2005/09/04

Pathetic excuses

From Atrios:


Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.
I spent five years working in a private school as a secretary and nine years in the Navy as a "paperwork guy", so I know a bit about bureaucracies. The notification that the Governor of Louisiana sent to the President on Sunday, August 28th, should have been fully sufficient!!! That one note should have been enough to alert anyone and everyone in the government who needed to know that there was something going on that required their involvement. If they didn't know, it was the President's job to tell them. The following shows that the President did no such thing (emphasis added):

Well, I think if you look at what actually happened, I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, “New Orleans Dodged the Bullet.” Because if you recall, the storm moved to the east and then continued on and appeared to pass with considerable damage but nothing worse. It was on Tuesday that the levee — may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday — that the levee started to break.And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city. I think that second catastrophe really caught everybody by surprise.

Here's my question. Why was the guy in charge of FEMA depending on newspapers to be finding out what was going on?!?!?! He didn't have to set up headquarters in New Orleans. Jackson, Mississippi would have been fine. Obviously, he hadn't left Washington, obviously, he wasn't monitoring the situation in the close-up manner that was obviously necessary! He could have and should have been in close touch with people there, either his own deputies or the Governor of Lousiana or the Mayor of New Orleans.
This is straight, flat-out Dereliction of Duty!!!!


UPDATE: Sorry about that, I dealt with the first sentence of the Washington Post quote without even acknowledging the second sentence, which claims that Louisiana's Governor had not even declared a state of emergency. I guess this struck my eyes as so unbelievably ridiculous that I didn't even register it. Well, turns out that the Governor did indeed declare a state of emergency, on August 26th, two days before the request went to the President for him to declare that Lousiana was dealing with a "major disaster". Oh, and the WaPo has now admitted "Oops, guess that report was in error."
Like it took a $%#@&% brain to figure that one out!!! Honestly, have these "reporters" ever heard of doing basic research before running stories?!?!? What the hell is wrong with these people!?!?