Saturday, April 28, 2007

More Incompetence from the White House

The Washington Post has a front-page article that tells the story of countries that pledged millions and millions of dollars to Hurricane Katrina victims but because of government incompetence, the money never reached our shores.

Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.

Administration officials acknowledged in February 2006 that they were ill prepared to coordinate and distribute foreign aid and that only about half the $126 million received had been put to use. Now, 20 months after Katrina, newly released documents and interviews make clear the magnitude of the troubles.

More than 10,000 pages of cables, telegraphs and e-mails from U.S. diplomats around the globe -- released piecemeal since last fall under the Freedom of Information Act -- provide a fuller account of problems that, at times, mystified generous allies and left U.S. representatives at a loss for an explanation. The documents were obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a public interest group, which provided them to The Washington Post.

There you have it; more of Bush's leadership on display. Or perhaps something even more sinister. Like the fact the administration didn't want to give legs to the story of their incompetence by having foreign governments bail them out. And so hundreds died.

"There is a lack of accountability in where the money comes in and where it goes," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the public interest group, which called for an investigation into the fate of foreign aid offers. She added: "It's clear that they're trying to hide their ineptitude, incompetence and malfeasance."
What is it about this president's dark appetite that death follows him everywhere. In hindsight, it looks like when he was innocently commanding the death chamber in Huntsville, it was simply the baneful run-up to the hundreds of thousands who would later die in Iraq,; and sandwiched in between like a midday snack, the poor saps in New Orleans also perished.

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