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When pressed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for a response on the Hurricane Katrina disaster in the gulf, and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown's culpability in the national tragedy, our commander in disbelief, George W. Bush, had this to say: "What didn't go right?" Ms. Pelosi had the courage to label the president's cavalier attitude to the disaster for what it was, "oblivious, in denial (and), dangerous."
While the national Republican leadership is once again attempting to characterize any call for answers as yet more opportunist partisan bickering, I implore all to look at the facts:
The federal response to Hurricane Katrina is nothing short of a national scandal. Our nation was better prepared and responded better after Sept. 11. While not downplaying the tragedy that occurred at the World Trade Center four years ago, we need to ask why a tragedy that took the lives of 2,700 Americans was treated so differently from one that may have taken the lives of 25,000 Americans.
Four years after Sept. 11, it is clear the Bush administration has made us less safe. Our resources are stretched too far, and too thin, by the debacle Bush has created abroad.
We need an independent commission modeled on the 9/11 Commission to investigate what went wrong at FEMA and other agencies. Congress should support Senator Clinton's legislation calling for an independent commission modeled after the 9/11 Commission.
We can't let one political party, especially the one running the government, control the investigation of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.
The investigation must be independent from the politicians and have its own investigators, budget and subpoena authority.