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"Not in My Best Interest"
on September 26, 2011
Brown was the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the time of Hurricane Katrina. After being blamed by assorted Bush Administration figures for the federal response to the hurricane Brown decided to give his side of the story. He maintains that FEMA has gotten a bum rap and most of the problems were the result of local officials and their failure to order an evacuation until it was too late. Other problems were due to the added layer of bureaucracy due to FEMA being folded into DHS and the different mission FEMA has from the rest of DHS, response rather then prevention. Michael Chertoff gets particular blame, but the President, and others in the Administration get some as well.
An interesting view of the events surrounding Katrina, but more importantly a scathing indictment of politicians in general. Brown rightly points to the idea of NIMBI or "Not in My Best Interest", as the overriding motive behind most politicians from both parties. They are more concerned with scoring political points then in actually doing what is needed. The recent debates regarding the debt ceiling serve to emphasize his points. The book is a little uneven and runs out of steam before the last chapter which feels tacked on, possibly to stretch the length which is only 232 pages including index and documentation.
I received this book from the LT Early Readers program.