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FEMA’s Michael Brown Booted From Disaster Relief Supervision

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BREAKING: Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is being sent back to Washington from Baton Rouge, from where he has been overseeing the federal government’s response to the disaster, according to two unnamed federal officials.

Brown will be replaced, according to the officials, by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, who has been overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts.

In addition to complaints about slow response to needs generated by disastrous Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, questions have been raised about whether Brown padded his resume regarding previous emergency management work.

Brown was by the president’s side during Bush’s first visit to the hurricane zone last week — “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job. The FEMA Director is working 24 — they’re working 24 hours a day,” Bush said — but Brown remained behind the scenes while Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was front and center when the president went back on Monday.

Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for a federal relief effort that has drawn widespread and sharp criticism, Brown told AP, “By the press, yes. By the president, No.”

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About Eric Olsen

  • Kurt

    Woulda never happened but for a vigorous public/media/congressional outcry; I’m still surprised!

  • billy

    now if only the person that thinks “he’s doing a heck of a job” would resign we’d be all cool with it.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That Brownie comment by the President is being played over and over on Air America. It’s pretty funny, in that gallows humor kind of way.

  • billy

    bush has made so many damn comments that are just begging to be replayed but rarely are.

    there are about 50 Iraq wmd statements they should play 24/7. like cheney “there is no doubt that iraq reconstituted its nukes” or “iraq will be a cakewalk” “weeks not months” “mushroom clouds” (Rice)

    why arent these liars made fools of by the press? thats their job.

  • Eric Olsen

    being a liar and being proved wrong by subsequent events are two different things, aren’t they?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I think this is the first time during the Bush Administration that you’re seeing a serious effort by the press to get real answers and not spin. A unified government, control of Congress, and hyper-discipline coupled with 9/11 basically kept the press at bay for four years.

    I’m glad to finally see open resentment toward McClellan, a press secretary who says nothing and offers even less.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    EO, agreed — in my opinion, this is an Administration that is proving wrong on multiple fronts.

    The very fact that Brown got canned is, for this Administration, an enormous admisstion of this.

  • billy

    well yes EO, I just love to get carried away. But then again, being proved wrong, AND knowing what you said was untrue beforehand IS lying. That is still not settled. I am of the opinion that many of the things they said they KNEW were not true, at the very least there were real doubts about what they were saying bu they ignored them. Which at the least, is being careless with the truth.

  • Eric Olsen

    billy, that is well stated, and you are certainly not the only one who holds that opinion

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    To me it has less to do with outright lying (all administration’s spin) than with an erosion of confidence. And I think the majority of people are in the same camp.

  • Eric Olsen

    it will be interesting to see if this move shores up or worsens the erosion

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Well, Brown is head of FEMA after all, and the E if for Emergency; perhaps the White House considers its Katrina-induced public relations nightmare an even worse Emergency than the Katrina-induced flood!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    A recent critique asserted that the Bush Administration is good at Public Relations, and not much else.

    I’m inclined to agree.

  • Eric Olsen

    have they handed out the official explanation yet?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Great question — very much looking forward to the answer.

    How the hell do you spin this after “You’re doing a heck of a job” and “What problems?” (to Pelosi), etc.?

  • Georgio

    I think Anderson Cooper of CNN deserves a lot of the credit for evposing the truth down there …he was on the scene from day one and was the first to to ask hard questions and would not let anyone spin things..

  • Eric Olsen

    the press in general have been less cowed this time around because there is no enemy they can be accused of siding with in this story: our own people are the victims

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I think that fact, EO, is coupled with the fact that so much of the last four years has been shaped by 9/11 and the fact that this administration has absolutely hinged itself on protecting its citizens from harm.

  • Eric Olsen

    that’s a very good point

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Great Amazon link, EO! :)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I missed that until you mentioned it RJ, much agreed!

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks RJ, did you see that David R. Mark picked the exact same book moments later?

  • noname

    I’m sure the whole disaster “disaster” wasn’t only Brown’s fault; I’m sure there’s some politics involved where all the other people who screwed up and the crooked people protecting them are just villifying Brown and putting the focus on him so everyone will have someone to blame and thus feel better. Nevertheless, he is still an incompetent who screwed up royally, and any ridicule and scorn he gets, he deserves.

    However, we should also be angry at the Bush administration for helping this guy get this job in the first place. He claims he knows what he’s doing, but he has had no experience and probably no formal training in disaster relief management. People died because of his irresponsibility and he should be punished in addition to being fired. In fact, there should be criminal charges for anyone that didn’t do their job as they should which resulted in the deaths of these victims.

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