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NEWS: FEMA Director Brown

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posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:51 PM
FEMA Director Brown failed to notify superiors of the impending disaster approaching the Gulf Coast, which in turn resulted in the response time of emergency personnel to the area being reduced considerably.
The government’s disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region — and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents.

Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff roughly five hours after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29. Brown said that among duties of these employees was to “convey a positive image” about the government’s response for victims.

Before then, FEMA had positioned smaller rescue and communications teams across the Gulf Coast. But officials acknowledged Tuesday the first department-wide appeal for help came only as the storm raged.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In my opinion this incident can accurately identified as "Deriliction of Duty", and I believe that charges should be brought against him by DOD, and that he should be relieved of command at the earliest possible convenience. A man who is in a position such as his must maintain the ability to make quick, accurate, life-saving decisions at a moment's notice, in order to adequately control such a large AOR and ensure the safety of civilians. I am sure there is someone out there who is more capable of performing in that position, I guarantee you.

Related News Links:

[edit on 7-9-2005 by John bull 1]

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:54 PM
Brown was not experienced in emergency management. He's being scapegoated.

Those responsible for hiring someone with the wrong qualifications for the job should be charged.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:57 PM
You are right about that. Obviously there was not enough scrutiny placed on his background investigation. You would think that before placing someone in such a position of high authority and responsibility, they would at least test his judgement.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:58 PM
Yah, perhap's the Man should have done that seconds after the disaster touched down Is he deserving or a scape goat. And Chertof what about his lack of help wonders? And why were the sick, elderely and poor not offered away to get out of NO through City Buses etc..?, before Katrina.


posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:01 AM
I don't know. I think it had something to do with the airline system all being diverted away from the disaster, ultimately resulting in the numbers of outgoing flights being reduced. Maybe it would have been possible to bring in a few extra, but with the conditions as they were, it was looking pretty bad.


posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:02 AM
i keep trying to understand what FEMA would be in british context, your federal system of government seems very slow of late

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:04 AM
Please be more specific. What exactly is it you are implying?

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:33 AM

Brown holds a B.A. in Public Administration/Political Science from Central State University. He received his J.D. from Oklahoma City University's School of Law. While attending law school Brown was appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee of the Oklahoma Legislature as the Finance Committee Staff Director, where he oversaw state fiscal issues.

During the 1980s he lived in Enid and practiced law there. He also taught at OCU law school as an adjunct.

In the 1970s he served as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight in Edmund, Oklahoma, and as a city councilman, although most of his career was spent in private practice. He ran for Congress in 1988 and lost decisively to Democratic incumbent Glenn English.
After President Bush entered office in January 2001, Brown joined FEMA as Deputy Director and the agency's General Counsel.

Excerpted from.

He seems to have had the experience, but if some of the comments he is supposed to have said after the hurricane are true, then we do need to find out what he was doing since supposedly "he didn't know so many people needed so much help."

I haven't personally seen or heard these "supposed comments" that according to some Brown has said. If anyone has a link with dates when he said them post them please.

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:40 AM
"although most of his career was spent in private practice"

That's the part that concerns me. If he was not directly involved in the day to day activities of the council, why post that as a qualification on the resume?

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:49 AM
Here are some quotes from the hurricane:

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 03:09 AM
In oz there was a news story on Brown a couple of nights ago and how his flat mate hired him (from his uni days I believe). It gave info on how he used to be a manager somewhere for an Arabian horse training centre (or something similar) and that his time at the council included very basic emergency response. I can't remember exactly, however the worst emergency he dealt with at the council was equivalent to saving a cat from a tree (or something similar).

The job he received was a typical "job for the mates" and from what we saw here on the news, two things should happen:

1) His flat mate should be put in prison for employing someone with bugger all experience (his flat mate is someone high-up - can't remember the name)

2) He should be immediately sacked.

Simple as that.

It would be interesting to know if the report was actually shown in the US as well...



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 03:37 AM
Welcome to the long term, real world implications of the Good Ole Boy System. The only real world qualifications this guy had was being Bush's College Roomate and maybe handing out some tv dinners in a few prior situations.

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 06:56 AM
FEMA Director Brown failed to notify superiors of the impending disaster approaching the Gulf Coast, which in turn resulted in the response time of emergency personnel to the area being reduced considerably.

Let me get this straight...It was Brown's job to notify the President of an impending disaster? What tha F___? Now that the man has handled this situition poorly at best is without question but Bush minor needed to be told a disaster was in the works, now that is just laughable, no it is a pathetic whitewash is what is is. The media was squacking like geese about what could happen to New Orleans, there had been multiple studies of what might happen...the weather men were saying it could be a catagory 5 storm and a bullseye to boot...what more notice did Bush need? A certified letter? No this whole damned administration blew it, not just one man, and if one man is most responsible it is Bush...I have worked long enough now to know the owner, general manager or CEO sets the tone the underlings dance to and Bush is infamous for not wanting to hear bad news or interupting his vacation unless there is a fund raiser in involved or a mother to avoid. No Brown, no matter how incompetent he really is, or cupable is being shafted.

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 08:54 AM
FEMA Director Brown's most recent experience was Commissioner of the Internation Arabian Horse Association. He was asked to resign.

For the decade prior to joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency, , Director Michael Brown was commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association, a Colorado-based group that organizes breeders and horse shows. Then he was asked to resign.

"He didn't follow the instructions he was given," then-IAHA President William Pennington confirmed Saturday.

Less than five years after that dismissal, Brown, 50, finds himself heading the federal agency charged with responding to one of the nation's worst disasters.

But hey hey, he knew Joe Allbaugh, who served as Bush's chief of staff when he was Texas governor and also as his campaign manager for his first gubernatorial and 2000 presidential campaigns. So when Albaugh stepped down as FEMA director, he had his buddy promoted to the position, which is appointed by the Pres.

