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Monday, September 05, 2005

DNC Press Release

Below is a press release just sent out by the DNC documenting some of the Administration's lies and ill preparation for Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath

Must Read: Bush Administration Ill-Prepared and Disdainful of the Facts

Washington, DC - As we learn more about the federal government's
delayed response to Hurricane Katrina, troubling questions have been
raised about ou r nation's preparedness and the ability of the
Administration to respond duri ng a national crisis. The Boston Herald
reported yesterday that "the federal official in charge of the bungled
New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job
overseeing horse shows." Worse yet, CNN is reporting today that the
Bush Administration is engaging in a campaign to mislead the public
about what federal officials knew before the hurricane hit and using
talking points that are simply "not true" concerning the federal
government's respon se.

CNN's Tom Forman reported today that
Homeland Security Secretary Michael C hertoff has made repeated
statements "in direct contradiction of the facts" g oing as far as
citing a deeply troubling example in which Chertoff claims the federal
government "rescued 10,000 people" while a press release from his ow n
Homeland Security department admits to having rescued "4500." The
American people deserve accountability in their federal government and
they deserve an answer from the President as to who is in charge in
this time of crisis.



CNN FACT CHECK:

Transcript (from Closed Caption)


TOM FORMAN: Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff continues to
say the power of Katrina could not have been predicted, even as his
department is accused of miscalculating the destruction and a
painfully slow response.

Chertoff: "It wasn't until
comparatively late, shortly before, day, day and a half before
landfall that it became clear this was going to be a catagory 4, 5
heading for the New Orleans area."

FORMAN: But, The national
hurricane center was warning of Katrina's growing danger four
days-landfall.

Weather person: A vulnerable area of coast. If
it goes in the western quadrant we talked about the nightmare
scenario.

FORMAN: Chertoff's own undersecretary, Michael Brown
of people mark discusses the storm's power and direct on the Friday
before the storm hit on Monday. &! lt;/p>

MICHAEL BROWN: The
hurricane center at its 5:00 forecast says those could be a category 4
by the end of the weekend. Tonight's Friday. All of those people
living all the way from Louisiana over to the Florida panhandle need
to think now about getting ready for what could be a very major
storm.

FORMAN: Katrina hit as a level 4 storm, dpak exactly as
brown described. But afterward, when FEMA's reliefers came under
criticism he said this --

BROWN: "I must say, this storm is
much, much bigger than anyone expected."

FORMAN: there's
more. Chertoff repeatedly talks about the hurricane and the break of
the levees in new orleans as if they are separate events, another
unpredictable one-two punch.

Chertoff: A devastating hurricane
followed by a second devastating flood.

FORMAN: flooding,
is, of course an expected result of any! hurrica ne. And=
historically has killed many more people than high winds. Chertoff
admits fema knew the levees around New Orleans might be overrun by a
category 4 hurricane however --

Chertoff: "The collapse of a
significant portion of the levee leading to the fast flooding of the
city was not envisioned."

Reporter: but fema conducted a
five-day drill last year to consider a big hurricane hitting new
orleans. They knew the levees were bill to withstand only a category 3
storm. And that floodwater flowing over a levee is a predictable cause
of a collapse.

I will tell you, that really that -- that
perfect storm of combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of
the planners and maybe anybody's foresight.

Reporter: not
true. For many years, many researchers weather experters and
journalists have written in! great detail about what would happen if
a major hurricane hit new orleans. Their predictions were widely known
and now have prompt to be right. And secretary chertoff has continued
with the same tact this morning he's been on talk shows saying things
which all ecan tell in many cases are in direct contradiction of the
facts saying, for example they rescued 10,000 people in these
days. His own department, people mark put on -- homeland security put
out a press release that said they rescued 4500 people in three
days. Suddenly the number has doubled. This is going on and on and on=
. Keeps saying it utterly unpredictable. When he's pressed about
whether he or his director mike brown are doing their jobs and whether
nobody should lose their jobs in the whole process he keeps saying,
no, we're doing all we can in very difficult circumstances which
everyone acknowledges. But i do know, talking to ! northernens all
over the country friends from the past, others! who = r />called in,
many people are very, very angry about this and they're saying that
maybe some heads should roll, not for political reasons but practical
reasons. Talking about a disasterer that is ongoing, will be ongoing
for weeks and months. And they're saying why on earth would peep be
kept in jobs if they can't do the jobs? That's the accusation.


Tom, thank you. Tom foreman.

******************


Boston Herald

Brown pushed from last job:
Horse group:
FEMA chief had to be 'asked to resign'

By Brett Arends


Saturday, September 3, 2005

The federal official in charge
of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last
private-sector job overseeing horse shows.

And before joining
the Federal Emergency Management Agen! cy as a deputy director in
2001, GOP activist Mike Brown had no significant experience that would
have qualified him for the position. The Oklahoman got the job through
an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA.

The
agency, run by Brown since 2003, is now at the center of a growing
fury over the handling of the New Orleans disaster.

"I look at
FEMA and I shake my head," said a furious Gov. Mitt Romney yesterday,
calling the response "an embarrassment."

President Bush, after
touring the Big Easy, said he was "not satisfied" with the emergency
response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

And
U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch predicted there would be hearings on Capitol
Hill over the mishandled operation.

Brown - formerly an
estates and family lawyer - this week has has made several s! hocking
public admissions, including interviews where he sugge! said FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center.


Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Brown spent 11 years as
the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders' and horse-show organization based in Colorado.


"We do disciplinary actions, certification of (show trial) judges. We hold classes to train people to become judges and stewards. And we keep records,'' explained a spokeswoman for the IAHA commissioner's office. "This was his full-time job . . . for 11 years," she added.

Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures.

"He was asked to resign,'' Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.

Soon after, Brown was invited to join the administration by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh, the previous head of FEMA until he quit in 2003 to work for the president's re-election campaign.


The White House last night defended Brown's appointment. A spokesman noted Brown served as FEMA deputy director and general counsel before taking the top job, and that he has now overseen the response to "more than 164 declared disasters and emergencies,'' including last year's record-setting hurricane=
season.




Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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