Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff or Rumsfeld Delayed Response to Katrina for Days – Louisiana State Governor Responded Correctly

As reported on the Internet but frequently underreported on Corporate News Outlets in the US, Governor Blanco of Louisiana declared Louisiana a State of Emergency on the Friday before Hurricane Katrina struck her state. She requested at that time that President Bush declare Louisiana a National State of Emergency which he did the following day, Saturday before Katrina hit. She also asked the President for every resource he could send especially troops. Bush responded by declaring Louisiana a National State of Emergency on Saturday before the Hurricane and and gave the Departement of Homeland Security and FEMA full authority to respond to Katrina. A memo just released shows that Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff didn’t designate Katrina an “Incident of National Significance” until Tuesday, August 30, after the storm struck land and the levees had broken. Once he did make that designation the National Response Plan (NRP) kicked in making him in charge of handling the disaster. But instead of following the NRP either Chertoff (or Defense Secretary Rumsfeld) delayed sending in active-duty troops in adequate numbers along the Gulf Coast until Saturday, September 3, after the Hurricane hit. More than a week after a State of Emergency was declared! Some affected communities still have not received assistance from the Federal Government! White House and Homeland Security officials won’t explain why Chertoff waited some 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 let alone why troops were further delayed until a week after the state was declared a National State of Emergency. Nor would they explain why Bush felt the need to appoint a separate hurricane task force to oversee the response. The goal of the National Response Plan is to provide a streamlined framework for swiftly delivering federal assistance when a disaster - caused by terrorists or Mother Nature - is too big for local officials to handle. Russ Knocke, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, didn't dispute that the National Response Plan put Chertoff in charge in federal response to the catastrophe. Why didn’t the Bush Administration follow the plan they put together for just this purpose?

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 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."

Chertoff's Aug. 30 memo came on the heels of a memo from Brown, written several hours after Katrina made landfall, showing that the FEMA director was waiting for Chertoff's permission to get help from others within the massive department. In that memo, Brown requested Chertoff's assistance to make available DHS employees willing to deploy. It asked for 1,000 homeland security workers but gave them two days to get there and concluded thanking Chertoff "for your consideration in helping us meet our responsibilities in this near catastrophic event."

Read more here.

The Bush Administration and its operatives continue to blame the Governor of Louisiana on Corporate US News Outlets, but a nonpartisan congressional research report found Louisiana’s Governor took the necessary steps responding to Katrina. The Federal Government, however, failed us repeatedly and continues to blame others for their failure!



Post a Comment

<< Home