Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100
Hurricane Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing with former FEMA Director Michael Brown. 09:35:55 >>> THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. 09:35:57 GOOD MORNING. TODAY IN OUR 18th HEARING ON 09:36:01 HURRICANE KATRINA, THE COMMITTEE WILL EXAMINE HOW THE DEPARTMENT 09:36:04 OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA COORDINATED AND LED THE FEDERAL 09:36:09 PREPARATIONS FORWARD AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 09:36:15 OUR FIRST PANEL THIS MORNING 09:36:17 CONSISTS OF MICHAEL BROWN AND PATRICK RHODI, WHO WERE FEMA'S 09:36:22 DIRECTER AND ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR IN THE DAYS LEADING UP 09:36:26 TO AND FOLLOWING THE STORM. AS KATRINA NEARED THE GULF COAST 09:36:33 MR. BROWN DISPATCHED TO LOUISIANA LEAVING MR. RHODI AS 09:36:38 THE TOP-RANKING OFFICIAL AT FEMA HEADQUARTERS. 09:36:42 TODAY, WE'LL DISCUSS THEIR LEADERSHIP AT THE AGENCY DURING 09:36:46 THIS ENORMOUSLY CHALLENGING PERIOD. 09:36:48 OUR SECOND PANEL CONSISTS OF TWO SENIOR OFFICIALS AT THE 09:36:53 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, ROBERT STEFFIN IS 09:36:59 THE ASSISTANT STRENGTH FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION AND 09:37:04 ONE OF THE CHIEF ARCHITECTS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:37:09 MATTHEW BRODERICK RUNS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND'S 09:37:12 SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER WHICH SERVES AS THE EYES AND EARS OF 09:37:17 TOP DHF OFFICIALS PARTICULARLY DURING TIMES OF CRISIS. 09:37:22 SECRETARY CHERTOFF RELIED HEAVILY ON MR. STEFFIN AND 09:37:27 MR. BRODERICK DURING KATRINA'S AFTERMATH. 09:37:30 WE WILL DISCUSS THEIR ROLES AND THEIR VIEWS OF FEMA FROM THE TOP 09:37:34 OFLE ORGIZATIONAL CHART. OUR PANELS TODAY SEPARATE 09:37:39 WITNESSES FROM A FEDERAL AGENCY, FEMA, FROM THOSE OF ITS PARENT 09:37:44 ORGANIZATION, DHS. THE SEPARATION IS DELIBERATE. 09:37:49 IT REFLECTS, IN PART, THE DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES ON 09:37:54 KATRINA THAT WE HAVE HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM OFFICIALS OF 09:37:58 THE TWO ENTITIES. IT ALSO REFLECTS TENSIONS 09:38:01 BETWEEN THE TWO THAT PREDATE THE STORM, TENSIONSES OVER RESOURCES 09:38:09 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 09:38:12 THIS TENSION IS CLEAR IN MR. BROWN'S RESPONSE WHEN 09:38:16 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATORS ASKED HIM WHY FEMA WAS NOT BETTER 09:38:21 PREPARED FOR KATRINA. MR. BROWN RESPONDED "IT'S -- ITS 09:38:27 MISSION HAD BEEN MARGINALIZED. ITS RESPONSE CAPABILITY HAD BEEN 09:38:32 DIMINISHED. THERE'S THE WHOLE CLASH OF 09:38:35 CULTURES BETWEEN DHS MISSION TO PREVENT TERRORISM AND FEMA'S 09:38:40 MISSION TO RESPOND TO AND TO PREPARE AND RESPOND TO DISASTERS 09:38:45 OF WHATEVER NATURE." BY ALMOST ANY MEASURE, FEMA'S 09:38:51 RESPONSE TO KATRINA HAS TO BE JUDGED A FAILURE. 09:38:56 I MUST SAY THAT I'VE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION WITH A SENSE OF 09:39:00 REMORSE BECAUSE I'VE BEEN STRUCK TLUT THIS INVESTIGATION BY THE 09:39:05 EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF MANY FEMA PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD 09:39:09 AS WELL AS SOME FEMA AND DHS OFFICIALS AT HEADQUARTERS WHO, 09:39:16 LITERALLY, WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO TRY TO HELP BRING 09:39:20 RELIEF TO THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF STATES. 09:39:23 BUT THE RESPONSE WAS RIDDLED WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, POOR 09:39:29 DECISION MAKING, AND FAILED LEADERSHIP. 09:39:34 THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FEMA AND AND, FOR THAT MATTER, THE 09:39:38 DEPARTMENT'S FAILED RESPONSE IS SHARED. 09:39:40 WHILE DHS' PLAYBOOK APPEARS DESIGNED TO DISTANCE THE 09:39:44 DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS AND HEADQUARTERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE 09:39:48 FROM FEMA, THE DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS MUST ANSWER FOR 09:39:52 DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE OVER FAILED TO MAKE THAT CONTRIBUTED 09:39:57 TO THE PROBLEMS. ONE PROBLEM THAT MANIFESTED 09:40:01 ITSELF IN A VARIETY OF WAYS WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S LACK OF 09:40:07 PREPAREDNESS FOR THE KATRINA CATASTROPHE. 09:40:09 INSTEAD OF SPRINGING INTO ACTION OR, BETTER YET, ACTING BEFORE 09:40:15 THE STORM MADE LANDFALL, THE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO HAVE MOVED 09:40:20 HALTINGLY AND, AS A RESULT, KEY DECISIONS WERE EITHER DELAYED OR 09:40:25 MADE BASED ON QUESTIONABLE AND, IN SOME CASES, ERRONEOUS 09:40:30 ASSUMPTIONS. THE DAY AFTER THE STORM, FOR 09:40:34 EXAMPLE, SECRETARY CHERTOFF NAMED MICHAEL BROWN AS THE LEAD 09:40:39 FEDERAL OFFICIAL FOR THE RESPONSE EFFORT. 09:40:41 AT THE SAME TIME, THE SECRETARY DECLARED HURRICANE KATRINA AN 09:40:46 INCIDENT OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, WHICH IS THE 09:40:49 DESIGNATION THAT TRIGGERS THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:40:52 THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, IN TURN, IS THE COMPREHENSIVE 09:40:57 NATIONAL ROADMAP THAT GUIDES THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO KAS TO 09:41:04 TROFS. THE SECRETARY'S ACTION LED MANY 09:41:08 TO THE QUESTION OF WHY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL 09:41:11 DECLARATION HAD NOT BEEN MADE EARLIER. 09:41:13 IN REALITY, THE DECLARATION ITSELF WAS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE, 09:41:17 BY THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, 09:41:20 HURRICANE KATRINA HAD BECOME AN INCIDENT OF NATIONAL 09:41:25 SIGNIFICANCE THREE DAYS EARLIER WHEN THE PRESIDENT DECLARED AN 09:41:31 EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA. THE LACK OF AWARENESS OF THIS 09:41:38 FUNDAMENTAL TENANT OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN RAISES 09:41:42 QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER DHS LEADERSHIP WAS TRULY READY FOR A 09:41:46 TA TAS TROF OF THIS MAGNITUDE. I THINK IT HELPS EXPLAIN THE 09:41:51 DEPARTMENT'S SLOW, SOMETIMES HES LANT RESPONSE TO THE STORM. 09:41:55 SIMILARLY, WE WILL LEARN TODAY THAT FAMOUS LEADERS FAILED TO 09:42:00 TAKE STEP THAT IS THEY KNEW COULD IMPROVE FEMA'S ABILITY TO 09:42:05 RESPOND MORE EFFECTIVELY AND QUICKLY TO A CATASTROPHE. 09:42:08 IN THE YEAR OR SO PRECEDING KATRINA, MR. BROWN WAS PRESENTED 09:42:12 WITH TWO IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS OF FEMA'S 09:42:18 INSTRUCTION TUR AND CAPABILITIES BOTH INCLUDED RECOMMENDATIONS 09:42:22 FOR IMPROVEMENT. THE FIRST WAS A MEMORANDUM BY 09:42:30 OPERATIVES KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS. 09:42:33 AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE MEMO WARNS OF UNPREPARED EMERGENCY 09:42:38 RESPONSE TEAMS THAT HAD NO FUNDING, ZERO FUNDING, FOR 09:42:44 TRAINING EXERCISES OR EQUIPMENT. THE OTHER WAS A STUDY CONDUCTED 09:42:49 BY THE MIDE -- MITER CORPORATION. 09:42:54 THE STUDY COMMISSIONED BY MR. BROWN WAS DESIGNED TO ANSWER 09:42:58 SUCH QUESTIONS AS WHAT'S PREVENTING FEMA FROM RESPONDING 09:43:02 AND RECOVERING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. 09:43:05 THE MITER STUDY IS EARLY PREDICTIVE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS 09:43:11 THAT WOULD PLAGUE THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KA TREE NACHLT THE 09:43:17 STUDY POINTS OUT A LACK OF ADEQUATE AND SITUATIONAL 09:43:21 AWARENESS ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE, A PREDICTION THAT BECAME REALITY 09:43:26 WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESPOND 09:43:30 TO THE LEVEE BREAKS. AND INADEQUATE ABILITY TO 09:43:34 CONTROL INVENTORY AND TRACK ASSETS. 09:43:37 WE SAW THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES NOT 09:43:42 REACHING THE DESTINATION IN TIME. 09:43:45 AND UNDEFINED AND MISUNDERSTOOD STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. 09:43:51 DESPITE THIS STUDY, KEY PROBLEMS WERE SIMPLY NOT RESOLVED AND, AS 09:43:57 A RESULT, OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN FEMA PRIOR TO KATRINA 09:44:01 WERE MISSED. AS THIS COMMITTEE WINDS DOWN ITS 09:44:07 LENGTHY SERIES OF SERIES AND MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS OF 09:44:11 INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PREPAREDNESS FOR AND RESPONSE TO 09:44:16 HURRICANE KATRINA, WE INCREASINGLY REFLECT UPON WHAT 09:44:19 CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE THOUSANDS OF FACTS WE HAVE 09:44:24 GATHERED. ONE THING THAT I HAVE FOUND IS A 09:44:27 STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND 09:44:32 EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ALSO FOUND 09:44:37 THE CONVERSE TO BE TRUE. SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 09:44:42 >> THANKS VERY MUCH, MADAM CHAIRMAN. 09:44:45 THANKS NOT ONLY FOR YOUR EXCELLENT OPEN STATEMENT, THANKS 09:44:48 FOR THE LEADERSHIP YOU HAVE GIVEN THIS INVESTIGATION OVER 09:44:51 FIVE MONTHS AND NOW ALMOST 20 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN MY -- THIS IS 09:44:58 NOW MY 18th YEAR, PRIVILEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES 09:45:03 SENATE. I'VE NOT BEEN IN A MORE THOROUGH 09:45:06 NONPARTISAN AND, I'D SAY, IMPORTANT INVESTIGATION. 09:45:09 I THANK YOU FOR SETTING THE TONE SHOWING THE LEADERSHIP THAT YOU 09:45:15 JUST DESCRIBED IN ANOTHER SENSE. I THINK OUR JOINT STAFF FOR THE 09:45:21 EXTRAORDINARY WORK THEY HAVE DONE INTERVIEWING MORE THAN 200 09:45:24 WITNESSES, COMPILING AND OBTAINING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 09:45:28 OF DOCUMENTS. TODAY AND TUESDAY WE'RE GOING TO 09:45:32 HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF BOTH THE FEDERAL 09:45:38 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND ITS PARENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 09:45:42 OUR HEARINGS ARE NOW REACHING THE CONCLUDING PHASE. 09:45:45 TO DATE, I THINK THESE HEARINGS HAVE SET THE -- THE PREVIOUS 09:45:50 HEARINGS HAVE SET THE STAGE FOR THE PANELS WE'RE GOING TO HEAR 09:45:53 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE'VE BROKEN MUCH NEW GROUND 09:45:56 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE HAVE SOME TOUGH AND IMPORTANT 09:46:01 QUESTIONS TO ASK. IN MY OPINION, OUR INVESTIGATION 09:46:04 HAS SHOWN A GROSS LACK OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION BY BOTH 09:46:07 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA. 09:46:09 AND THAT GUARANTEED THAT THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA OR 09:46:15 FOR THAT MATTER, ANY OTHER CATASTROPHE THAT MIGHT HAVE 09:46:19 HAPPENED WAS DOOMED TO BE UNCOORDINATED, INADEQUATE, AND, 09:46:23 THEREFORE, MORE DAMAGING THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. 09:46:30 WE HAVE HEARD FROM A LARGE NUMBER OF WITNESS WHOSE SPOKE OF 09:46:33 THE FAILURES OF KATRINA. -- WE HAVE HEARD, EVACUATION, 09:46:41 SEARCH AND RESCUE, LAW AND ORDER AND DEPLOYMENT OF ASSETS. 09:46:45 WE HAVE LEARNED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS SIMPLY NOT 09:46:47 PREPARED TO OVERCOME THESE PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES IN THIS 09:46:52 PREDICTABLE AND PREDICTED HURRICANE. 09:46:58 EVEN THOSE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE IT DID NOT MEET THE DESPERATE NEEDS 09:47:02 OF THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. FEMA AND DHS OFFICIAL VERSUS 09:47:06 TOLD US IN INTERVIEWS AND TESTIMONY AND IN EVIDENCE 09:47:09 GATHERED BY OUR STAFF -- I WANT TO READ JUST A FEW OF THOSE THAT 09:47:12 ARE ON THAT CHART. FOR MICHAEL LAUER, FEMA'S 09:47:18 DIRECTOR OF RESPONSE, AUGUST 27 2005 E-MAIL, TWO DAYS BEFORE 09:47:22 KATRINA HIT LANDFALL SAID, AND I QUOTE, IF THIS IS THE NEW 09:47:26 ORLEANS SCENARIO, WHICH WAS THE WAY THEY DESCRIBED THE BIG 09:47:29 HURRICANE ARRIVING, WE ARE ALREADY WAY BEHIND. 09:47:32 FROM SCOTT WELLS OF FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER, "THIS WAS 09:47:38 A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. WE DON'T HAVE THE STRUCTURE. 09:47:41 WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE FOR CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. 09:47:45 IT'S THAT SIMPLE." FROM FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING 09:47:49 OFFICER BIG LOCHI, THE TOP MAN FOR FEMA IN LOUISIANA, 09:47:55 "COMMUNICATIONS AND COORDINATING WAS LACKING, PREPLANNING WAS 09:47:58 LACKING. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS." 09:48:00 FROM FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN WHO WE'LL HEAR 09:48:04 FROM TODAY. WHEN ASKED THE QUESTION BEFORE 09:48:06 KATRINA WAS FEMA READY FOR THIS KIND OF CATASTROPHE, MR. BROWN 09:48:10 SAID, SIMPLY AND DIRECTLY, I DON'T THINK SO. 09:48:14 FINALLY, FROM SECRETARY CHERTOFF WHO WE WILL HEAR FROM TUESDAY, 09:48:18 "I ALWAYS THINK KATRINA TESTED OUR PLANNING AND OUR PLANNING 09:48:22 FELL SHORT." THE FACT IS THAT WHEN DHS, 09:48:26 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAS CREATE INDEED 2002 IN THE 09:48:30 AFTERMATH OF THE TERRORIST AACTS OF 9/11/01. 09:48:35 I SAID, AND I KNOW I SPOKE FOR MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS I HOPED 09:48:40 TO SEE A COORDINATED, CONSOLIDATED AND ACCOUNTABLE 09:48:43 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. IN THIS INVESTIGATION, 09:48:46 UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SEEN SO LITTLE EFFECTIVE COORDINATION 09:48:50 AND CONSOLIDATION THAT WE MUST HOLD THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 09:48:53 SECURITY ACCOUNTABLE AND ASK URGENTLY THAT IT DO A LOT 09:48:58 BETTER. WE HOPE THAT THE DEPARTMENT 09:49:00 WOULD QUICKLY EVOLVE INTO A WORLD CLASS AGENCY THAT HAD THE 09:49:06 PLANNING PERSONNEL AND MATERIALS IN PLACE TO RESPOND SWIFTLY AND 09:49:10 EFFECTIVELY IN A DISASTER, NATURAL OR TERRORIST. 09:49:15 KATRINA SHOWED US THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 09:49:18 HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON ITSELF. 09:49:22 DESPITE AMPLE WARNINGS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS A BOWL COVERED BY 09:49:27 INADEQUATE LEVEE THAT IS WOULD BE OVERTOPPED OR BREACHED IN A 09:49:31 BIG HURRICANE, DES PAT THE SPECIFIC WARNINGS OF THE MOCK 09:49:37 HURRICANE EXERCISE DONE A YEAR BEFORE KATRINA HIT, GOVERNMENT 09:49:42 AT ALL LEVELS WAS UNPREPARED TO PROTECT NEW ORLEANS FROM THE 09:49:46 EXPECTED BIG HURRICANE AND DESPITE THE SPECIFIC MENTIONS OF 09:49:51 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESCUE RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE 09:49:55 NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN OF JANUARY 2005, THE FACT IS WHEN 09:50:01 KATRINA HIT, AMERICA'S GOVERNMENT WAS LARGELY 09:50:05 UNPREPARED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. 09:50:09 NATURE HIT NEW ORLEANS HARD, BUT ALSO GAVE ITS PEOPLE A BREAK BY 09:50:14 HITTING HARDEST 15 MILES TO THE EAST. 09:50:18 BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO EFFECTIVELY EVACUATE THE POOR 09:50:21 AND INFIRMED WHO COULD NOT EVACUATE THEM, IF KATRINA HAD 09:50:25 HIT NEW ORLEANS HEAD-ON, THE DEATH TOLL PROBABLY WOULD HAVE 09:50:29 BEEN IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS AS HURRICANE PAM EXERCISED HAD 09:50:35 PREDICTED. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS 09:50:37 THAT CAME TO PASS. IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE STORM 09:50:39 FEMA FAILED TO PRESTAGE PERSONNEL IN NEW ORLEANS OTHER 09:50:42 THAN A SINGLE PUBLIC AFFAIRS EMPLOYER, MOVED ADEQUATE AMOUNTS 09:50:46 OF FOOD, AND WATER SUPPLIES TO THE SCENE. 09:50:51 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO IMPLEMENT THE 09:50:54 CATASTROPHIC INCIDENT ANNEX TO THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN EARLY 09:50:57 ENOUGH. THAT WOULD HAVE TRIGGERED A MORE 09:50:59 AGGRESSIVE, TIMELY FEDERAL RESPONSE. 09:51:01 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO DEVELOP AN 09:51:04 EFFECTIVE PLAN TO MAIN TAN ACCURATE SITUATION ESTIMATES 09:51:08 THAT THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATION CENTER, WHICH WAS SET 09:51:13 UP TO BE THE NATION'S NERVE CENTER DURING A DISASTER. 09:51:16 THAT FAILURE LED TO THE IGNORING OF REPORTS THAT THE LEVEES WERE 09:51:21 BEING BREACHED AND OVERTOPPED AND THAT THE CITY HAD FLOODED 09:51:24 WITH PEOPLE ALREADY TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND ON ROOFTOPS. 09:51:28 FEMA WAS LATE IN BRINGING IN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS. 09:51:32 THAT PULLED THEM OUT FOR SECURITY REASONS, EVEN THOUGH 09:51:35 OTHER AGENCIES CONTINUED TO STAY AND DO SEARCH AND RESCUE. 09:51:39 DHS FAILED TO TAND UP UNTIL THE DAY AFTER LANDFALL. 09:51:43 THE INTERAGENCY INCIDENT MATH GROUP, THAT SENIOR LEVEL GROUP 09:51:48 CHARGED WITH HELPING TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL RESPONSE 09:51:51 TO A CATASTROPHE THAT WAS REQUIRED ONCE THE PRESIDENT 09:51:57 DECLARED AN EMERGENCY ON SATURDAY MORNING. 09:52:00 YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM GENERAL BENNETT LANDRINOEAU FROM THE 09:52:07 LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD WHO TOLD US THE BUSES PROMISED BY 09:52:10 FEMA BEFORE THE STORM WERE POST LANDFALL EVAC SKPIGS KP 09:52:13 DIFFERENT POINTS ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AFTER THE 09:52:16 STORM DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL THURSDAY. 09:52:18 THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE HUMAN SUFFERING THAT THE 09:52:22 WORLD SAW AT THE SUPER DOME AND THE CONVENTION CENTER. 