Friday, September 09, 2005

What Went Wrong?

While there is surely plenty of blame to go around for the disaster after the disaster of Katrina, even our SCLM is getting the clue that the buck really ought to stop at a certain desk in the Oval Office. The story teaser under the image below on MSNBC this morning was "Agency's top leaders have ties to Bush White House; critics say ability to respond to emergencies weakened."

The story that went with the picture is pretty damning.

Five of eight top Federal Emergency Management Agency officials came to their posts with virtually no experience in handling disasters and now lead an agency whose ranks of seasoned crisis managers have thinned dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

FEMA's top three leaders -- Director Michael D. Brown, Chief of Staff Patrick J. Rhode and Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks D. Altshuler -- arrived with ties to President Bush's 2000 campaign or to the White House advance operation, according to the agency. Two other senior operational jobs are filled by a former Republican lieutenant governor of Nebraska and a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official who was once a political operative.
Is it any wonder then that much of the initial - and continuing - response has been photo ops for the empty flight suit and his missing-in-action side kick?

FEMA's response has only been the most visible and talked about mistake of BushCo. since the hurricane, but you can bet that the administration will try to sack "Brownie" and foist that off on all of us as the solution to the problem. We can't let them get away with that. There's a reason why inexperienced political hacks are in such important jobs, there's a reason why the National Guard troops needed in Louisiana and Mississippi were unavailable to help, there's a reason why there's no money in the Federal budget to pay for this disaster: and that reason is sitting in the White House.

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