t comment on the content of the report, since she hasn’t seen it. She also stated that the report would be an assessment of the events, and that Secretary Huebsch would be “drawing the conclusions.” There is no doubt that to preserve his station, Secretary Huebsch will have the necessary information in that report to draw the conclusion he wants – and AG Dunbar will deliver a report to secure his station with the DMA/National Guard.
If Governor Walker were interested in running an open state government in this one instance, he would do several things. First, he would open the Capitol. Even post 9/11, after the initial days of the attack had passed, the Capitol was wide open to the public. Second, he would replace AG Dunbar with an officer qualified to hold that post and not under investigation by the Inspector General (Major General or someone qualified to attain the Brigadier status in a timely fashion as is the standard nationwide – and yes, Dunbar was a Doyle appointee). Third, he would make public the AAR (omitting, of course, any truly security sensitive information), and the subsequent improvements to be vetted by a bi-partisan legislative committee.But he won’t – just as with Stephen Fitzgerald and the State Patrol, this will be another in a series of Walker cronyism. Keeping a lesser-qualified candidate in an extremely important State office to further his agenda, and putting the people associated with those officers in very compromising situations.
If this scenario isn’t correct, governor, Cullen Werwie has my contact information – or you could make this situation right for the people of Wisconsin.