09:52:26 ALL THOSE MISTAKES MEANT TIME WAS LOST AND LIVES WERE 09:52:30 THREATENED OR LOST. TIME IS, OBVIOUSLY, EVERYTHING 09:52:32 IN A CRISIS LIKE KATRINA. OR, IN GOD FORBID, A TERRORIST 09:52:39 ATTACK. THE NEW ORLEANS SUPERINTENDENT 09:52:43 TOLD US THAT EARLY. HE'S RIGHT. 09:52:44 PEOPLE WERE DROWNING INTO STREETS AND YARDS AND BREAKING 09:52:47 TO THEIR ROOF TOPS STARVING IN ATTICS FEELING THEY WERE 09:52:52 ABANDONED AND LOSING HOPE AS VENTILATERS AND MEDICAL SUPPORT 09:52:56 SYSTEMS FAILED FOR LACK OF POWER. 09:52:57 THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MADE IT TO THE SUPER DOME OR 09:53:01 CONVENTION CENTER. WE ALL SAW THE GRIM PICTURES OF 09:53:05 HUMAN NEGLECT THERE. BECAUSE TIMING AND SITUATIONAL 09:53:09 AWARENESS IS SO CENTRAL TO THE RESPONSE TO EVERY CATASTROPHE, 09:53:13 TODAY'S HEARING IS GOING TO LOOK AT THE MOST -- AT WHAT THE MOST 09:53:16 SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNEW ABOUT THE 09:53:19 FLOODING OF NEW ORLEANSES AND THE BREAKING OF THE LEVEES AND 09:53:23 WHEN THEY KNEW IT. A LITTLE LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER 09:53:27 KATRINA MADE LANDFALL, SECRETARY CHERTOFF SAID, "IT WAS ON 09:53:32 TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEE MAY HAVE BEEN OVERNIGHT MONDAY TO TUESDAY 09:53:37 THAT LEVEE STARTED TO BREAK. IT WAS MIDDAY TUESDAY THAT I 09:53:43 BECAME AWARE OF THE FACT THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF PLUGGING 09:53:46 THE GAP AND ESSENTIALLY THE LAKE WAS GOING TO START TRAINING INTO 09:53:50 THE CITY. I THINK THAT SECOND CATASTROPHE 09:53:53 REALLY CAUGHT EVERYBODY BY SURPRISE." 09:53:58 WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF ABOUT THAT NEXT 09:54:01 TUESDAY. TODAY, WE WILL ASK SOME OF HIS 09:54:03 SENIOR STAFF HOW THE NEWS MEDIA, INCLUDING A NEW ORLEANS RADIO 09:54:10 STATION EARLY MONDAY MORNING, NUMEROUS FEDERAL AGENCIES, THE 09:54:13 AMERICAN RED CROSS COULD BE AWARE OF GROWING AND 09:54:18 CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN NEW ORLEANS ALL DAMON DAY, AUGUST 29 09:54:23 THE DAY OF LANDFALL, WHILE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 09:54:29 ON HOMELAND SECURITY RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER RESPONSE SOMEHOW 09:54:38 DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. WE HAVE QIBT Q WHICH REPORTS 09:54:43 LEVEE BREACHES AND DESPERATE CITIZENS SEEKING REFUGE FROM 09:54:47 RISING FLOOD WATER THAT IS BEGAN COMING IN AS EARLY AS 8:30 A.M. 09:54:52 ON MONDAY, AUGUST 29th. SELECTION OF THEM ARE SHOWN ON 09:54:57 THE BOARDS HERE TO MY LEFT. THEY INCLUDE AT 9:14 A.M. 09:55:02 THE FASHIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A FLASH FLOOD WARNING 09:55:06 REPORTING, "A LEVEE BREACH PROP OCCURRED ALONG THE INDUSTRIAL 09:55:11 CANAL AT TENNESSEE STREET. 3 TO 8 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED 09:55:15 DUE TO THE BREACH." TWO HOURS LATER AT 11:30, THE 09:55:19 WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUE AS REPORT THAT 09:55:23 SAYS IN PART "FLOODING IS SIGNIFICANT THROUGHOUT THE 09:55:26 REGION AND A LEVEE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN BREACHED, 09:55:31 SENDING 6 TO 8 FEET OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE NINTH WARD AIR 09:55:34 WRA OF THE INDUSTRY -- STIT." THE HOMELAND REPORTS THAT RISING 09:55:41 WATER RESIDENTS ARE IN THAT ATTICS AND ROOFS. 09:55:44 THAT'S A QUOTE FROM SECURITY COUNCIL. 09:55:48 AT 8:34 EVENING MONDAY THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REPORTED 09:55:55 FLOODING IN ST. BERNARD PARISH WITH WATER UP TO ROOFS OF HOMES 09:56:00 AND ALL JEFFERSON AND OR LENS PUMPING STATIONSES ARE 09:56:07 INOPERABLE. FINALLY, M ARE THEY BUMUNDI, THE 09:56:14 FEMA EMPLOYEE WHO DIRECTOR BROWN I BELIEVE, DISPATCHED TO NEW 09:56:18 ORLEANS WAS THERE EARLY, TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD TAKEN A 09:56:22 FLILTH ON A COAST GUARD HELICOPTER OVER NEW ORLEANS AT 09:56:27 APPROXIMATELY 6:30 EASTERN. A REPORT FROM 10:30 THAT THERE 09:56:31 IS A QUARTER MILE BREACH IN THE LEVEE NEAR THE 17th STREET CANAL 09:56:38 FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TO FLOW INTO THE CITY. 09:56:42 TWO-THIRDS TO 75% OF THE CITY IS UNDER WATER. 09:56:46 HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED ON THE BALCONIES AND ROOFS OF A 09:56:50 MAJOR APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE CITY. 09:56:53 A FEW BODIES WERE SEEN FLOATING IN THE WATER. 09:56:56 THE COAST GUARD PILOTS REPORTED SEEING BODIES BUT NO DETAILS ON 09:57:01 LOCATIONS. THAT'S THE END OF THE REPORT 09:57:04 FROM MARTY BUMUNDI WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE THAT AFTERNOON. 09:57:13 IT SHOWS A GREAT AMERICAN CITY UNDERWATTER AND STILL SOMEHOW 09:57:16 THE HIGHEST OFFICIALS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 09:57:20 AND PERHAPS AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION AS 09:57:25 MONDAY, AUGUST 29, ENDED THAT THE CITY HAD DODGED A BULLET. 09:57:30 MADAM CHAIRMAN, WE HAVE TO ASK SOME TOUGH QUESTIONS BECAUSE WE 09:57:33 HAVE TO HAVE ANSWER IFS WE'RE TO MAKE THE CHANGES WE WANT TO MAKE 09:57:38 AT DHS. IN THE EARLY AFTERMATH OF THE 09:57:41 HURRICANE KATRINA DEBACKAL, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL 09:57:46 BROWN WAS BLAMED FOR THE INADEQUATE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 09:57:51 RESPONSE. OUR INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS, IN 09:57:53 MY OPINION, IN FACT, THAT MR. BROWN DID NOT DO A LOT OF 09:57:56 WHAT HE SHOULDAVE DONE, BUT HE WAS NOT ALONE. 09:58:03 IN FACT, THERE WAS A MASSIVE FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT AT ALL 09:58:06 LEVELS, AND BY THOSE WHO LEAD IT TO PREPARE AND RESPOND AS THEY 09:58:09 HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO. IN THE CASE OF THE FEDERAL 09:58:13 GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO KATRINA, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS, PROUD 09:58:18 EXCEPTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE U.S. 09:58:21 COAST GUARD, THERE WAS A SHOCKING CONSEQUENTIAL AND 09:58:27 PERVASIVE LACK OF PREPARATION RESPONSE AND LEADERSHIP. 09:58:30 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE PREPARED THIS MORNING TO 09:58:33 ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS FULLY AND TRUTHFULLY. 09:58:36 I APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH. I THANK YOU FOR IT. 09:58:40 IN DOING SO, I BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SERVING THE PUBLIC INTEREST 09:58:44 AND THIS COMMITTEE'S NONPARTISAN INTEREST IN FINDING OUT EXACTLY 09:58:49 WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILED SO BADLY IN ITS 09:58:53 PREPARATIONS AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA SO, TOGETHER, 09:58:59 WE CAN MAKE SURE IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. 09:59:02 KA TREE FA HAS PASSED. THE CLOCK IS RESET AND TICKING 09:59:05 AGAIN. WE KNOW WE WILL HAVE TO RESPOND 09:59:07 TO ANOTHER DISASTER, NATURAL OR 10:00:00 STAFF. I WOULD ASK THAT THE WITNESSES 10:00:02 RISE SO I CAN ADMINISTER THE OATH. 10:00:10 DO YOU SWEAR THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU ARE ABOUT TO GIVE TO THE 10:00:13 COMMITTEE WILL BE THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING 10:00:16 BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP YOU GOD? >> I DO. 10:00:18 >> I DO. >> THANK YOU. 10:00:21 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE SOME BRIEF REMARKS 10:00:24 THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE. >> I DO, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, 10:00:27 THANK YOU. IN 1989 A CONGRESSMAN WROTE A 10:00:31 LETTER TO "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" AND THAT LETTER SAID 10:00:34 THAT THERE IS A FATAL FLAW IF WE SEPARATE PREPAREDNESS FROM 10:00:40 RESPONSE. THAT CONGRESSMAN'S NAME WAS TOM 10:00:44 RIDGE. WE REACHED THAT FATAL FLAW IN 10:00:48 2003 WHEN FEMA WAS FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:00:52 SECURITY. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE COMMITTEE 10:00:53 TO LOOK AT A 1978 STUDY DONE BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR'S 10:00:57 ASSOCIATION IN WHICH -- AND I'LL QUOTE VERY BRIEFLY -- AS 10:01:00 THE TASK OF THE PROJECTS WERE PURSUED, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT 10:01:03 THE MAJOR FINDING OF THIS STUDY IS THAT MANY STATE EMERGENCY 10:01:08 OPERATIONS ARE FRAGMENTED. THIS IS NOT ONLY BECAUSE 10:01:13 UNCOORDINATED FEDERAL PROGRAMS ENCOURAGE STATE FRAGMENTATION, 10:01:16 BUT BECAUSE THE STRONG RELATIONSHIP OF LONG-TERM 10:01:18 RECOVERY AND MITIGATION OF FUTURE DISASTERS MUST BE TIED 10:01:21 TO PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR MORE IMMEDIATE DISASTERS, 10:01:25 AND THAT IS NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATELY UNDERSTOOD. 10:01:29 MADAM CHAIRMAN, I TELL YOU THAT WHAT OCCURRED AFTER FEMA WAS 10:01:33 FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THERE WAS A 10:01:36 CULTURAL CLASH WHICH DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE ABSOLUTE INHERENT 10:01:45 SCIENCE OF PREPARING FOR DISASTER, RESPONDING TO IT, 10:01:49 MITIGATING AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS AND RECOVERING FROM 10:01:52 DISASTERS. AND ANY TIME THAT YOU BREAK 10:01:55 THAT CYCLE OF PREPARING, RESPONDING, RECOVERING AND 10:01:58 MITIGATING, YOU'RE DOOMED TO FAILURE. 10:02:01 AND THE POLICIES AND THE DECISIONS THAT WERE IMPLEMENTED 10:02:04 BY DHS PUT FEMA ON A PATH TO FAILURE. 10:02:07 AND I THINK THE EVIDENCE THAT WE'LL HAVE BEFORE YOU TODAY 10:02:11 WILL SHOW THE ACTIONS THAT WERE TAKEN THAT CAUSED THAT FAILURE. 10:02:16 AND I BEG THIS COMMITTEE TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION TO FIX 10:02:20 THAT SO THESE DISASTERS DON'T OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. 10:02:24 THANK YOU. >> MR. RHODE. 10:02:27 >> GOOD MORNING, MADAM CHAIRMAN, SENATOR LIEBERMAN, 10:02:31 SENATORS. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE JUST A 10:02:33 VERY BRIEF OPENING STATEMENT, IF I COULD. 10:02:35 MY NAME IS PATRICK RHODE. I SERVE AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF 10:02:38 THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, PART OF THE 10:02:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FROM APRIL 2003 UNTIL JANUARY 10:02:44 OF 2006. I SERVED UNDER BOTH FORMER 10:02:47 DIRECTOR BROWN AND THE CURRENT ACTING DIRECTOR. 10:02:52 I'M HAPPY TO BE APPEARING BEFORE YOU TODAY VOLUNTARILY AS 10:02:55 YOU CONTINUE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN REVIEWING THE 10:02:58 COLLECTIVE GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 10:03:00 AND ASSESSING POSSIBLE CHANGES IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. 10:03:03 AT THE OUTSET I WOULD LIKE TO OBSERVE, IF I COULD, THAT 10:03:07 HURRICANE KATRINA WAS A TRULY CATASTROPHIC EVENT. 10:03:11 IT WAS AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY ON NUMEROUS LEVELS. 10:03:13 THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER WAS UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAD 10:03:17 PREVIOUSLY FACED AS A NATION. THE STORM COMPROMISED 90,000 10:03:23 SQUARE MILES OF THE GULF COAST, AN AREA ALMOST THE SIZE OF 10:03:27 GREAT BRITAIN. ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL OF 10:03:29 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IT WAS UNPRECEDENTED. 10:03:31 ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL, MY HEART WENT OUT TO THOSE WHO WERE 10:03:35 SUFFERING, AND INDEED, MY HEART STILL GOES OUT TO THOSE WHO 10:03:38 CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA. 10:03:41 MANY PEOPLE IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY, INCLUDING 10:03:44 MYSELF, TRIED TO DO THE VERY BEST THEY COULD UNDER VERY 10:03:48 DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. THE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS 10:03:50 WORKING ON THIS ISSUE AT THE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL 10:03:54 WERE DOING THEIR VERY BEST TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY 10:03:57 COULD UNDER THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY 10:04:01 MANAGEMENT. AS IN ALL THINGS THERE ARE 10:04:03 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. 10:04:05 I HOPE THAT THESE HEARINGS WILL PRODUCE JUST SUCH LEARNING AND 10:04:09 LEAD TO THE CREATION OF NEW LEGISLATION THAT CAN IMPROVE ON 10:04:12 THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT. 10:04:14 IF WE CAN APPLY THOSE LESSONS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE 10:04:16 NEXT EMERGENCY SITUATION, I WANT TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO 10:04:20 CONTRIBUTE APPROPRIATELY TO THAT EFFORT. 10:04:22 AS YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO APPEARING HERE TODAY 10:04:25 VOLUNTARILY, I HAVE FULLY COOPERATED WITH YOUR STAFFS BY 10:04:28 PARTICIPATING WILLINGLY IN SEVERAL INTERVIEWS WITH THEM. 10:04:31 IN ADDITION, I WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY TO NOTE THAT ANY 10:04:33 STATEMENTS I OFFER TODAY IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW 10:04:36 TO IMPROVE THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ARE THE 10:04:39 OPINIONS OF ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:04:41 AS I SIT BEFORE YOU TODAY I AM NO LONGER A GOVERNMENT 10:04:45 EMPLOYEE, BUT HAVE RETURNED TO PRIVATE LIFE WITH MY WIFE AND 10:04:48 6-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER. I DO NOT AND CANNOT SPEAK FOR 10:04:51 FEMA. ANYTHING I HAVE TO OFFER IS MY 10:04:54 OWN PERSONAL OPINION, FOR WHATEVER THE COMMITTEE MAY DEEM 10:04:56 IT TO BE WORTH. AND I WANT TO TAKE CARE TO BE 10:04:59 CLEAR THAT IT DOES NOT REFLECT THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF THE 10:05:03 AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 10:05:04 I APPLAUD THE COMMITTEE FOR TAKING ON THESE CHALLENGES AND 10:05:08 WHAT CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE TO THE COUNTRY'S EMERGENCY 10:05:11 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. I AM HOPEFUL THAT TOGETHER WE 10:05:13 CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENHANCEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS THAT BEST 10:05:16 ASSIST DISASTER VICTIMS IN THE FUTURE. 10:05:18 WITH THAT, I WELCOME ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MAY 10:05:20 HAVE. >> THANK YOU, MR. RHODE. 10:05:24 MR. BROWN, IN MY OPENING STATEMENT I MENTIONED A STUDY 10:05:30 THAT YOU COMMISSIONED FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:05:38 IT'S UNDER EXHIBIT 2 IN THE EXHIBIT BOOK. 10:05:41 MITER CORPORATION GAVE YOU ITS FINDINGS ON MARCH 2005, AND I'D 10:05:47 LIKE TO READ SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF THIS CONSULTANT. 10:05:53 "UNCLEAR LINES OF RESPONSIBILITY LEAD TO 10:05:56 INCONSISTENT ACCOUNTABILITY. THERE IS NO DEPUTY TO YOU WITH 10:06:02 OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND THERE ARE TOO MANY POLITICAL 10:06:05 APPOINTEES, NOT ENOUGH SENIOR MANAGEMENT EMERGENCY EXPERTS, 10:06:10 LACK OF ADEQUATE AND CONSISTENT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ACROSS 10:06:14 THE ENTERPRISE." I ALSO MENTIONED THAT EARLIER 10:06:20 IN 2004 THAT A GROUP OF SENIOR FEMA OPERATIONAL PROFESSIONALS, 10:06:26 THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS CADRE WROTE TO YOU A 10:06:32 MEMO OUTLINING THEIR GRAVE CONCERNS. 10:06:35 THE MEMO CAUTIONS OF UNPREPARED TEAMS AND ZERO FUNDING FOR 10:06:44 TRAINING, EXERCISES AND TEAM EQUIPMENT. 10:06:46 IT HAS SUGGESTED RE-ESTABLISHING A SINGLE 10:06:49 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY DIVISION AT FEMA TO FACILITATE THE 10:06:53 REFOCUSING THAT IS NECESSARY TO REGAIN SOME OF THE EFFICIENCY 10:06:59 THAT HAS BEEN LOST AT FEMA. WE'VE RECEIVED TESTIMONY THAT 10:07:05 IN RESPONSE TO BOTH OF THESE WARNINGS, WHICH WERE VERY 10:07:10 EXPLICIT IN IDENTIFYING SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITHIN PEOPLE, THAT 10:07:14 YOU DID NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. MY FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS 10:07:19 WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN RESPONSE TO THE WARNINGS FROM 10:07:23 THE SENIOR CAREER PEOPLE AND THE OUTSIDE CONSULTANT. 10:07:29 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, THE FIRST THING THE COMMITTEE NEEDS TO 10:07:32 UNDERSTAND IS THAT I INDEED DID COMMISSION THOSE STUDIES. 10:07:35 IN FACT, I ASKED FOR BOTH OF THOSE DOCUMENTS FROM THE 10:07:39 F.C.O.'S AND FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:07:41 WE HAD TO LITERALLY GO SCRAPE TOGETHER THE MONEY JUST TO GET 10:07:43 THE OFFICIAL WORK DONE BY MITER. 10:07:46 BUT I HAD COME TO THIS CLSH -- AFTER THREE YEARS OF FINDING 10:07:51 THE ARTICLES YOU SEE IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" ABOUT MY 10:07:54 ATTEMPTS TO TRY TO GET THE FEMA MISSION PUT BACK ON TRACK AND 10:07:58 HOW THAT WAS REBUFFED CONSISTENTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT 10:08:01 OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THAT I REACHED THIS CLSH. 10:08:05 THAT IN ORDER FOR FEMA TO WORK EFFECTIVELY I D TO HAVE 10:08:08 SOMETHING THAT WOULD GIVE A ROAD MAP TO EITHER FUTURE FEMA 10:08:11 DIRECTORS, BECAUSE I WAS INTENDING TO LEAVE, AND/OR TO 10:08:15 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OTHER THAN ME SAYING 10:08:17 IT THAT WOULD POINT OUT THESE PROBLEMS. 