Republicans Shifting Blame... Again?
by Scott Shields, Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:59:12 PM EDT
He added: "There will be plenty of time to go back and say we should hypothesize evermore apocalyptic combinations of catastrophes. Be that as it may, I'm telling you this is what the planners had in front of them. They were confronted with a second wave that they did not have built into the plan, but using the tools they had, we have to move forward and adapt."
But New Orleans, state and federal officials have long painted a very different picture.
"We certainly understood the potential impact of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane" on New Orleans, Lt. General Carl Strock, chief of engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2002, the New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a five-part series exploring the vulnerability of the city. The newspaper, and other news media as well, specifically addressed the possibility of massive floods drowning residents, destroying homes and releasing toxic chemicals throughout the city.
But Chertoff seemed unaware of all the warnings.
Of course, none of this is news to any of us. That Chertoff repeatedly had to be lectured on air by journalists about the situation in New Orleans as well as the prior predictions of Katrina's power was nothing short of embarrassing. But this isn't a liberal blog post I'm referring to. It's not even an article in the establishment media. This is a story running at one of the most strictly partisan Republican websites on in the internet, home to columns from the likes of Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, and Dennis Prager.
It's for this reason that I'd argue that World Net Daily's criticism of Chertoff indicates that the GOP-led government may have recognized the patent stupidity of blaming state and local Democrats for what were obviously federal responsibilities. Also at the site is another story detailing the resume of FEMA head Michael Brown, especially his firing from the International Arabian Horse Association, writing that "the Republican Party activist, had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position."
I don't mistake this for actual accountability yet, but it could be a sign that the White House is ready to eat some of its own. If they do choose to scapegoat Chertoff and/or Brown -- who certainly ought to be fired, but aren't the only officials responsible -- it should very well backfire on them. After all, both men were appointed to their positions by Bush. Therefore, their failures are also ultimately his.