The Right Coast

September 04, 2005
Off with their heads
By Tom Smith

This seems about right to me. There are a lot of political opportunists trying to score points against Bush in the wake of Katrina, but that should not obscure the fact that the response of the federal government to this disaster was grotesquely inadequate and, certainly to all appearences, utterly incompetent. Four years and billions of dollars on homeland defense does not seem to have been terribly well spent. You can go here; read and weep. I know the city government of NO is a dead loss. Good lord, buses left in parking lots instead of used in evacuations. But then you have the National guard saying they can't get into the city while Walmart manages to bring in truckloads of food and water. The state government of Louisiana appears criminally incompetent. They may have even stood in the way of some federal efforts to help.

Now is not the time for it, but there needs to be a very thorough investigation of this disaster after the disaster. People need to be fired (even though some of them deserve to be shot). There may be a need for new federal legislation that will give clear authority to the feds to step in when the city and state cannot or will not respond adequately to the disaster.

THIS is distrubing. Federal officials should not have to ask state approval to federalize the response, when things get as bad as they were. The Post makes it sound as if the La. state government was a major bottleneck.