Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Chertoff directly to blame for New Orleans disaster; Brown just a scapegoat

Not that I mind. For Michael Brown to have sought a senior position of government should have brought him enough bad cess for several lifetimes. Being a leader is not Village People make-believe; people died. But Brown was apparently the patsy for Chertoff. Chertoff is the one who belongs in the criminal dock. From Democracy Now Ultimately, this [National Response Plan] designates the Secretary of Homeland Security as the person who is supposed to be the principal federal official in charge when disaster strikes. A presidential directive by President Bush going several years back has designated the Secretary of Homeland Security as being in charge in domestic incidents, and so while Michael Brown very much was a point person down on the ground, there are a number of questions for Secretary Chertoff. AMY GOODMAN: So you write about this memo, saying Chertoff didn't shift power to Brown for 36 hours after the hurricane. Talk more about that. ALISON YOUNG: Sure. Part of what triggers this so-called “proactive federal response” is designating an event, what they call an “incident of national significance.” This is a new term that is coming into play in the whole emergency management sector as part of the National Response Plan. Secretary Chertoff – the plan says that it is up to the Secretary of Homeland Security to make that designation. He did not do that until about 36 hours after Katrina struck, even though that designation can be made when a catastrophe is known to be imminent. And in doing that, 36 hours after the event, he empowered Michael Brown to be the principal federal official in charge.
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