HARKONNENDOG

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

If true, this explains a lot.

from here

Trust Us

One thing is clear: federalizing everything into "FEMA" was a horrible idea. When there was an Office of Civil Defense and LOCAL Civil Defense organizations coordinated through the Federal OCD, there were training exercises, many of the officials were volunteers who lived in the area, they made use of retired military people. There was a Director of Civilian Marksmanship and a conscious effort to arm Civil Defense people to form a well regulated militia.

All that was destroyed, and pretty well turned over to a Federal civil service bureaucracy which was then subject to the vicissitudes of politics and appropriations. The notion that preparedness for disasters was a local responsibility, and the Federal responsibility was to assist and come in when needed but not to set up the primary disaster preparedness and relief organization -- that was all lost. Trust us, said the Federal government.

Well, in New Orleans and Mississippi they had no choice but to "trust FEMA". The centralizers won and pursued, and extirpated most of the old Civil Defense organization. THEN came Homeland Security, which swallowed FEMA and neglected it.

Should the President fire every executive in FEMA? Fire the political appointees and transfer all the Senior Executive Service people to a FEMA office in Nome or Point Barrow? Possibly. At least some knew of the problems and did not resign in protest. But some did know, and fought to make changes, to no avail. But. Their efforts were doomed. The centralizers had taken over. And of course many of the FEMA executives were centralizers, who said "trust us."

FEMA we trusted you. We had no choice but to trust you. You left us no choice but to trust you.

You failed us. You failed miserably, but you do not share the misery.

The President ought not have to fire you. You should resign. You can make the resignations effective a year from now and get on with picking up.

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