Seems like it's on the up and up to me. TOTALLY qualified.

Good article about it from the New York Times:

For one thing, the undermining of FEMA began as soon as President Bush took office. Instead of choosing a professional with expertise in responses to disaster to head the agency, Mr. Bush appointed Joseph Allbaugh, a close political confidant. Mr. Allbaugh quickly began trying to scale back some of FEMA's preparedness programs.

You might have expected the administration to reconsider its hostility to emergency preparedness after 9/11 - after all, emergency management is as important in the aftermath of a terrorist attack as it is following a natural disaster. As many people have noticed, the failed response to Katrina shows that we are less ready to cope with a terrorist attack today than we were four years ago.

But the downgrading of FEMA continued, with the appointment of Michael Brown as Mr. Allbaugh's successor.

Mr. Brown had no obvious qualifications, other than having been Mr. Allbaugh's college roommate. But Mr. Brown was made deputy director of FEMA; The Boston Herald reports that he was forced out of his previous job, overseeing horse shows. And when Mr. Allbaugh left, Mr. Brown became the agency's director.
The raw cronyism of that appointment showed the contempt the administration felt for the agency; one can only imagine the effects on staff morale

Now ya know, and so do I for lookin'

[edit on 7-9-2005 by Jakomo]

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 09:14 AM
daily news has a pair of stories about the idiots running the show.

FEMA packed with Bush's buddies:

Not only was Brown a roommate of a bush supporter, he was last seen probing a horse's arse to see if it had some liposuction.

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 09:22 AM
It's not entirely Brown's fault that so many people suffered because of lack of response.

If you do some research, you'll find that when Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, the same lack of response happened on all levels. In fact, it was almost verbatim as to what is going on along the Gulf Coast...see my post regarding this at:

The Government failed at all levels.

Let's start at the bottom:

New Orleans City Mayor Ray Nagin:
First off, it's obvious the City of New Orleans had no contingency plans for getting people out of the city in the event that the levys broke.

Secondly, in my opinion, Mr. Nagin didn't do enough in his role to assist the people of his city. Sure, he literally cried to the Federal Government for help, but when the Federal Government failed to respond, he should have taken it upon himself to "do what it took" to get things done.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco:

I echo the same issues that I have with the Mayor here. If the Governor screamed and yelled for the Federal Government to respond, and they didn't, she also should have done what it took to get things done, not just sit around and wait for them.

Also, when the President offered to assist, the Governor told him she needed 24 hours to think about it? I'm sorry, but a lot of people can, and probably did, die in 24 hours.

Both the State of Louisiana AND the City of New Orleans have had opportunities to strengthen the levys, but didn't, even after many people, mostly scientists and engineers, told them that the levy would break during a strong Category 3 hurricane. The state was given money at the onset of the DoHS for homeland security reasons which could hav ebeen used to increase the strength of the levys, but they chose to use it for other things.

The Federal Government:

It's obvious that there's STILL a lack of communication on all levels of the Federal Government, even after everything was supposed to be "better" after 9/11. I mean, they didn't know about the people trapped at the Superdome and the convention center THREE DAYS after the hurricane hit?

There also seems to be a disconnect between the Federal Government and the people of this country. The President, the Director of FEMA, the Secretary of Homeland Security, all of them had no grasp on the situation. At another angle, this can also be seen as the disconnect between the "have's" and "have-not's". I could go on about this for days, just based on the comments made by some of the people in the Government.

And, don't even get me started on how p*ssed off I am that people on all levels are congratulating each other on a "job well done" when dead people are still floating around the city, the elderly are still trapped in their homes, and the infirmed are still stuck in hospitals. It's all an attempt to make the people of this country "feel good" about the situation and make the people of this country think that the Federal Government has everything under control.

In all reality, I'm sure firing only Michael Brown will not solve the problem since, like I stated before, the Government failed on all levels. In fact, if we didn't learn from Hurricane Andrew or we didn't learn from 9/11, then i can DEFENITELY say that firing Michael Brown will in no way solve the problem. It might make us "feel good", but it certainly isn't going to save us when the next disaster strikes.

If anything, this should teach Americans that they can't really depend on the Government to help during a crisis. If a state or a city can't depend on them, then how can the American people?

edited to fix URL problem

[edit on 7-9-2005 by SimonGray]

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 09:35 AM
So you're saying firing Brown would leave us w/ having to find a job for one more unemployed person? So why bother?!

I think a message needs to be sent that responsibility must be taken for inappropriate, and inept action.

[edit on 9/7/2005 by bodebliss]

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 10:24 AM
No, I'm saying that firing someone wont fix what needs to be fixed. Obviously, Mr. Brown needs to be fired for his ineptitude, but is that going to help us next time a disaster hits?

The WHOLE SYSTEM needs to be fixed, and, in my opinion, firing one person isn't going to "make it all better".

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 11:44 AM
the truth is, people should have been evacuated BEFORE the storm. The mayor and the governor and the local leaders should have done everything in their power to get these people out before the storm. plain and simple. 200 or so busses sitting under water in N'awlins. they could have used them to get out of town. instead, you have a desperate mayor blaming everyone above him for not helping fast enough.

they're all at fault. even the people in their homes. they should have taken the evacuation seriously.

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:14 PM
Senator Trent Lott on Brown:
'What I'm going to do to him ain't going to be pretty"

Mississippi's Republican Senator Trent Lott, who lost a home to the hurricane, singled Mr Brown out for criticism on US network CBS.

"If he doesn't solve a couple of problems that we've got right now, he ain't going to be able to hold the job, because what I'm going to do to him ain't going to be pretty," Mr Lott said.

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