We don’t need a 9/11-style commission on what went wrong with Katrina. Charles Krauthammer has already figured it out.
In today’s must-read (and picked up on almost every blog I regularly troll) column, Krauthammer lays it out.
He includes the president and FEMA, but he starts with New Orleans Mayor Dirty Mouth, who recently said on Nightline that, if he could do anything differently, he’d start cursing the higher ups earlier.
Well, here’s Krauthammer’s assessment on the lousy performance of one higher up:
“1. The mayor of New Orleans. He knows the city. He knows the danger. He knows that during Hurricane Georges in 1998, the use of the Superdome was a disaster and fully two-thirds of residents never got out of the city. Nothing was done. He declared a mandatory evacuation only 24 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit. He did not even declare a voluntary evacuation until the day before that, at 5 p.m. At that time, he explained that he needed to study his legal authority to call a mandatory evacuation and was hesitating to do so lest the city be sued by hotels and other businesses.”
And Karuthammer adds this about New Orleans’ Ragin’ Nagin:
“Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: ‘New Orleans is a party town. Get over it.'”