Monday, September 05, 2005
Katrina: The Buck Stops With Bush
Georgia10 over at DailyKos explains the National Response Plan to us -- and why Bush, contrary to the CYA machine he and Karl Rove have cranked up, are ultimately responsible for the deaths of thousands in the Gulf Coast:
If there is one overarching theme of the NRP, it is that the federal response must be swift, efficient, and coordinated. Indeed, there is an ENTIRE SECTION of the NRP entitled "PROACTIVE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS." (NRP, 43). Under that section, the plan provides that:"Proactive" and "pre-positioning" meaning "Get the damned C-130s loaded with sandbags and water and food and medicine and flown to the Gulf Coast BEFORE the damned hurricane comes ashore". --- Since this was first posted, Georgia10 has made two important updates that make it even clearer that Bush and FEMA's Brown are at fault here:"Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited, or under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude." (NRP, 44)Yes, you read that right. This theory that the Federal Government has to sit on its ass and WAIT for Governors and Mayors to tearfully beg for assistance and issue S.O.S is pure fiction. The government has signed off on a promise to be PROACTIVE. And what does the plan include under the federal proactive response to a catastrophic event? The "pre-identification of Federal assets and capabilities" and the "strategic location of pre-identified assets for rapid deployment" (NRP, 44). This is what the plan requires from our federal government:Federal departments and agencies are EXPECTED to provide: -- initial and/or ongoing response, when warranted, under their own authority and funding; -- alert, notification, pre-positioning and timely delivery of resources; -- proactive support for catastrophic or potentially catastrophic incidents using protocols for expedited delivery of resources. (NRP, 6)
Update [2005-9-6 7:18:54 by georgia10]:: As some people noted below, there is some confusion as to when Katrina became an "Incident of National Significance." Simplify links us to an article which says Chertoff waited until Tuesday to declare the incident one of National Significance.
This is *extremely* important, so I'll highlight it:"ALL PRESIDENTIALLY DECLARED DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES UNDER THE STAFFORD ACT ARE CONSIDERED INCIDENTS OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE." (NRP, 7)
When President Bush declared Katrina a disaster (link), he EXPLICITY invokes Title V of the Stafford Act. Thus, Katrina became an Incident of National Significance on August 26, THREE DAYS before landfall, and FIVE DAYS before Chertoff mistakenly thought he had to declare it as such.
Update [2005-9-6 9:1:38 by georgia10]:: This really deserves its own diary, but I'll post the information here and others can expand on it as they deem necessary.
VOLUNTEERS UNDER THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN
The NRP has an intricate network of teams which organize volunteer efforts by recognized volunteer organizations. (NRP, 11).
There are countless reported instances of FEMA turning away 500 volunteer boats, Walmart trucks filled with water, buses, etc.
Under Title 21, Section 1342 of the United States Code, the government cannot accept volunteer services. However, the statute provides and exception:
"An officer or employee of the United States Government or of the District of Columbia government may not accept voluntary services for either government or employ personal services exceeding that authorized by law except for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property."
The NRP itself addresses "unaffiliated volunteers," which are also called "emergent" or "spontaneous" volunteers. (NRP, 73).
There are statutory exceptions to the general statutory prohibition against accepting voluntary serices under 31 U.S.C. § 1342 (2002) that can be used to accept the assistance of volunteer workers. Such services may be accepted in “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.” Additionally, provisions of the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5152(a), 5170a(2) (2002), authorize the President to, with their consent, use the personnel of private disaster relief organizations and to coordinate their activities.
In Incidents of National Significance, as in this case, the NRP calls on the Secretary of Homeland Security to "Attract a sizeable influx of independent, spontaneous volunteers and supplies." (NRP, 6).
"Atrract" spontaneous volunteers and supplies. Not turn them away.
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