Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Michael Brown defends himself, FEMA

Former FEMA director Michael Brown, in an investigative hearing before members of Congress said:

I didn't have a problem with the evacuations in Mississippi or Alabama. They were doing it. (Florida Governor) Jeb Bush had already ordered evacuations through the (Florida) Keys as Katrina was making its way through that area.

My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday (two days before the storm hit) that Louisiana was dysfunctional.

FEMA doesn't evacuate communities. FEMA does not do law enforcement. FEMA does not do communications...

Many may be surprised to learn that, guess what, FEMA doesn't own fire trucks. We don't own ambulances. We don't own search and rescue equipment

The people of FEMA are being tired of being beat up, and they don't deserve it.

But William Jefferson, (D) La, says:

"I find it absolutely stunning that this hearing would start out with you, Mr. Brown, laying the blame for FEMA's failings at the feet of the governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans"
Then you're not paying attention. He's saying these things are not FEMA's failings. He's telling you what FEMA is for, and what it's not for. Now -- you point out where it was FEMA that failed and not the Governor or the Mayor, and maybe he'll talk about that. The idea that FEMA failed seems to be a foregone conclusion here -- I thought this was an investigation into what failed and why, not a search for apologies and plans to expand FEMA's role.

As he pointed out, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi didn't seem to have a problem with FEMA.

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