Monday, September 05, 2005

Blaming someone else doesn't mean they're at fault

A lot of local officials in the NOLA area are blaming the feds (specifically FEMA) for the delays in the relief effort, and a lot of people in blogdom and the media are giving voice to those complaints.

I already noted below how I think Michael Brown is going to have to answer some serious questions, and I've noted that there are mostl likely problems in how the feds handled aspects of the effort.

But the fact that the locals are pointing their fingers at the feds doesn't mean that they are innocent of failures, and that seems lost on a number of those who are giving voice to the locals' complaints.

Here's an example: I've been following the WWL Katrina blog for the local news (it's been one of the best sources for the last week), and today it's got a quote from the Jefferson parish President, Aaron Broussard, who said, "I'm not surprised at what the feds say, they're covering their butts. They're keeping the body counts down because they don't want to horrify the nation. It's worse than Iraq, worse than 9-11. They just don't want to know how many were murdered by bureaucracy."

Look, it wasn't until the President urged Gov. Blanco to get the people out that NOLA issued a mandatory evac, and that was the day before landfall! So if "bureaucracy" murdered anyone, it's the local bureaucracy! There are plenty of other examples that could be given, but in following what I've already said, I think it's best to wait before determining culpability.

In the meantime, I hope others will be as suspicious and critical of local officials as they are of the feds.

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