I am BARRY HESS > Blog


Talk about heart-wrenching. Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard:

The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” And he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday. And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.

Over the last several years, those in power of our country have time and again proven their incompetence. There was an election in 2004. All kinds of accusations were thrown. “Our ports are not protected.” “Not enough has been done to protect Americans at home from terrorist attacks.” “There was no effective planning for post-war Iraq.” Yet none of these statements were adequately proven to the American public.

And now a catastrophe. The blood on the hands of an administration and bureaucracy that has been completely ineffective in planning and predicting. A government that has proven to have made no progress in the realm of homeland security. An administration that has demonstrated once again it rewards friends with vital positions, rather than tacit ambassadorships. Having the wrong people in these positions has cost countless American lives both at home and abroad. A New-Orleans-sized piece of evidence has been entered into the record. Will the court recognize it?

To be fair, more than just the Republican leaders have failed us. The opposing party, the Democrats, failed us when they were unable to oust George Bush from office. The media failed us by letting sleeping dogs lie. Without the media acting on behalf of the people, administrators like Michael Brown are allowed to rise to positions for which they have no qualifications. Allowing the CEO president to stand victorious last November has given rise to leadership failures of an Enron nature, if Enron’s mistakes could be said to result in thousands of lives lost.

It remains to be seen what the President does with Michael “you’re doing a heck of a job” Brown. I suspect a calculated decision will be made and Brown will take on all of the blame while people like Michael Chertoff and our president get a slap on the hand. Realistically do you believe Brown was campaigning for the title of FEMA head? I can’t say for sure, but I highly doubt it. The administration is at fault for putting the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. What kind of gross incompetence does it require to believe the FEMA head should be anything less than an expert in his field? It would not take a very big stretch to say the real man at fault is George Bush. Unfortunately, the buck never stops there.

The game of politics has resumed sickly fast. Local authorities are offered up as the root problem. Federal officials are telling stories that are uncorroborated or flat-out denied by witnesses. I had posited, jokingly, that William Rehnquist was eased into death as a sort of public relations move by the administration. It turns out this isn’t all that far from the truth.

One hopes President Bush and his advisors took a long, hard look at the Supreme Court justices before deciding on John Roberts as the Chief Justice nominee. That they took the time to do this in the midst of a national tragedy may be the most telling statement of all.