Tornado season is just around the corner and then we get back into hurricane
season. During the off season, Washington had a great time frame to right some
wrongs that were exposed during Katrina. Instead they have chosen to not
cooperate with Capital Hill in investigating the failures. Now we might here
even more details as Michael Brown seems to be ready to break his silence:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former disaster agency chief Michael Brown is
indicating he is ready to reveal his correspondence with President Bush and
other officials during Hurricane Katrina unless the White House forbids it
and offers legal support.
Brown's stance, in a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press,
follows senators' complaints that the White House is refusing to answer
questions or release documents about advice given to Bush concerning the
August 29 storm.
Brown quit as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency days
after Katrina struck. He left the federal payroll November 2.
In a February 6 letter to White House counsel Harriet Miers, Brown's
lawyer wrote that Brown continues to respect Bush and his "presidential
prerogative" to get candid and confidential advice from top aides.
The letter from Andrew W. Lester also says Brown no longer can rely on
being included in that protection because he is a private citizen.
"Unless there is specific direction otherwise from the president,
including an assurance the president will provide a legal defense to Mr.
Brown if he refuses to testify as to these matters, Mr. Brown will testify
if asked about particular communications," the lawyer wrote.
Brown's desire "is that all facts be made public."
Seems former FEMA head Michael Brown has had a change of opinion into the
failures of Katrina and has a new person to blame. You will never guess who it
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. -- Former FEMA Director Michael Brown said
Wednesday that he deserved much of the blame for the government's failures
after Hurricane Katrina, saying he fell short in conveying the magnitude of
the disaster and calling for help.
"I should have asked for the military sooner. I should have demanded the
military sooner," Brown told a gathering of meteorologists at a ski resort
in the Sierra Nevada.
"It was beyond the capacity of the state and local governments, and it
was beyond the capacity of FEMA," said Brown, former head of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency.
Brown's remarks Wednesday stood in sharp contrast to his testimony at a
congressional hearing in September, when he blamed most of the government's
failures on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin _
He specifically targeted them for failing to evacuate New Orleans,
restore order and improve communication.
"These are not FEMA roles," Brown told the congressional committee. "FEMA
doesn't evacuate communities. FEMA does not do law enforcement. FEMA does
not do communications."
Its nice to see him finally fess up to his failures but does this mean he
perjured himself before Congress now? I think Congress should take another
serious look into the problem and make Bush answer to them about his decision to
put Brown in charge. It seems that our leaders have forgotten the horrid details
of early September.
CBS News says Michael Brown rehired as
CBS News' Bob Schieffer just announced that the Federal Emergency
Management Agency has rehired ex-FEMA chief Michael Brown-- as a consultant
to evaluate the agency's response to the disaster!
From CBS's Katrina blog:
"Sept. 26, 2005 /6:44 p.m. (CBS) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger
reports that Michael Brown, who recently resigned as the head of the FEMA,
has been rehired by the agency as a consultant to evaluate it's response
following Hurricane Katrina."
CBS says they've confirmed Brown had been rehired. Brown resigned after
taking heat when a Time Magazine article revealed that he had padded his
resume with bogus jobs.
Brown had been shopping his resume in Washington, and one source close to
Brown told U.S. News' Washington Whispers that his resum was "radioactive"
so soon after the Katrina debacle....
Paper: Internal docs show feds
'bungled' Katrina response RAW STORY
As the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped down
yesterday, government documents surfaced showing that vital resources, such
as buses and environmental health specialists, weren't deployed to the Gulf
region for several days, even after federal officials seized control of
Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the (paid-restricted) WALL STREET JOURNAL
reports Tuesday. Excerpts follow.
# Separately, internal documents and emails from FEMA and other
government agencies dating back to Aug. 31 and reviewed by The Wall Street
Journal show the extent to which the federal government bungled its response
to the hurricane. The documents highlight serious deficiencies in the
Department of Homeland Security's National Response Plan, a post-Sept. 11
playbook on how to deal with catastrophic events. Mr. Chertoff activated the
National Response Plan last Tuesday by declaring the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina an "Incident of National Significance."
