FEMA Director Michael Brown
Michael Brown, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under fire for a perceived slow response to Hurricane Katrina, said in March the U.S. was prepared to handle disasters “quickly and capably.”
“Our nation is prepared, as never before, to deal quickly and capably with the consequences of disasters and other domestic incidents,” Brown testified to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
But the very next sentence of Brown’s remarks include what appear to be a disclaimer of sorts.
“However, despite continuing improvements to the national domestic incident architecture, planning for a comprehensive and effective response to – and recovery from – a catastrophic incident is still a challenge to the emergency management community.”
The FEMA chief, who as WorldNetDaily reported was fired from his previous job supervising horse shows, also waited hours after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast before he proposed sending at least 1,000 Homeland Security workers into the hurricane zone.
The Associated Press says documents note the mission was to “convey a positive image” about the federal government’s response for victims.
On Sunday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper published an open letter to President Bush, saying every FEMA official should be fired, especially Brown.
Now, some in Congress want President Bush to appoint an independent group similar to the Sept. 11 commission to investigate the response to Katrina.
“The slow pace of relief efforts in the face of a mounting death toll,” said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., “seems to confirm that our ability to respond to cataclysmic disaster has not adequately been addressed.”
Ironically, Sen. Clinton is now introducing legislation to split FEMA away from the Department of Homeland Security, despite the fact it was Democrats who pushed for the creation of DHS and Clinton herself voted for it.
“The bureaucracy created by moving FEMA under the Department of Homeland Security is clearly not working,” the senator said. “It’s difficult to have visited with those whose lives have been shattered by Hurricane Katrina and feel that they were well served. At every turn, I encountered our fellow citizens with desperate questions and few answers.”
Clinton’s action did not go unnoticed by radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“So maybe we need to ask Mrs. Clinton, ‘Are you now admitting a mistake?'” Limbaugh said, as he thrashed members of Congress for pointing blame at everyone but themselves.
But guess who gets to participate here as innocent bystanders? The United States Congress, the House and the Senate.
Why, they had nothing to do with this! No, they only allocate the money. They only write the laws in this country. That’s all they do, and yet they then get to sit around as innocent bystanders as though they had no role whatsoever, and they get to conduct hearings where they get to examine everybody else’s actions and then seek out the people they want to destroy, all the while with immunity, with practical immunity, as though they had nothing to do with any of this. They’re the ones that set this up!