appears to care little about domestic wellbeing. At least in light of the response to Hurricane Katrina. FEMA, under the Department of Homeland Security, has seen its effectiveness reduced to the shameful, inadequate agency which displayed little preparedness or response.
In the press briefing released by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, referred to “Louisiana as a city largely underwater.” Therein lies a peek into the importance this region plays to the current administration and our legislators. While Chertoff and others have created the behemoth of a bureacracy devoted to terrorism, focus on agencies such as FEMA have become neglected. Instead of listening incessantly for chatter on the airwaves of faceless threats perhaps they should have listened to the chatter of Americas Army Corps of Engineers that warned of the consequences of inadequate preparation and funding for the New Orelans’ levees. Shouldn’t that kind of chatter incite as much interest? Perhaps the Corps should have conveyed to them that it was rising from an orange condition to a red condition, since that would appear is the only language these folks seem to speak.
On Sunday’s meet the Press Tim Russert pressed Secretary Chertoff on the issue of lack of preparedness. The Secretary insisted the reason that there were no beds, or water or anything at the Convention Center was because it was not to be set up as an evacuation center. City officials and FEMA were encouraging folks to go to the Superdome instead. He explained that folks just showed up at the Convention Center, and that’s why they were ill prepared. Thank goodness Tim Russert had the chutzpah to indicate to the Secretary that there wasn’t any water at the Superdome either!
In the weeks and months, and perhaps years that will follow this devastating event it is guaranteed that the spin-masters will be out to limit the damage of the inadequacies displayed in these days so not to tarnish their images and legacies. But, I call on President Bush to FINALLY do ‘something’ to hold his administration accountable. Secretary Chertoff or FEMA Director Michael Brown (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/12572391.htm) should be fired. Some of them don’t even know the difference between the STATE of LOUISIANA and the CITY of NEW ORLEANS. These are the people we entrust with the lives of millions of people?
We already learned however in the wake of the largest intellegence failure of history in our continuing search for WMDs, no one paid for that incompetence either. The CIA the Justice Department the State Department all continue with no one ever being called on the carpet for their perfomance – or lack thereof. Perhaps – the President is avoiding presidence. If he doesn’t show that folks should lose their jobs for being inadequate to the task, people will not start to wonder if he falls into that same category as well?
Regardless. Rebuild the Gulf Coast. Dismantle Homeland Security or at least limit this wing of government to the FBI and CIA and let agencies whose mission is humanitarian (FEMA etc.) operate seperately. Their missions are too incompatible to operate as one. Particularly when folks at the helm seem to care little about what they do or how they operate.