Thursday, September 08, 2005

When incompetence becomes immorality

Every time I start to calm down a bit, I find something like this, courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune (via Andrew Sullivan):

"As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.

"Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.

"Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.

"On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency."

Read the whole thing here, if only for the infuriating response where the FEMA spokesperson blames this on the firefighters.

Unbelieveable story about lack of FEMA leadership! Since the hurricane hit, I have been giving the Feds the benefit of the doubt. No more! Bunch of idiots!
The core issue here is that of accountability. The Bush White House seems physically incapable of admitting any mistake, foible or shortcoming, and, making matters worse, is all too ready to turn any criticism into an act of disloyalty.

Here's a question we should all ask ourselves: would Harry Truman put up with this sort of behavior?
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