From The Washington Post:
Michael D. Brown, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, deliberately ignored a new national disaster plan and circumvented his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, in trying to manage the federal response to Hurricane Katrina directly with the White House, according to a new House report.
By disregarding the National Response Plan, finished in 2004, Brown deprived “the nation of an opportunity to determine whether the NRP worked,” the House investigation concludes in an addendum to its Feb. 15 report, “A Failure of Initiative,” scheduled for release today.
The all-Republican panel, led by Chairman Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), prepared the supplement after issuing a subpoena and obtaining Brown’s sworn deposition Feb. 11, too late to publish in its scathing 520-page study.
By attributing numerous failings to Brown, the new House report obtained by The Washington Post refocuses an unflattering spotlight on the former Bush political loyalist and on the White House. Though he resigned under fire for his handling of the hurricane response, Brown’s image was rehabilitated somewhat in videos leaked this month that showed him imploring the government to gear up for Katrina and emphatically warning the White House.
But the House reported that Brown “virtually boasted” that he avoided communicating with Chertoff — then in office about six months — “and called directly on the White House for assistance instead.” Brown opposed or never advised the new secretary to take steps under the response plan, such as declaring an “incident of national significance,” activating a Catastrophic Incident Annex to speed federal aid, convening an expert Interagency Incident Management Group or naming a principal federal officer in charge, the report said.
“We’ll need to keep that in mind as Congress considers its post-Katrina agenda,” Davis said in a statement. “FEMA needs serious work, but the NRP might not.”
Lest you forget those AP story attached to those video was thoroughly shredded here previously, so much so that AP had to issue a retraction. They’ve never identified their source for the videos, but it should have been obvious to anyone watching the report that Brown himself was the AP’s source.
Brown Ignored Disaster Plan, New Report Says – [WaPo]
Previous Wizbang Coverage