MORE ON FEMA….Seth Borenstein and Shannon McCaffrey of Knight Ridder report on the personnel implosion at FEMA under the Bush administration:
In 2000, 40 percent of the top FEMA jobs were held by career workers who rose through the ranks of the agency, including chief of staff. By 2004, that figure was down to less than 19 percent, and the deputy director/chief of staff job is held by a former TV anchor turned political operative.
….Of the top 15 FEMA spots in Washington, the only people who had experience or have a single permanent job ? some employees of FEMA are holding down two positions ? are the agency’s top lawyer, its equal rights director, its technology chief and its inner-agency planning chief. None of them is responsible for disaster response or preparations.
I suspect the FEMA meltdown is only going to look worse and worse as reporters continue to investigate this. And for anyone who thinks FEMA is a unique case, be sure to reread this Washington Post story from last year about the inexperienced but ideologically acceptable kids the Bush administration hired to turn Iraq into a democracy:
For months they wondered what they had in common, how their names had come to the attention of the Pentagon, until one day they figured it out: They had all posted their resumes at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank.
FEMA is just the flip side of the CPA. Both were filled with political appointees who had little relevant background or experience, and both failed miserably.