10:08:21 AS I SAID, WE HAD TO FIGHT TO GET THE MONEY JUST TO DO THE 10:08:25 MITER STUDY. ONCE WE RECEIVED THE MITER 10:08:27 STUDY WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO 10:08:30 COMPLETE THAT, GET THAT INTO A DOCUMENT THAT WOULD SAY HERE'S 10:08:34 WHAT WE NEED TO DO, A, B, C, SO I COULD PRESENT THAT TO 10:08:38 SECRETARY RINL AND THEN SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO IMPLEMENT 10:08:43 THOSE. WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE MONEY, 10:08:44 NEVER GIVEN THE RESOURCES, WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE 10:08:48 OPPORTUNITY TO IMPLEMENT ANY OF THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS. 10:08:50 >> SO YOU'RE TESTIFYING THAT YOU WERE REBUFFED IN YOUR 10:08:55 EFFORTS TO REMEDY THEE PROBLEMS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:08:59 SECURITY. DID YOU EVER DISCUSS THESE 10:09:03 CONCERNS ABOUT BUDGET, AUTHORITY, ORGANIZATION, 10:09:07 PERSONNEL WITH INDIVIDUALS AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:09:11 >> YES, MA'AM, I DID. >> AND WITH WHOM DID YOU 10:09:15 DISCUSS THOSE CONCERNS? >> I DISCUSSED THOSE CONCERNS 10:09:20 WITH SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SENIOR STAFF. 10:09:24 >> AND WOULD YOU IDENTIFY WITH WHOM YOU DISCUSSED THOSE 10:09:28 CONCERNS. >> BEFORE I DO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:09:31 MAY I JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENTS AND ASK FOR THE COMMITTEE'S 10:09:35 RECOMMENDATION? >> CERTAINLY. 10:09:38 >> ON FEBRUARY 6, 2006, MY COUNSEL SAID TO HARRIET MIERS 10:09:47 -- SENT TO HARRIET MIERS, COUNSEL FOR THE PRESIDENT, A 10:09:53 LETTER ASKING FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT I SHOULD DO IF THIS KIND 10:09:56 OF QUESTION IS POSED TO ME BY THE COMMITTEE. 10:09:59 LIKE PATRICK, I'M A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:10:01 THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN 10:10:04 WHICH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HIS 10:10:06 SENIOR VISORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY OR 10:10:13 DISCUSSION. IT'S MY BELIEF, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:10:16 THAT I DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:18 THAT I CANNOT INVOKE THAT. YET, I UNDERSTAND THAT 10:10:21 PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, THE EXECUTIVE, IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:27 OF GOVERNMENT AND THAT RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE RESIDES WITH THE 10:10:35 PRESIDENT. I AM HERE TO TRUTHFULLY AND 10:10:37 HONESTLY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK. 10:10:41 SO IN RESPONSE TO THE LETTER WHICH DID NOT -- AND I WANT TO 10:10:43 MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE LETTER DID NOT REQUEST THAT 10:10:45 I BE GRANTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:48 THE LETTER REQUESTED GUIDANCE ON WHAT THE OTHER EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:52 OF GOVERNMENT WANTED ME TO SAY OR NOT SAY WHEN THESE KINDS OF 10:10:57 QUESTIONS WERE POSED. SO DESPITE REPORTS IN THE PRESS 10:11:00 TO THE CONTRARY, THE LETTER SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. 10:11:03 IT DID NOT REQUEST EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, BUT GUIDANCE. 10:11:08 I RECEIVED THAT GUIDANCE BY LETTER, AGAIN, TO COUNSEL TO 10:11:12 MR. LESTER FROM WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL HARRIET MIERS IN A 10:11:17 LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2006. AND I'LL JUST READ YOU THE LAST 10:11:21 PARAGRAPH. "THE PRESIDENT'S VIEWS 10:11:23 REGARDING THESE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTERESTS HAVE NOT 10:11:27 CHANGED. I APPRECIATE THAT YOUR CLIENT 10:11:29 IS SENSITIVE TO THE INTERESTS IMPLICATED BY POTENTIAL 10:11:33 DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO WHICH HE WAS 10:11:36 A PARTY AS A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN THE ADMINISTRATION, AS 10:11:40 REFLECTED IN HIS RECENT RESPONSES TO CONGRESSIONAL 10:11:42 COMMITTEES AND THEIR STAFFS AND REQUEST THAT HE OBSERVE HIS 10:11:46 PAST PRACTICES WITH RESPECT TO THOSE COMMUNICATIONS." 10:11:52 IN MY OPINION, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:11:55 ANSWER OUR REQUEST FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT IS TO BE 10:11:58 DONE. SO I AM HERE AS A PRIVATE 10:12:01 CITIZEN STUCK BETWEEN TWO EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, ONE 10:12:05 WHICH IS REQUESTING THATE'RE NOT GOING TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE 10:12:09 PRIVILEGE, BUT THAT I RESPECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE 10:12:14 CONCEPT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND ON THE OTHER HAND APPEARING 10:12:18 BEFORE YOU AS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, UNDER OATH, 10:12:21 SWORN TO TELL THE TRUTH, WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM EITHER 10:12:25 ONE. SO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, I WOULD ASK 10:12:27 YOU FOR GUIDANCE IN WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE MICHAEL BROWN, 10:12:31 PRIVATE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, TO DO IN THIS REGARD. 10:12:34 >> DOES THE LETTER THAT YOU HAVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE 10:12:39 COUNSEL DIRECT YOU TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH 10:12:44 RESPECT TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION 10:12:49 OFFICIALS? >> IT DOES NOT, AND NOR DO I 10:12:51 BELIEVE THAT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSERT THAT PRIVILEGE ON 10:12:53 BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT. I AM A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:12:57 >> HAS THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL ORALLY DIRECTED YOU TO ASSERT 10:13:04 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO THOSE CONVERSATIONS 10:13:07 YOU'VE HAD WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS? 10:13:10 >> THEY HAVE NOT TO ME, AND TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY 10:13:13 HAVE NOT DIRECTED THAT TO MY COUNSEL EITHER. 10:13:16 THAT'S CORRECT. >> THESE CONVERSATIONS CLEARLY 10:13:24 COULD BE SUBJECT TO AN ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE 10:13:28 PRIVILEGE. IN FACT, IF SUCH A PRIVILEGE 10:13:30 WERE TO BE ASSERTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE, I WOULD, IN ALL 10:13:36 LIKELIHOOD, RULE THAT THE PRIVILEGE APPLIED TO THOSE 10:13:41 CONVERSATIONS, AND I WOULD INSTRUCT YOU NOT TO ANSWER THE 10:13:45 QUESTIONS SO THAT WE COULD FURTHER EXPLORE THE PRIVILEGES 10:13:52 ISSUE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. HOWEVER IN, THE CASE OF 10:13:55 CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORS, THE 10:14:01 PRIVILEGE IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO ASSERT, NOT THE 10:14:05 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TESTIFIED 10:14:09 THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE HAS CHOSEN NOT TO ASSERT 10:14:14 THIS PRIVILEGE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR YOU TO DECLINE TO 10:14:19 ANSWER THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH PRESIDENTIAL 10:14:25 ADVISORS. SO I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO 10:14:28 RESPOND TO THE QUESTION. >> MADAM CHAIRMAN. 10:14:32 >> SENATOR STEVENS. >> HAS ANYONE CONTACTED THE 10:14:36 STAFF OR YOURSELF FROM THE WHITE HOUSE REQUESTING THAT 10:14:39 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BE RECOGNIZED IN THIS AREA? 10:14:41 >> YES. I HAD A LENGTHY DISCUSSION LAST 10:14:44 NIGHT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL IN WHICH I ADVISED HER 10:14:49 TO EITHER SEND MR. BROWN A CLEAR LETTER ASSERTING 10:14:55 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OR TO SEND IT TO THIS COMMITTEE, OR TO 10:15:00 HAVE A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE PRESENT 10:15:04 TODAY TO OBJECT TO QUESTIONS, AND MS. MEIERS DECLINED TO DO 10:15:12 EITHER. >> I WANT TO SAY FOR THE RECORD 10:15:14 AS A FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, I 10:15:17 BELIEVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE 10:15:20 COUNTRY AND IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, IF THIS WITNESS TESTIFIES 10:15:25 AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION, THAT THEN WE'RE FACED 10:15:28 WITH A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS TO SEND 10:15:33 SOMEONE DOWN TO CHALLENGE THE STATEMENT THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. 10:15:38 IT'S VERY DIFFICULT GROUND WE'RE ON. 10:15:39 I DON'T KNOW WHERE MR. BROWN IS GOING. 10:15:41 BUT IT DOES WORRY ME THAT THERE IS A LEGITIMATE BASIS FOR 10:15:45 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF THEY HAVE NOT ASSERTED IT TO 10:15:47 YOU, THEN THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. >> THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. 10:15:56 AND I INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROVIDE ME WITH THAT 10:16:01 ASSERTION LAST NIGHT. THEY DECLINED TO DO SO. 10:16:05 INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY PRESENT TO MAKE THE 10:16:09 ASSERTION. I HAVE REVIEWED THE LETTER, AND 10:16:10 WE WILL PUT BOTH THE LETTER FROM MR. BROWN'S LAWYER AND MS. 10:16:17 MEIERS' RESPONSE INTO THE RECORD, AND THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:16:22 ASSERT THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >> IS WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL 10:16:28 PRESENT? >> THERE IS NOT A WHITE HOUSE 10:16:32 COUNSEL PRESENT THAT I AM AWARE OF. 10:16:35 I SUSPECT THERE ARE WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS HERE, HOWEVER. 10:16:40 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN -- >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 10:16:43 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, IF I MAY, FIRST, I WANT TO TELL YOU I 10:16:47 BOTH APPRECIATE AND SUPPORT YOUR RULING IN THE CONTEXT OF 10:16:52 -- EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD BEEN ASSERTED, WE ARE A 10:16:57 CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND IN THIS CASE WE ARE DOING 10:16:59 AN INVESTIGATION ON A TOTALLY NONPARTISAN BASIS THAT GOES TO 10:17:03 THE HEART OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. 10:17:07 SO WE HAVE AN INTEREST IN OBTAINING THE TRUTH. 10:17:09 WE'RE NOT OUT TO GET ANYBODY. WE'RE OUT TO GET THE TRUTH. 10:17:13 BUT -- THAT WOULD BE MY OPINION EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD 10:17:18 BEEN ASSERTED. BUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAS NOT 10:17:22 BEEN ASSERTED, AND, THEREFORE, I THINK THE PRIVILEGE AND 10:17:26 RESPONSIBILITY, LET ALONE THE RIGHT OF CONGRESS AS 10:17:29 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO GET THE WHOLE TRUTH 10:17:36 ABOUT KATRINA REALLY IS THE PRIORITY VALUE THAT WE HAVE TO 10:17:40 HONOR. AND I THANK YOU, MADAM 10:17:42 CHAIRMAN, FOR DOING EXACTLY THAT IN YOUR RULING. 10:17:47 >> MR. BROWN, I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. 10:17:51 AND I AM GOING TO RECLAIM THE TIME THAT I HAD BEFORE WE HEAD 10:17:58 TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE. >> CHAIRMAN COLLINS, I'M HAPPY 10:18:02 TO ANSWER BOTH QUESTIONS. COULD YOU RESTATE THE QUESTION? 10:18:10 >> I ASKED YOU WITH WHOM YOU TALKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT 10:18:14 THE BUDGET, AUTHORITY AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS THAT YOU 10:18:18 PERCEIVED WERE HINDERING YOUR ABILITY TO CARRY OUT YOUR 10:18:21 MISSION. >> AT VARIOUS TIMES I HAD 10:18:23 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, JOSH 10:18:27 BOLTEN, BEFORE HE MOVED OVER TO O.M.B. AND I HAD NUMEROUS 10:18:31 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF JOE HAGGAN 10:18:34 AND OCCASIONALLY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIEF STAFF ANDY CARD. 10:18:40 I'VE ALSO HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH BOTH FORMER WHITE HOUSE 10:18:45 HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, GENERAL JOHN GORDON, AND WITH 10:18:48 CURRENT HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, FRAN TOWNSEND. 10:18:53 >> THANK YOU. MR. BROWN, EXHIBIT 6 IS A 10:18:56 SERIES OF EMAILS ABOUT CONDITIONS IN NEW ORLEANS ON 10:19:02 MONDAY MORNING. WE KNOW FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE 10:19:06 THIS COMMITTEE THAT MARTY OF FEMA SAW -- FIRST RECEIVED A 10:19:15 REPORT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING ON MONDAY MORNING AT ABOUT 10:19:19 11:00. HE LATER IN THE DAY OVERFLEW 10:19:21 THE AREA AND SAW IT FIRSTHAND. THE EMAILS ALSO TOOK ABOUT -- 10:19:27 TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS IN THE CITY. 10:19:30 BY 10:00 ON THAT MONDAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, YOU HAD 10:19:36 RECEIVED A REPORT FROM HIM THAT THERE WAS ALREADY SEVERE 10:19:43 FLOODING IN THE AREA. THE WATER LEVEL WAS, QUOTE, UP 10:19:46 TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE TWO-STORY HOUSES, THAT PEOPLE 10:19:49 WERE TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND THAT THE PUMPS FOR THE LEVEES WERE 10:19:55 STARTING TO FAIL. WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN 10:20:00 RESPONSE TO THAT INFORMATION AND TO PASS THAT INFORMATION 10:20:06 ALONG TO THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY? 10:20:12 >> TWO THINGS, CHAIRMAN COLLINS. 10:20:13 THE FIRST AND FOREMOST I ALERTED HEADQUARTERS AS TO 10:20:16 THOSE REPORTS AND ASKED THEM TO GET IN CONTACT WITH MARTY TO 10:20:20 CONFIRM THOSE REPORTS. AND I ALSO PUT A CALL IN AND 10:20:24 SPOKE TO -- I BELIEVE IT WAS DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF HAGGAN ON 10:20:32 AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS ON THAT DAY TO INFORM HIM OF WHAT WAS 10:20:36 GOING ON. >> WAS THERE ANYONE ELSE THAT 10:20:37 YOU CALLED AT THE WHITE HOUSE TO INFORM THEM OF THESE 10:20:41 DEVELOPMENTS? >> IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EITHER 10:20:44 ANDY CARD OR JOE HAGGAN. >> DHS OFFICIALS TELL US 10:20:48 THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW OF THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:20:53 NEW ORLEANS UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING. 10:20:57 THAT'S ALMOST 24 HOURS AFTER YOU RECEIVED THE INFORMATION 10:21:01 THAT I REFERRED TO ABOUT THE SEVERE FLOODING IN NEW ORLEANS. 10:21:07 THEY ALSO ASSERT THAT THEY BELIEVE YOU FAILED TO MAKE SURE 10:21:11 THAT THEY WERE GETTING THIS VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION. 10:21:19 I'D LIKE YOU TO RESPOND TO THAT CRITICISM. 10:21:22 >> FIRST AND FOREMOST I FIND IT A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS THAT 10:21:26 DHS WERE CLAIMING THAT THEY WERE NOT GETTING THAT 10:21:29 INFORMATION, BECAUSE FEMA HELD CONTINUOUS VIDEO TELEPHONE 10:21:33 CONFERENCES -- I'LL REFER TO THEM AS VTCS -- IN WHICH AT 10:21:37 LEAST ONCE A DAY, IF NOT SEVERAL TIMES A DAY WE WOULD BE 10:21:40 ON CONFERENCE CALLS AND VIDEO CALLS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT 10:21:43 EVERYONE HAD SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:21:45 NOW, I'M SITTING IN BATON ROUGE, SO I'M NOT SURE AT ALL 10:21:49 TIMES WHO IS IN THE VIDEO CONFERENCE, ON THE V.T.C. 10:21:52 BUT THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AT LEAST 10:21:55 DEPUTY SECRETARY JACKSON AND AT LEAST MATTHEW BRODERICK, BOB 10:22:00 STEPHAN, SOMEONE FROM THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS 10:22:04 CENTER, IS IN ON THOSE CONVERSATIONS ON THOSE 10:22:06 VTCS. SO FOR THEM TO NOW CLAIM THAT 10:22:09 WE DIDN'T HAVE AWARENESS OF IT I THINK IS JUST BALONEY. 10:22:12 THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD AWARENESS OF IT BECAUSE THEY WERE 10:22:15 RECEIVING THE SAME INFORMATION THAT WE WERE. 10:22:16 IT'S ALSO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT MR. RHODE OR SOMEONE ELSE ON 10:22:24 HIS BEHALF SENT AN EMAIL EITHER DIRECTLY TO THE DHS CHIEF OF 10:22:28 STAFF OR PERHAPS TO THE HSOT. BUT MUCH LIKE I HAD OPERATED 10:22:37 SUCCESSFULLY IN FLORIDA, MY ONLY GATION WAS TO THE WHITE 10:22:42 HOUSE AND TO -- OBLIGATION WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TO THE 10:22:44 PRESIDENT TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE SITUATION 10:22:46 WAS, AND I DID THAT. AND THE VTCS WERE THE 10:22:52 OPERATIONAL CONSTRUCT BY WHICH DHS WOULD GET THAT 10:22:54 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. THEY WOULD GET THAT THROUGH 10:22:56 THOSE VTCS. >> MR. RHODE, WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:00 WHEN THE LEVEES HAD BROKEN ON MONDAY MORNING AND WHAT DID YOU 10:23:05 DO WITH THE INFORMATION? FIRST, WHEN WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:09 THE PROBLEMS OF FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING? 10:23:13 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, I BELIEVE THAT I FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE 10:23:16 ISSUES WITH THE LEVEE, AT LEAST PARTIAL INFORMATION, DURING THE 10:23:19 EARLY HOURS OF MONDAY MORNING, OR MID MORNING, I WANT TO SAY, 10:23:23 SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 9:00, 10:00 OR SO. 10:23:26 I BELIEVE THAT I CAME ACROSS AN EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO ME THAT 10:23:31 SUESTED THAT PERHAPS THERE WAS A LEVEE BREACH. 10:23:33 I DON'T THINK THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT. 10:23:36 AND I ENDEAVORED TO, AS WAS ALWAYS MY PRACTICE, WHENEVER 10:23:40 SOMEONE WAS SENDING ME OPERATIONAL INFORMATION, I 10:23:42 TRIED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT INFORMATION MADE IT DIRECTLY TO 10:23:44 THE OPERATORS. OUR PROTOCOL WITHIN FEMA WAS TO 10:23:48 MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM D ANY SORT OF SITUATIONAL 10:23:51 INFORMATION. AGAIN, MY ROLE IS IN 10:23:54 WASHINGTON, DC I WAS NOT IN LOUISIANA. 10:23:55 BUT AS THAT INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE AND AS I BECAME AWARE 10:23:59 OF IT, I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM HAD IT 10:24:02 WITHIN WASHINGTON SO THAT IT COULD THEN BE TRANSMITTED TO 10:24:05 THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER. 10:24:07 AS THERE WERE MANY SITUATIONAL REPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, THROUGHOUT 10:24:09 THE DAY. >> BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I'M 10:24:13 ASKING YOU. YOU WERE IN WASHINGTON -- 10:24:16 >> YES, MA'AM. >> -- YOU ARE NOW THE TOP FEMA 10:24:20 OFFICIAL. DID YOU TAKE ANY STEPS TONE 10:24:22 SURE THAT SECRETARY CHERTOFF WAS AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION? 10:24:27 >> WAS THE INFORMATION BECAME MORE AND MORE APPARENT, MARTY 10:24:32 ON MONDAY LATER THAT DAY HELPED ORCHESTRATE A CONFERENCE CALL 10:24:35 THAT I PARTICIPATED IN, AND AT THE CONCLUSION OF THAT 10:24:38 CONFERENCE CALL I SENT A LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OR SENT AN 10:24:41 EMAIL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN ADDITION 10:24:44 TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS OPERATIONAL PEOPLE THAT WERE 10:24:48 ALSO ON THAT CALL TO MAKE SURE THE HOMELAND SECURITY 10:24:52 OPERATIONS CENTER HAD THAT INFORMATION. 10:24:54 >> MR. BROWN, IT ISN'T ONLY DHS OFFICIALS WHO SAY THAT 10:24:58 THEY WERE UNAWARE UNTIL TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEES HAD COLLAPSED. 10:25:03 I'VE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT EXACT SAME THING BY ADMIRAL TIMOTHY 10:25:11 KEATON, THE HEAD OF NORTHERN COMMAND, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 10:25:17 HOMELAND DEFENSE FOR DOD. HE, IN AN INTERVIEW, TOLD ME 10:25:20 THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING THAT THE LEVEES 10:25:25 HAD BREACHED AND THAT THE CITIES HAD FLOODED. 10:25:30 WAS THERE ANY COMMUNICATION FROM YOU OR DID YOU TAKE ANY 10:25:33 STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NORTHERN COMMAND WAS INFORMED OF THIS 10:25:39 CATASTROPHIC DEVELOPMENT? >> I WOULD HAVE NOT AT THAT 10:25:42 POINT HAVE CALLED ADMIRAL KEATING DIRECTLY. 10:25:46 BUT THROUGH THE FEMA OPERATIONS CENTER THERE IS A MILITARY 10:25:50 LIAISON THERE, SO THEY WOULD HAVE HAD THAT SAME OPERATIONAL 10:25:53 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO PASS BACK UP THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:25:57 SO ADMIRAL KEATING OR SECRETARY RUMSFELD OR ANY OF THOSE COULD 10:26:00 HAVE HAD THAT SAME SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:26:02 >> WHAT IS SO TROUBLING IS WE HAVE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN 10:26:08 FROM TOP DHS OFFICIALS, FROM TOP DOD. OFFICIALS, FROM THE 10:26:14 LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY WERE 10:26:19 SIMPLY UNAWARE OF HOW CATASTROPHIC THE HURRICANE'S 10:26:25 IMPACT HAD BEEN BECAUSE OF THE BREACHING OF THE LEVEE. 10:26:32 CAN YOU HELP US UNDERSTAND THIS ENORMOUS DISCONNECT BETWEEN 10:26:35 WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND, A CITY 80% FLOODED, 10:26:43 UNCONTROLLED LEVEES, PEOPLE DYING, PEOPLE -- THOUSANDS OF 10:26:47 PEOPLE WAITING TO BE RESCUED, AND THE OFFICIAL REACTION AMONG 10:26:54 MANY OF THE KEY LEADERS IN WASHINGTON AND IN NORTHERN 10:26:59 COMMAND THAT SOMEHOW NEW ORLEANS HAD DODGED THE BULLET? 10:27:05 >> CHAIRMAN COL LOANS, THERE IS -- CHAIRMAN COLLINS, LET ME 10:27:11 FRAME THE ANSWER A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY. 10:27:14 IT'S MY BELIEF THAT HAD THERE BEEN A REPORT COME OUT FROM 10:27:18 MARTY THAT SAID, YES, WE'VE CONFIRMED THAT A TERRORIST HAS 10:27:22 BLOWN UP THE 17TH STREET CANAL LEVEE, THEN EVERYBODY WOULD 10:27:28 HAVE JUMPED ALL OVER THAT AND BEEN TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING 10:27:34 THEY COULD. BUT BECAUSE THIS WAS A NATURAL 10:27:37 DISASTER, THAT HAS BECOME THE STEP CHILEDE WITHIN THE 10:27:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 10:27:42 AND SO YOU NOW HAVE THESE TWO SYSTEMS OPERATION, ONE WHICH 10:27:46 CARES ABOUT TERRORISM, AND FEMA AND OUR STATE AND LOCAL 10:27:49 PARTNERS, WHO ARE TRYING TO APPROACH EVERYTHING FROM ALL 10:27:52 HAZARDS. AND SO THERE'S THIS DISCONNECT 10:27:54 THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT WE'VE CREATED BECAUSE OF 10:27:57 DHS ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TO 10:28:02 LISTEN TO THOSE VTCS AND PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE 10:28:06 VTCS, AND THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON. 10:28:08 AND IN FACT, I EMAILED A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL THAT EVENING 10:28:14 ABOUT HOW BAD IT WAS, MAKING SURE THAT THEY KNEW, AGAIN, HOW 10:28:17 BAD THAT IT WAS, IDENTIFYING THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE 10:28:21 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND HOUSING PROBLEMS AND ALL OF 10:28:23 THOSE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. SO IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT 10:28:29 DHS OFFICIALS WOULD SAY, WELL, WE WEREN'T AWARE. 10:28:32 THEY'RE OFF DOING OTHER THINGS. IT'S A NATURAL DISASTER SO 10:28:35 WE'RE JUST GOING TO ALLOW FEMA TO DO ALL OF THAT. 10:28:38 THAT HAD BECOME THE MENTALITY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 10:28:40 >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. >> THANKS, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:28:45 THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION. MR. BROWN, WE'LL GET BACK TO 10:28:49 THOSE COMMENTS. OBVIOUSLY OUR HOPE WAS THAT THE 10:28:51 DEPARTMENT WOULD BE READY TO DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS AND 10:28:55 TERRORIST ATTACKS AND THE IMPACT OF A TERRORIST BOMB ON 10:28:57 THE LEVEES WOULD HAVE BEEN EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE 10:29:01 HURRICANE WAS TO FLOODING THE CITY. 10:29:03 LET ME GO BACK TO THAT DAY, BECAUSE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT 10:29:06 AND YOUR COMMENTS JUST NOW HIGHLIGHT IT, AND THIS IS ABOUT 10:29:09 MARTY. HE TAKES THE TWO HELICOPTER 10:29:11 FLIGHTS, 5:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. CENTRAL TIME. 10:29:15 HE SEES THE DEVASTATION AND HE TOLD US THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER 10:29:18 THOSE HELICOPTER RIDES HE CALLED YOU AND REPORTED HIS 10:29:22 FINDINGS TO YOU. IS IT CORRECT THAT MR. BAMUN DE 10:29:30 -- BAMUNDY TOLD YOU ON THAT EVENING THAT HE COULD SEE NEW 10:29:33 ORLEANS FLOODING? >> IT'S CORRECT. 10:29:35 >> IS IT ALSO CORRECT THAT MARTY TOLD YOU THAT DURING THE 10:29:37 HELICOPTER RIDE HE SO SEE THAT LEVEES HAD BROKEN. 10:29:40 IS THAT RIGHT? >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:29:42 >> MARTY TOLD US THAT AFTER HE FINISHED GIVING YOU THAT 10:29:44 DEVASTATING INFORMATION, YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO CALL THE 10:29:47 WHITE HOUSE. IN YOUR STAFF INTERVIEW YOU 10:29:48 SAID THAT YOU DID HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A WHITE HOUSE 10:29:53 OFFICIAL ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 29, REGARDING HIS 10:29:59 FLYOVER. WHO WAS THAT WHITE HOUSE 10:30:01 OFFICIAL? >> TWO RESPONSES, SENATOR 10:30:03 LIEBERMAN. THERE IS AN EMAIL, AND I 10:30:11 REMEMBER THE EMAIL, AND I RECALL THIS QUITE VIVIDLY, I'M 10:30:16 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. >> IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WERE 10:30:19 EMAILING SOMEBODY AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:30:21 >> NO, I WAS ACTUALLY EMAILING SOMEBODY IN RESPONSE TO MARTY'S 10:30:25 INFORMATION BACK TO FEMA. >> GOT IT. 10:30:27 >> IN WHICH I SAID, YES, I'M CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. 10:30:30 AND I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY WHO I CALLED, BUT BECAUSE OF 10:30:33 THE PATTERN OF HOW I USUALLY INTERACTED WITH THE WHITE 10:30:37 HOUSE, MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT I WAS PROBABLY CALLING AND 10:30:40 TALKING TO JOE HAGAN. >> JOE HAG ANN -- 10:30:46 >> WHO WAS IN CAUFERED WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY. 10:30:49 >> HE WAS AT CRAWFORD. I'M SURPRISED YOU WOULDN'T 10:30:51 REMEMBER EXACTLY. BUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR 10:30:53 RECOLLECTION, YOU CALLED JOE HAGAN. 10:30:56 AND IS IT RIGHT THAT YOU CALLED HIM BECAUSE HE HAD SOME SPECIAL 10:30:58 RESPONSIBILITY FOR OVERSIGHT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT? 10:31:01 >> NO, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JOE, 10:31:07 AND JOE UNDERSTANDS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, NUMBER ONE. 10:31:10 NUMBER TWO, HE'S AT CRAWFORD WITH THE PRESIDENT. 10:31:13 >> GOT IT. AND YOU QUITE APPROPRIATELY AND 10:31:17 ADMIRABLY WANTED TO GET THE WORD TO THE PRESIDENT AS 10:31:19 QUICKLY AS YOU COULD. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:31:20 >> DID YOU TELL MR. HAG ANN IN THAT PHONE CALL THAT NEW 10:31:25 ORLEANS WAS FLOODING? >> I THINK I TOLD HIM THAT WE 10:31:27 WERE REALIZING OUR WORST NIGHTMARE. 10:31:29 THAT EVERYTHING WE HAD PLANNED ABOUT, WORRIED ABOUT, THAT 10:31:31 FEMA, FRANKLY, HAD WORRIED ABOUT FOR 10 YEARS WAS COMING 10:31:34 TRUE. >> DO YOU REMEMBER IF YOU TOLD 10:31:36 HIM THAT THE LEVEESED THAT BROKEN? 10:31:39 -- LEVEES HAD BROKEN? >> OKAY THE WITNESS STAND I 10:31:43 FEEL OBLIGATED TO SAY THAT I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:31:45 SAYING THOSE WORDS. BUT IT WAS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS 10:31:50 FLOODING, IT'S THE WORST CAYS SCENARIO. 10:31:53 >> MAYBE THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE, THIS IS THE WORST CASE 10:31:56 SCENARIO, THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IS FLOODING. 10:31:58 DID YOU ASK MR. HAGAN FOR ANY PARTICULAR ACTION BY THE WHITE 10:32:03 HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT, THE ADMINISTRATION IN THAT PHONE 10:32:06 CALL? >> THEY ALWAYS ASKED ME WHAT DO 10:32:09 YOU NEED. >> RIGHT. 10:32:10 >> JOE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD ABOUT THAT. 10:32:21 >> THE DIFFERENCE IS IN 2004 -- THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, 10:32:24 SENATOR, IF YOU'LL BEAR WITH ME FOR A MINUTE, IS IN 2004 CURING 10:32:28 THE HURRICANES THAT STRUCK -- DURING 2004, THE HURRICANES 10:32:34 THAT STRUCK FLORIDA, I WAS ASKED THAT SAME QUESTION, WHAT 10:32:36 DO YOU NEED. AND I SPECIFICALLY ASKED BOTH 10:32:40 SECRETARY CARD AND JOE HAGAN THAT ON MY WAY DOWN TO PUNTA 10:32:45 GORDA, FLORIDA THAT THE BEST THING THEY COULD DO FOR ME WAS 10:32:48 TO KEEP DHS OUT OF MY HAIR. AND IF I COULD JUST FINISH -- 10:32:52 >> YEAH. >> SO WHAT HAD CHANGED BETWEEN 10:32:57 2004 AND 2005 -- >> KATRINA, RIGHT. 10:33:00 >> BETWEEN THE HURRICANES OF 2004 AND NOW KATRINA, WAS THAT 10:33:07 THERE WAS NOW THIS MENTALITY OR THIS THINKING THAT, NO, NOW 10:33:14 THIS TIME WE WERE GOING TO FOLLOW THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:33:17 >> WHICH WAS PUT YOU IN CHARGE? >> WAS PUT ME IN CHARGE, BUT 10:33:23 NOW I HAVE TO FEED EVERYTHING UP THROUGH CHERTOFF OR SOMEHOW 10:33:27 THROUGH DHS >> I GOT YOU. 10:33:29 >> WHICH JUST BOGGED THINGS DOWN. 10:33:32 >> SO YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF SPECIFICALLY 10:33:35 ASKING MR. HAGAN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ANY ACTION AT 10:33:38 THAT TIME. >> NOTHING IN SPECIFIC. 10:33:39 I JUST THOUGHT THEY NEEDED TO BE AWARE OF THE SITUATION. 10:33:42 >> UNDERSTOOD. MR. BROWN, ON THE EVENING OF 10:33:44 LANDFALL YOU APPEARED ON THE 9:00 P.M. EDITION OF MSNBC'S 10:33:50 RITA COSBY LIVE AND DIRECT. YOU SAID THEN VERY EXPLICITLY 10:33:54 THAT YOU WERE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN NEW 10:33:57 ORLEANS, AND I QUOTE, IT COULD BE WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE 10:33:59 PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET BACK INTO SOME OF THESE 10:34:02 NEIGHBORHOODS, ENDS OF QUOTE, BECAUSE OF THE FLOODING. 10:34:05 YOU ALSO SAID, AND I QUOTE, THAT YOU HAD ALREADY TOLD THE 10:34:10 PRESIDENT TONIGHT THAT WE CAN ANTICIPATE A HOUSING NEED HERE 10:34:13 OF AT LEAST IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS, ENDS OF QUOTE. 10:34:17 YOU WERE CORRECT. DID YOU IN FACT SPEAK TO 10:34:21 PRESIDENT BUSH THAT NIGHT, AUGUST 29? 10:34:24 >> I REALLY DON'T RECALL IF THE PRESIDENT GOT -- I MEAN, 10:34:29 NORMALLY DURING MY CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY CHIEF 10:34:34 OF STAFF HAGAN, SOMETIMES THE PRESIDENT WOULD GET ON THE 10:34:37 PHONE FOR A FEW MOMENTS, AND SOMETIMES HE WOULDN'T. 10:34:40 I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY THAT NIGHT WHETHER HE DID OR 10:34:42 NOT. BUT I NEVER WORRIED ABOUT 10:34:43 WHETHER I TALKED DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE I KNEW 10:34:46 THAT IN SPEAKING TO JOE I WAS TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE 10:34:49 PRESIDENT. >> WELL, IT'S SURPRISING AGAIN, 10:34:51 TO ME, THAT YOU WOULDN'T REMEMBER WHETHER THE PRESIDENT 10:34:55 WAS ON YOUR CALL TO JOE HAGAN. >> I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR 10:35:01 ARROGANT, BUT I TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT A LOT OF. 10:35:04 SO SOMETIMES WHEN HE'S ON THE PHONE OR NOT ON THE PHONE, I 10:35:07 JUST WOULDN'T RECALL. >> ALL RIGHT. 10:35:09 SO THAT MAYBE YOU WERE INFLATING A LITTLE BIT OR BEING 10:35:12 LOOSE WITH YOUR LANGUAGE WHEN YOU TOLD MSNBC THAT YOU HAD 10:35:15 ALREADY TOLD THE PRESIDENT THAT NIGHT ABOUT -- 10:35:17 >> WELL, NO, BECAUSE WHEN I SAY THAT I'VE TOLD THE PRESIDENT -- 10:35:20 IF I'VE TOLD JOE HAGAN OR TOLD ANDY CARD, I'VE TOLD THE 10:35:25 PRESIDENT. >> I HAVE THIS PROBLEM HERE IN 10:35:27 THE CAPITOL, TOO, WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS SARA WARNER TOLD ME TO 10:35:30 TELL YOU, AND THEN I FOUND OUT IT WAS A STAFF MEMBER, OR I 10:35:35 TOLD SENATOR WASH F WARNER. >> TRUST ME, THEY TELL THE 10:35:41 PRESIDENT. >> OK, NOW, LET ME GO TO 10:35:44 SECRETARY CHERTOFF BECAUSE YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CHAIN OF 10:35:47 COMMAND THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO FOLLOW. 10:35:50 DID YOU SPEAK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF AFTER YOUR CALL WITH 10:35:55 MARTY AND TELL HIM ABOUT THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:35:58 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY EVENING? >> I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:36:06 IF I TALKED TO CHERTOFF ON THAT DAY OR NOT. 10:36:09 >> WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE, IF THAT WAS THE CHAIN OF COMMAND? 10:36:16 >> I'M STILL OPERATING THAT I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE. 10:36:19 AND THE WAY I GET THINGS DONE IS I REQUEST IT FROM THE WHITE 10:36:22 HOUSE AND THEY HAPPEN. >> WELL, THEN, DID YOU TELL 10:36:25 ANYONE ELSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN A HIGH 10:36:30 POSITION, DEPUTY SECRETARY MICHAEL JACKSON, FOR INSTANCE? 10:36:33 >> I THINK MICHAEL AND I MAY HAVE HAD A CONVERSATION. 10:36:35 >> MONDAY EVENING? >> YES. 10:36:37 >> WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALONG THE SAME LINES. 10:36:39 >> EXACTLY. >> AM I RIGHT THAT AT SOME 10:36:42 POINT ON MONDAY EVENING THERE WAS EITHER A PHONE CONFERENCE 10:36:44 CALL OR A VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL THAT YOU WERE ON REPORTING ON 10:36:49 THE SITUATION FROM NEW ORLEANS? >> YES. 10:36:51 >> AND DO YOU KNOW WHETHER ANYBODY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:36:55 HOMELAND SECURITY WAS ON THAT CALL? 10:36:58 >> THEY WERE ON ALL THE CALLS. >> OK. 10:37:00 SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THAT CALL? 10:37:04 >> DON'T REMEMBER. I DON'T RECALL. 10:37:06 >> DO YOU KNOW WHERE HE WAS THAT EVENING? 10:37:08 >> AS I WENT BACK THROUGH MIEL MAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS 10:37:13 -- MY EMAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS EITHER GONE OR GOING TO 10:37:17 VISIT ATLANTA AND TO VISIT THE FLORIDA OFFICES OF C.DC 10:37:20 >> WE'RE GOING TO ASK HIM ABOUT THAT. 10:37:22 BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE NUMBER ONE MAN IN TERMS OF THE 10:37:25 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THIS 10:37:29 DISASTER FOR SOME REASON DID NOT APPRECIATE THAT IT WAS SUCH 10:37:32 A DISASTER, THAT HE GOT ON A PLANE AND WENT TO ATLANTA FOR A 10:37:36 CONFERENCE ON AVIAN FLU. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SUNDAY, 10:37:41 THE DAY BEFORE. AM I RIGHT THAT THERE WAS A 10:37:44 VIDEO TELECONFERENCE ON THAT SUNDAY IN WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH 10:37:50 AN SECRETARY CHERTOFF WERE ON THE CONFERENCE? 10:37:53 I RECALL -- I SPECIFICALLY RECALL THE PRESIDENT BEING ON 10:37:57 THE CONFERENCE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SCIF AT CRAWFORD. 10:38:02 RIGHT. BUT I DON'T SPECIFICALLY 10:38:05 RECALL SEEING SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THE SCREEN. 10:38:07 >> OK. AND ON THAT SUNDAY VIDEO 10:38:10 CONFERENCE CALL, AM I RIGHT YOU WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON THEN? 10:38:12 >> THAT'S CORRECT. I LEFT THAT AFTERNOON. 