Friday, April 07, 2006

Hurricane Relief From Abroad Was Mishandled

“WASHINGTON, April 6 — Confusion over how to handle the emergency supplies, offers of military assistance and $126 million in cash that poured in from foreign governments after Hurricane Katrina meant delays, and in some cases wasted opportunities, in aiding storm victims, federal officials acknowledged Thursday.…

Thousands of ready-to-eat meals donated by governments, as well as loads of medicine, were never used, because officials learned only after they arrived in the United States that they did not meet federal health standards. Instead of distributing the supplies, the federal government spent $60,000 to store them.

Of the $126 million in cash donations received, only about $10.5 million has been spent. Nearly half sat in a noninterest-bearing account until last month, when it was transferred to the Department of Education for a grant program to help damaged schools and colleges, although no grants have yet been awarded.…

The cash donations and emergency supplies — including food, clothing, blankets, tents and medicine — came in from nations, companies, individuals and organizations from around the globe. The single biggest source, representing three-quarters of the total cash received, was the United Arab Emirates, which contributed $100 million, according to the State Department.

The United States, at least in modern times, had never received such a large outpouring of foreign aid and no formal process existed to evaluate the offers, officials from the State Department and FEMA testified Thursday.

The Defense Department designated an Air Force base in Arkansas to receive deliveries from overseas and then the Agency for International Development, a State Department agency that usually handles foreign aid, was asked to work with FEMA on distribution.

Casey Long, acting director of the Office of International Affairs at FEMA, testified that 143 truckloads of international donations had ultimately been sent to distribution centers in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas.

But Davi M. D'Agostino, an investigator from the Government Accountability Office, said FEMA could not provide documentation that the goods ever reached hurricane victims or emergency workers.…”

This should be comment enough.

This should be evidence enough.

There is nothing this current administration won't misrepresent. There is nothing they don't have to misrepresent, because there is nothing they've done competently, and nothing they've done right.

Their claim is that they, unlike their opponents have a plan, but an agenda is not a plan. Plans have stages. Plans have timelines. Plans have requirements. Plans change when goals are unmet. When resources change, plans change. They change nature and scope as the situations theyaddress change.

This administration has never had a plan, could never tolerate a plan. So there never has nor will there ever be a plan.

Not for Katrina.

Not for Iraq or Afghanistan.

Not for today, yesterday or tomorrow.

But, boy do they have an agenda. One size fits them.

They don't have a problem, so you have no business seeing any.

How do you like the President's same old new clothes?…
con·cept: Hurricane Relief From Abroad Was Mishandled