Saturday, September 10, 2005

Colin Powell Speaks out on Katrina

Okay, so he uses some of the tired talking points - local and state problems - but it's encouraging to see him at least looking at the federal level for errors and ESPECIALLY pointing out that the poor response is, at least at some level, based on economic class of the victims. This is coming from someone who worked with the people handling the response for four years; I tend to value his word on it, and know he'll take some heat for it. I have to respect him for it, even if his association with the Bush administration has left him a damaged man.

From Yahoo! News:

Former secretary of state Powell critical of US response to Katrina

Thu Sep 8, 6:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former US Secretary of State
Colin Powell had tough words for federal, state and local authorities on their response to Hurricane Katrina in a television interview to air Friday.

"I think there have been a lot of failures at a lot of levels --- local, state and federal," Powell said in an interview with the ABC News program "20/20," to air late Friday.

"There was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans. Not enough was done. I don't think advantage was taken of the time that was available to us, and I just don't know why," he said.

Powell was asked if the slipshod government response to the disaster was due to racism, since the overwhelming majority of the victims are poor African-Americans.

"I don't think its racism, I think its economic," Powell said.

"When you look at those who werent able to get out, it should have been a blinding flash of the obvious to everybody that when you order a mandatory evacuation, you cant expect everybody to evacuate on their own.

"These are people who dont have credit cards; only one in ten families at that economic level in New Orleans have a car. So it wasn't a racial thing --- but poverty disproportionately affects African-Americans in this country. And it happened because they were poor,"
he said.

Posted by crimnos @ 12:35 PM