FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush Should Have Wiretapped FEMA and Chertoff

While the Bush Administration spends time listening in on our phone and e-mail conversations, it would do well to read the memos and reports of its own employees. Setting the stage with its failure to protect the American people on September 11th, and then with its rush to war in Iraq with forged documents, no matter what the facts were, the Bush Administration has shown for the third time, with Hurricane Katrina, that when it really matters and US lives are on the line, it is at best confused and negligent.

On Monday, we will turn in our report to the Special Katrina Panel chaired by Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia. I have not been reticent with my words at that panel and I will not be reticent in our report.

While New Orleans was flooding and the Gulf States were being decimated, President Bush was on vacation at the Texas ranch; Vice President Cheney was fly-fishing in Wyoming; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was booed as she took in a Broadway play and afterwards was spotted buying a reported $7,000 worth of Ferragamo shoes in New York City; Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld took in a San Diego Padres baseball game; Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff, the principal man in charge of such disasters decided to stay home.

On Friday, August 26, Mayor Blanco declares a state of emergency Saturday, August 27, Blanco asks Bush to declare a federal state of emergency; that was done on the same day, giving the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA full authority to respond to Katrina–two full days before landfall Sunday, August 28, Mayor Nagin issues first ever mandatory evacuation and Secretary Chertoff is warned by the National Weather Service that the levees could be topped; Louisiana National Guard requests 700 buses from FEMA Monday, August 29, Katrina makes landfall as President Bush flies to Phoenix to share birthday cake with Senator John McCain; Governor Blanco again asks President Bush for assistance. She says, “We need everything you’ve got.”

Tuesday, August 30, Chertoff becomes aware that the levees have failed and New Orleans is flooding Wednesday, August 31, According to a DHS press statement, Chertoff is “extremely pleased with the response” of the government as thousands of New Orleans residents are stranded at the Convention Center, tens of thousands are trapped in deteriorating conditions in the Superdome, Thursday, September 1, Reminiscent of his remarks after September 11th, Bush claims no one expected the levees to fail, while his Secretary of State, in New York to visit the US Open, hits a few balls with Monica Seles at a NYC tennis club. Meanwhile, Mayor Nagin issues a desperate SOS for buses and supplies Friday, September 2, Officials from NIH, DoL, EPA made “frantic calls to the Department of Homeland Security” demanding that the worker-safety portion of the national response plan be activated, according to the Wall Street Journal. Saturday, September 3, According to the Wall Street Journal, FEMA finalizes the bus request.

Money for Louisiana levees was siphoned off for the war in Iraq. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama all had at least one quarter of their National Guard stationed in Iraq. They took high water vehicles, humvees, and generators with them. The Pentagon admitted that the War in Iraq contributed to the federal government’s pitiful response.

Republican Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour, delivered an impassioned plea before our Panel for Congress and the feds to deliver to the people of Mississippi and the Gulf States. He said the uncertainty being created by federal inaction “is taking the starch out of people.”

On our site visit to the region, the Department of Homeland Security continues to take the starch out of people in the Gulf States, as well as here in Georgia, and everywhere that Katrina survivors find themselves. Not sure where they can rebuild, whether they can rebuild, or if they should even try to go back home. As Haley Barbour said, “uncertainty” is having “very negative effects on [the] recovery and rebuilding.”

The President took responsibility for the debacle that has become the story of Katrina survivors and is reported to soon ask Congress for another $18 billion in Katrina aid. Even Michael Brown has taken responsibility. But nowhere have I heard even the slightest peep of a mea culpa from Secretary Chertoff whose Department continues to wreak havoc on the lives of people who survived America’s fiercest storm. Many of the problems described by Governor Barbour stop in Chertoff’s shop. It is Secretary Chertoff who contracted with the mercenary outfit, Blackwater, to patrol New Orleans streets when Katrina survivors needed food, water, and rescue. It is Secretary Chertoff who still seems unaware that it is his function is to oversee emergency preparedness and respond to “major catastrophic disasters” And it is Secretary Chertoff who today presides over the cruel and callous treatment of people who have had their lives torn apart.

On Thursday, the Secretary acknowledged that mistakes were made; we all know that. But what are we doing to help the people of the Gulf States put their lives back together again? That is how we will be judged.

Today, we want to make sure that we do our part here in the 4th Congressional District to deliver answers to those still trying to get their lives back together and to the many businesses that have been blocked from participating in the rebuilding because they’ve been crowded out by no-bid heavy-weight contractors like Halliburton.

 

More articles by:
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail