Some federal officials have sought to blame state and local officials for being unprepared to cope with the disaster.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (news, bio, voting record), D-La., welcomed Bush's conciliatory remarks. "Accountability at every level is critical, and leadership begins at the top," she said.
Other Democrats were less charitable.
but (From the WSJ):
A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected.
The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.
It is not the Federal government’s responsibility to deal with a local disaster, sure they can lend help, but it comes down to the local government for response.
And the fact is that President Bush ordered an evacuation of the city, and it took a long time for the city officials to actually order the evacuation. And during the evacuation local officials did not use the busses properly to evacuate the low income members of the city. The city officials knew of the inadequacies in the plans, and did not correct them, and now they are blaming Pres. Bush for their own faults, when the Federal governments have little responsibility in (that part) of the ordeal.
This is not acceptable, and if we are to blame some one let's not blame the federal authorities, but the local ones, i.e. the people who were actually responsible for the poor performance.