Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 12, 2006

WaPo previews House Katrina Report

Filed under: Preparedness and Response — by Christian Beckner on February 12, 2006

Front page story in the Washington Post today:

Hurricane Katrina exposed the U.S. government’s failure to learn the lessons of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as leaders from President Bush down disregarded ample warnings of the threat to New Orleans and did not execute emergency plans or share information that would have saved lives, according to a blistering report by House investigators.

A draft of the report, to be released publicly Wednesday, includes 90 findings of failures at all levels of government, according to a senior investigation staffer who requested anonymity because the document is not final. Titled “A Failure of Initiative,” it is one of three separate reviews by the House, Senate and White House that will in coming weeks dissect the response to the nation’s costliest natural disaster….

“If 9/11 was a failure of imagination then Katrina was a failure of initiative. It was a failure of leadership,” the report’s preface states. “In this instance, blinding lack of situational awareness and disjointed decision making needlessly compounded and prolonged Katrina’s horror.”

Analysis to follow when the report comes out…

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1 Comment »


Comment by Monorprise

February 16, 2006 @ 12:33 am

The US government under the US Constitution has Absolute no legal roll, no legal authority, and correspondingly no legal responsibility to respond to a Natural Disaster, effecting any number of US States.
Correspondingly based upon the nature of such a government (Federal who’s only under their command are, spread spartanly over 9,631,418 sq km).
The US federal government is Not, and Never has been Setup to be able to respond to, manage or control such a disaster.

Under the American system since its formation with the adoption of the US Constitution in 1788, that responsibility is, and has always been in that of the Individual or in that of the in visual State government in which the disaster has happened.
That again also just happens to be inherently where the legal authority and resources for managing the first responds to such a disaster exist!

Indeed the US federal government is not only not given this authority, it is forbidden form having it, not only under the 10th amendment:
In which it is explicitly says that all authority and rights not specially delegated to the federal government by this constitution, nor prohibited by it to the same, belong to the states and to the people respectively.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Source: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html


But the federal government is also prohibited, from providing assistant against any kind of domestic violence’s, such as was going on in New Orleans as it post hurricane.
Again with out the specific request of the state government by Article 4 Section 4, of the United States Constitution:
” Article. IV: Section. 4:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Source: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution.html

Clearly the Power and authority to deal with and manage such a responses without the State and local Government’s active request, control, participation and Cooperation, is and has always been indeed non-existent, as well as fundamentally Un-Constitutional if such authority is assume by the federal government for any reason beyond an active insurrection of the state or community in question (Civic War).

Now if you actual read the Homeland Security Act, it is clearly stated in its basic assumptions section, that that in order for such a system work or be enacted in a natural disaster and provide any assistants to any state it assumes the Governor of such state with the legal authority their in. Will as the Governor of such state perform their responsibilities to their respective State and either handle the disaster themselves the old traditional way, or work with Homeland Security as the surrogate for state authority for homeland security.

The reason is, this the only way you could do it and have it be legally Constitutional and valid under the US System. It is also the only way as it happens, that the system can practical work, and local and state police as well as other local and state authorities do not, and will not take orders form the US federal government. They answer and work for the state and the state government alone.
This is why some States will not enforce immigration laws while others will and do.

Now in the case of Katrina, the governors of both Texas, and George, fulfilled their responsibility, and either worked with homeland security to did it the old fashion way, which was basically manage and do it all themselves, and then after the fact try and get FEMA to help pay the bills, which is what FEMA actually does. Help provide the state with access to certain federal resources, most all of which after is for after the fact, and in dealing with aid.
FEMA’s primary function during the disaster is to help provide the State’s Governor with a signal link to Private humanitarian aid Origination such as the American red, the Salvation Army and so on. As well as to help them coronate such private aid Organization so they do not waist time duplicating efforts of other such originations, again on the request of the State’s governor.

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