Bush’s response to Katrina was unforgivable | SummitDaily.com

Bush’s response to Katrina was unforgivable

RE: The media blame game ends at the Louisiana governor’s desk, (SDN Sept. 8)Perhaps if letter writer J.T. Coyote spent less time accusing elected Southern governors of being Marxists, and more time getting his facts straight, he could form an opinion helpful to your readers.Coyote claims that Louisiana’s governor waited to request federal help until after Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour did, and that she failed to act until long after the Bush administration begged her to accept help. Neither of these claims is true.Coyote is also mistaken that the president must wait for a request from a governor before responding to a national emergency. A president may act unilaterally under the National Response Plan, which was enacted pursuant to numerous federal statutes. This president did not.Of course, Coyote has one excuse for error: This past weekend, a “senior administration official” told both Newsweek and the Washington Post that Governor Blanco had not declared a state of emergency as of Sept. 3. This was a blatant lie, but both news outlets reported the claim uncritically. (The Washington Post eventually retracted the item.) There is doubtless much blame to go around, at the state, local and federal levels, regarding the handling of Katrina and her aftermath. But the federal response, including President Bush’s, was ignorant, lackadaisical and unforgivable. It is no sin to point this out. When people complain about finger-pointing, it is usually because the blame is well-deserved.

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