« Home | Mobile and net operators put boot in Clarke's ridi... » | Guantanamo Bay: 210 prisoners on "voluntary fast".... » | Facts from the UN's Human Development report 2005.... » | UN spells it out: tax the rich to help the poor. » | Hurricane hoedown part four. » | Clarke continues to spout drivel, this time in fro... » | Hurricane hoedown part three. » | Israeli army soldiers admit to targeting unarmed c... » | More loyalist agitation goes on without condemnati... » | Hurricane hoedown part deux. » 

Friday, September 09, 2005 

Hurricane hoedown: Breaking: Michael Brown fired, Colin Powell criticises effort.

Finally there appears to be some action being taken to make amends for the disaster:

The embattled director of the Federal Emergency Management agency (Fema) has lost his frontline job overseeing the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, according to reports tonight.

Michael Brown was being sent back to Washington from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the aid effort is being coordinated, the Associated Press reported. It cited two federal officials, who declined to be named ahead of an expected official announcement.

Reuters said Vice Admiral Thad Allen, chief of staff of the US Coast Guard, would take over relief efforts on the ground, but quoted a homeland security official as saying Mr Brown would continue "to be the administrator for Fema nationally".

Working in Baton Rouge, Mr Brown has been the primary official in charge of the heavily criticised federal response to the hurricane.

During a visit to the disaster area earlier this week, the US president, George Bush, was overheard telling him "Brownie, you're doing one heck of a job", but the Fema director has become a focus for criticism of the relief efforts.

Earlier today there were accusations that Mr Brown had overstated his experience when applying for the director's job.

Mr Brown was also damaged by revelations in recent days that he waited five hours after the storm had struck the Gulf Coast on August 29 before asking his boss - homeland security secretary Mike Chertoff - for approval to dispatch 1,000 support rescuers to the region.

Before the storm hit, Fema had positioned small rescue and communications teams, and the agency has been castigated for not having better preparations when forecasts had given three days of warning of Katrina.

The Fema director told Mr Chertoff that conveying a "positive image" about the government's response would be among the duties of these 1,000 employees, which did not happen in the event.

Even the former secretary of state Colin Powell criticised the US government's response.

"There was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans," Mr Powell told ABC news. "Not enough was done. I don't think advantage was taken of the time that was available to us, and I just don't know why." He denied racism was to blame for foot-dragging.

Criticism by Colin Powell is going to hurt Bush badly. It's a shame that he was so marginalised while he was secretary of state by Cheney and his acolytes, and that he ended up giving the now laughable presentation to the UN about Iraq. If he had been listened to a lot more, the US may now not be in the mess it is in Iraq and elsewhere.

Share |

Links to this post

Create a Link


  • This is septicisle


Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates