Thursday, October 20, 2005

Latest on FEMA

Others have been following the FEMA story more thoroughly than I have lately, but the linked AP story, based on information from the ongoing congressional hearings into the Katrina response, is an eye opener. Testimony from Marty Bahamonde, the FEMA official who first arrived in New Orleans, including many emails from him to Mike Brown, highlight vividly the ineptitude of Brown's leadership. Indeed, not so much ineptitude as a total lack of leadership and uncaring attitude on the part of Brown. Read the entire article.

One part stood out for comment.
In an Aug. 29 phone call to Brown informing him that the first levee had failed, Bahamonde said he asked for guidance but did not get a response.

"He just said, 'Thank you,' and that he was going to call the White House," Bahamonde said.

Mike Brown gets a call from his man on the spot informing Brown that the worst case scenario is developing and asking for guidance. The only response from Brown is that he is going to call the White House. It just struck me that this response fit in well with what I've said before about this Administrations management style. Brown was not going to act, no matter what the situation, without instructions from the White House. Of course, this was the Monday on which the levees were breaking and Bush did not become engaged until Thursday, I believe. This country deserves far better leadership that it is getting.

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