Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Why Won't Anyone Go After Mayor Nagin in New Orleans?

In today's Wall Street Journal, there is an article that describes frustration with the White House by members of Congress trying to investigate the government response to Hurricane Katrina. The Republican committee chair, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, said she "respects the White House's reluctance to reveal advice to President Bush from his top aides, which is generally covered by executive privilege." Then she goes on to say, "We are entitled to know if someone from the Department of Homeland Security calls someone at the White House during this whole crisis period. So I think the White House has gone too far in restricting basic information about who called whom on what day."

Democrats, of course, also agreed that The White House has been stonewalling. Senator Joe Lieberman, mostly an ally of The White House lately, said, "They have opposed efforts to interview their personnel, and they have hindered our ability to obtain information from other federal agencies regarding White House actions in response to Katrina."

Now, I fall on either side of the political center, depending on the issue. But on this one, I've got to go with both Senators and ask what The White House is trying to hide. Come on Mr. President, we all know you have taken full responsibility for the aftermath and the federal response (and I want to encourage this behavior in all politicians...), so why the stalling on the records that show what happened? People did die in this disaster, and that means we all need to know who did what, if anything, and when.

Of course, the one man who has not been held accountable in a fashion even close to the President is Mayor Ray Nagin. This man is an embarrassment to local leadership and has been the model of incompetence writ large. Everyone wants to point the finger at President Bush for not taking decisive action when the lessons learned from the "Hurricane Pam" exercise were released. What about the Mayor (and the Governor, for that matter)? Isn't disaster relief planning for a city the job of its mayor? At the very least, since the report showed evacuating residents would be a nightmare, why did Mayor Nagin allow hundreds of school busses to go unused and be destroyed by the flood? Do we actually expect the President of the United States to read the after action report for every local disaster preparedness exercise in the US? I know I don't. How about you? Of course, I DO expect the mayor of a city to read and act on any after action report for drills conducted in his or her city! If anyone should be thrown out of office over the aftermath of Katrina, it is Mayor Nagin. Total lack of leadership before, during and after the disaster.

So, Mr. President, stop covering up what went wrong and direct your agencies to cooperate with the investigation. And, people of New Orleans, please understand your city has no chance of returning to its former glory with such an imbecile at the helm--impeach Nagin.



Blogger Len Svitenko said...

In addition there is an infraction worthy of more media attention and it is getting none. The infraction? Mayor Negin proclaiming that NO would become the Chocolate City it "should be." Imagine if, after Wilma, Jeb Bush had said the parts of Florida would become the "Vanilla City" as it rose from the ashes. He'd have been out of office in a heartbeat, yet nobody is after Ray. Wake up Louisiana you're hen house is being run by an idiot.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Spicy Cracker said...

I lived in florida for most of my life I understood hurricanes and the heartache they can cause. I lived on the bay and you have to know we were always prepaired. Sometimes as people you have to take responsibility for your life. It's a shame it consist of mostly finger pointing. You bring on excellent points great post.

5:44 PM  

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