Sunday, January 29, 2006

Who's Running the Show?

The NYT has a good article on a "White House that was plagued by the fog of war" in responding to Katrina. It raises grave concerns on how capable this administration is to protect us. However since the White House is withholding documents and not allowing aides to testify it is difficult to assess the problem and blame.

There is also a question of whether the White House should be making disaster decisions....

But Mr. Duffy, echoing a point made by Mr. Rapuano, said: "The White House should not be making combat decisions in Iraq. The same is true for a domestic emergency response."
Mr. Rapuano is the deputy assistant to the president for homeland security who according to the NYT was "the senior official in charge of managing storm events at the White House when the hurricane struck."

What are Mr. Rapuano's qualifications for managing a natural disaster? Here is his work history....
  • was previously the senior policy advisor for national security to the Energy Secretary handling a wide range of programs and issues related to nonproliferation, intelligence, counterintelligence, homeland defense and special access programs
  • served as director of the international affairs and nonproliferation department at Southern Research Institute
  • worked supporting the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the development of national security policies related to weapons of mass destruction
  • served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, as a foreign affairs specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense,
  • counterproliferation program manager for DynCorp
  • served on active duty as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps
I'm not sure if he's just a WMD policy wonk or a CIA spook but I would agree with Mr. Rapuano's assessment that the White House shouldn't make natural disaster decisions if a guy with his qualifications is to be in charge.

The NYT also revealed this tidbit........Mr Rapuano "acknowledged that he left the White House about 10 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29, the night the storm hit."

Like many others I know I was up past 2 in the morning on the 29th glued to CNN coverage of Hurricane Katrina. But I'm just a concerned citizen. Just saying.........

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