The Buck Stops Here

Daily Kos: The Buck Stops Here

Please read the whole thing. I’ve taken choice bits, but the explanations are critical to understanding the failure of the executive branch.

Below, I’ve excerpted critical parts of the United States National Response Plan, as published in December 2004


First and foremost, let me stress that this document is essentially a contract with American citizens. “By signing this letter of agreement, Federal departments and agencies” commit to implementing the plan. It is signed by Donald Rumsfeld, Tom Ridge, Tommy Thompson, Porter Gross, John Ashcroft, Colin Powell, Robert Mueller, Michael Powell, and several others. THIS is the real “Contract With America.” It is the Federal Government’s promise that it will execute the National Response Plan properly.


While the state and local officials then still have to try and implement their plans and coordinate with the feds, it is crystal clear that the NRP recognizes that when, say, a hurricane comes and wipes your city off the map, it is the President and his administration which MUST respond proactively.


Again, for three days before the hurricane hit, President Bush had the authority to direct Rumsfeld to deploy troops. Under the NRP, a formal request by the Governor is not necessary in these conditions. For three days before Katrina hit, and for FIVE Days afterwards, the President always had the authority to send in thousands of troops.


Under that section, the plan provides that:
Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited, or under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude.” (NRP, 44)

Yes, you read that right. This theory that the Federal Government has to sit on its ass and WAIT for Governors and Mayors to tearfully beg for assistance and issue S.O.S is pure fiction. The government has signed off on a promise to be PROACTIVE

And what does the plan include under the federal proactive response to a catastrophic event? The “pre-identification of Federal assets and capabilities” and the “strategic location of pre-identified assets for rapid deployment” (NRP, 44).

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