FEMA’S FAILURES….In the same Instapundit post I linked to yesterday ? which asked whether Mike Brown was really any worse than past FEMA directors ? Jeff Goldstein is quoted as asking another question: “I just want SOMEBODY to point out FEMA?s actual failures instead of using disputed resume blemishes and a lot of showy handwringing to suggest Brown?s failures.”
Have FEMA’s failures really been forgotten so quickly? Tens of thousands people trapped at the Superdome and the Convention Center without food or water? No buses available for evacuation? Lack of coordination with the National Guard and Northcom? Helicopters, trucks, the Red Cross, and other aid either ignored or turned away? That hasn’t been forgotten in less than a week, has it?
Perhaps it has. Luckily, this being Sunday, all three of the national dailies feature long, detailed tick-tocks on their front pages today explaining what went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and what FEMA’s actual failures were. Here they are:
New York Times: “Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy”
Washington Post: “The Steady Buildup to a City’s Chaos”
Los Angeles Times: “Confusion at Crunch Time”
As these stories make clear, there’s blame to go around. But as they also make clear, FEMA’s failures were extensive and systemic, and much of its feeble response was due to poor planning, poor execution, a lack of leadership from George Bush, and the inexperience of Bush appointee Mike Brown, who found himself in over his head when the worst happened.