Katrina Follow-Up

department of homeland security, michael chertoff, hurricane katrina, senate hearings CBS

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
So Congress writes a report about the Hurricane Katrina response and it concludes the government didn't do a very good job.

Meanwhile U.S. senators grilled Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security, on Wednesday — and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut likened the response to the Keystone Kops.

We now know for a fact that FEMA and the Coast Guard both knew about the levee breaks on Monday — the day Katrina hit. How on earth does that information not reach the top?

I remember standing in Gulfport that Tuesday morning and saying everything on this coast has been flattened — everything. There should have been a rush of manpower and expertise to the scene. Instead, Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, headed to Atlanta to talk about bird flu.

Chertoff took responsibility for all the bungling, but who is being held accountable? We're still waiting.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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