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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 05:50 PM
Original message
"Unacceptable": The Federal Response to Katrina
A very short excerpt from a 35-page report...

Special Report
Unacceptable: The Federal Response to Katrina

by Walter M. Brasch
www.dissidentvoice.org
September 12, 2005

EDITORS NOTE: We recommend that our readers print out this incisive special report and read it in print. The author is an award-winning syndicated columnist, professor of journalism, and a former emergency management official. This article is an in-depth look at the Bush policies that created the atmosphere not only for an ineffective FEMA response during the Katrina catastrophe, but which may have contributed to additional property destruction and deaths than should have occurred.

(excerpt)

DESTRUCTION OF THE WETLANDS

During the 1970s, the Nixon Administration created The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Drinking Water Act. The effect of the laws was to protect the environment, including the wetlands, the areas beside streams, rivers, and lakes that absorb flood waters. When developers begin replacing wetlands with concrete and asphalt, the floodwaters have no place to go but further onto city streets. The Clinton Administration used federal funds to buy land in the flood plains and increased wetland protection, slowing commercial development. However, in January 2003, the Bush Administration eviscerated the Clinton-ordered flood plains protection. The new policy allowed development of about 20 million acres of wetlands.

<snip>

A REPOSITORY FOR POLITICAL PAYBACKS

<snip>

President Bill Clinton changed FEMAs focus and image, appointing staff with strong experience in disaster operations, and then elevated the agency to cabinet-level status. During the eight-year Clinton Administration, FEMA re-established strong working relationships with local and state agencies, and businesses. President George W. Bushs opinion of FEMA was evident the month he was inaugurated when he appointed Joseph Allbaugh to head the agency. Allbaugh, who had been Bushs chief of staff when he was governor and then ran the 2000 political campaign, had no disaster experience. He brought onto his staff Michael D. Brown to be chief counsel; Brown was soon promoted to deputy director. Brown -- who also had no experience in disaster planning, mitigation, rescue, or recovery -- did have two primary qualifications: he was Allbaughs close friend and a fellow campaign worker who was active in Florida during the disputed 2000 recount. Before being named to FEMA, Brown had spent 11 years as commissioner for judges and stewards of the International Arabian Horse Association. Allbaugh left FEMA after two years to become a lobbyist, often for companies interested in contracts in Iraq. To fill Allbaughs position, Bush appointed Brown to be FEMA director. Shortly after Katrina hit, David Goldstein, editor of the political website, HorsesAss.org, with some of the information provided by one of his readers, broke the story about Browns previous work with the IAHA, his forced resignation, and his inexperience with natural disasters. The story was picked up by The Daily Kos, a larger website, and then published, often without credit, by the establishment newspapers. As the Katrina disaster continued, other information about Browns lack of experience was brought out. TIME Magazine, with confirmation by sources who had worked with Brown before he came to FEMA, reported that Browns official biography was padded, and that several items were outright lies.

<snip>

POLITICIZING DISASTER RELIEF -- PART II

<snip>

Michael Chertoff told the media in Washington, D.C., according to the Washington Post, that FEMAs response was slow because our constitutional system really places the primary authority in each state with the governor. He was wrong. The National Response Plan directs FEMA to prepare for, respond to, and recover an incident or potential incident is of such severity, magnitude, and/or complexity that it is considered an Incident of National Significance. FEMA does not have to wait for local or state officials to request its assistance. That plan also allows the Department of Defense to provide immediate assistance, even if not requested by local authorities. Two days before Katrina hit land, President Bush, upon strong recommendations of the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, which had already issued their own declarations of emergency and requests for federal assistance, had declared a state of emergency, which should have moved FEMA into action.

<snip>

Writing for The New York Times, Adam Nagourney and Anne E. Kornblut reported that political strategist/deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and communications director Dan Bartlett rolled out a plan . . . to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. That plan included sending Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, Gen. Richard B. Myers, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, all trailed by hordes of media, into the disaster zone. The presence of senior Bush officials drew some of the press away from their reporting about the victims. In Lafayette, La., Laura Bush visited a clean mass care facility for storm victims, and nipped at the press coverage. This doesnt really look like what were seeing on television, she said, possibly hoping the American people would believe that the hopelessness and desperation they saw on television was only a small problem which the media magnified.

Please read the rest @ http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Sept05/Brasch0912.htm

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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kick for an excellent report... well worth reading.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. "unacceptable" is w-a-a-a-a-y too mild a word . . .
"deplorable" and "criminal" come to mind as more appropriate descriptors . . .

kicked and recommended . . .
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. 'Unacceptable' was Brasch's word... I would have used 'criminal' or...
'damning'.

