CLINTON'S MYTHICAL FEMA
Senator Hillary Clinton is continuing the noble endeavor of revising the record of her loving husband's eight years in the Oval Office, even if it means exploiting Hurricane Katrina's devastation to do it. Senator Clinton creates a mythical picture of FEMA under her husband's leadership and her comrades in the mainstream news media run with it.
While making the rounds of the network morning shows, she's been very hard on the Federal Emergency Management Administration and, of course, the Bush Administration. She went as far as complaining that Bush damaged "Bill's FEMA." Naturally, the mainstream media are too lazy to investigate her politically-charged exploitation of Katrina to not only revise her hubby's legacy, but also to score brownie points as she eyes a 2008 presidential run.
I'm giving the mainstream media the benefit of the doubt when I say they're too lazy to investigate Hillary's bogus claim that FEMA was heaven on earth when good old Bill was in-charge. One can make a case that the MSM want to assist Senator Clinton in revising the Clinton Legacy while helping Hillary with her upcoming presidential campaign. But, Madam Senator, what about FEMA's response to Hurricane Floyd? You remember Floyd, don't you?
On Sept. 15, 1999, Mother Nature poised herself to deliver the second in a one-two punch combination of hurricanes to hit North Carolina. Earlier, Hurricane Dennis jabbed once at the Carolina coast before doubling back and coming ashore as Tropical Storm Dennis on Sept. 5, packing torrential rains and 70 mile-per-hour winds. Then came the knockout punch—Hurricane Floydd—ten days later.
Floyd was a large and intense Cape Verde hurricane that pounded the central and northern Bahama islands, seriously threatened Florida, struck the coast of North Carolina and moved up the United States east coast into New England. It neared the threshold of category five intensity on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale as it approached the Bahamas, and produced a flood disaster of immense proportions in the eastern United States, particularly in North Carolina.
There were 56 deaths that were directly attributable to Floyd. The death toll by state is as follows: North Carolina 35, Pennsylvania 6, New Jersey 6, Virginia 3, Delaware 2, New York 2, Connecticut 1, and Vermont 1. Most of these deaths were due to drowning in freshwater flooding. Floyd was the deadliest hurricane in the United States since Agnes of 1972. According to information provided to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, over 2 million people were evacuated due to Floyd. This was probably the largest evacuation in US history. And it was achieved by state and local government officials. (Hear that, Governor Blanco?)
FEMA didn't do much better under much less taxing conditions during Floyd than it did during Hurricane Katrina, when the floods that followed Hurricane Floyd left tens of thousands stranded up and down the Eastern seaboard wondering what happened to federal rescuers. Where's Bill Clinton's FEMA?
According to Newsmax, Clinton FEMA Director James Lee Witt won high marks for hurricane preparation, but the flood that followed swamped his agency. A full three weeks after the storm had passed, Rev. Jesse Jackson interviewed Witt on his CNN show "Both Sides Now" -- and complained that flood victims were still suffering from a "misery index."
"It seemed there was preparation for Hurricane Floyd, but then came Flood Floyd," Jackson began. "Bridges are overwhelmed, levees (my emphasis) are overwhelmed, whole town's under water (my emphasis). . . [it's] an awesome scene of tragedy. So there's a great misery index in North Carolina."
When Jackson asked what was being done for the thousands of families left homeless by Floyd after nearly a month had passed since the storm first hit, Witt said Bill's FEMA was "just beginning to address the problem."
While Witt's reputation remained largely intact after the Floyd fiasco, more than a few of the storm's thousands of flood victims complained that the agency had failed them, according to Carl Limbacher of Newmax. Witt and Clinton were so successful -- with the help of the MSM -- in escaping widespread criticism in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd, that Louisiana's competency-deficient Governor Blanco appointed Witt to head her own emergency operations. The MSM breathlessly announced the appointment and that was the last time anyone's heard about Bill Clinton's FEMA boss.
Another criticism by Hillary's comrades in the Democrat Party and by her pals in the news media is that President Bush staffed FEMA with his cronies such as Mike Brown. But no one in the memory-impaired news media appears to remember Bill Clinton's cronies including Buddy Young.
Raymond Lloyd "Buddy" Young was appointed FEMA's Director of Region VI by President Clinton in 1993. As regional director, he coordinated FEMA mitigation, preparedness and disaster response and recovery activities in: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In 1997, he served as Acting Deputy Director for the agency. Mr. Young is a veteran of 26 years of service for the Arkansas State Police. He joined FEMA after serving as director of security for then-Governor Bill Clinton, a post he had held since 1983. In other words, Young's experience entailed covering for Bill during his alleged trysts. His education consists of a certificate in public administration from the University of Arkansas. No college degrees and no emergency management experience (unless his yelling, "Bill, quick zip your fly. Hillary's coming!" constitutes managing an emergency).
Cronies? The Clintons were the king and queen of cronyism. Remember their Chief of White House Personnel Security Craig "where the hell did those FBI files come from" Livingstone? His security experience entailed work as a bouncer at strip clubs and discos. I can only surmise why Bill Clinton felt obligated to a man with those security credentials.
© 2005 Jim Kouri- All
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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.
I'm giving the mainstream media the benefit of the doubt when I say they're too lazy to investigate Hillary's bogus claim that FEMA was heaven on earth when good old Bill was in-charge.