No. of Recommendations: 6
this is why I like President Bush's call for an investigation. Now lets see if the accusers of the President have the guts to see it thru...

No one anticipated that the aftermath of Katrina would include a false and ignorant tidal wave of calumny against President Bush. Conservatives beware, because the goal here is to politically disable the President, and the conservative agenda along with him.

A few basic facts will help to detox the political environment. First, FEMA is not an agency of first responders. It is not the agency responsible for bringing people bottles of water and trays of fresh food, or transporting them out of harm's way. It also has zero law enforcement authority, or personnel.

These first responder jobs are the responsibility of local and state government -- city police and firemen, city transportation and emergency services personnel, state police, and ultimately the state National Guard.

FEMA has always been primarily a Federal financing agency, providing funding to the locals after the crisis hits to help them respond and rebuild. That is why FEMA's website baldly states don't expect them to show up with their aid until 3 or 4 days after the disaster strikes.

Moreover, the National Guard is under the command of the Governor of each state, not the President. The President can Federalize control over a state's guard on his own order, but doing so without a Governor's consent to deal with an in state natural disaster would be a supreme insult to the Governor and the state. In addition, using Federal troops for local police actions is against the law and has been since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

With this background, let's examine who did what in response to Katrina. President Bush declared the entire Gulf Coast, including New Orleans and Louisiana, a Federal disaster area days before the hurricane hit, to enable Federal aid to get there sooner.


Finally, we have not seen public officials in Mississippi, which was hit even harder by the hurricane itself, or Alabama, crying on television or complaining about the lack of Federal aid. They properly mobilized their local police, fire, transportation, ambulance and emergency services, and the state National Guard, to serve their roles as first responders. Unlike Blanco in Louisiana, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Republican, announced looters would be shot on sight. That maintained law and order, without Federal troops.

Let's shortcircuit the sickening and dopey political posturing now just beginning in Washington. President Bush organized the largest and quickest Federal mobilization in response to a natural disaster in U.S. history. Blanco, Nagin, and Broussard just need to resign in disgrace, as thousands of their own constituents died because of their misconduct.

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