10:38:15 >> BUT YOU DESCRIBED THE CATASTROPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF 10:38:20 THE KIND OF HURRICANE THAT DR. MAX MAYFIELD AND ALL THE OTHER 10:38:25 FORECASTERS WERE PREDICTING THAT DAY. 10:38:33 >> I TOLD THE STAFF -- AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS 10:38:38 OF THAT V.T.C., THEN WE NEED TO GET THEM FOR YOU. 10:38:40 >> NO, I'M GOING TO GIVE 'PHRASE. 10:38:44 YOU DESCRIBED IT AS A CATASTROPHE WITHIN A 10:38:47 CATASTROPHE. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:38:49 THIS WAS WHY I WAS SCREAMING AND HOLLERING ABOUT GETTING 10:38:52 MONEY TO DO CATASTROPHIC DISASTER PLANNING. 10:38:55 THIS IS WHY I SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO DO NEW ORLEANS AS THE 10:38:59 FIRST PLACE TO DO THAT. THIS IS WHY I WAS SO FURIOUS 10:39:01 THAT ONCE WE WERE ABLE TO DO HURRICANE PAM THAT I WAS 10:39:05 REBUFFED ON GETTING THE MONEY TO DO THE FOLLOW-UP, THE 10:39:09 FOLLOW-ON. THIS IS WHY I TOLD THE STAFF 10:39:11 DURING THAT VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL -- 10:39:13 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE. 10:39:14 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE STRUCK THAT I EXPECTED THEM TO 10:39:17 CUT EVERY PIECE OF RED TAPE, DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD, THAT IT 10:39:20 WAS BALLS TO THE WALL, THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANYBODY SAY 10:39:24 THAT WE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. TO DO EVERYTHING HELP HUMANLY 10:39:27 COULD TO RESPOND TO THIS. BECAUSE I KNEW IN MY GUT, 10:39:30 SENATOR, THIS WAS THE BAD ONE. >> THANKS, MR. BROWN. 10:39:33 TIME'S UP FOR ME. >> SENATOR COLEMAN. 10:39:35 >> THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. AGAIN, LIKE I THINK ALL MY 10:39:39 OTHER COLLEAGUES, MY THANKS TO YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP. 10:39:43 THIS HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARY. I HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF 10:39:48 OBSERVATIONS, AS I LISTEN TO TESTIMONY, MD DAM CHAIR. 10:39:51 WE HEAR A LOT, WE'VE SEEN IN THIS COMMITTEE A LOT OF 10:39:56 DISCUSSION ABOUT STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:39:57 WE'VE HEARD THAT FEDERAL AND LOCAL AND STATE FOLKS ALL 10:40:02 POINTED AT EACH OTHER SAYING, WELL, THEY WERE IN CHARGE, THEY 10:40:04 WERE IN CHARGE. ANY TIME YOU GET A DISASTER 10:40:06 LIKE THIS, A DISASTER, NOT JUST OF KATRINA, BUT THE DISASTER OF 10:40:11 THE RESPONSE, YOU GET THE ANALYSIS THAT WE'RE GETTING 10:40:14 HERE. LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 10:40:15 OF PAGES OF REVIEW OF INFORMATION. 10:40:17 BUT I'M GOING TO BE VERY, VERY BLUNT HERE. 10:40:20 WHAT WE HAD, AND HAVING BEEN A MAYOR AND BEEN INVOLVED IN 10:40:23 SITUATION THAT IS COULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE, THAT WEREN'T SO 10:40:26 TERRIBLE, IN THE END WHEN THINGS GO BAD WE DO THE 10:40:29 ANALYSIS AND WE SEE ALL THE STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES. 10:40:32 BUT WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD LEADERSHIP OFTENTIMES EVEN WITH 10:40:37 STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES THINGS DON'T GO BAD. 10:40:39 MY SENSE IS WE HAD ALMOST THE PERFECT STORM OF POOR 10:40:42 LEADERSHIP. WE HAD A GOVERNOR WHO WAS 10:40:45 INDECISIVE, MET WITH THE PRESIDENT, MET WITH THE MAYOR 10:40:47 AND DIDN'T MAKE A DECISION. WANTED MORE TIME. 10:40:50 WE HAD A MAYOR, THOUGH WELL-INTENTIONED, IS HOLED UP 10:40:53 IN A HOTEL ROOM WITHOUT COMMUNICATIONS, AGAIN, GOOD 10:40:57 INTENTIONS, KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON ON THE GROUND, BUT NOBODY'S 10:40:59 IN CHARGE. AND MR. BROWN, THE CONCERN THAT 10:41:02 I HAVE IS, YOU KNOW, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE I'M HEARING BALLS 10:41:06 TO THE WALL, BUT I'M LOOKING AT EMAILS AND LACK OF 10:41:12 RESPONSIVENESS. MARTY, ON SENDING AN EMAIL 10:41:15 ABOUT SITUATION PAST CRITICAL -- THIS IS ON WEDNESDAY AT THIS 10:41:18 TIME. HOTEL'S KICKING PEOPLE OUT, 10:41:20 DYING PATIENTS. AND YOUR RESPONSE IS, THANKS 10:41:22 FOR THE UPDATE. ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO 10:41:27 TWEAK?" WE HAVE QUESTIONS ON -- 10:41:28 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU TAKE THAT OUST 10:41:31 CONTEXT. BECAUSE YOU DO THAT ON THE FLY 10:41:33 SAYING, YES, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO TWEAK. 10:41:36 AND WHAT YOU IGNORE IS WHAT'S DONE BEYOND THAT, WHICH IS 10:41:39 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE, TALKING TO THE OPERATIONS 10:41:42 PEOPLE AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THINGS ARE GETTING DONE. 10:41:44 AND I'M FRANKLY GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF THESE EMAILS BEING 10:41:47 TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT WITH WORDS LIKE "WHAT DO I NEED TO TWEAK," 10:41:51 BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW, IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT I 10:41:53 NEED TO TWEAK. AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE 10:41:55 ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF THAT'S GOING ON, SENATOR. 10:41:57 SO WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DON'T DRAW CONCLUSIONS FROM AN EMAIL. 10:42:01 >> MR. BROWN, I WLD MAINTAIN THAT IN FACT THE CONTEXT OF THE 10:42:05 EMAILS ARE VERY CLEAR, THAT TH SHOW A LACK OF 10:42:08 RESPONSIVENESS, THAT THEY SHOW A DISCONNECT. 10:42:10 THAT'S THE CONTEXT. IN FACT, I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE 10:42:13 INDIVIDUAL ONES. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 10:42:15 CONTEXT OF THE EMAIL DISCUSSION, YOU'RE GETTING 10:42:18 INFORMATION, YOU'RE GETTING INFORMATION ON MONDAY, 11:57, A 10:42:22 MESSAGE SAYING, "NEW ORLEANS REPORTED 20-FOOT WIDE BREACH. 10:42:25 IT'S 11:57." YOUR EMAIL, NOT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:42:29 COMING BACK, I'M TOLD HERE WATER NOT OVER THE BRIDGE. 10:42:33 OBVIOUSLY IT HASN'T HIT THE FAN FOR YOU. 10:42:35 SO I DON'T THINK IT'S OUT OF CONTEXT. 10:42:37 I THINK THE CONTEXT OF THE EMAILS, AND NOT JUST THE 10:42:41 EMAILS, BUT THE THINGS THAT WE AS AMERICANS SAW TO ME IS 10:42:45 SLUT'S STUNNING -- YOU'VE GOT -- ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, YOU'VE 10:42:50 GOT PEOPLE SUFFERING, ALL OF AMERICA KNOWS THAT. 10:42:52 ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WATCH TV, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT CHANNEL YOU 10:42:55 WATCH, AND WE HAVE YOU SAYING AT THAT TIME "WE'VE JUST 10:42:59 LEARNED -- THIS IS A CNN INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER 1. 10:43:02 NOT OUT OF CONTEXT. "AND SO THIS IS THE CATASTROPHE 10:43:08 THAT CONTINUES TO GROW. EVERY PERSON IN THAT CONVENTION 10:43:11 CENTER, WE JUST LEARNED THAT TODAY. 10:43:12 I'VE DIRECTED WE HAVE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES." 10:43:15 I KNEW A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AS AN AMERICAN. 10:43:17 SO LET ME FINISH THE COMMENT. WHAT I HEAR HERE IS YOU SAYING, 10:43:21 WELL, THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEM FALLS WITH THE MITER REPORT, IN 10:43:25 WHICH IT WAS LAID OUT VERY CLEARLY THE STRUCTURAL 10:43:31 INADEQUACIES, AND YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY IS YOU HAD 10:43:33 CONVERSATIONS. YOU PUSHED THAT FORWARD. 10:43:34 CAN YOU SHOW ME WHETHER EITHER IN THE EMAILS OR IN THE RECORD 10:43:38 YOUR VERY CLEAR DIRECTIVES TO GO, QUOTE, BALLS TO THE WALL, 10:43:41 TO CLEAR UP THIS SITUATION, TO FIX IT? 10:43:43 DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT I CAN LOOK AT IN WRITING THAT GIVES 10:43:46 SUBSTANCE TO WHAT YOU'VE TESTIFIED TO TODAY? 10:43:48 >> ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. 10:43:51 I'VE TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE THAT I MISSPOKE ON THAT 10:43:56 DAY REGARDING THAT EMAIL. WE LEARNED ABOUT THE CONVENTION 10:44:00 CENTER ON WEDNESDAY. BECAUSE THE CONVENTION CENTER 10:44:02 WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. IT WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. 10:44:05 IT WAS NOT IN ANYONE'S PLANS, INCLUDING THE CITY AND THE 10:44:08 STATES. AND WHEN WE LEARNED ABOUT IT ON 10:44:10 WEDNESDAY NIGHT WE IMMEDIATELY STARTED DEMANDING THE ARMY AND 10:44:14 RESOURCES TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. AND THERE ARE EMAILS IN THE 10:44:17 PACKAGES THAT YOU HAVE WHERE I'M SCREAMING WHERE'S THE ARMY, 10:44:20 I NEED THE ARMY NOW. WHY HASN'T IT SHOWN UP. 10:44:23 AND BECAUSE I MISSPOKE ABOUT WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT THE 10:44:26 CONVENTION CENTER, AFTER BEING UP FOR 24 HOURS, YOU WANT TO 10:44:29 TAKE THAT OUT OF CONTEXT AND, SENATOR, I'M NOT GOING TO ALLOW 10:44:33 YOU TO DO THAT. >> LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A 10:44:36 CONVERSATION THAT MAYOR NAGIN CAME BEFORE US, THIS COMMITTEE, 10:44:40 AND HE TALKED ABOUT GOING TO THE ZEPHYR STADIUM, AND MAYOR 10:44:46 NAGIN'S STATEMENT IS I WAS SO FLABBERGASTED. 10:44:48 WE'RE IN NEW ORLEANS. WE WERE STRUGGLING. 10:44:50 IT'S TOUCH AND GO RELATING TO SECURITY. 10:44:53 I GOT OFF THE HELICOPTER AND JUST STARTED WALKING AROUND AND 10:44:56 I WAS AWESTRUCK. WE HAD BEEN REQUESTING THE 10:45:01 SUPERDOME BECAUSE WE WERE STANDING AT NIGHT, TO MAKE A 10:45:05 LONG STORY SHORT. THERE WERE POOR CONDITIONS. 10:45:08 WE WANTED PORTABLE TOILETS. THEY HAD THEM ALL OVER THE 10:45:11 PLACE. WERE YOU WITH MAYOR NAGIN AT 10:45:14 THE TIME? >> I DON'T KNOW WHETHER -- I 10:45:16 DON'T KNOW WHETHER I WAS WITH HIM ON THAT PARTICULAR DATE OR 10:45:18 NOT. BUT I KNOW THE AREA HE'S 10:45:20 TALKING ABOUT. >> AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO THIS 10:45:22 COMMITTEE WHY, IF THERE HAD BEEN OBVIOUS DEEP CONCERNS 10:45:26 ABOUT SANITARY FACILITIES, ABOUT LIGHTING, WHY THOSE 10:45:29 FACILITIES, THOSE CONCERNS, HAD NOT BEEN MET? 10:45:31 >> BECAUSE THEY WERE HAVING -- THE UNITED STATES ARMY, THE 10:45:38 NATIONAL GUARD, WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING THOSE 10:45:42 SUPPLIES INTO THE SUPERDOME. YOU NEED THAT UNDERSTAND THAT 10:45:45 THERE ARE MEDIA REPORTS OF SHOOTING, THERE ARE MEDIA 10:45:48 REPORTS OF LOOTING AND EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON. 10:45:49 AND IF THE ARMY MOVES IN THERE, THE ARMY KILLS PEOPLE. 10:45:53 AND SO THEY HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT MOVING THOSE 10:45:55 THINGS IN THERE. BY THE SAME TOKEN, YOU HAD 10:45:59 CIVILIANS WHO COMBAN TO MOVE THINGS IN THERE AND CONE GET 10:46:02 THEM THERE. SO, YES, THERE WERE THINGS 10:46:05 STOCKPILED AND AS THAT SUPPLY CHAIN CONTINUED TO PILE UP, 10:46:09 ZEPHYR FIELD WAS FULL OF A LOT OF STUFF AND THOSE THINGS WERE 10:46:12 CONTINUING TO GO ON THE OTHER END TO GET INTO THE CITY. 10:46:16 FOR YOU TO TAKE A SNAPSHOT OF THE PLAYER GOING THERE FOR A 10:46:19 FEW MINUTES AND HIM SCREAMING IN HIS TYPICAL WAY ABOUT I WANT 10:46:23 ALL OF THIS STUFF IN THE CITY IS TAKING IT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:46:26 SENATOR. >> WHEN DID YOU ORDER THAT FOOD 10:46:28 AND WATER BE DELIVERED INTO THE CONVENTION CENTER? 10:46:30 >> THE DAY THAT WE LEARNED ABOUT IT, THAT WEDNESDAY. 10:46:33 WE IMMEDIATELY ORDERED THAT STUFF TO BE MOVED. 10:46:36 WHETHER IT WAS OR NOT -- WHETHER IT WAS ACTUALLY DONE OR 10:46:39 NOT IS THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING. 10:46:41 AND IF IT WASN'T, YOU NEED TO BE ASKING WHY. 10:46:44 BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE CAPACITY WITHIN FEMA OURSELVES 10:46:48 TO DO THAT, AND WE NEEDED THE FIFTH ARMY OR THE FIRST ARMY TO 10:46:51 MOVE THAT STUFF IN THERE. PLUS, I WOULD ALSO REMIND YOU 10:46:55 THAT THERE'S NO -- >> MR. BROWN, JUST ON THAT 10:46:59 POINT ALONE, AND THAT'S WHAT MY NOTES INDICATE. 10:47:04 RECORDS HAD BEEN PRODUCED TO THE COMMITTEE INDICATE THAT 10:47:05 FEMA DID NOT ORDER, DID NOT ORDER FOOD AND WATER FOR THE 10:47:09 CONVENTION CENTER UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. 10:47:13 >> I CAN TELL YOU UNEQUIVOCALLY, SENATOR, UNDER 10:47:16 OATH, THAT THE MINUTE THAT I LEARNED THAT THERE WERE PEOPLE 10:47:20 IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, I TURNED TO BILLOW KEY, MY 10:47:23 INDIVIDUAL, MY OPERATIONS PERSON ON THE GROUND AND SAID 10:47:26 GET M.R.E.'S, GET STUFF MOVING IN THERE. 10:47:29 >> DID YOU EVER FOLLOW UP TO FIND OUT WHETHER THAT HAPPENED? 10:47:32 >> SENATOR, I CONTINUED TO DO OPERATIONS AS BEST I COULD ALL 10:47:36 ALONG THROUGHOUT THAT TIME AND I WOULD CONTINUALLY ASK 10:47:40 QUESTIONS, ARE THINGS HAPPENING, ARE THINGS 10:47:41 HAPPENING, ARE THINGS HAPPENING. 10:47:42 >> THE RECORD IS VERY CLEAR AS TO WHEN THE ORDER WAS GIVEN. 10:47:45 IT WAS GIVEN ON FRIDAY. AND MY CONCERN IS THIS, MR. 10:47:51 BROWN -- AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:47:54 I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED 10:47:57 ABOUT THE FUNCTION OF DHS AND THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA. 10:48:01 BUT AS I LISTEN TO YOUR TESTIMONY, YOU'RE NOT PREPARED 10:48:03 TO KIND OF PUT A MIRROR IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE AND 10:48:07 RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN INADEQUACIES AND SAY I MADE SOME BIG 10:48:11 MISTAKES, I DIDN'T GET THINGS DONE. 10:48:14 AND INSTEAD, YOU'RE SAYING THE PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL, I KNEW 10:48:16 IT UP FRONT, I REALLY TRIED TO CHANGE IT. 10:48:18 THE RECORD, THE ENTIRETY OF THE RECORD, DOESN'T REFLECT THAT. 10:48:21 AND PERHAPS YOU MAY GET A MORE SYMPATHETIC HEARING IF YOU HAD 10:48:24 A WILLINGNESS TO KIND OF CONFESS YOUR OWN SINS IN THIS. 10:48:30 YOUR TESTIMONY HERE IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO COMMUNICATE TO 10:48:33 THE PRESIDENT AS TO WHAT HE UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:35 I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:37 I'M NOT SURE YOU GOT IT. I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU THE 10:48:39 RECORD, NOT THE EMAILS, BUT THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT YOU DIDN'T 10:48:42 GET IT OR YOU DIDN'T, IN WRITING OR SOME WAY, MAKE 10:48:45 COMMANDS THAT WOULD MOVE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE UNTIL 10:48:48 WAY AFTER IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. 10:48:50 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO 10:48:55 SAY? I HAVE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES 10:48:59 PUBLICLY, I'VE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES IN HEARINGS. 10:49:02 WHAT MORE, SENATOR COLEMAN, DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:04 >> WELL, I THINK -- >> WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:07 I'M ASKING YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:09 >> WHAT I HEARD TODAY AND WHAT I HEARD FROM YOUR TESTIMONY AND 10:49:11 COMING IN AND TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE STRUCTURAL THINGS THAT, 10:49:15 THE DYEAS CAST. THAT WAS YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY. 10:49:19 AND I HAVE MY OWN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA 10:49:22 AND DHS BUT I HEARD TODAY THAT THE DIE 10:49:27 WAS CAST. >> IT WAS. 10:49:28 >> I'M SAYING THAT THE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 10:49:30 YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP. 10:49:32 EVEN WITH STRUCTURAL INFIRMITIES, STRONG LEADERSHIP 10:49:37 CAN OVERCOME THAT AND CLEARLY THAT WASN'T THE CASE HERE. 10:49:38 >> WELL, SENATOR, THAT'S VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY SITTING 10:49:43 BEHIND THAT DESK AND NOT BEING THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT 10:49:45 DISASTER WATCHING THAT HUMAN SUFFERING AND WATCHING THOSE 10:49:48 PEOPLE DYING AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH THOSE STRUCTURAL 10:49:55 DYSFUNCTION NATIONALITIES EVEN WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, AND I 10:49:58 RESENT YOU SITTING HERE SAYING I LACKED THE LEADERSHIP TO DO 10:50:00 THAST I WAS DOWN THERE PUSHING EVERYTHING THAT I COULD. 10:50:02 I'VE ADMITTED TO THOSE MISTAKES. 10:50:04 AND IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE FROM ME PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND 10:50:07 YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO ADMIT TO. 10:50:10 >> A LITTLE MORE CANDOR WOULD SUFFICE. 10:50:12 >> WHAT MORE CANDOR -- ASK ME THE QUESTION, SENATOR. 10:50:15 ASK ME THE QUESTION. >> THANK YOU. 10:50:17 BUT I THINK MY TIME IS UP. THANK YOU. 10:50:20 MADAM CHAIR. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM 10:50:24 CHAIRMAN. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I 10:50:30 ADMIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND COMMEND YOU AND YOUR RANKING 10:50:37 MEMBER FOR YOUR LEADERSHIPS ON PURSUING THESE HEARINGS FOR THE 10:50:45 SAKE OF THE SECURITY AND SAFETY OF OUR COUNTRY. 10:50:54 I AGREE WITH YOU, MADAM CHAIRMAN, AND WITH THE RANKING 10:50:57 MEMBER THAT IT IS UNFAIR TO LAY BLAME ON THE GROSS 10:51:05 MISMANAGEMENT OF THE DISASTER ON ONE OR TWO PEOPLE. 10:51:09 AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. BROWN SHOULD BE THE SCAPEGOAT 10:51:17 FOR ALL THAT WENT WRONG. >> THANK YOU, SENATOR. 10:51:19 >> HOWEVER, YOU AND MR. RHODE -- LET ME PUT IT YOU AND MR. 10:51:23 RHODE WERE IN CHARGE OF FEMA. AND I CAN RECALL HARRY TRUMAN'S 10:51:31 STATEMENT THAT THE BUCK STOPS HERE. 10:51:34 AND SO YOU'RE IT AND THE HEARING IS ON YOU. 10:51:41 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE IN LOUISIANA AND THROUGHOUT THE 10:51:46 GULF COAST REINFORCES THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED 10:51:51 LEADERS IN SENIOR POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:51:54 HOMELAND SECURITY. THAT IS WHY I INTRODUCED 10:51:59 LEGISLATION LAST FALL TO REQUIRE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL 10:52:06 QUALIFICATIONS FOR MOST SENATE-CONFIRMED POSITIONS AT 10:52:09 DHS, NOR SHOULD WE FORGET THAT UNTIL 2003 FEMA WAS AN 10:52:19 INDEPENDENT CABINET-LEVEL AGENCY. 