Saturday, September 03, 2005

Eye of the Storm 

Visit Atrios and find the consecutive posts entitled "FEMA" and "George Bush." They have links to hard news stories that may well explain the precise nature of the failure to respond to the disaster: it was a simple failure of executive authority; Bush did nothing to process or coordinate requests. More specifically, it appears that army officials have wanted from the beginning to drop food on various parts of the disaster zone (as they have done in Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Bosnia) but were just not given the authorization to do so by FEMA. And it appears that Gov. Blanco of Louisiana placed an urgent request last Sunday for the presence of National Guard troops from other states, but that there was just no federal response to her request. The necessary paperwork for inter-state deployment of Guard troops was not completed until Thursday.

UPDATE: Also see Talking Points Memo. The Boston Herald is reporting that Mike Brown was fired from the job he held before he was hired by FEMA. For those of you who don't know this, Brown's job, for 10 years, was to oversee horse shows. But he was fired for incompetence. In 2001, his college roommate, Joe Allbaugh, made him Deputy Director of FEMA. Brown had lost the horse show gig, and his college buddy was doing him a favor. In 2003, Brown was made FEMA Director.


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