Former "FEMA" Director Michael Brown says he regrets not having been even more outspoken in communications with the White House and his superiors as hurricane Katrina roared ashore in August.
In his words, "I wish I'd been honest with the American
He adds, "I wish to this day that I had stood up and said `This
is really bad. It's not working. It's beyond our capabilities. The
state has dropped the ball, the locals have dropped the ball. This
is going to be ugly."
Brown, former director of the Federal Emergency Management
Administration under the Homeland Security Department, resigned
under fire after he was relieved of his command in the hurricane
region in September.
He made his latest comments today after addressing a meeting at
a Reno hotel-casino of Harmons Solutions Group, which manages auto
and glass claims for the insurance and fleet industries.
Brown said everyone made mistakes -- including himself, the
mayor of New Orleans, the governor of Louisiana and the secretary
of Homeland Security.
Brown said the two FEMA video briefings obtained last week by
The Associated Press showed an important part of the confusion that
developed in the wake of the hurricane -- but only a part.
He told A-P today it was one snippet of the president during
that one week which ignores all the conversations he was having
both before and afterward.
He says, "We talked about evacuations, we talked about levees,
we talked about everything. I think the president has gotten
somewhat of a bad rap." But he adds, "I also think he was
overconfident. He thought that FEMA could pull it out one more
time. I hope he's learned now that we couldn't."