9/23/2005

Arkin: Rita Shows New Rules Not Needed

As Arkin says: "It's such an orderly process, when you are prepared and paying attention, that is.". What a difference lost popularity points in the polls, err... a couple of weeks make... --law

Rita Shows New Rules Not Needed

By William M. Arkin | September 23, 2005; 11:38 AM ET

...readers [are] almost evenly split between those who believe something needs to be done to give the President more authority to respond to emergencies, and those who don't...

Rita is proving so far that we don't need a change in laws or a reorganization to adequately respond to disasters.. In contrast with Katrina, Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, commander of the Fifth Army at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, was put in charge of Joint Task Force Rita before the storm hit.. Thousands of National Guard troops have been on the move for days. Active duty military resources up to and including Air Force U-2s and reconnaissance satellites are in support.. It's such an orderly process, when you are prepared and paying attention, that is. "As directed by the secretary of defense and in accordance with the National Response Plan … [DOD] is supporting Homeland Security Department and FEMA disaster preparation efforts," the Pentagon said yesterday..

But something is still wrong with our post 9/11 domestic set-up, and the way we look at even purely civil "homeland security" preparedness (do we have to call it that?). The President isn't going to some FEMA command center or homeland security bunker to monitor Rita. Tonight, he'll be arriving at Northern Command (NORTHCOM) headquarters in Colorado Springs

Early Warning by William M. Arkin - washingtonpost.com

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