Thursday, September 08, 2005

Had to Wait for State Requests

Had to Wait for State Requests
Perhaps the biggest pile of bullshit coming out of FEMA is that they had to defer to local officials. They don't--and the National Response Plan points that out, but that isn't even the worst of it. If they had simply not acted that would be bad.

If FEMA had only done exactly what the State of Louisiana had asked, that's a bit bizarre and strange, but at least fits some sort of bureaucratic model of how things might work.

But FEMA did get involved when the State didn't want FEMA to act

Far from deferring to state or local officials, FEMA asserted its authority and made things worse, Mr. Broussard complained on "Meet the Press."
When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away, he said. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish's emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA, Mr. Broussard said.

It appears that the State and Feds were fighting over basic issues and both bear a lot of blame over that, but to try and claim that they didn't have authority when they were actively blocking particular efforts is just stunning.

There's a lot of blame to go around--Nagin dilly dallying about ordering a mandatory evacuation because of legal technicalities regarding whether he could allow some exceptions (people who had cancelled flights, etc--even with that there was the highest percent ever evacuated and the first ever mandatory evac), Blanco and the late push for National Guard in the City, but FEMA keeps making absurd claims about what it knew and what it could do that are so demonstratively false that one wonders not why such liars are allowed to continue in employment, but how did such bad liars ever seem credible to anyone?


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