Sunday, February 12, 2006

Washington ignores a drowning city, while military asks for orders to help

The Washington Note
FEMA and Michael Brown were not the only players informing the White House that immediate action was needed, apparently a number of senior military officials in the region "offered" immediate assistance, particularly with regard to the levee. I do not know if these appeals for action and offers of assistance by the military were formalized or informal.

However, the particular officers who had concerns about what was unfolding with Katrina felt as if they had no authority to take any kind of action in a domestic humanitarian relief and disaster effort without getting cleared by the White House.

Their concerns make sense to me -- but while they waited and watched, and made appeals to the White House through, at minimum, informal channels, many people drowned who did not need to die.

-- Steve Clemons

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