I’ve been trying to find a news article on Rumsfeld’s comments the other day, in which he basically said that you can’t blame the victims of Katrina for what has happened to them. Strangely enough, I haven’t found any reports looking at those comments, although, the comments are clear from the US department of defense website:
In this disaster and a disaster of this magnitude, the would-be first responders at the state and local level were themselves victims in very large numbers. They were, their families were, their homes were victims of this storm. Since the federal system — the way it’s arranged under our constitution provides that the state and local officials are the first responders, and you have a disaster of this magnitude that creates a situation where the first responders are in large measure incapable of functioning given the seriousness of it, we had a situation that was distinctly different than in past events of this type.
The Department of Defense, needless to say, has been stepping in to help the civilian federal agencies in many missions that the first responders had been assigned and are well suited for but, in this case, simply not available and — or they need some time to adjust to their personal circumstances. As a result, the federal response has been adjusted accordingly.
Quite obviously there were failures at the federal level, which Rumsfeld has not acknowledged, but still, Karl Rove must have been worried at the departure from the official line on blaming the victims of Katrina for what has happened to them.
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