10:52:21 ONE OF MY REASONS FOR VOTING AGAINST GRADING DHS WAS THAT 10:52:28 FEMA WOULD NO LONGER OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY. 10:52:33 FEMA'S ACTIVITIES AND BUDGET ARE CONTROLLED BY THE SECRETARY 10:52:38 OF THE DEPARTMENT. WE CANNOT FORGET THE PROBLEMS 10:52:44 OF FEMA, THAT THEY ARE THE PROBLEMS OF DHS AND THE 10:52:51 ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. 10:52:59 MR. BROWN, MY QUESTION RELATES TO A SAME YOU MADE DURING YOUR 10:53:06 INTERVIEW WITH THE COMMITTEE. WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHETHER YOU 10:53:09 WERE KEEPING SECRETARY CHERTOFF APPRISED OF THE SITUATION IN 10:53:15 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY, THE DAY THE STORM HIT, YOU STATED THAT 10:53:20 YOU, AND I QUOTE, DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAD 10:53:23 ANY OPERATIONAL MANDATE AT THAT POINT, AND THAT IF THE 10:53:32 SECRETARY WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT SOMETHING, HE CAN EITHER 10:53:34 CALL ME DIRECTLY OR REACH OUT TO HSOC TO GET THAT 10:53:44 INFORMATION, END QUOTE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WASN'T IT 10:53:48 YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS UNDERSECRETARY TO KEEP 10:53:51 SECRETARY CHERTOFF INFORMED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS OF AN ONGOING 10:53:56 CRISIS THAT INVOLVED MULTIPLE COMMONWEALTHS OF HIS AGENCY -- 10:54:03 MULTIPLE COMPONENTS OF HIS AGENCY. 10:54:07 WHAT'S YOUR COMMENT ON THAT? >> YES, SENATOR, IT IS MY 10:54:09 RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP HIM INFORMED AND WE HAVE STRUCTURES 10:54:12 IN PLACE BY WHICH TO DO THAT. THE HSOC AND HIS 10:54:16 REPRESENTATIVES ARE INVOLVED ON THE VTCS, AND HE AND I 10:54:19 EXCHANGED PHONE CALLS AND TALKED AT TIMES TO DO THAT. 10:54:22 BUT WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING OPERATIONS, THE PRIMARY 10:54:26 RESPONSIBILITY HAS TO BE TO RUN OPERATIONS, AND THEN YOU FEED 10:54:30 INFORMATION AS YOU SHOULD THROUGH THE CHANNELS, THROUGH 10:54:33 THE VTCS, THROUGH THE EMAILS, THROUGH THE SITUATIONAL 10:54:37 REPORTS THAT GET TO HIM. AND THEN IF HE HAS QUESTIONS 10:54:41 ABOUT ANY OF THOSE REPORTS THAT COME TO HIM, HE CAN CALL ME, OR 10:54:44 IF THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE REPORTS THAT I THINK IS OF 10:54:47 PARTICULAR INTEREST TO HIM, THEN I WOULD CALL AND TELL HIM. 10:54:53 >> MR. BROWN, IN YOUR INTERVIEW YOU REFERRED TO THE SO-CALLED 10:54:58 TAX, SO-CALLED TAX THAT FEMA WAS FORCED TO PAY. 10:55:12 YOU SAID THAT THE TAX FUNDED THE SHARED COMPONENTS OF 10:55:16 DHS, SUCH AS THE SECTTARY OF STATE'S OFFICE AND THE I.T. 10:55:21 SYSTEM. YOU TOLD COMMITTEE 10:55:23 INVESTIGATORS THAT FEMA'S MEDICATION FUNDING SUFFED A 10:55:32 PROPORTIONATE REDUCTION BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO TAKE MONEY 10:55:35 OUT OF OTHER AREAS, SUCH AS THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE FUND. 10:55:38 YOU MAY RECALL THAT THE ADMINISTRATION TRIED TO REDUCE 10:55:43 FEMA'S MITIGATION FUNDING PRIOR TO THE CREATION OF DHS 10:55:50 THE PRESIDENT'S FY-02 BUDGET PROPOSED ELIMINATING THE 10:55:56 PREDISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM WHICH LATER WAS SAVED BY 10:55:59 CONGRESS. THE ADMINISTRATION RESPONDED BY 10:56:02 SEEKING TO ELIMINATE ALL POST-DISASTER MITIGATION 10:56:08 FUNDING IN FY-03. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS IS IT 10:56:16 POSSIBLE THAT THE REASON THEY TOOK SUCH A HARD HIT WHEN 10:56:19 DHS COLLECTED ITS TAX IS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS ARE -- 10:56:26 AREN'T VALUED BY THE ADMINISTRATION? 10:56:28 >> IT'S NICE TO APPEAR BEFORE A COMMITTEE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN 10:56:31 AND NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY TALKING POINTS OR SAPS THAT SAY 10:56:37 WHAT YOU CAN OR CANNOT SAY, BUT YES, THAT IS PART OF THE 10:56:43 PROBLEM. THE BELIEF THAT MITIGATION 10:56:45 PROGRAMS DON'T HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT RATIO, SO WE HAVE TO 10:56:49 ELIMINATE THEM. WHEN INDEED, I DO BELIEVE THERE 10:56:51 IS A GOOD SIDE TO IT, THAT THE ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES THAT 10:56:55 PREDISASTER MITIGATION FUNDS COULD BE USED. 10:56:57 SO THERE'S A BALANCE TO BE STRUCK. 10:57:00 TRY TO DO BOTH PREAND POST-DISASTER. 10:57:02 BUFF I DO THINK THE MITIGATION TO A CERTAIN EXTENT WAS GIVEN 10:57:05 THE BACK SEAT. >> MR. BROWN, IN A RESPONSE TO 10:57:14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE PUBLIC DEFENDER THIS COMMITTEE IN JUNE 10:57:19 2002 TO BE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FEMA, YOU STATED, AND I QUOTE, 10:57:23 MITIGATION WILL CONTINUE TO BE A PRIMARY FOCUS FOR THE AGENCY, 10:57:26 UNQUOTE. AS UNDERSECRETARY, DID YOU 10:57:32 CONSIDER INFORMING CONGRESS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS WERE 10:57:38 NOT BEING PRIORITIZED AND WERE IN FACT RECEIVING LESS 10:57:43 REFUNDING THAN YOU THOUGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE UNDER DHS? 10:57:46 >> I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS IN 10:57:50 DC, THAT A AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR CAN HAVE HIS 10:57:55 PRIORITIES AND O.M.B. CAN HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES AND NEVER 10:58:02 SHALL THE TWO MEET. AND DESPITE MY PERSONAL BELIEF 10:58:05 THAT MITIGATION IS GOOD AND WE NEED MORE MIT COMBATION FUNDING 10:58:08 IN THIS COUNTRY, OMGTAKES A DIFFERENT TACT, THAT THEY DON'T 10:58:14 HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS, WHICH YOU CAN ARGUE 10:58:17 ALL DAY LONG. I BELIEVE THAT IT DOES. 10:58:19 SO SUBSEQUENTLY, MITIGATION GETS CUT. 10:58:20 I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT SHOULD. BUT BY THE SAME TOKEN, SENATOR, 10:58:24 I THINK YOU WOULD NOT RESPECT ME IF I CAME TO YOU IN YOUR 10:58:28 OFFICE AND SAT DOWN AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I KNOW THE PRESIDENT 10:58:31 HAS PROPOSED THIS, BUT, YOU KNOW, HERE'S MY PERSONAL 10:58:34 BELIEF. NOW, YES, SOMETIMES I WOULD TRY 10:58:36 TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT MY REAL BELIEF 10:58:39 WAS IN HOPES THAT THEY COULD MAYBE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 10:58:42 BUT I WOULD NEVER TRY -- I WOULD NEVER BE THAT -- WOULD 10:58:46 NOT WANT THAT BE -- WANT TO BE THAT DISLOYAL. 10:58:51 >> MR. BROWN, MARTY, THE FEMA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AND ONE 10:58:58 THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED BY OTHER SENATORS WAS
Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100
Hurricane Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing with former FEMA Director Michael Brown. 09:35:55 >>> THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. 09:35:57 GOOD MORNING. TODAY IN OUR 18th HEARING ON 09:36:01 HURRICANE KATRINA, THE COMMITTEE WILL EXAMINE HOW THE DEPARTMENT 09:36:04 OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA COORDINATED AND LED THE FEDERAL 09:36:09 PREPARATIONS FORWARD AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 09:36:15 OUR FIRST PANEL THIS MORNING 09:36:17 CONSISTS OF MICHAEL BROWN AND PATRICK RHODI, WHO WERE FEMA'S 09:36:22 DIRECTER AND ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR IN THE DAYS LEADING UP 09:36:26 TO AND FOLLOWING THE STORM. AS KATRINA NEARED THE GULF COAST 09:36:33 MR. BROWN DISPATCHED TO LOUISIANA LEAVING MR. RHODI AS 09:36:38 THE TOP-RANKING OFFICIAL AT FEMA HEADQUARTERS. 09:36:42 TODAY, WE'LL DISCUSS THEIR LEADERSHIP AT THE AGENCY DURING 09:36:46 THIS ENORMOUSLY CHALLENGING PERIOD. 09:36:48 OUR SECOND PANEL CONSISTS OF TWO SENIOR OFFICIALS AT THE 09:36:53 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, ROBERT STEFFIN IS 09:36:59 THE ASSISTANT STRENGTH FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION AND 09:37:04 ONE OF THE CHIEF ARCHITECTS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:37:09 MATTHEW BRODERICK RUNS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND'S 09:37:12 SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER WHICH SERVES AS THE EYES AND EARS OF 09:37:17 TOP DHF OFFICIALS PARTICULARLY DURING TIMES OF CRISIS. 09:37:22 SECRETARY CHERTOFF RELIED HEAVILY ON MR. STEFFIN AND 09:37:27 MR. BRODERICK DURING KATRINA'S AFTERMATH. 09:37:30 WE WILL DISCUSS THEIR ROLES AND THEIR VIEWS OF FEMA FROM THE TOP 09:37:34 OFLE ORGIZATIONAL CHART. OUR PANELS TODAY SEPARATE 09:37:39 WITNESSES FROM A FEDERAL AGENCY, FEMA, FROM THOSE OF ITS PARENT 09:37:44 ORGANIZATION, DHS. THE SEPARATION IS DELIBERATE. 09:37:49 IT REFLECTS, IN PART, THE DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES ON 09:37:54 KATRINA THAT WE HAVE HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM OFFICIALS OF 09:37:58 THE TWO ENTITIES. IT ALSO REFLECTS TENSIONS 09:38:01 BETWEEN THE TWO THAT PREDATE THE STORM, TENSIONSES OVER RESOURCES 09:38:09 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 09:38:12 THIS TENSION IS CLEAR IN MR. BROWN'S RESPONSE WHEN 09:38:16 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATORS ASKED HIM WHY FEMA WAS NOT BETTER 09:38:21 PREPARED FOR KATRINA. MR. BROWN RESPONDED "IT'S -- ITS 09:38:27 MISSION HAD BEEN MARGINALIZED. ITS RESPONSE CAPABILITY HAD BEEN 09:38:32 DIMINISHED. THERE'S THE WHOLE CLASH OF 09:38:35 CULTURES BETWEEN DHS MISSION TO PREVENT TERRORISM AND FEMA'S 09:38:40 MISSION TO RESPOND TO AND TO PREPARE AND RESPOND TO DISASTERS 09:38:45 OF WHATEVER NATURE." BY ALMOST ANY MEASURE, FEMA'S 09:38:51 RESPONSE TO KATRINA HAS TO BE JUDGED A FAILURE. 09:38:56 I MUST SAY THAT I'VE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION WITH A SENSE OF 09:39:00 REMORSE BECAUSE I'VE BEEN STRUCK TLUT THIS INVESTIGATION BY THE 09:39:05 EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF MANY FEMA PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD 09:39:09 AS WELL AS SOME FEMA AND DHS OFFICIALS AT HEADQUARTERS WHO, 09:39:16 LITERALLY, WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO TRY TO HELP BRING 09:39:20 RELIEF TO THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF STATES. 09:39:23 BUT THE RESPONSE WAS RIDDLED WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, POOR 09:39:29 DECISION MAKING, AND FAILED LEADERSHIP. 09:39:34 THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FEMA AND AND, FOR THAT MATTER, THE 09:39:38 DEPARTMENT'S FAILED RESPONSE IS SHARED. 09:39:40 WHILE DHS' PLAYBOOK APPEARS DESIGNED TO DISTANCE THE 09:39:44 DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS AND HEADQUARTERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE 09:39:48 FROM FEMA, THE DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS MUST ANSWER FOR 09:39:52 DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE OVER FAILED TO MAKE THAT CONTRIBUTED 09:39:57 TO THE PROBLEMS. ONE PROBLEM THAT MANIFESTED 09:40:01 ITSELF IN A VARIETY OF WAYS WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S LACK OF 09:40:07 PREPAREDNESS FOR THE KATRINA CATASTROPHE. 09:40:09 INSTEAD OF SPRINGING INTO ACTION OR, BETTER YET, ACTING BEFORE 09:40:15 THE STORM MADE LANDFALL, THE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO HAVE MOVED 09:40:20 HALTINGLY AND, AS A RESULT, KEY DECISIONS WERE EITHER DELAYED OR 09:40:25 MADE BASED ON QUESTIONABLE AND, IN SOME CASES, ERRONEOUS 09:40:30 ASSUMPTIONS. THE DAY AFTER THE STORM, FOR 09:40:34 EXAMPLE, SECRETARY CHERTOFF NAMED MICHAEL BROWN AS THE LEAD 09:40:39 FEDERAL OFFICIAL FOR THE RESPONSE EFFORT. 09:40:41 AT THE SAME TIME, THE SECRETARY DECLARED HURRICANE KATRINA AN 09:40:46 INCIDENT OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, WHICH IS THE 09:40:49 DESIGNATION THAT TRIGGERS THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:40:52 THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, IN TURN, IS THE COMPREHENSIVE 09:40:57 NATIONAL ROADMAP THAT GUIDES THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO KAS TO 09:41:04 TROFS. THE SECRETARY'S ACTION LED MANY 09:41:08 TO THE QUESTION OF WHY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL 09:41:11 DECLARATION HAD NOT BEEN MADE EARLIER. 09:41:13 IN REALITY, THE DECLARATION ITSELF WAS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE, 09:41:17 BY THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, 09:41:20 HURRICANE KATRINA HAD BECOME AN INCIDENT OF NATIONAL 09:41:25 SIGNIFICANCE THREE DAYS EARLIER WHEN THE PRESIDENT DECLARED AN 09:41:31 EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA. THE LACK OF AWARENESS OF THIS 09:41:38 FUNDAMENTAL TENANT OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN RAISES 09:41:42 QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER DHS LEADERSHIP WAS TRULY READY FOR A 09:41:46 TA TAS TROF OF THIS MAGNITUDE. I THINK IT HELPS EXPLAIN THE 09:41:51 DEPARTMENT'S SLOW, SOMETIMES HES LANT RESPONSE TO THE STORM. 09:41:55 SIMILARLY, WE WILL LEARN TODAY THAT FAMOUS LEADERS FAILED TO 09:42:00 TAKE STEP THAT IS THEY KNEW COULD IMPROVE FEMA'S ABILITY TO 09:42:05 RESPOND MORE EFFECTIVELY AND QUICKLY TO A CATASTROPHE. 09:42:08 IN THE YEAR OR SO PRECEDING KATRINA, MR. BROWN WAS PRESENTED 09:42:12 WITH TWO IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS OF FEMA'S 09:42:18 INSTRUCTION TUR AND CAPABILITIES BOTH INCLUDED RECOMMENDATIONS 09:42:22 FOR IMPROVEMENT. THE FIRST WAS A MEMORANDUM BY 09:42:30 OPERATIVES KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS. 09:42:33 AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE MEMO WARNS OF UNPREPARED EMERGENCY 09:42:38 RESPONSE TEAMS THAT HAD NO FUNDING, ZERO FUNDING, FOR 09:42:44 TRAINING EXERCISES OR EQUIPMENT. THE OTHER WAS A STUDY CONDUCTED 09:42:49 BY THE MIDE -- MITER CORPORATION. 09:42:54 THE STUDY COMMISSIONED BY MR. BROWN WAS DESIGNED TO ANSWER 09:42:58 SUCH QUESTIONS AS WHAT'S PREVENTING FEMA FROM RESPONDING 09:43:02 AND RECOVERING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. 09:43:05 THE MITER STUDY IS EARLY PREDICTIVE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS 09:43:11 THAT WOULD PLAGUE THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KA TREE NACHLT THE 09:43:17 STUDY POINTS OUT A LACK OF ADEQUATE AND SITUATIONAL 09:43:21 AWARENESS ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE, A PREDICTION THAT BECAME REALITY 09:43:26 WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESPOND 09:43:30 TO THE LEVEE BREAKS. AND INADEQUATE ABILITY TO 09:43:34 CONTROL INVENTORY AND TRACK ASSETS. 09:43:37 WE SAW THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES NOT 09:43:42 REACHING THE DESTINATION IN TIME. 09:43:45 AND UNDEFINED AND MISUNDERSTOOD STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. 09:43:51 DESPITE THIS STUDY, KEY PROBLEMS WERE SIMPLY NOT RESOLVED AND, AS 09:43:57 A RESULT, OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN FEMA PRIOR TO KATRINA 09:44:01 WERE MISSED. AS THIS COMMITTEE WINDS DOWN ITS 09:44:07 LENGTHY SERIES OF SERIES AND MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS OF 09:44:11 INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PREPAREDNESS FOR AND RESPONSE TO 09:44:16 HURRICANE KATRINA, WE INCREASINGLY REFLECT UPON WHAT 09:44:19 CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE THOUSANDS OF FACTS WE HAVE 09:44:24 GATHERED. ONE THING THAT I HAVE FOUND IS A 09:44:27 STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND 09:44:32 EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ALSO FOUND 09:44:37 THE CONVERSE TO BE TRUE. SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 09:44:42 >> THANKS VERY MUCH, MADAM CHAIRMAN. 09:44:45 THANKS NOT ONLY FOR YOUR EXCELLENT OPEN STATEMENT, THANKS 09:44:48 FOR THE LEADERSHIP YOU HAVE GIVEN THIS INVESTIGATION OVER 09:44:51 FIVE MONTHS AND NOW ALMOST 20 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN MY -- THIS IS 09:44:58 NOW MY 18th YEAR, PRIVILEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES 09:45:03 SENATE. I'VE NOT BEEN IN A MORE THOROUGH 09:45:06 NONPARTISAN AND, I'D SAY, IMPORTANT INVESTIGATION. 09:45:09 I THANK YOU FOR SETTING THE TONE SHOWING THE LEADERSHIP THAT YOU 09:45:15 JUST DESCRIBED IN ANOTHER SENSE. I THINK OUR JOINT STAFF FOR THE 09:45:21 EXTRAORDINARY WORK THEY HAVE DONE INTERVIEWING MORE THAN 200 09:45:24 WITNESSES, COMPILING AND OBTAINING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 09:45:28 OF DOCUMENTS. TODAY AND TUESDAY WE'RE GOING TO 09:45:32 HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF BOTH THE FEDERAL 09:45:38 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND ITS PARENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 09:45:42 OUR HEARINGS ARE NOW REACHING THE CONCLUDING PHASE. 09:45:45 TO DATE, I THINK THESE HEARINGS HAVE SET THE -- THE PREVIOUS 09:45:50 HEARINGS HAVE SET THE STAGE FOR THE PANELS WE'RE GOING TO HEAR 09:45:53 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE'VE BROKEN MUCH NEW GROUND 09:45:56 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE HAVE SOME TOUGH AND IMPORTANT 09:46:01 QUESTIONS TO ASK. IN MY OPINION, OUR INVESTIGATION 09:46:04 HAS SHOWN A GROSS LACK OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION BY BOTH 09:46:07 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA. 09:46:09 AND THAT GUARANTEED THAT THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA OR 09:46:15 FOR THAT MATTER, ANY OTHER CATASTROPHE THAT MIGHT HAVE 09:46:19 HAPPENED WAS DOOMED TO BE UNCOORDINATED, INADEQUATE, AND, 09:46:23 THEREFORE, MORE DAMAGING THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. 