Wednesday, February 01, 2006

GAO: Katrina Failures Were Chertoff- DHS's Fault

GAO Faults Federal Government for Katrina Response

Washington Post: Despite plenty of advance disaster warning and decade-old recommendations on preparedness, the federal government failed to exercise adequate leadership in response to Hurricane Katrina and was slow to determine the scope of the catastrophe, the Government Accountability Office reported today.

In a preliminary report submitted to a House committee investigating the hurricane response, Comptroller General David M. Walker pointed to a failure of federal leadership as Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast last year, with neither Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff nor any of his deputies stepping in to lead the relief effort.

The GAO chief indicated that national response planning for major disasters continues to be plagued by "weaknesses."

The Department of Homeland Security rejected the report as "premature and unprofessional" and complained that the findings were riddled with errors.
As much as Chertoff has been able to shift the bulk of the blame thus far onto everyone else like "Heck of a job" Brownie (who I'm not defending btw) has really been amazing. Considering that DHS's own mission statement from its own website, still there from when DHS was first created, unambiguously shoulder's the blame itself.

It's a bit late, but still good to finally see someone calling Chertoff out on this, and it's not one bit surprising that he is now claiming the Government Accountability Office's report is full of errors. It was his Dept, not FEMA who served under him btw, that had "primary responsibility ... for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation." DHS was, per their own website, charged with "providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort."

It's a no-brainer they failed in meeting their "primary responsibility", and no one needed to read about a GAO report to figure that out. I don't even know how Chertoff sleeps at night knowing he failed to show up for days to America's worst national disaster. He needs to go bye-bye yesterday. We simply are not safe with this idiot in charge.

Click on the pic to see msnbc's Tony Zumbado's heartbreaking segment
at the New Orleans Convention Center, via bradblog

And lest we ever forget, Hundreds of thousands of American families were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.--

More than 1,200 deaths have been attributed to Katrina.-- [Some will never be identified]

And 3,200 Americans are still unaccounted for.

'Heck of a job' indeed. I think I'm going to be sick now.


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