Sunday, May 29, 2022

Get It Right

 My first wife used to get aggravated with me when she would mention something that she heard, or something she had read in the newspaper, and ask me about it.  Many times I told her that I had been there and what she read or heard simply was not accurate.

In the Army, I learned that when making an official statement to tell the unvarnished truth.   What I saw, what I did.  No speculation, no Just the facts; who, what, where, when.  If I made a mistake, admit it plainly.  It is a whole lot easier to explain a mistake than to try to ignore it or cover it up.

In police work, I learned that anything I committed to paper could come back to haunt me.  Just the facts as they were presented to me. Just my actions, as they occurred.

The folks in Texas are learning these lessons the hard way.  The story in the Uvalde school shooting has changed several times, and none of the changes reflect well on the leadership.  I'm mot going to blame the cops on the ground.  They had a hard enough task dealing with the chaos of the moment, with the sure realization that everything they did would be scrutinized in the court of public opinion.

It is the task of the leaders to get it right when they stand before the cameras.  In the early hours, it is okay to say that you don't know something, that you don't yet have a good timeline, or that the information you do have is confusing.  

The fog of battle does not just exist somewhere on a foreign battlefield.  Sometimes it exists right here at home.  


Anonymous said...


Sport Pilot said...

Concur completely, there was too much information released far too quickly on the Uvalde school shooting. Not to mention too many politicians showing up to participate in press conferences and repeating what they'd been told.

The whole press brief should have been a PIO simply stating that a mass school shooting had occurred with known fatalities and the active shooter shot and killed. Then ending, this is an ongoing investigation into determining all of the facts and conclusions.

pjk said...

Here is the timeline of events during that fateful day when concerned parents were being arrested while police stacked up in that hallway in full knowledge that kids were locked in a room with an active shooter.

It seems to me that the main reason that the information we received early on was so far away from the truth is because the police officers were intent on deceit due to their awareness of how wrong they were.