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BRIT HUME, HOST: An indignant Senator Leahy asking a question no doubt asked by many others. FOX News correspondent Major Garrett has been looking for answers to some of those questions. He joins me now.
Major, first of all, obviously, the focus of all of the attention has been FEMA (search), the Federal Emergency Management Agency. What is FEMA?
MAJOR GARRETT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2,500 full-time employees, 4,000 standby employees. A mission statement very simple: Prepare, respond, help recover, reduce risk.
How does it do it? By coordinating with state and local entities and other groups, the Salvation Army (search), Red Cross (search), dedicated to helping the needy when disaster strikes.
HUME: So FEMA is relatively — it isn’t very labor intensive. It mostly works through other agencies?
GARRETT: It works through other agencies. But it has been moved into the Department of Homeland Security. In this crisis, it is a bit a victim of its own bureaucratic boastfulness.
Earlier this year, the new national response plan, released by the Department of Homeland Security, promised this: Seamless integration of the federal government when an incident exceeds local and state capabilities. In the minds of many Americans, this one did, and FEMA, at least initially, in the minds of some, didn’t not respond enough.
Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.
The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.
A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.
Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.
Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
No need to be sorry.
Katrina has left an indelibile mark on our nation. It has created havoc and further polarized our nation.
Some interesting views of Kartina disaster:
Assigning the blame
When the National Weather Service warned that Hurricane Katrina would be potentially catastrophic, what emergency preparations and announcements were made to residents of New Orleans and when and how were they made?
[edit on 9-9-2005 by DontTreadOnMe]
Requiring rescue/recovery officials to stop rescuing and recovering to respond to questions is akin to demanding that a fireman stop pouring water on a fire so that he can answer an inquiry about how he is fighting the blaze. Apparently that doesn't matter to the likes of Mr. Reid or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. They have their questions ready -- and they want answers.
In less enlightened times, there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).
A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch.
Is this a case of partisan territorialism?
A Democratic Governor unwilling to turn over control to a Republican Administration?
Originally posted by orangetom1999
Is this a case of partisan territorialism?
A Democratic Governor unwilling to turn over control to a Republican Administration? "
You people do realize that you are talking about a feudal fiefdom or fuedal title to land and people by a Lord or Master...being contested for by another Lord or master for possession or control??? Is this the true name/meaning for politics in America. The public as property being caught between the two soverign contestants. Is this what American politics has become. Do they post this view in the Media looking out for you. How about in colleges and high schools ..you know civics , government. et al???
Originally posted by Herman
Very interesting. So the Red Cross was ready to help the people in the superdome, and the government in Louisiana wouldn't let them? Interesting.