Watch: National Guard Needs an Irene Rescue (Video)

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

You’d like to think that the National Guard is there to help in a natural disaster. But not everyone who wears the uniform is cut out for such work. Via Mark Thompson at Time’s Battleland blog, here’s an incredible amateur video of what appear to be two New Jersey National Guard heavy cargo trucks crossing the flooded JFK Boulevard in Manville, N.J., getting swamped, bailing, and calling the state troopers for a bailout:

They look like they just might make it at first, plodding on with gusto in this suburban burg a half-hour south of New York. “How is that possible?” one bystander asks. A friend replies, “It’s the Army, bro.”

Except that it isn’t possible. Note to Guard motor-pool trainers: Tell future recruits that, when in doubt, you don’t plow your government-issue cargo truck through 10-foot floodwater. Especially if you can’t swim.

The absolute highlight: After the four soldiers flee their flooded cabs and reach safety atop their vehicles—the soft laughter of civilian bystanders is audible in the foreground—one soaked service member carefully shouts out a number for the others to call. It’s the dispatch line for the New Jersey State Police headquarters on Route 22 in Bridgewater. Hopefully, the troopers had access to a boat.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest