Monday, September 05, 2005

White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials [for good reason]

I just love Washington Post's sub-headlines...

Many Evacuated, but Thousands Still Waiting
White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials
Sunday, September 4, 2005; Page A01

It's not "shifting" the blame, it's pointing out who is to blame, and it's not Pres. Bush.


Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.


Gov. Blanco didn't realize until WEDNESDAY she should be asking for aid and as of SAT. didn't declare a state of emergency!?!?!!

And when you REJECT help form the feds in taking over national guard and evacuation control you don't come back and the blame the gov. for lack of a response.


I don't know who the three federal officals were but they got the state of emergency wrong, the Gov. did declare and SOE on the 26th.