Impeach Bush Coalition
A United Coalition of Bloggers for the Impeachment of George W. Bush

From The Stinkin' Desert Post: Three Reasons For Impeachment

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The following is a guest editorial I wrote for the Moab, Utah Times-Independent newspaper. It was published there on September 8, 2005. It appeared on my blog, The Stinkin' Desert Post, found at http://mtperson.typepad.com/the_stinkin_desert_post/.

We all watched in horror as the natural disaster that was Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last weekend. The catastrophic storm, though, was dwarfed by the magnitude of the organizational disaster of the Bush Administration's response. While there are many aspects and dimensions to this colossal failure of our selected leader, there are three that I want to focus on.

1. George Bush and his officials are derelict in their duty:

On Friday, August 26 the National Weather Service (NWS) held a briefing stating the Katrina would be a category 4 hurricane at landfall and that landfall would be somewhere on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. George Bush is on vacation in Crawford.

On Sunday morning, the NWS advised that New Orleans and surrounding areas were going to be hit by a monster storm. George Bush is on vacation in Crawford. Dick Cheney is on such double secret vacation that he is invisible. Condi Rice is about to start her vacation.

By Monday it is clear that the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama has been devastated. While the storm is moving inland and losing strength, the levees in New Orleans have been breached. George Bush is on vacation in Crawford until he leaves for Arizona to eat cake with John McCain.

On Tuesday the full horror of the tragedy is clear as 80% of the city is underwater, communications and power is out, water and sewerage is non-existent, and human civility is beginning to fray as the primal drives of thirst, hunger, and fear bubble to the surface. George Bush flies to California to strum a guitar and compare himself to Franklin Roosevelt.

Not until Wednesday does Bush get back to Washington. Cheney is still invisible. Condi Rice continues on vacation by attending a play, playing tennis, and buying a pair of shoes that would keep an ordinary family in groceries for months.

Hypothesize this: a major chemical supplier has an industrial accident. The accident releases a toxic cloud that requires the evacuation of a major city. The CEO of that company, along with the rest of senior management, remains on vacation for four days while the evacuation collapses in chaos. Would shareholders be justified in firing the executives? Would people be justified in vilifying the company and its managers?

George Bush and his officials are derelict in their duty and merit removal from office.

2. George Bush and his officials lied to the American people:

On Thursday, September 1 on Good Morning America George W. Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." This is a flat, baldfaced lie.

In early 2001 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified the three most likely mega disasters that would strain the country's ability to respond: a terrorist attack in New York City, an earthquake in Southern California, and a hurricane hitting New Orleans. The levees in New Orleans have been breached before. The Mississippi River flood of 1927 did so.

Every disaster planning exercise involving New Orleans has assumed that part of the tragedy would be breached levees, a flooded city, and human beings trapped with no food, water, or sanitary facilities. A few minutes of searching the Internet will turn up literally dozens of studies showing that a hurricane of category 3 or more hitting the lower Mississippi would breach the flood protection levees. Breached levees were no surprise and to say that they were is a lie.

Bill Clinton was caught with his pants down and lying in Washington. As far as I know, no one died. Then the Republicans were Johnny-on-the-spot with impeachment. The entire George W. Bush administration has been caught with their pants down and lying in New Orleans and thousands have died. I await the Republicans' response in this case.

George Bush and his officials lied to the American people and they merit removal from office.

3. Bush and his officials have appointed critical emergency management personnel whose only qualifications are crony connections:

The current head of FEMA, Michael Brown, has a resume that would be laughable if the consequences were not so tragic. He was for years an estate lawyer. He then became Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horses Association. He apparently learned something there, because I have not heard of a single Arabian horse killed by Katrina.

His major qualification to lead the world's only superpower's principal disaster recovery agency is that he was the college roommate of Joe Albaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager. Albaugh took over FEMA in 2001, and hired Brown as general counsel. When Albaugh left FEMA in 2003, Brown took over. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that Brown does have disaster planning experience. In the 1980s he had disaster planning responsibilities for the town of Edmund, Oklahoma, population about 60,000.

And Albaugh? He is now a lobbyist for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR was awarded multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure. They have done such a wonderful job there that on September 1 the Navy announced KBR would be repairing Naval facilities along the Gulf Coast.

Bush and his officials have appointed critical emergency management personnel whose only qualifications are crony connections and they merit removal from office.

Twenty-five years of the endless conservative Republican mantra that "government is the problem" and that we need to "starve the beast" has resulted in a government that is demoralized, inefficient, ineffective, populated by political hacks, and incapable of doing those things that governments are supposed to do. If we continue to let faith-driven conservative ideologues pursue their greedy agenda, the rich fat cats will become truly obese, the rest of us will be left underwater, and this once great nation will slide into the toilet of history.

Impeach Bush.