Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Get There When You Can…

From the AP:

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 — 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 responsibilities.”

“Convey a positive image,” eh? Stop off and pick up some Krispy-Kremes for the gang while you’re at it.

It would also appear that the internal workings in the Blame Game Department have kicked in, and they’re getting ready to give Michael Brown the heave-ho. Why else would someone leak an internal document unless the White House has decided to allow Mr. Brown to “spend more time with his family”?