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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Running the Disaster

If we're bringing criminal charges against those whose negligence cost the lives of the poor elderly folks at St. Rita's Nursing home--ostensibly for dereliction of their duty to protect the residents of the home--there's plenty more indicting and, God willing, prosecuting to come. Starting right at the top. From KR comes a blistering report on a memo DHS Secretary Chertoff sent....late on the Tuesday after the storm:

"The Chertoff memo indicates that the response to Katrina wasn't left to disaster professionals, but was run out of the White House, said George Haddow, a former deputy chief of staff at FEMA during the Clinton administration and the co-author of an emergency management textbook.

'It shows that the president is running the disaster, the White House is running it as opposed to Brown or Chertoff,' Haddow said. Brown 'is a convenient fall guy. He's not the problem really. The problem is a system that was marginalized.'

A former FEMA director under President Reagan expressed shock by the inaction that Chertoff's memo suggested. It showed that Chertoff 'does not have a full appreciation for what the country is faced with - nor does anyone who waits that long,' said Gen. Julius Becton Jr., who was FEMA director from 1985-1989.

'Anytime you have a delay in taking action, there's a potential for losing lives,' Becton told Knight Ridder. 'I have no idea how many lives we're talking about. ... I don't understand why, except that they were inefficient.'"

3 comments: to “ Running the Disaster

  • Anonymous
    September 14, 2005 8:01 AM  

    I find it completely pointless  to place blame after the fact. Instead the government should work on developing a better response plan for disasters in the future. 

    Posted by Super Happy Jen

  • Superhappyjen
    September 14, 2005 8:02 AM  

    I find it completely pointless to place blame after the fact. Instead the government should work on developing a better response plan for disasters in the future.

  • Anonymous
    September 14, 2005 1:17 PM  

    Of course we need to have a better response plan for the future. But can we at all expect this current batch of incompetents to do a better job. God forbid there's some sort of unconventional attack on this country. The whole nation would devolve into chaos before they could get their footing. 

    Posted by Mitch

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