Louisiana Gov. Blanco Now to Blame for Delayed Response?
NEW ORLEANS - With President Bush and Congress now saying a full investigation will be underway to find out what went eerily wrong with the delay in aid to victims here after Hurricane Katrina struck, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is among the officials being blamed. According to several published reports including a Sept. 5 report from the Associated Press, Blanco supposedly refused to sign over control of the National Guard to the federal government and ended up turning to James Lee Witt, former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief from the Clinton administration to help run relief efforts. Many are calling for the firing of current FEMA Director Michael Brown saying he played a major part in the delay. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin is also being criticized for ordering a mandatory evacuation for the city two days before Katrina but not providing means for the poor and elderly who had no means of transportation to leave. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has also come under attack. On Sept. Sept. 5, Blanco told CNN she tried to get help and was puzzled by the delay. "I asked for everything that we had available from the federal government...and the federal effort was just a little slow in coming. I can't understand why," Blanco said. Meanwhile, Blanco said when the National Guard entered New Orleans en masse on Sept. 2, co-operation had significantly improved. "We are parties in this effort. We are a team," she told CNN.