Thursday, January 17, 2008

FEMA Destroyer Visits Gulf Coast

Joe Allbaugh, who took a wrecking ball to FEMA two years before Hurricane Ivan devastated the Pensacola area, visited the Gulf Coast yesterday. He is shown, above, standing expectantly behind Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani (photo by PNJ photographer Ben Twingley).
At FEMA, Bush appointed a close aide, Joe Allbaugh, to be the agency's new director. Allbaugh had served as then-Gov. Bush's chief of staff in Texas and as manager of his 2000 presidential campaign. Along with Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, Allbaugh was known as one part of Bush's "iron triangle" of professional handlers.
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By ignoring the logic of fully funded mitigation and other preparedness programs, Bush's first FEMA director earned some scorn among emergency specialists. "Allbaugh? He was inept," says Claire Rubin, a senior researcher at George Washington University's Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management.
Allbaugh later left what remained of the agency and helped advance his former college roommate, the incompetent Michael Brown, to the head of FEMA. Allbaugh himself went on to rake in millions on government consulting contracts in Iraq and New Orleans.

Giuliani is notorious in his own right. He hired mob-connected Bernie Kerick (now under indictment for corruption in New York) as city police chief and even recommended Kerik to head the newly created Department of Homeland Security.

Judging from yesterday's photos, there were more Bush administration crooks and cronies meeting with Giuliani in Gulf Breeze than Florida voters.

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