A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Brownie! You're fired!

In recent times, when a British prime minister gave effusive praise about a beleagured colleague, that minister fairly quickly departed the political scene. Margaret Thatcher used to say nice things, so did John Major. Didn't help the hapless minister. The media thought otherwise and the public began to sense a scalp was on its way. Tony Blair thought Stephen Byers was great as a transport minister. Byers went for telling porkies to parliament. The same thing seems to be happening in the USA.

George Bush waxed well with praise for his FEMA friend. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" the president gushed. So what happens. The press go gunning for Michael Brown, who has had a chequered career to say the least (allegations of padding his resume!), and today he goes back to paper shuffling duties!

I think Brownie has done a heck of a job. He has revealed the chaotic way in which the Bush administration invites Congress to support a "jobs for the boys" government. No wonder Chertoff looks like a guy who has sucked on a lemon!

The truth is that the Homeland Security people were never up to natural disasters at home. The regular hurricane, yes, but not something on the scale of Katrina. They were mainly about keeping out foreigners who may be a threat and then reassuring the public about the Bush government's bold approach to terrorism.

This is from FEMA's own website!

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Joe M. Allbaugh as the director of FEMA. Within months, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th focused the agency on issues of national preparedness and homeland security, and tested the agency in unprecedented ways. The agency coordinated its activities with the newly formed Office of Homeland Security, and FEMA's Office of National Preparedness was given responsibility for helping to ensure that the nation's first responders were trained and equipped to deal with weapons of mass destruction. Billions of dollars of new funding were directed to FEMA to help communities face the threat of terrorism. Just a few years past its 20th anniversary, FEMA was actively directing its "all-hazards" approach to disasters toward homeland security issues. In March 2003, FEMA joined 22 other federal agencies, programs and offices in becoming the Department of Homeland Security. The new department, headed by Secretary Tom Ridge, brought a coordinated approach to national security from emergencies and disasters - both natural and man-made. Today, FEMA is one of four major branches of DHS. About 2,500 full-time employees in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate are supplemented by more than 5,000 stand-by disaster reservists.

If the "billions of dollars to help communities face the threat of terrorism" had actually gone into Emergency Preparedness and Response, then the levees would have been up to strength as had been repeatedly emphasised and, had they been breached, Michael Brown would have been prepared to rush in with a fully funded co-ordinated approach!

Shame the response was slow, muddled, and inept!



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