Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fall guy

Who’s on first?  Well it isn’t Michael Brown although he was the first to take the fall.  According to the National Response Plan, the federal government's blueprint for how agencies will handle major natural disasters or terrorist incidents Michael Chertoff -- not Brown -- was in charge of managing the national response to a catastrophic disaster.  A story in the Miami Herald this morning tells us:

  “White House and homeland security officials would not explain why Chertoff waited about 36 hours to declare Katrina an Incident of National Significance and why he didn't immediately begin to direct the federal response from the moment on Aug. 27 when the National Hurricane Center predicted that Katrina would strike the Gulf Coast with catastrophic force in 48 hours. Chertoff's hesitation and Bush's creation of a task force both appear to contradict the National Response Plan and previous presidential directives that specify what the secretary of homeland security is assigned to do without further presidential orders.”  

The Department of Homeland Security has refused repeated requests to provide details about Chertoff's schedule and said it couldn't say specifically when the department requested assistance from the military.  It’s significant to remember that the release of this information would undermine the attempt to put blame on State officials.

Several former FEMA directors seem to think that it plain that the show was being run from the White House and so perhaps George Bush was uncharacteristically sincere when he accepted blame.  Stories have emerged about how aides were terrified to suggest that he cut short his party schedule and pay attention to the disaster because of his notorious and vicious temper. Let’s see how sincere he is about listening in future.

1 comment:

d.K. said...

Let’s see how sincere he is about listening in future.

Capt Fogg:
Please don't get your hopes up too high...