Thanks for kicking & recommending this report... hope you read it in its entirety!
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 03:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 03:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. Some choice material is contained in the report. (eom) recommended.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Yes!
:kick:
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 05:21 AM
Response to Original message
6. This is important and should be on the Greatest page. Here's #4
and thanks for posting this.

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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks! Anybody for #5?
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. #5
Important article. Thanks for posting it.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Thank you, Mr. Waterman!
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
10. Bush Administration bungling, outright lies and treachery exposed.
Only the staunchest of Kool Aid drinkers would still support Bush after reading this report.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. It's a stingingly comprehensive report... a 'must read'.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
13. A 'thanks' for the anonymous nominations... please help keep this kicked..
... this report is too good to let it sink!
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
14. Thank you, 'anonymous' #9!
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
15. Thank you, anonymous #10!
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
16. An Ill Wind and American Policy (another Brasch column)...
Edited on Mon Sep-19-05 12:34 PM by Sapphire Blue
An Ill Wind and American Policy
by Walter and Rosemary Brasch

{The following column was written in September 2003. The problem predicted, unfortunately, has not been alleviated, and affected the nations disaster response to natural disasters, including Katrina.}

(excerpt)

When a substantial minority of Americans opposed sending several hundred thousand soldiers to Iraq, and argued that the costs of war would haunt us for decades, they were branded unpatriotic. When they argued that the Department of Homeland Security was more of a public relations ploy than any serious attempt to coordinate homeland security, they were branded traitors.

Iraq, as we now know, even under a ruthless thug, didnt harbor the terrorists the President claimed, it had no weapons of mass destruction, and it posed no imminent threat to the security of the American people.

But, a Category 3 hurricane does pose an imminent threat, as do forest fires, blizzards, and floods. The Department of Homeland Security, instead of concentrating its resources upon a disaster that can kill several thousand Americans and leave several hundred thousand injured and homeless, is still trying to figure out why it cant stop people with box cutters from boarding airplanes in America.

While we cant put natural disasters into the same category as an al-Qaeda attack, they both encompass a fear of imminent danger. Death and destruction by a Category 3/4 hurricane is more imminent than an attack by Iraq ever was--and could leave more death and destruction than 9/11. Neither our home nor our land is secure.

Read the rest @ http://www.walterbrasch.com/disaster.htm
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. kick
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you, anonymous #11!
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
19. Kicking this outstanding report again.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
20. last kick...
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
21. nope - not the last kick. THis is valuable and should be read by more
people. Maybe it should be reposted in a few days?
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Well, it was MY last kick... it was feeling futile.
This is one of the most comprehensive reports I've read... I'll be placing copies in libraries (received permission from Dr. Brasch to do so).

I may try reposting in a few days.

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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. I hope you do repost. I've been cross-posting to this in many other
threads.

And here's another :kick: for an important article.

When you repost, it would be excellent to state upfront that Dr. Brasch gave you that permission to disseminate his article. This is activism as well as permission, and the word needs to get out. Maybe a different title would alert more people that this is not just another editorial. Thanks again for posting it.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Thanks for your efforts to help circulate this report & your suggestions!
I used the title of the report for the title for this thread... as I've said before, I really do seem to have a knack for choosing lousy thread titles (once had a response that a title "sucked rocks")... and my chemobrain surely doesn't help! Do you have a suggestion for a more effective title?
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Let me think about the title - if you like, I'd be happy to look over your
draft repost in a PM and give you some suggestions. It's really easy to make suggestions about OTHER people's work, I find! ;)

This needs to make some impact. I'm very glad you found it and got permission to give out copies.

I'm thinking that writing an update page with many links to more recent findings, some of them truly smoking guns, would be a good thing to put WITH this Brasch report.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. kick for this important report - and Brasch has given permission to
disseminate it, as in libraries...

I think we should add a page with the most recent updates, which include some real smoking guns.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Please check your PM. Thanks!
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Just sent you a reply - looking forward to the update
:kick:
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
22. kick
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-05 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
23. I see just the usual suspects...
have commented.

This is a well-written and landmark piece of journalism. Deserves to be shared very far and wide.

Thanks for posting, wish I could have helped keep it near the top of the GEN forum over the weekend.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-05 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
31. This important report will be reposted - with an update. n/t
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