From the February 2006 Idaho Observer:

Everyone Goofed II

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee has released its findings regarding the deplorable federal emergency management response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The panelís conclusions can be summed up in two words: "Everyone goofed."

"Katrina Commission" findings are similar to those of the presidentís 9/11 Commission which were summed up by the words of then Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard Myers who actually stated that national security failed because "everybody goofed" that day.

The federal governmentís conclusions about how the federal government handled the aftermath of these disasters reveals a new trend of federal investigations of alleged federal wrongdoing. Rather than pinning blame on just one fall guy, per tradition, the government is now taken to diffusing the blame evenly across the "disaster response" board.

The tactic appears to be fiscally motivated. By simply placing blame on one or more individuals, all that can result is public humiliation and replacement of the scapegoat. Upon a finding of system-wide failure, Congress can justify the appropriation of $millions, even $billions, to study the problems and finance, reform and create new federal agencies.

The federal governmentís new policy of finding itself at fault seems to appeal to the TV-watching public. Instead of coming off as heartless, finger-pointing bureaucrats, government investigators appear to be compassionate statesmen; instead of coming off as pathetic incompetents deserving only our disdain, the witnesses interviewed are seen as well-intended public servants who were just cogs in machines that malfunctioned.

It would seem that, $8.2 trillion is a lot of money to spend on a government that cannot defend its nation against attack nor respond appropriately to a natural disaster.

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Hari Heath

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