1) Homeland Security's National Response Plan explicitly called for a "Proactive Federal Response to a Catastrophic Event" like Katrina --yet that response did NOT get executed for reasons which the White House refuses to explain.
Today, we hear in the New York Times that
Bush has appointed Frances Fragos Townsend, his "domestic security advisor" , to look into the federal screwup in New Orleans. What the stupidass New York Times does not realize is that Ms Townsend is actually
" Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism ". WHitehouse.gov notes that "Ms. Townsend chairs the Homeland Security Council and reports to the President on United States Homeland Security policy and Combating Terrorism matters". See http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/townsend-bio.html
In other words, the White House official most directly responsible for the New Orleans screwup is now in charge of investigating what went wrong.
2) With regard to law enforcement, Annex ESF #13 (Emergency Support Function #13) in the Plan explicitly calls for the federal government to handle law enforcement if local and state law enforcement are overwhelmed --but states that the FIRST step in the process is to provide National Guard troops to the state governor. According to news reports, the governor of New Mexico offered troops from his state to the Louisiana governor even before Katrina hit, but the transfer was delayed for days due to lack of authorization from Washington.
Can someone explain to me why our active duty military units can be put under the command of FOREIGN military officers in UN operations but federalized National Guard troops can't be put under OPCON (operational control) of a state governor?
3) Our law gives even CIVILIANS the right to use deadly force (i.e., to shoot to kill) in order to protect the lives of themselves and others . So can someone explain why military and National Guard relief workers, carrying M16s, could be held backing from entering New Orleans by a few raggedy ass looters? Why couldn't rules of engagement have been given allowing workers to shoot in self defense without giving the soldiers law enforcement duties --e.g., chasing down and arresting looters?