Thursday, January 19, 2006

''More than 3,200 still listed as missing after Katrina''

"Meanwhile, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday accepted a greater share of the blame for the government's failures after Hurricane Katrina, saying he fell short in conveying the magnitude of the disaster and calling for help.

"I should have asked for the military sooner. I should have demanded the military sooner," Michael Brown told a gathering of meteorologists at a ski resort in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

"It was beyond the capacity of the state and local governments, and it was beyond the capacity of FEMA," he said.

Brown's remarks Wednesday stood in sharp contrast to his testimony at a congressional hearing in September, when he blamed most of the government's failures on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

In an interview after his speech Wednesday, Brown said: "I think it's important to realize that all of us made mistakes. ... After a while you get a different perspective."-from the AP story in today's Seattle Times.

Goldy comments on

"Whew… that’s a relief. The past few months have been a living hell, as I’ve had to struggle with the guilt of having been personally responsible for hundreds of deaths and untold human suffering in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At least, that’s what Brownie implied in his congressional testimony last September, when he blamed me not only for his fall from power, but for FEMA’s inability to respond to the disaster:

While FEMA was trying to respond to probably the largest natural disaster in the history of this country, a catastrophic disaster that the president has described covering an area the size of Great Britain — I have heard 90,000 square miles — unless you have been there and seen it, you don’t realize exactly how bad and how big it was — but in the middle of trying to respond to that, FEMA’s press office became bombarded with requests to respond mmediately to false statements about my resume and my background. Ironically, it started with an organization called, that on some blog published a false, and, frankly, in my opinion, defamatory statement that the media just continued to repeat over and over."

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