In one instance, federal environmental health specialists, who were
charged with protecting both rescue workers and evacuees, weren't called in
by the Department of Homeland Security until Sunday -- 12 days after the
Occupational Safety & Health Administration announced it had teams from
various agencies standing by ready to assist. Even now, with mounting
evidence of environmental problems, the deployment is being held up by
continuing interagency wrangling, according to officials at the National
Institutes of Health, which also is involved in the effort.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Emergency Management Agency Director
Michael Brown, under fire and recalled to Washington in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina, resigned on Monday, senior administration officials said
Under fire for a slow response to Hurricane Katrina, Brown was pulled out
of Gulf Coast operations on Friday and recalled to Washington. President
George W. Bush has been under pressure from Democrats to fire him.
Accusations also arose last week that Brown had exaggerated his
background in disaster relief in his official biography and resume.
The officials would not give any details except to confirm that Brown,
who has been FEMA's director since 2003, had resigned.
The resignation came three days after Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff removed Brown from federal relief efforts in the Gulf Coast and
sent him back to Washington.
In announcing his decision, Chertoff said he wanted Brown to be in
Washington to continue administering FEMA.
During a visit to Gulfport, Mississippi, Bush was asked about Brown's
resignation. He told reporters he had not talked to Brown or to Chertoff but
said he would speak with the Homeland Security chief on the Air Force One
flight back to Washington.
DENVER -- Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown sent
a candid e-mail to family and friends this week as he was becoming the
center of criticism of the handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
"I don't mind the negative press (well, actually, I do, but I try to
ignore it) but it is really wearing out the family," Brown wrote. "No wonder
people don't go into public service. This country is devouring itself, the
24-hour news cycle is numbing our ability to think for ourselves," the Rocky
Mountain News reported Saturday.
Brown was relieved of his command of the onsite relief efforts Friday
amid increasing criticism over the sluggishness of the agency's response and
questions over his background.
"It's horrible," said Mary Ann Karns, an Oklahoma lawyer who once worked
with Brown in the Edmond, Okla., city government and got the e-mail
addressed. "He does not deserve this as a human being."
Gee. Can there be any more proof out there that Michael Brown was not the
best fit person for the job. If you work for FEMA, a fire department or police
department one thing you can always be sure of is criticism. In an agency such
as FEMA that criticism will come from a national level and get a lot more
attention. Perhaps he should think twice before taking jobs that are saying
thanks for being a crony.
Last week Brownie was doing a "heck of a job" per Bush.
This week apparently that job isn't going so good and now he is being
replaced as the head of the disaster in the Gulf. From the
WASHINGTON - Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown
is being relieved of his duties in managing the Bush administration's
Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts, The Associated Press has
Brown is being sent back to Washington from Baton Rouge, where he was the
primary official overseeing the federal government's response to the
disaster, according to two federal officials who declined to be identified
before the announcement.
Brown will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad w. Allen, who was
overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts.
This now opens up another serious question. Was Bush ignoring the lives of
all those in the Gulf because he wanted to maintain a public and political image
of being right? If so then he needs to be removed from office.
The government's disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane
Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch
1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â and gave them two days to
arrive, according to internal documents.
Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff roughly
five hours after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29. Brown said that among
duties of these employees was to "convey a positive image" about the
government's response for victims.
Before then, FEMA had positioned smaller rescue and communications teams
across the Gulf Coast. But officials acknowledged Tuesday the first
department-wide appeal for help came only as the storm raged.
Brown's memo to Chertoff described Katrina as "this near catastrophic
event" but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended,
"Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our
The initial responses of the government and Brown came under escalating
criticism as the breadth of destruction and death grew. President Bush and
Congress on Tuesday pledged separate investigations into the federal
response to Katrina. "Governments at all levels failed," said Sen. Susan
Collins (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine.