View Full Version : Katrina report spreads blame

02-12-2006, 11:00 AM
Homeland security, Chertoff singled out by House investigators

Image: Federal officials in New Orleans
Army Lt. General Russel Honore, left; Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, center; and former FEMA Director Mike Brown talk with reporters in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in September.

Updated: 10:10 a.m. ET Feb. 12, 2006

Hurricane Katrina exposed the U.S. government's failure to learn the lessons of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as leaders from President Bush down disregarded ample warnings of the threat to New Orleans and did not execute emergency plans or share information that would have saved lives, according to a blistering report by House investigators.

A draft of the report, to be released publicly Wednesday, includes 90 findings of failures at all levels of government, according to a senior investigation staffer who requested anonymity because the document is not final. Titled "A Failure of Initiative," it is one of three separate reviews by the House, Senate and White House that will in coming weeks dissect the response to the nation's costliest natural disaster.

The 600-plus-page report lays primary fault with the passive reaction and misjudgments of top Bush aides, singling out Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Operations Center and the White House Homeland Security Council, according to a 60-page summary of the document obtained by The Washington Post. Regarding Bush, the report found that "earlier presidential involvement could have speeded the response" because he alone could have cut through all bureaucratic resistance.
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The report, produced by an 11-member House select committee of Republicans chaired by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), proposes few specific changes. But it is an unusual compendium of criticism by the House GOP, which generally has not been aggressive in its oversight of the administration.

Homeland chief’s performance faulted
The report portrays Chertoff, who took the helm of the department six months before the storm, as detached from events. It contends he switched on the government's emergency response systems "late, ineffectively or not at all," delaying the flow of federal troops and materiel by as much as three days.

The White House did not fully engage the president or "substantiate, analyze and act on the information at its disposal," failing to confirm the collapse of New Orleans's levee system on Aug. 29, the day of Katrina's landfall, which led to catastrophic flooding of the city of 500,000 people.

• Special report: Gulf Coast hurricanes
On the ground, Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown, who has since resigned, FEMA field commanders and the U.S. military's commanding general set up rival chains of command. The Coast Guard, which alone rescued nearly half of 75,000 people stranded in New Orleans, flew nine helicopters and two airplanes over the city that first day, but eyewitness reconnaissance did not reach official Washington before midnight.

At the same time, weaknesses identified by Sept. 11 investigators -- poor communications among first responders, a shortage of qualified emergency personnel and lack of training and funding -- doomed a response confronted by overwhelming demands for help.

"If 9/11 was a failure of imagination then Katrina was a failure of initiative. It was a failure of leadership," the report's preface states. "In this instance, blinding lack of situational awareness and disjointed decision making needlessly compounded and prolonged Katrina's horror."

Chertoff lays blame at Brown’s feet
Chertoff spokesman Russ Knocke said, "every ounce of authority" and "100 percent of everything that could be pre-staged was pre-staged" by the federal government before landfall once the president signed emergency disaster declarations on Aug. 27. Brown had "all authority" to make decisions and requests, and his "willful insubordination . . . was a significant problem" for Chertoff, Knocke said.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Bush had full confidence in his homeland security team, both appointed and career. "The president was involved from beginning to end," implementing emergency powers before the storm and taking responsibility afterward, Duffy said.

Duffy objected to a leaked draft of an unpublished report, and said the White House is completing its own study. "The president is less interested in yesterday, and more interested with today and tomorrow," he said, "so that we can be better prepared for next time."

web page (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11300398/)

Gayle in MD
02-12-2006, 11:16 AM
And this is a president who says over and over in justification for all his misjudgments, and law breaking.... "I'm going to do everything I can to protect the American people."

As I have said all along, the buck stops right on his desk in the oval office. He's at the top of the power, and all those in the federal arena who failed, were appointed by him.

Nothing can explain his total lack of awareness, and failure to stay abreast of the situation along the Gulf, except complete disregard for the safety of Americans.

Gayle in Md.

02-12-2006, 11:36 AM
Gayle, Harry Truman said it best."The Buck Stops Here".####

Gayle in MD
02-12-2006, 11:41 AM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

02-12-2006, 01:03 PM
Harry also said:
"A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment."
"He's one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides." (Re Nixon)
"I remember when I first came to Washington. For the first six months you wonder how the hell you ever got here. For the next six months you wonder how the hell the rest of them ever got here."
"My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."
"This administration is going to be cussed and discussed for years to come."
"When even one American - who has done nothing wrong - is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth - then all Americans are in peril."
"Why, this fellow don't know any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday."
"You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don't believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can't possibly foresee now."

Harry would have owned up to the mistakes made re Katrina, fired the inept people in charge, and moved on.
Simple facts are we weren't prepared, whayever plans we had to deal with it were flawed....but it all goes back to the fact that the levees were known in advance, had an unacceptable limit of protection, if a major storm hit.
Would a Democratic admin have done a better job????
We only know for sure......they couldn't have done any worse

Gayle in MD
02-12-2006, 02:04 PM
Tap Tap Tap....

Gayle in Md.

Fran Crimi
02-12-2006, 02:06 PM
I think it's pretty funny that this part (below) only warranted one paragraph in the article you cited. I bet it's a bit more than one paragraph in the final report. After all, they're only talking about responsibility for evacuating 100,000 people, right? Also, where's the part about the New Orleans local government corruption? Seems strangely missing.

"Plenty of blame for local officials, media
The summary obtained by The Post generally praises pre-storm evacuations by Gulf Coast leaders, but it criticizes preparations and decisions by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) and New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin (D), who knew that 100,000 city residents had no cars and relied on public transit. The city's failure to complete its mandatory evacuation, ordered Aug. 28, led to hundreds of deaths, the report said."

02-13-2006, 06:15 AM
Would a Democratic admin have done a better job????
<hr /></blockquote> All we know is that the Dems were in control of those levees (and mishandled the millions of dollars sent to them) and they refused to use the school buses to save the people. No sense in playing a "what if" game, the Dems were in direct control in NO and they failed to act.


02-13-2006, 06:39 AM
eg8r, maybe you should testify before the house committee,
since you have it all figured out. I guess that exonerates Brown and Co.
From the testimony that I've heard though....there's plenty of blame to share for both parties.
You are so biased that your opinion ain't worth the time it takes you to type out the words.

02-13-2006, 10:54 AM
From the testimony that I've heard though....there's plenty of blame to share for both parties.
You are so biased that your opinion ain't worth the time it takes you to type out the words. <hr /></blockquote> I was not being biased at all. I was just making sure guilt was being spread evenly (very little was mentioned of Naggin and Blanco compared to everything else). You just want to ignore any lower government's mishandling if something could tie it all to W. I can see you are not interested in looking at the actual truth of who is most directly at fault, "chocolate city" Naggin and Blanco. They were the first defense and they failed in every single instance. I don't remember hearing anything that they have done well. This goes all the way to dealing with the levee commission and its mishandling of the government funds. You don't care about any of that because W appointed Brown and that is where you want to place all blame. You don't care to hear anything else, ESPECIALLY if the info comes from someone that does not sit in your lap and listen to your bedtime story every night. Just because I did not mention every single other person who holds fault, does not mean I don't fault them. There is plenty of blame to pass around, but I think the intial failure of the local and state government should be given the highest level of scrutiny. Get over it.


Gayle in MD
02-13-2006, 12:07 PM
Jack, you are so right about that. One can hardly digest how people with intelligence can continue to deny PROOF, even at the obvious risk to their own safety, and the safety of their loved ones.

I am sick and tired of the Bush administration organizing the republicans on the hill to continue to block investigations of his law breaking, deceit and incompetence and/or disregard for American Lives.

The President of the United States, lied about when he learned that the levees WOULD fail, which was actually days before the inevitable occurred. There is NO ONE in government with the abililty to immediately cut through bureaucratic red tape, in the event of a National Emergency, other than the President of the United States. We already know, and it is documented, that the president lied about when he recieved information regarding the inevitable breaching of the levee system in New Orleans. He certainly knew that what began as a category four to five hurricane was heading for New Orleans. The whole country knew that. It was non stop on the cable news, and that SOB didn't bother to address the situation.... AT ALL, for days! As we all watched in horror, it is hard to imagine that even republicans weren't asking, "Where is the President???"

Now he is trying to blame his staff, like he was under no obligation as President to even bother staying abreast of the situation. Does this mean that not only does he not read newspapers, but he doesn't own a television? For the love of heaven, open your closed partisan eyes, people.

I am really sick of ED, getting on here, in his completely uninformed, partisan sarcasm, and degrading the few on here who stay abreast of the never ending assult by the Bush administration against our people, our safety, our National Security and our Constitution. The facts, are available in the reading of the news, and the many many books, written by career government servants, of the highest credentials, reputation and devotion to their country. They ALL say the same things about this administration. It is incompetent. Even Republicans, have begun to fail to vigorously deny that fact, although, they continue to block investigations, on behalf of this administration, to avoid their own reputations being smudged through propinquity in an election year, hence, the republicans on the hill don't care about our safety either.

It is outrageous, after having seen on 9/11, that we have an administration, and a political party, which held 50 hours investigating Bill Clinton's Christmas Cards, yet they refuse to complete investigations on the false infromation, and left out information that led this country to war, when book after book, expert after expert, has attested to the fact that intelligence was purposfully scewed to support a case for war, and/or deleted by Bush, Rice, and Cheney. And that the administration was advised in advance of exactly what would likely happen, and did happen, which they failed miserably to prepare for, and has hence, cost that lives of so many of our people.

There is a library ON FILM, of actual statements, made by Bush, and cheney and Rice, which is documented proof of their lies. When the republicans get on here and grab at straws, in complete denial, and refusal to acknowledge what the whole rest of the world now sees is so, one can only assume that they would prefer to see our country unprotected, the adjustments which we all agree should be made to protect us, ignored, and the costs of this corrput administration in lives, injuries and money, unchecked, unanswered for, and the continued dangerous policy of no acccountability, continue.

