The minority report of the House Katrina Committee is now available on Congressman Charlie Melancon’s (D-LA) website. It largely agrees with the full committee report (which will be released on Wednesday), but argues that the full committee did not go far enough in its critiques:
For all it accomplished, however, the Select Committee adopted an approach that largely eschews direct accountability. The majority report rarely assesses how these problems occurred, why they were not corrected sooner, and who in particular was responsible. Instead, the report uses the passive voice to describe generic â€œinstitutionalâ€ failures, general â€œcommunications problems,â€ and vague â€œbureaucratic inertia.â€ It seldom holds anyone accountable for these failures.
Melancon and William Jefferson (D-LA) describe Sec. Chertoff as “strangely detached” during the crisis and recommend that he should be replaced as DHS Secretary:
As the majority findings make clear, Secretary Chertoff provided ineffective leadership at a time of great crisis. We therefore recommend his replacement. We believe the President should appoint an official familiar with emergency management to the nationâ€™s top homeland security post.
Finally, they criticize the House majority for their decision not to support an independent commission with subpoena powers, and argue that the committee received insufficient responses to their document requests from the White House and the Department of Defense as a result.
Melancon has also posted a 160-page compendium of documents related to the investigation, which includes letters to government officials requesting information and interim summaries of the committee’s efforts.
Update (2/13): Here’s the Times-Picayune story on the minority report.
Update 2 (2/13): The majority report for the Katrina Committee seems to have been leaked all over the media this weekend, but I can’t find it yet online. Readers are encouraged to send me a copy.