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A disturbing view from inside FEMA(Brown and Chertoff were given warnings)

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 04:26 PM
Original message
A disturbing view from inside FEMA(Brown and Chertoff were given warnings)
Edited on Sat Sep-17-05 04:28 PM by sabra

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/17/katrina.response /

A disturbing view from inside FEMA
Worker: Decision-makers lack disaster experience

As Hurricane Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast three weeks ago, veteran workers at the Federal Emergency Management Agency braced for an epic disaster.

But their bosses, political appointees with almost no emergency management experience, didn't seem to share the sense of urgency, a FEMA veteran said.

"We told these fellows that there was a killer hurricane heading right toward New Orleans," Leo Bosner, a 26-year FEMA employee and union leader told CNN. "We had done our job, but they didn't do theirs."( Watch video of the whistleblower)

Bosner's storm warning came early Saturday, three days before Hurricane Katrina came ashore in eastern Louisiana.

"New Orleans is of particular concern because much of that city lies below sea level," he warned in his daily alert to Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, then-FEMA chief Michael Brown and other Bush administration officials.

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Independent_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ooooooooo.... they had warnings!
I see.
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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. question: why did they ignore them?
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MzShellG Donating Member (835 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. This scenario reminds me of...
The VP in Day After Tommorrow, who was in denial about the global warming warnings. At least he admitted his shortcomngs, even if it was too little too late. In both cases, sooo many lives were lost as a result.
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. .
"Bosner agrees. He wrote a memo in 1992 that raised red flags about FEMA and helped lead to reform during the Clinton administration.

"FEMA's biggest problem is that too few people in the agency are trained to help in emergencies," he wrote. "We have good soldiers but crummy generals."

For the rest of the 1990s, FEMA improved, Bosner said. But since 2001 the agency has again become demoralized and experienced disaster experts have left.

"At FEMA ... we have actually slid backwards," he said.'


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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. DU'ers Need To Get Over Their Clinton Hatred & Tout His Response
to floods in 93 AND 97!

There is NO need for more Federal powers because Clinton already proved FEMA can do it.
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. True. A little more about the Clinton era of governmental competence.
Edited on Sat Sep-17-05 07:06 PM by Pirate Smile
"-snip-
Clinton initiatives and the boom of the 1990s pulled 4.1 million of the working poor out of poverty. (Good times don't always have that effect. The Reagan boom of the 1980s did the same for only 50,000.) Meanwhile crime plummeted in cities across the country, down to levels not seen since the 1950s. Few noticed that progress in fighting poverty stalled with the economy in 2001.

-snip-
"Following the Gatreaux model in Chicago, the Clinton administration launched a "scatter-site" housing program in four cities that found homes for the poor in mixed-income neighborhoods. While the move doesn't much benefit adults, their children-confronted with higher expectations and a less harmful peer group-do much better. "It really helped in Atlanta," says Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the civil-rights movement. Bush and the GOP Congress killed the idea, as well as the Youth Opportunity Grant program, which had shown success in partnering with the private sector to help prepare disadvantaged teens for work and life. They tried to cut after-school programs-proven winners-by 40 percent, then settled for a freeze."

-snip-
Beyond the thousands of individual efforts necessary to save New Orleans and ease poverty lie some big political choices. Until Katrina intervened, the top priority for the GOP when Congress reconvened was permanent repeal of the estate tax, which applies to far less than 1 percent of taxpayers. (IRS figures show that only 1,607 wealthy people in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi even pay the tax, out of more than 4 million taxpayers—one twenty-fifth of 1 percent.) Repeal would cost the government $24 billion a year. Meanwhile, House GOP leaders are set to slash food stamps by billions in order to protect subsidies to wealthy farmers. But Katrina could change the climate. The aftermath was not a good omen for the Grover Norquists of the world, who want to slash taxes more and shrink government to the size where it can be "strangled in the bathtub."

From a Newsweek article.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Wow. And not one mention of Clinton's safety-net shredding. Only praise.
Dems unable/unwilling to dispassionately evaluate Dem leadership: a receipe for continued disaster.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Washington Monthly explains how Clinton and Witt cleaned up FEMA
in 1993, after Hurrican Andrew (1992) revealed it as having been turned into a Republican political slush fund, worse than useless in diaster relief. Witt had been a construction company entrepreneur and, as Governor Clinton's disaster chief, had overseen the rescue and rebuilding of several communities after natural disasters in Arkansas.

A decade later, Dubya and Tom Ridge destroyed FEMA yet again with hundreds of corrupt incompetents and another highly unlikely primary mission. See http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0509.fra... .
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Somawas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. That's no warning! It's as useless as that
August 6, 2001 Presidential Briefing Memo about al-qaeda. The one that didn't have exact dates, flight numbers, seat numbers, nothing! Just general vague stuff.
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slay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. Incompetence - uncaring - intentional?
Which is it? Republicans always have the advantage when it comes to fucking up - they do it so often and so well that we as a nation have become used to it. You think if this had happened under Democratic party leadership the Republicans wouldn't be out for blood?!?! HA! :mad:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. But but
what did the mayor do?

Where was the governor?

:)
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JanusAscending Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-17-05 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. You're kidding, right?????
n/m
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ncteechur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. They were just "historical" warnings. Had we known... (eom)
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verminator Donating Member (28 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
12. Oct 04: FEMA knew hurricane could flood New Orleans.
OCTOBER 2004:
http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5 /

....Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn'tyet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City.......

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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. Putting all your eggs in one basket and assuming the unlikely won't happen
Edited on Sun Sep-18-05 08:47 AM by indepat
is recipe for disaster. Any commander has to consider every eventuality and be prepared accordingly.
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