[From the diaries by susanhu. More essential information.]

For some reason, I just recalled my very first diary entry at Booman Tribune (should’ve had before..).  It was on BT opening day, I think.

Anyway, please humor me and follow the link to have a look.  The essence is that the role of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security was marginalized.  And may very well have been a major contributor to the total breakdown in assessment and response.

A marginalized Inspector General:

  • Meaning that audits on performance and preparedness were neglected.
  • Meaning that policies and procedures were not properly tested and revised, as appropriate.
  • Meaning that there was no proper system to provide feed-back on systemic shortcomings to those in charge.
  • Meaning that most of the DHS/FEMA leadership – unmerited, corrupted, political appointees – were utterly unprepared and paralyzed when disaster struck.

More below:
There’s a bit of dirt on Chertoff too, if you follow Booman’s link in this comment to the entry:

I don’t (none / 1)

want this site to be known for tin-foil hattery but I just can’t past this
Mindbending article.

Michael Chertoff, the man in charge of our Homeland Security, was a lawyer for al-Qaeda before he took his job at the FBI and became the head of the 9/11 investigation.

And that scares the piss out of me.  And if anyone can explain how a lawyer goes from the Senate Whitewater investigation to representing low-level fraudsters in NJ…


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by BooMan on Mon Mar 14th, 2005 at 07:20:11 PM EDT
[ Parent ]

Not to mention the irony of this (a link in one of my own comments), Chertoff addressing the House Appropriations Homeland Security Sub-Committee -March 2, 2005:

Accordingly, I am initiating a comprehensive review of the Department’s organization, operations, and policies. I look forward to working with this Committee and the Congress regarding proposals that might come out of that review. Our review of the Department is driven by our singular purpose of meeting the threats – both current and future – that face our nation. Any changes we make or recommend as a result of this review will be designed to better enable us to identify, prevent, and, if necessary, mitigate and respond to attacks on our homeland.

I want to emphasize that our analysis of the threats and risks will drive the structure, operations, policies, and missions of the Department, and not the other way around. We will not look at the threats and our mission through the prisms of the Department’s existing structures and functions. Instead, we will analyze the threats and define our mission holistically and exhaustively, then seek to adapt the Department to meet those threats and execute that mission. We must move away from stovepipe solutions. Instead, we need to look at the entirety of the threat picture when calculating risk and implementing protections.
The Department’s other functions, including responding to natural disasters, securing our coasts, and providing immigration services and enforcement are all essential parts of our mission. We owe it to the American people to bring the same dedication and energy to these tasks as we do to preventing terrorist attacks.

I think it’s a useful reminder.