Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chertoff perjures himself on Capitol Hill

Homeland Security Director Micheal Chertoff told a Congressional hearing today that problems with Katrina weren't his fault, because he relied on FEMA expoerts with decades of experience in hurricane response, according to an AP Report on Yahoo News.

Chertoff's statements are flatly contracted by a September Knight-Ridder article (previously cited here as Chertoff, Bush escape the wrath of Katrina.

The article recounts in detail how Katrina response was run out of the White House, bypassing the FEMA profesionals.

A memo acquired by Knight-Ridder shows hat the response to Katrina wasn't left to disaster professionals, but was run out of the White House, said George Haddow, a former deputy chief of staff at FEMA during the Clinton administration and the co-author of an emergency management textbook.

"It shows that the president is running the disaster, the White House is running it as opposed to Brown or Chertoff," Haddow said. Brown "is a convenient fall guy. He's not the problem really. The problem is a system that was marginalized."

Given the scale and consequences of his failures, it is unimaginable that his casual (if not delusional) dismissal of the facts shouldn't be punished as perjury.

Be sure to read the article in full, and go to and search for the bylines on this article, in particular Alison Young. She is on many of the Katrina stories out of Knight-Ridder's Washington bureau. These folks should give the Times-Picayune/NOLA.Com a run for their money for next year's Pulitzer.

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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