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Brownie - you're pointing a heckuva finger. 
20th-Jan-2007 07:32 am
Brown: Party politics affected Katrina response
NEW YORK (AP) -- Party politics played a role in decisions over whether to take federal control of Louisiana and other areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, former FEMA director Michael Brown said Friday.

Some in the White House suggested only Louisiana should be federalized because it was run by a Democrat, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Brown told a group of graduate students at a lecture on politics and emergency management at Metropolitan College of New York.

Brown said he had recommended to President Bush that all 90,000 square miles along the Gulf Coast affected by the hurricane be federalized, making the federal government in charge of all agencies responding to the disaster.

"Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking we had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor and we have a chance to rub her nose in it," he said.

Brown declined to say who in the White House had argued for only taking control of Louisiana, but said that he'd later learned of the situation through Blanco's office and from other officials on the federal level.

Blanco reacted sharply on hearing what Brown had said.

"This is exactly what we were living but could not bring ourselves to believe. Karl Rove was playing politics while our people were dying," Blanco said through a spokeswoman, referring to President Bush's top political strategist. "The federal effort was delayed, and now the public knows why. It's disgusting."

Eryn Witcher, a White House spokeswoman, denied Brown's claims.

"It is unfortunate that Mike Brown is still hurling false statements about the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina," she said. "The only consideration made by the administration at the time of this tragedy and since are those in the best interests of the citizens of the Gulf region."

Brown, 52, was ousted from FEMA after the agency's much-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina. He also was ridiculed after Bush publicly praised him, saying he did a "a heck of a job," while thousands desperately waited for help.

Brown now directs Emergency Management Programs for the Resilient Corp., a consulting firm.
It's not hard at all to imagine this really having gone down this way if you think about it, especially considering that quote above from Eryn Witcher, wherein she posits that all considerations made by the administration were in the best interests of the citizens of the Gulf region - because we ALL know that is a patent lie across the board. Why'd they even bother with something so ridiculously sheepish as that, anyway? It's almost an outright admission of guilt playing it that way. I'm SO FUCKING SURE this administration had the Gulf coast residents' best interests at heart in the decisions that were made. It's one thing to be doomed from an act of nature, but another entirely to be left for dead for days on end by your own government.

Poll #910398 What Say You?

Is Brownie telling the truth now that he has nothing to lose, or still just very bitter?

Yes - without naming names, yes - I believe this is true.
No, he's still very pissed off that he was made a scapegoat and is making this up because he has nothing to lose.
Somewhere between what he's now saying and what really happened lies the truth.
I like taters.
I'll give my answer in a comment to this post.
20th-Jan-2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
True or not true it's difficult to believe that anyone is willing to employee or socialize with the man I have come think of as "The Butcher of the Bayou." Even if his allegations are true (and they probably are) he still failed the basic moral obligation to look around and absorb past the party rhetoric that his leadership was failing, that his organization was not effectively combating any of the problems on the ground, and that people were dying.

His moral outrage and his resulting search for "the truth behind the scenes" should have happened before "Heck of good job, Brownie," not a year plus after the event.

Mr. Brown, you do not win greater personal acclaim for attempting to paint your role in this tragedy as that of a unwitting pawn to low brow, catastrophic White House policy; you cement your original legend as a man who should have been publicly flogged for the deaths of innocent men, women and children who depended upon you to rise above such issues and save them from the flood waters.
20th-Jan-2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
I believe him, only because I've made it a habit to disbelieve everything that comes out of the White House or one of their Spokes-orcs. He has nothing to lose; they have everything to lose.
20th-Jan-2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
I'm skeptical of what either say, though much less so than Brown. The White House is full of idiots and ass-kissers, so I'm extremely disinclined to believe anything that comes out of there.
20th-Jan-2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
As outrageous as his claim sounds, this administration has done things so much more outrageous, that I'm willing to believe just about anything at this point. I guess I have reverse credulity. :-)
21st-Jan-2007 12:43 am (UTC)
As the previous poster noted, while these claims sound horrible, they fit in perfectly with how this administration has behaved in the past on this and other issues.

If they are total lies, and just a matter of sour grapes, how does one explain Bush's total obliviousness for at least week BEFORE Katrina when he was told by all the experts that it was going to happen? Sorry, I don't buy the denials one bit.
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