Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Katrina Debacle Entirely Homeland Security’s Fault

The debacle of the Hurricane Katrina was entirely the fault of the Department of Homeland Security. I’m not referring to the flooding of New Orleans, but to the lack of coordination and planning prior to, during, and following the disaster.

DHS was charged with helping states and cities plan for disasters and developing coordination between federal, state, and local agencies. It failed. No coordination existed in 2005 and no coordination is in place now.

Although the State and the City failed in their own planning, it was still DHS’ responsibility to make sure that the State and City had a plan. Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff did nothing to assure the states and cities of the gulf coast had planned for such disasters.

The true Rovian purpose to creating the behemoth that is DHS, after the President had originally rejected it, was to deprive almost 90,000 federal employees of their right to organize. Only a small oversight body was required to coordinate all of the departments that DHS absorbed, but instead, a monster agency was created where employees have no worker’s protections.

Due to the White House’s misplaced priorities, DHS is a failure. DHS should be turned into an oversight agency and power should be returned to the diverse agencies from which it was taken.

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