Letters to the Editor

FEMA waste

June 20, 2008


To the editor:

A recent CNN investigation revealed that FEMA gave away $85 million in relief goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims. These supplies sat in warehouses for two years before being given to other government agencies, all 121 truckloads of it. FEMA said the items were no longer needed in the stricken region, so it declared them federal surplus. John Medica, director of the Louisiana Federal Property Assistance Agency, stated he was unaware that Katrina victims still had a need for the household supplies. A FEMA representative said it was costing more than $1 million a year to store the material and that another agency wanted the warehouses torn down, so they needed to clear it out.

State and federal committees are "looking into" just how and why those supplies never reached the relief agencies that desperately needed them and still need to this day. The how and why is easy to explain: endless miles of red tape and the inability of state and federal relief agencies to easily communicate with each other. This is another glaring example of how woefully unprepared we are for another large-scale disaster, be it natural or manmade. Neither political party is free of guilt regarding this fiasco, though each will sic their attack dogs on each other as they try to shift the blame.

A FEMA representative said the giveaway was "not news." What isn't news is that FEMA continues their Keystone Cops routine, even as the floodwaters rise in the Midwest. Do you feel safe now?

Steve Craven,


Flap Doodle 9 years, 10 months ago

Osama bin Laden: missed opportunities"A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: The Clinton administration treated bin Laden as a law enforcement problem.Bob Kerry, a former senator and current 9/11 commission member, said, "The most important thing the Clinton administration could have done would have been for the president, either himself or by going to Congress, asking for a congressional declaration to declare war on al-Qaida, a military-political organization that had declared war on us." "http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4540958/

1029 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm was never a Clinton fan, but seriously, the W-lovers are somehow managing to make Republicans look even more detached from reality than they already are with their desperate attempts to trace the Bush administration's problems back to Clinton.On a more relevant note, a main problem facing FEMA is that a certain political party that garners support through simplistic ideas such as "small government" and "privatization" wants FEMA to fail. If FEMA operations were successful, people would think that such agencies weren't so bad after all and they would start to have a more positive opinion of government, consequently undermining a key tenant of a political ideology that is already fighting to save its inevitable decline. For now it is an endless cycle: ensure poor management, which will lead to inefficient operation, which leads to public discontent, which leads public perception that government is the enemy, which leads to support for politicians who advocate the same to increased poor management of the agency to even more discontent............................

BigDog 9 years, 10 months ago

This is no big surprise it is the federal government.And some people want them to run the entire health care system. hahahahaha

jafs 9 years, 10 months ago

According to Clinton, he did in fact ask for authorization to "get" Bin Laden, but Congress denied it.Of course, he could have asked them to authorize war, but there's no guarantee they would have agreed - he was trying to work with a predominantly Republican Congress.

1029 9 years, 10 months ago

whoops...last part should read: "...which leads to support for politicians who advocate the same small government ideas, which leads to continued poor management of the agency, which leads to even more discontent..." (Anyway, you get the picture--just didn't want someone to cut and paste that and make some stupid comment.)

Richard Heckler 9 years, 10 months ago

I'd say Homeland Security is one department the government does not need. If Bush/Cheney/Rice had been paying attention 9/11/01 would not be part of our history. Extremely wasteful spending.FEMA waste = incompetent choices in the white house and appointed directors.

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