09:46:30 WE HAVE HEARD FROM A LARGE NUMBER OF WITNESS WHOSE SPOKE OF 09:46:33 THE FAILURES OF KATRINA. -- WE HAVE HEARD, EVACUATION, 09:46:41 SEARCH AND RESCUE, LAW AND ORDER AND DEPLOYMENT OF ASSETS. 09:46:45 WE HAVE LEARNED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS SIMPLY NOT 09:46:47 PREPARED TO OVERCOME THESE PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES IN THIS 09:46:52 PREDICTABLE AND PREDICTED HURRICANE. 09:46:58 EVEN THOSE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE IT DID NOT MEET THE DESPERATE NEEDS 09:47:02 OF THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. FEMA AND DHS OFFICIAL VERSUS 09:47:06 TOLD US IN INTERVIEWS AND TESTIMONY AND IN EVIDENCE 09:47:09 GATHERED BY OUR STAFF -- I WANT TO READ JUST A FEW OF THOSE THAT 09:47:12 ARE ON THAT CHART. FOR MICHAEL LAUER, FEMA'S 09:47:18 DIRECTOR OF RESPONSE, AUGUST 27 2005 E-MAIL, TWO DAYS BEFORE 09:47:22 KATRINA HIT LANDFALL SAID, AND I QUOTE, IF THIS IS THE NEW 09:47:26 ORLEANS SCENARIO, WHICH WAS THE WAY THEY DESCRIBED THE BIG 09:47:29 HURRICANE ARRIVING, WE ARE ALREADY WAY BEHIND. 09:47:32 FROM SCOTT WELLS OF FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER, "THIS WAS 09:47:38 A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. WE DON'T HAVE THE STRUCTURE. 09:47:41 WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE FOR CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. 09:47:45 IT'S THAT SIMPLE." FROM FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING 09:47:49 OFFICER BIG LOCHI, THE TOP MAN FOR FEMA IN LOUISIANA, 09:47:55 "COMMUNICATIONS AND COORDINATING WAS LACKING, PREPLANNING WAS 09:47:58 LACKING. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS." 09:48:00 FROM FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN WHO WE'LL HEAR 09:48:04 FROM TODAY. WHEN ASKED THE QUESTION BEFORE 09:48:06 KATRINA WAS FEMA READY FOR THIS KIND OF CATASTROPHE, MR. BROWN 09:48:10 SAID, SIMPLY AND DIRECTLY, I DON'T THINK SO. 09:48:14 FINALLY, FROM SECRETARY CHERTOFF WHO WE WILL HEAR FROM TUESDAY, 09:48:18 "I ALWAYS THINK KATRINA TESTED OUR PLANNING AND OUR PLANNING 09:48:22 FELL SHORT." THE FACT IS THAT WHEN DHS, 09:48:26 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAS CREATE INDEED 2002 IN THE 09:48:30 AFTERMATH OF THE TERRORIST AACTS OF 9/11/01. 09:48:35 I SAID, AND I KNOW I SPOKE FOR MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS I HOPED 09:48:40 TO SEE A COORDINATED, CONSOLIDATED AND ACCOUNTABLE 09:48:43 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. IN THIS INVESTIGATION, 09:48:46 UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SEEN SO LITTLE EFFECTIVE COORDINATION 09:48:50 AND CONSOLIDATION THAT WE MUST HOLD THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 09:48:53 SECURITY ACCOUNTABLE AND ASK URGENTLY THAT IT DO A LOT 09:48:58 BETTER. WE HOPE THAT THE DEPARTMENT 09:49:00 WOULD QUICKLY EVOLVE INTO A WORLD CLASS AGENCY THAT HAD THE 09:49:06 PLANNING PERSONNEL AND MATERIALS IN PLACE TO RESPOND SWIFTLY AND 09:49:10 EFFECTIVELY IN A DISASTER, NATURAL OR TERRORIST. 09:49:15 KATRINA SHOWED US THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 09:49:18 HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON ITSELF. 09:49:22 DESPITE AMPLE WARNINGS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS A BOWL COVERED BY 09:49:27 INADEQUATE LEVEE THAT IS WOULD BE OVERTOPPED OR BREACHED IN A 09:49:31 BIG HURRICANE, DES PAT THE SPECIFIC WARNINGS OF THE MOCK 09:49:37 HURRICANE EXERCISE DONE A YEAR BEFORE KATRINA HIT, GOVERNMENT 09:49:42 AT ALL LEVELS WAS UNPREPARED TO PROTECT NEW ORLEANS FROM THE 09:49:46 EXPECTED BIG HURRICANE AND DESPITE THE SPECIFIC MENTIONS OF 09:49:51 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESCUE RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE 09:49:55 NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN OF JANUARY 2005, THE FACT IS WHEN 09:50:01 KATRINA HIT, AMERICA'S GOVERNMENT WAS LARGELY 09:50:05 UNPREPARED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. 09:50:09 NATURE HIT NEW ORLEANS HARD, BUT ALSO GAVE ITS PEOPLE A BREAK BY 09:50:14 HITTING HARDEST 15 MILES TO THE EAST. 09:50:18 BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO EFFECTIVELY EVACUATE THE POOR 09:50:21 AND INFIRMED WHO COULD NOT EVACUATE THEM, IF KATRINA HAD 09:50:25 HIT NEW ORLEANS HEAD-ON, THE DEATH TOLL PROBABLY WOULD HAVE 09:50:29 BEEN IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS AS HURRICANE PAM EXERCISED HAD 09:50:35 PREDICTED. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS 09:50:37 THAT CAME TO PASS. IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE STORM 09:50:39 FEMA FAILED TO PRESTAGE PERSONNEL IN NEW ORLEANS OTHER 09:50:42 THAN A SINGLE PUBLIC AFFAIRS EMPLOYER, MOVED ADEQUATE AMOUNTS 09:50:46 OF FOOD, AND WATER SUPPLIES TO THE SCENE. 09:50:51 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO IMPLEMENT THE 09:50:54 CATASTROPHIC INCIDENT ANNEX TO THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN EARLY 09:50:57 ENOUGH. THAT WOULD HAVE TRIGGERED A MORE 09:50:59 AGGRESSIVE, TIMELY FEDERAL RESPONSE. 09:51:01 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO DEVELOP AN 09:51:04 EFFECTIVE PLAN TO MAIN TAN ACCURATE SITUATION ESTIMATES 09:51:08 THAT THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATION CENTER, WHICH WAS SET 09:51:13 UP TO BE THE NATION'S NERVE CENTER DURING A DISASTER. 09:51:16 THAT FAILURE LED TO THE IGNORING OF REPORTS THAT THE LEVEES WERE 09:51:21 BEING BREACHED AND OVERTOPPED AND THAT THE CITY HAD FLOODED 09:51:24 WITH PEOPLE ALREADY TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND ON ROOFTOPS. 09:51:28 FEMA WAS LATE IN BRINGING IN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS. 09:51:32 THAT PULLED THEM OUT FOR SECURITY REASONS, EVEN THOUGH 09:51:35 OTHER AGENCIES CONTINUED TO STAY AND DO SEARCH AND RESCUE. 09:51:39 DHS FAILED TO TAND UP UNTIL THE DAY AFTER LANDFALL. 09:51:43 THE INTERAGENCY INCIDENT MATH GROUP, THAT SENIOR LEVEL GROUP 09:51:48 CHARGED WITH HELPING TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL RESPONSE 09:51:51 TO A CATASTROPHE THAT WAS REQUIRED ONCE THE PRESIDENT 09:51:57 DECLARED AN EMERGENCY ON SATURDAY MORNING. 09:52:00 YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM GENERAL BENNETT LANDRINOEAU FROM THE 09:52:07 LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD WHO TOLD US THE BUSES PROMISED BY 09:52:10 FEMA BEFORE THE STORM WERE POST LANDFALL EVAC SKPIGS KP 09:52:13 DIFFERENT POINTS ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AFTER THE 09:52:16 STORM DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL THURSDAY. 09:52:18 THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE HUMAN SUFFERING THAT THE 09:52:22 WORLD SAW AT THE SUPER DOME AND THE CONVENTION CENTER. 09:52:26 ALL THOSE MISTAKES MEANT TIME WAS LOST AND LIVES WERE 09:52:30 THREATENED OR LOST. TIME IS, OBVIOUSLY, EVERYTHING 09:52:32 IN A CRISIS LIKE KATRINA. OR, IN GOD FORBID, A TERRORIST 09:52:39 ATTACK. THE NEW ORLEANS SUPERINTENDENT 09:52:43 TOLD US THAT EARLY. HE'S RIGHT. 09:52:44 PEOPLE WERE DROWNING INTO STREETS AND YARDS AND BREAKING 09:52:47 TO THEIR ROOF TOPS STARVING IN ATTICS FEELING THEY WERE 09:52:52 ABANDONED AND LOSING HOPE AS VENTILATERS AND MEDICAL SUPPORT 09:52:56 SYSTEMS FAILED FOR LACK OF POWER. 09:52:57 THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MADE IT TO THE SUPER DOME OR 09:53:01 CONVENTION CENTER. WE ALL SAW THE GRIM PICTURES OF 09:53:05 HUMAN NEGLECT THERE. BECAUSE TIMING AND SITUATIONAL 09:53:09 AWARENESS IS SO CENTRAL TO THE RESPONSE TO EVERY CATASTROPHE, 09:53:13 TODAY'S HEARING IS GOING TO LOOK AT THE MOST -- AT WHAT THE MOST 09:53:16 SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNEW ABOUT THE 09:53:19 FLOODING OF NEW ORLEANSES AND THE BREAKING OF THE LEVEES AND 09:53:23 WHEN THEY KNEW IT. A LITTLE LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER 09:53:27 KATRINA MADE LANDFALL, SECRETARY CHERTOFF SAID, "IT WAS ON 09:53:32 TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEE MAY HAVE BEEN OVERNIGHT MONDAY TO TUESDAY 09:53:37 THAT LEVEE STARTED TO BREAK. IT WAS MIDDAY TUESDAY THAT I 09:53:43 BECAME AWARE OF THE FACT THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF PLUGGING 09:53:46 THE GAP AND ESSENTIALLY THE LAKE WAS GOING TO START TRAINING INTO 09:53:50 THE CITY. I THINK THAT SECOND CATASTROPHE 09:53:53 REALLY CAUGHT EVERYBODY BY SURPRISE." 09:53:58 WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF ABOUT THAT NEXT 09:54:01 TUESDAY. TODAY, WE WILL ASK SOME OF HIS 09:54:03 SENIOR STAFF HOW THE NEWS MEDIA, INCLUDING A NEW ORLEANS RADIO 09:54:10 STATION EARLY MONDAY MORNING, NUMEROUS FEDERAL AGENCIES, THE 09:54:13 AMERICAN RED CROSS COULD BE AWARE OF GROWING AND 09:54:18 CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN NEW ORLEANS ALL DAMON DAY, AUGUST 29 09:54:23 THE DAY OF LANDFALL, WHILE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 09:54:29 ON HOMELAND SECURITY RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER RESPONSE SOMEHOW 09:54:38 DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. WE HAVE QIBT Q WHICH REPORTS 09:54:43 LEVEE BREACHES AND DESPERATE CITIZENS SEEKING REFUGE FROM 09:54:47 RISING FLOOD WATER THAT IS BEGAN COMING IN AS EARLY AS 8:30 A.M. 09:54:52 ON MONDAY, AUGUST 29th. SELECTION OF THEM ARE SHOWN ON 09:54:57 THE BOARDS HERE TO MY LEFT. THEY INCLUDE AT 9:14 A.M. 09:55:02 THE FASHIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A FLASH FLOOD WARNING 09:55:06 REPORTING, "A LEVEE BREACH PROP OCCURRED ALONG THE INDUSTRIAL 09:55:11 CANAL AT TENNESSEE STREET. 3 TO 8 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED 09:55:15 DUE TO THE BREACH." TWO HOURS LATER AT 11:30, THE 09:55:19 WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUE AS REPORT THAT 09:55:23 SAYS IN PART "FLOODING IS SIGNIFICANT THROUGHOUT THE 09:55:26 REGION AND A LEVEE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN BREACHED, 09:55:31 SENDING 6 TO 8 FEET OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE NINTH WARD AIR 09:55:34 WRA OF THE INDUSTRY -- STIT." THE HOMELAND REPORTS THAT RISING 09:55:41 WATER RESIDENTS ARE IN THAT ATTICS AND ROOFS. 09:55:44 THAT'S A QUOTE FROM SECURITY COUNCIL. 09:55:48 AT 8:34 EVENING MONDAY THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REPORTED 09:55:55 FLOODING IN ST. BERNARD PARISH WITH WATER UP TO ROOFS OF HOMES 09:56:00 AND ALL JEFFERSON AND OR LENS PUMPING STATIONSES ARE 09:56:07 INOPERABLE. FINALLY, M ARE THEY BUMUNDI, THE 09:56:14 FEMA EMPLOYEE WHO DIRECTOR BROWN I BELIEVE, DISPATCHED TO NEW 09:56:18 ORLEANS WAS THERE EARLY, TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD TAKEN A 09:56:22 FLILTH ON A COAST GUARD HELICOPTER OVER NEW ORLEANS AT 09:56:27 APPROXIMATELY 6:30 EASTERN. A REPORT FROM 10:30 THAT THERE 09:56:31 IS A QUARTER MILE BREACH IN THE LEVEE NEAR THE 17th STREET CANAL 09:56:38 FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TO FLOW INTO THE CITY. 09:56:42 TWO-THIRDS TO 75% OF THE CITY IS UNDER WATER. 09:56:46 HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED ON THE BALCONIES AND ROOFS OF A 09:56:50 MAJOR APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE CITY. 09:56:53 A FEW BODIES WERE SEEN FLOATING IN THE WATER. 09:56:56 THE COAST GUARD PILOTS REPORTED SEEING BODIES BUT NO DETAILS ON 09:57:01 LOCATIONS. THAT'S THE END OF THE REPORT 09:57:04 FROM MARTY BUMUNDI WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE THAT AFTERNOON. 09:57:13 IT SHOWS A GREAT AMERICAN CITY UNDERWATTER AND STILL SOMEHOW 09:57:16 THE HIGHEST OFFICIALS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 09:57:20 AND PERHAPS AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION AS 09:57:25 MONDAY, AUGUST 29, ENDED THAT THE CITY HAD DODGED A BULLET. 09:57:30 MADAM CHAIRMAN, WE HAVE TO ASK SOME TOUGH QUESTIONS BECAUSE WE 09:57:33 HAVE TO HAVE ANSWER IFS WE'RE TO MAKE THE CHANGES WE WANT TO MAKE 09:57:38 AT DHS. IN THE EARLY AFTERMATH OF THE 09:57:41 HURRICANE KATRINA DEBACKAL, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL 09:57:46 BROWN WAS BLAMED FOR THE INADEQUATE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 09:57:51 RESPONSE. OUR INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS, IN 09:57:53 MY OPINION, IN FACT, THAT MR. BROWN DID NOT DO A LOT OF 09:57:56 WHAT HE SHOULDAVE DONE, BUT HE WAS NOT ALONE. 09:58:03 IN FACT, THERE WAS A MASSIVE FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT AT ALL 09:58:06 LEVELS, AND BY THOSE WHO LEAD IT TO PREPARE AND RESPOND AS THEY 09:58:09 HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO. IN THE CASE OF THE FEDERAL 09:58:13 GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO KATRINA, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS, PROUD 09:58:18 EXCEPTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE U.S. 09:58:21 COAST GUARD, THERE WAS A SHOCKING CONSEQUENTIAL AND 09:58:27 PERVASIVE LACK OF PREPARATION RESPONSE AND LEADERSHIP. 09:58:30 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE PREPARED THIS MORNING TO 09:58:33 ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS FULLY AND TRUTHFULLY. 09:58:36 I APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH. I THANK YOU FOR IT. 09:58:40 IN DOING SO, I BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SERVING THE PUBLIC INTEREST 09:58:44 AND THIS COMMITTEE'S NONPARTISAN INTEREST IN FINDING OUT EXACTLY 09:58:49 WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILED SO BADLY IN ITS 09:58:53 PREPARATIONS AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA SO, TOGETHER, 09:58:59 WE CAN MAKE SURE IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. 09:59:02 KA TREE FA HAS PASSED. THE CLOCK IS RESET AND TICKING 09:59:05 AGAIN. WE KNOW WE WILL HAVE TO RESPOND 09:59:07 TO ANOTHER DISASTER, NATURAL OR 10:00:00 STAFF. I WOULD ASK THAT THE WITNESSES 10:00:02 RISE SO I CAN ADMINISTER THE OATH. 10:00:10 DO YOU SWEAR THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU ARE ABOUT TO GIVE TO THE 10:00:13 COMMITTEE WILL BE THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING 10:00:16 BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP YOU GOD? >> I DO. 10:00:18 >> I DO. >> THANK YOU. 10:00:21 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE SOME BRIEF REMARKS 10:00:24 THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE. >> I DO, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, 10:00:27 THANK YOU. IN 1989 A CONGRESSMAN WROTE A 10:00:31 LETTER TO "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" AND THAT LETTER SAID 10:00:34 THAT THERE IS A FATAL FLAW IF WE SEPARATE PREPAREDNESS FROM 10:00:40 RESPONSE. THAT CONGRESSMAN'S NAME WAS TOM 10:00:44 RIDGE. WE REACHED THAT FATAL FLAW IN 10:00:48 2003 WHEN FEMA WAS FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:00:52 SECURITY. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE COMMITTEE 10:00:53 TO LOOK AT A 1978 STUDY DONE BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR'S 10:00:57 ASSOCIATION IN WHICH -- AND I'LL QUOTE VERY BRIEFLY -- AS 10:01:00 THE TASK OF THE PROJECTS WERE PURSUED, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT 10:01:03 THE MAJOR FINDING OF THIS STUDY IS THAT MANY STATE EMERGENCY 10:01:08 OPERATIONS ARE FRAGMENTED. THIS IS NOT ONLY BECAUSE 10:01:13 UNCOORDINATED FEDERAL PROGRAMS ENCOURAGE STATE FRAGMENTATION, 10:01:16 BUT BECAUSE THE STRONG RELATIONSHIP OF LONG-TERM 10:01:18 RECOVERY AND MITIGATION OF FUTURE DISASTERS MUST BE TIED 10:01:21 TO PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR MORE IMMEDIATE DISASTERS, 10:01:25 AND THAT IS NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATELY UNDERSTOOD. 10:01:29 MADAM CHAIRMAN, I TELL YOU THAT WHAT OCCURRED AFTER FEMA WAS 10:01:33 FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THERE WAS A 10:01:36 CULTURAL CLASH WHICH DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE ABSOLUTE INHERENT 10:01:45 SCIENCE OF PREPARING FOR DISASTER, RESPONDING TO IT, 10:01:49 MITIGATING AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS AND RECOVERING FROM 10:01:52 DISASTERS. AND ANY TIME THAT YOU BREAK 10:01:55 THAT CYCLE OF PREPARING, RESPONDING, RECOVERING AND 10:01:58 MITIGATING, YOU'RE DOOMED TO FAILURE. 10:02:01 AND THE POLICIES AND THE DECISIONS THAT WERE IMPLEMENTED 10:02:04 BY DHS PUT FEMA ON A PATH TO FAILURE. 10:02:07 AND I THINK THE EVIDENCE THAT WE'LL HAVE BEFORE YOU TODAY 10:02:11 WILL SHOW THE ACTIONS THAT WERE TAKEN THAT CAUSED THAT FAILURE. 10:02:16 AND I BEG THIS COMMITTEE TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION TO FIX 10:02:20 THAT SO THESE DISASTERS DON'T OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. 10:02:24 THANK YOU. >> MR. RHODE. 10:02:27 >> GOOD MORNING, MADAM CHAIRMAN, SENATOR LIEBERMAN, 10:02:31 SENATORS. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE JUST A 10:02:33 VERY BRIEF OPENING STATEMENT, IF I COULD. 10:02:35 MY NAME IS PATRICK RHODE. I SERVE AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF 10:02:38 THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, PART OF THE 10:02:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FROM APRIL 2003 UNTIL JANUARY 10:02:44 OF 2006. I SERVED UNDER BOTH FORMER 10:02:47 DIRECTOR BROWN AND THE CURRENT ACTING DIRECTOR. 10:02:52 I'M HAPPY TO BE APPEARING BEFORE YOU TODAY VOLUNTARILY AS 10:02:55 YOU CONTINUE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN REVIEWING THE 10:02:58 COLLECTIVE GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 10:03:00 AND ASSESSING POSSIBLE CHANGES IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. 