If Ed, had watched the hearings, which I KNOW, he did not, along with the others who continue to give George Bush a bye on his failed response to Katrina, he would know, that NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE, had the ability, the power, and the resources to swiftly supercede the obviously overwhelmed local circumstances in New Orleans, of which he was advised would occur WELL in advance of land fall, and save those lives that were lost, before and after the hurricane hit.

I hardly think, that in the case of a National Disaster, and all the lip service given to Protecting Americans, by Bush, and the failure to put in place the fail safe measures which have been agreed by experts must be polished and ready in order to respond properly to a future terrorist attack, or another national disaster, that any well informed person in this country, unless they are completely partisan, or just too bull headed to admit what has been proven, could continue to deny the incompetence of this administration, unless they would rather avoid admitting that they used poor judgement by supporting it, than to be safe.

When you think that all one has to do is monitor C-Span in order to watch, LIVE, what our government is doing, it is amazing that there are so many uninformed people in this country, and that those with truly the least accurate information, who spend, apparently the least amount of time investigating the facts, searching for the truth, digesting and culling out the differences between slogans, and reality, are the most insulting, niave' and ignorant.

IOW, there is no longer any way that a well informed, clear thinking, American, can continue to support this administration, and to do so, is the antithesis of Patriotism.

Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
02-13-2006, 12:15 PM
Hi Fran,
Where did you get that date? That isn't the date in the testimony, I thought it was the 27, in any case, do you think Bush had any responsibility at all pre-land fall? do you think, as president, he might have learned of the 100,000 in advance, himself? Do you think, that as president, he had any obligation to look into the likely aftermath of Katrina in advance, knowing that thousands of lives were at risk? Do you think that it is his obligation to bow to a Governor's wishes? Is he not the most powerful person in the world?

Gayle in Md.

02-13-2006, 01:10 PM
How do you figure to know what I want to hear about the subject?
From day one, I've been blaming everybody in charge.
When the tragedy hit, the mayor's inaction, the governor's inaction cost lives. F.E.M.A.'s uncoordinated effeorts cost lives......and the root cause of it all goes back to whatever admins, dem or rep, that did not appropiate funds to reinforce the levees.
AND, the trailor situation should point out that something is wrong here....very wrong
Again...your testimony could prove invaluable to the Senate committee

02-13-2006, 02:09 PM
I'm also a little tired of eg8r's personal, hate-filled, fact twisting attacks. The best way to cope with a loud-mouthed, egotistical, vindictive, boorish,mud-slinging, narrow-minded, opinionated,person, is to ignore them. Not that I'm accusing eg8r of being loud-mouthed, egotistical, vindictive, boorish, mud-slinging, narrow minded, opinionated....no, to do so would be to stoop to the
schoolboy, hate filled, personal attack style of his twisted posts......and of course, being liberal minded, and believing that everyone is entitled to their own terribly flawed opinions and outlooks on life....I am above that type of slanderous post.
I do notice though that while he is very democratic (lol) in denouncing everyone whose opinions differ from his.....he particularly singles you out, whenever you post. And my somewhat biased take on the exchange is that you post something based on stories/facts that you have read, or viewed....and "color" them in your inimitable fashion...his
response/attack is devoid of any contesting facts, just conjecture, mixed in with some insults.
My own posts are not so pointed as yours, so when he replies to them, he has to first interject his ideas of what my thought/feelings are about the subject, then attack his own suppositions. Our little extremist is also a mind reader?

Gayle in MD
02-14-2006, 01:31 AM
"He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool"

Gayle in Md.

02-14-2006, 07:55 AM
I do notice though that while he is very democratic (lol) in denouncing everyone whose opinions differ from his.....he particularly singles you out, whenever you post. <hr /></blockquote> Awww, someone feels left out. Don't try and butt your ugly head in here, Gayle and I get along just fine. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


02-14-2006, 08:00 AM
How do you figure to know what I want to hear about the subject?
<hr /></blockquote> Your actions (posts on this board) speak louder than words. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

From day one, I've been blaming everybody in charge.
<hr /></blockquote> There's news to everyone. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Thanks for mentioning it again.

When the tragedy hit, the mayor's inaction, the governor's inaction cost lives. F.E.M.A.'s uncoordinated effeorts cost lives......and the root cause of it all goes back to whatever admins, dem or rep, that did not appropiate funds to reinforce the levees.
<hr /></blockquote> Ooops, everything was going along just fine till the last part. There were millions sent to the levee commission to fix the levees. The levee commission wasted the money on other things.

AND, the trailor situation should point out that something is wrong here <hr /></blockquote> The trailor situation does continue to point out more flaws with FEMA. Let's do away with FEMA.

Again...your testimony could prove invaluable to the Senate committee <hr /></blockquote> Again, thanks for the support, I just have no desire to make the trip.


Gayle in MD
02-14-2006, 10:59 AM
Yeah, he atleast always took responsibility for what he did. BTW, I'm having a desk plaque done for cheney...

"The Bush Shot's here"

Do ya think he'll like it?