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Not true, whether said in private or public. Fox repeats it anyway.

Reported by Chrish - September 20, 2005

While trying to make it look as though the Bush administration had "prevailed" with their common sense and wisdom over crazy Mayor Nagin of New Orleans, Fox White House correspondent Wendell Goler made this statement:

"White House Counselor Karl Rove is reported to have told a group over the weekend it was a mistake for the federal government NOT to override local authorities when Katrina hit. But privately authorities admit the government has no such authority."

Once again I refer you to Alternet.org and specifially lie number 6 being perpetuated in perpetuity:

6. Chertoff falsely minimized federal government's role in Katrina response as subordinate to states

The Bush administration has responded to criticism of its role in the Katrina disaster by attempting to deflect blame onto state and local officials in Louisiana .... One way they are doing that is to claim that the federal government's role in a natural disaster of this magnitude is to provide support to state and local governments and work at their behest. Conservative media figures immediately fell into line, echoing the administration's claim that the federal government's role was subordinate .... In fact, the Department of Homeland Security's December 2004 National Response Plan clearly indicates that in these situations, the federal government will pre-empt state and local efforts and provide immediate assistance to the affected area.

.... According to DHS' December 2004 National Response Plan (NRP), "catastrophic events," such as what occurred in New Orleans, call for heightened and "proactive" federal involvement to manage the disaster. The response plan listed "guiding principles" to govern the response to these major events. The "Guiding Principles for Proactive Federal Response" make clear that, in these "catastrophic" cases, the federal government will operate independently to provide assistance, rather than simply supporting or cajoling state authorities:

* The primary mission is to save lives; protect critical infrastructure, property, and the environment; contain the event; and preserve national security.

* Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited or, under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude.

* Identified Federal response resources will deploy and begin necessary operations as required to commence life-safety activities.

* Notification and full coordination with States will occur, but the coordination process must not delay or impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources. States are urged to notify and coordinate with local governments regarding a proactive Federal response.

* State and local governments are encouraged to conduct collaborative planning with the Federal Government as a part of "steady-state" preparedness for catastrophic incidents."...

...A Sept. 5 Los Angeles Times article quoted former FEMA chief of staff Jane Bullock saying that "[t]he moment the president declared a federal disaster [on Aug 29], it became a federal responsibility. ... The federal government took ownership over the response." Moreover, DHS' own website declares that DHS "will assume primary responsibility on March 1st [2005] for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort."

Comment: This was made as a throw-away comment in the midst of a lengthy report which of course jumped from one video to another in typical disjointed "fun and hip" style. It would only serve as a subconscious reinforcement that the federal government was hamstrung = Team Bush didn't really screw up. The fact that it's not true is irrelevant.

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