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September 15, 2005

Chertoff Delayed Katrina Response

-- by Gary Boatwright

Hat tip to Tim Grieve at Salon Did The Wrong Guy Resign? (view 30 second ad for day pass)

Michael Brown stepped down as the director of FEMA Monday, but a new report from Knight Ridder walks responsibility for the Katrina debacle a little bit higher up the chain of command. While Brown has taken much of the blame for the federal government's slow response in New Orleans, Knight Ridder says that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff failed to give Brown the authority he needed to mobilize a massive federal response to Katrina until 36 hours after the storm struck land.

Who had the authority in the meantime? Michael Chertoff.

Chertoff had the authority and responsibility to declare Katrina an *incident of national significance.*

An updated timeline from Think Progress has a request from the Louisiana National Guard on Sunday, the 28th for 700 buses.

On Monday, Chertoff was still discussing immigration with Bush.

While Gov. Blanco was requesting assistance to evacuate the Superdome, Chertoff was putting together a task force.

Posted by Gary Boatwright at September 15, 2005 7:07 AM

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just wanted to mention that I'm still reading. and thanks.

Posted by: Bribes [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 15, 2005 5:31 PM

Yes, Chertoff has got to go. I'm not at all surprised to learn that he's the one who diddled around. After the London subway bombing, he was nice enough to inform NYC that subway security was low priority and he couldn't be bothered to worry about ours. Last year, NJ had very serious flooding -- no response from FEMA, and, so far as i know, they've still never gotten any financial aid. I can't help wondering if the truly dark secret for ignoring New Orleans, NJ, and NY isn't because these are Democratic areas. Those damned Democrats can just go ahead and die, I guess.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 15, 2005 5:43 PM

It's the George Tenet equivalent of "falling on the sword".

Chertoff ain't going anywhere, IMO.

Posted by: carla [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 15, 2005 8:08 PM

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