ALLBAUGH AND BROWN AT FEMA….Russ Baker has a very long investigative report over at the Real News Project about our old friends Joe Allbaugh and Michael Brown. Allbaugh, as you recall, was appointed head of FEMA by George Bush in 2001 and was responsible for bringing his buddy Brown on board to eventually become FEMA’s director when Allbaugh quit.
The following paragraph is certainly not the most important part of Baker’s story, but it’s my favorite. The time is 2001, and Allbaugh has just taken over from James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton’s FEMA director:
Allbaugh soon embarked on a Nixonian purge. Acting upon his orders, a reluctant inspector general launched a series of internal investigations, looking at everything undertaken by the Witt administration, including Witt?s own travel expenses. Nothing of note was found, and on several occasions the I.G. proclaimed his job done, only to be told to keep looking. Allbaugh launched his longest investigation into a headdress that used to hang on James Lee Witt?s wall, a token of appreciation from a Native American tribe in recognition of his efforts following the Oklahoma City bombing. Someone said it might contain feathers from the protected bald eagle ? a federal offense ? but the probe, which even involved the F.B.I., fizzled when they turned out to be dyed chicken feathers.
Brings back memories, doesn’t it?
The bulk of the story is about the rise of both Allbaugh and Brown, and what kind of relationship they really had prior to coming to Washington DC as part of the Bush administration. Fascinating stuff.