10:03:03 AT THE OUTSET I WOULD LIKE TO OBSERVE, IF I COULD, THAT 10:03:07 HURRICANE KATRINA WAS A TRULY CATASTROPHIC EVENT. 10:03:11 IT WAS AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY ON NUMEROUS LEVELS. 10:03:13 THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER WAS UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAD 10:03:17 PREVIOUSLY FACED AS A NATION. THE STORM COMPROMISED 90,000 10:03:23 SQUARE MILES OF THE GULF COAST, AN AREA ALMOST THE SIZE OF 10:03:27 GREAT BRITAIN. ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL OF 10:03:29 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IT WAS UNPRECEDENTED. 10:03:31 ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL, MY HEART WENT OUT TO THOSE WHO WERE 10:03:35 SUFFERING, AND INDEED, MY HEART STILL GOES OUT TO THOSE WHO 10:03:38 CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA. 10:03:41 MANY PEOPLE IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY, INCLUDING 10:03:44 MYSELF, TRIED TO DO THE VERY BEST THEY COULD UNDER VERY 10:03:48 DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. THE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS 10:03:50 WORKING ON THIS ISSUE AT THE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL 10:03:54 WERE DOING THEIR VERY BEST TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY 10:03:57 COULD UNDER THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY 10:04:01 MANAGEMENT. AS IN ALL THINGS THERE ARE 10:04:03 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. 10:04:05 I HOPE THAT THESE HEARINGS WILL PRODUCE JUST SUCH LEARNING AND 10:04:09 LEAD TO THE CREATION OF NEW LEGISLATION THAT CAN IMPROVE ON 10:04:12 THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT. 10:04:14 IF WE CAN APPLY THOSE LESSONS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE 10:04:16 NEXT EMERGENCY SITUATION, I WANT TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO 10:04:20 CONTRIBUTE APPROPRIATELY TO THAT EFFORT. 10:04:22 AS YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO APPEARING HERE TODAY 10:04:25 VOLUNTARILY, I HAVE FULLY COOPERATED WITH YOUR STAFFS BY 10:04:28 PARTICIPATING WILLINGLY IN SEVERAL INTERVIEWS WITH THEM. 10:04:31 IN ADDITION, I WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY TO NOTE THAT ANY 10:04:33 STATEMENTS I OFFER TODAY IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW 10:04:36 TO IMPROVE THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ARE THE 10:04:39 OPINIONS OF ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:04:41 AS I SIT BEFORE YOU TODAY I AM NO LONGER A GOVERNMENT 10:04:45 EMPLOYEE, BUT HAVE RETURNED TO PRIVATE LIFE WITH MY WIFE AND 10:04:48 6-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER. I DO NOT AND CANNOT SPEAK FOR 10:04:51 FEMA. ANYTHING I HAVE TO OFFER IS MY 10:04:54 OWN PERSONAL OPINION, FOR WHATEVER THE COMMITTEE MAY DEEM 10:04:56 IT TO BE WORTH. AND I WANT TO TAKE CARE TO BE 10:04:59 CLEAR THAT IT DOES NOT REFLECT THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF THE 10:05:03 AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 10:05:04 I APPLAUD THE COMMITTEE FOR TAKING ON THESE CHALLENGES AND 10:05:08 WHAT CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE TO THE COUNTRY'S EMERGENCY 10:05:11 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. I AM HOPEFUL THAT TOGETHER WE 10:05:13 CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENHANCEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS THAT BEST 10:05:16 ASSIST DISASTER VICTIMS IN THE FUTURE. 10:05:18 WITH THAT, I WELCOME ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MAY 10:05:20 HAVE. >> THANK YOU, MR. RHODE. 10:05:24 MR. BROWN, IN MY OPENING STATEMENT I MENTIONED A STUDY 10:05:30 THAT YOU COMMISSIONED FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:05:38 IT'S UNDER EXHIBIT 2 IN THE EXHIBIT BOOK. 10:05:41 MITER CORPORATION GAVE YOU ITS FINDINGS ON MARCH 2005, AND I'D 10:05:47 LIKE TO READ SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF THIS CONSULTANT. 10:05:53 "UNCLEAR LINES OF RESPONSIBILITY LEAD TO 10:05:56 INCONSISTENT ACCOUNTABILITY. THERE IS NO DEPUTY TO YOU WITH 10:06:02 OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND THERE ARE TOO MANY POLITICAL 10:06:05 APPOINTEES, NOT ENOUGH SENIOR MANAGEMENT EMERGENCY EXPERTS, 10:06:10 LACK OF ADEQUATE AND CONSISTENT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ACROSS 10:06:14 THE ENTERPRISE." I ALSO MENTIONED THAT EARLIER 10:06:20 IN 2004 THAT A GROUP OF SENIOR FEMA OPERATIONAL PROFESSIONALS, 10:06:26 THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS CADRE WROTE TO YOU A 10:06:32 MEMO OUTLINING THEIR GRAVE CONCERNS. 10:06:35 THE MEMO CAUTIONS OF UNPREPARED TEAMS AND ZERO FUNDING FOR 10:06:44 TRAINING, EXERCISES AND TEAM EQUIPMENT. 10:06:46 IT HAS SUGGESTED RE-ESTABLISHING A SINGLE 10:06:49 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY DIVISION AT FEMA TO FACILITATE THE 10:06:53 REFOCUSING THAT IS NECESSARY TO REGAIN SOME OF THE EFFICIENCY 10:06:59 THAT HAS BEEN LOST AT FEMA. WE'VE RECEIVED TESTIMONY THAT 10:07:05 IN RESPONSE TO BOTH OF THESE WARNINGS, WHICH WERE VERY 10:07:10 EXPLICIT IN IDENTIFYING SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITHIN PEOPLE, THAT 10:07:14 YOU DID NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. MY FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS 10:07:19 WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN RESPONSE TO THE WARNINGS FROM 10:07:23 THE SENIOR CAREER PEOPLE AND THE OUTSIDE CONSULTANT. 10:07:29 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, THE FIRST THING THE COMMITTEE NEEDS TO 10:07:32 UNDERSTAND IS THAT I INDEED DID COMMISSION THOSE STUDIES. 10:07:35 IN FACT, I ASKED FOR BOTH OF THOSE DOCUMENTS FROM THE 10:07:39 F.C.O.'S AND FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:07:41 WE HAD TO LITERALLY GO SCRAPE TOGETHER THE MONEY JUST TO GET 10:07:43 THE OFFICIAL WORK DONE BY MITER. 10:07:46 BUT I HAD COME TO THIS CLSH -- AFTER THREE YEARS OF FINDING 10:07:51 THE ARTICLES YOU SEE IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" ABOUT MY 10:07:54 ATTEMPTS TO TRY TO GET THE FEMA MISSION PUT BACK ON TRACK AND 10:07:58 HOW THAT WAS REBUFFED CONSISTENTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT 10:08:01 OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THAT I REACHED THIS CLSH. 10:08:05 THAT IN ORDER FOR FEMA TO WORK EFFECTIVELY I D TO HAVE 10:08:08 SOMETHING THAT WOULD GIVE A ROAD MAP TO EITHER FUTURE FEMA 10:08:11 DIRECTORS, BECAUSE I WAS INTENDING TO LEAVE, AND/OR TO 10:08:15 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OTHER THAN ME SAYING 10:08:17 IT THAT WOULD POINT OUT THESE PROBLEMS. 10:08:21 AS I SAID, WE HAD TO FIGHT TO GET THE MONEY JUST TO DO THE 10:08:25 MITER STUDY. ONCE WE RECEIVED THE MITER 10:08:27 STUDY WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO 10:08:30 COMPLETE THAT, GET THAT INTO A DOCUMENT THAT WOULD SAY HERE'S 10:08:34 WHAT WE NEED TO DO, A, B, C, SO I COULD PRESENT THAT TO 10:08:38 SECRETARY RINL AND THEN SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO IMPLEMENT 10:08:43 THOSE. WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE MONEY, 10:08:44 NEVER GIVEN THE RESOURCES, WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE 10:08:48 OPPORTUNITY TO IMPLEMENT ANY OF THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS. 10:08:50 >> SO YOU'RE TESTIFYING THAT YOU WERE REBUFFED IN YOUR 10:08:55 EFFORTS TO REMEDY THEE PROBLEMS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:08:59 SECURITY. DID YOU EVER DISCUSS THESE 10:09:03 CONCERNS ABOUT BUDGET, AUTHORITY, ORGANIZATION, 10:09:07 PERSONNEL WITH INDIVIDUALS AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:09:11 >> YES, MA'AM, I DID. >> AND WITH WHOM DID YOU 10:09:15 DISCUSS THOSE CONCERNS? >> I DISCUSSED THOSE CONCERNS 10:09:20 WITH SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SENIOR STAFF. 10:09:24 >> AND WOULD YOU IDENTIFY WITH WHOM YOU DISCUSSED THOSE 10:09:28 CONCERNS. >> BEFORE I DO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:09:31 MAY I JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENTS AND ASK FOR THE COMMITTEE'S 10:09:35 RECOMMENDATION? >> CERTAINLY. 10:09:38 >> ON FEBRUARY 6, 2006, MY COUNSEL SAID TO HARRIET MIERS 10:09:47 -- SENT TO HARRIET MIERS, COUNSEL FOR THE PRESIDENT, A 10:09:53 LETTER ASKING FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT I SHOULD DO IF THIS KIND 10:09:56 OF QUESTION IS POSED TO ME BY THE COMMITTEE. 10:09:59 LIKE PATRICK, I'M A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:10:01 THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN 10:10:04 WHICH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HIS 10:10:06 SENIOR VISORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY OR 10:10:13 DISCUSSION. IT'S MY BELIEF, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:10:16 THAT I DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:18 THAT I CANNOT INVOKE THAT. YET, I UNDERSTAND THAT 10:10:21 PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, THE EXECUTIVE, IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:27 OF GOVERNMENT AND THAT RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE RESIDES WITH THE 10:10:35 PRESIDENT. I AM HERE TO TRUTHFULLY AND 10:10:37 HONESTLY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK. 10:10:41 SO IN RESPONSE TO THE LETTER WHICH DID NOT -- AND I WANT TO 10:10:43 MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE LETTER DID NOT REQUEST THAT 10:10:45 I BE GRANTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:48 THE LETTER REQUESTED GUIDANCE ON WHAT THE OTHER EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:52 OF GOVERNMENT WANTED ME TO SAY OR NOT SAY WHEN THESE KINDS OF 10:10:57 QUESTIONS WERE POSED. SO DESPITE REPORTS IN THE PRESS 10:11:00 TO THE CONTRARY, THE LETTER SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. 10:11:03 IT DID NOT REQUEST EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, BUT GUIDANCE. 10:11:08 I RECEIVED THAT GUIDANCE BY LETTER, AGAIN, TO COUNSEL TO 10:11:12 MR. LESTER FROM WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL HARRIET MIERS IN A 10:11:17 LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2006. AND I'LL JUST READ YOU THE LAST 10:11:21 PARAGRAPH. "THE PRESIDENT'S VIEWS 10:11:23 REGARDING THESE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTERESTS HAVE NOT 10:11:27 CHANGED. I APPRECIATE THAT YOUR CLIENT 10:11:29 IS SENSITIVE TO THE INTERESTS IMPLICATED BY POTENTIAL 10:11:33 DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO WHICH HE WAS 10:11:36 A PARTY AS A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN THE ADMINISTRATION, AS 10:11:40 REFLECTED IN HIS RECENT RESPONSES TO CONGRESSIONAL 10:11:42 COMMITTEES AND THEIR STAFFS AND REQUEST THAT HE OBSERVE HIS 10:11:46 PAST PRACTICES WITH RESPECT TO THOSE COMMUNICATIONS." 10:11:52 IN MY OPINION, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:11:55 ANSWER OUR REQUEST FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT IS TO BE 10:11:58 DONE. SO I AM HERE AS A PRIVATE 10:12:01 CITIZEN STUCK BETWEEN TWO EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, ONE 10:12:05 WHICH IS REQUESTING THATE'RE NOT GOING TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE 10:12:09 PRIVILEGE, BUT THAT I RESPECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE 10:12:14 CONCEPT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND ON THE OTHER HAND APPEARING 10:12:18 BEFORE YOU AS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, UNDER OATH, 10:12:21 SWORN TO TELL THE TRUTH, WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM EITHER 10:12:25 ONE. SO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, I WOULD ASK 10:12:27 YOU FOR GUIDANCE IN WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE MICHAEL BROWN, 10:12:31 PRIVATE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, TO DO IN THIS REGARD. 10:12:34 >> DOES THE LETTER THAT YOU HAVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE 10:12:39 COUNSEL DIRECT YOU TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH 10:12:44 RESPECT TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION 10:12:49 OFFICIALS? >> IT DOES NOT, AND NOR DO I 10:12:51 BELIEVE THAT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSERT THAT PRIVILEGE ON 10:12:53 BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT. I AM A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:12:57 >> HAS THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL ORALLY DIRECTED YOU TO ASSERT 10:13:04 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO THOSE CONVERSATIONS 10:13:07 YOU'VE HAD WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS? 10:13:10 >> THEY HAVE NOT TO ME, AND TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY 10:13:13 HAVE NOT DIRECTED THAT TO MY COUNSEL EITHER. 10:13:16 THAT'S CORRECT. >> THESE CONVERSATIONS CLEARLY 10:13:24 COULD BE SUBJECT TO AN ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE 10:13:28 PRIVILEGE. IN FACT, IF SUCH A PRIVILEGE 10:13:30 WERE TO BE ASSERTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE, I WOULD, IN ALL 10:13:36 LIKELIHOOD, RULE THAT THE PRIVILEGE APPLIED TO THOSE 10:13:41 CONVERSATIONS, AND I WOULD INSTRUCT YOU NOT TO ANSWER THE 10:13:45 QUESTIONS SO THAT WE COULD FURTHER EXPLORE THE PRIVILEGES 10:13:52 ISSUE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. HOWEVER IN, THE CASE OF 10:13:55 CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORS, THE 10:14:01 PRIVILEGE IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO ASSERT, NOT THE 10:14:05 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TESTIFIED 10:14:09 THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE HAS CHOSEN NOT TO ASSERT 10:14:14 THIS PRIVILEGE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR YOU TO DECLINE TO 10:14:19 ANSWER THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH PRESIDENTIAL 10:14:25 ADVISORS. SO I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO 10:14:28 RESPOND TO THE QUESTION. >> MADAM CHAIRMAN. 10:14:32 >> SENATOR STEVENS. >> HAS ANYONE CONTACTED THE 10:14:36 STAFF OR YOURSELF FROM THE WHITE HOUSE REQUESTING THAT 10:14:39 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BE RECOGNIZED IN THIS AREA? 10:14:41 >> YES. I HAD A LENGTHY DISCUSSION LAST 10:14:44 NIGHT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL IN WHICH I ADVISED HER 10:14:49 TO EITHER SEND MR. BROWN A CLEAR LETTER ASSERTING 10:14:55 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OR TO SEND IT TO THIS COMMITTEE, OR TO 10:15:00 HAVE A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE PRESENT 10:15:04 TODAY TO OBJECT TO QUESTIONS, AND MS. MEIERS DECLINED TO DO 10:15:12 EITHER. >> I WANT TO SAY FOR THE RECORD 10:15:14 AS A FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, I 10:15:17 BELIEVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE 10:15:20 COUNTRY AND IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, IF THIS WITNESS TESTIFIES 10:15:25 AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION, THAT THEN WE'RE FACED 10:15:28 WITH A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS TO SEND 10:15:33 SOMEONE DOWN TO CHALLENGE THE STATEMENT THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. 10:15:38 IT'S VERY DIFFICULT GROUND WE'RE ON. 10:15:39 I DON'T KNOW WHERE MR. BROWN IS GOING. 10:15:41 BUT IT DOES WORRY ME THAT THERE IS A LEGITIMATE BASIS FOR 10:15:45 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF THEY HAVE NOT ASSERTED IT TO 10:15:47 YOU, THEN THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. >> THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. 10:15:56 AND I INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROVIDE ME WITH THAT 10:16:01 ASSERTION LAST NIGHT. THEY DECLINED TO DO SO. 10:16:05 INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY PRESENT TO MAKE THE 10:16:09 ASSERTION. I HAVE REVIEWED THE LETTER, AND 10:16:10 WE WILL PUT BOTH THE LETTER FROM MR. BROWN'S LAWYER AND MS. 10:16:17 MEIERS' RESPONSE INTO THE RECORD, AND THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:16:22 ASSERT THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >> IS WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL 10:16:28 PRESENT? >> THERE IS NOT A WHITE HOUSE 10:16:32 COUNSEL PRESENT THAT I AM AWARE OF. 10:16:35 I SUSPECT THERE ARE WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS HERE, HOWEVER. 10:16:40 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN -- >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 10:16:43 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, IF I MAY, FIRST, I WANT TO TELL YOU I 10:16:47 BOTH APPRECIATE AND SUPPORT YOUR RULING IN THE CONTEXT OF 10:16:52 -- EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD BEEN ASSERTED, WE ARE A 10:16:57 CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND IN THIS CASE WE ARE DOING 10:16:59 AN INVESTIGATION ON A TOTALLY NONPARTISAN BASIS THAT GOES TO 10:17:03 THE HEART OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. 10:17:07 SO WE HAVE AN INTEREST IN OBTAINING THE TRUTH. 10:17:09 WE'RE NOT OUT TO GET ANYBODY. WE'RE OUT TO GET THE TRUTH. 10:17:13 BUT -- THAT WOULD BE MY OPINION EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD 10:17:18 BEEN ASSERTED. BUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAS NOT 10:17:22 BEEN ASSERTED, AND, THEREFORE, I THINK THE PRIVILEGE AND 10:17:26 RESPONSIBILITY, LET ALONE THE RIGHT OF CONGRESS AS 10:17:29 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO GET THE WHOLE TRUTH 10:17:36 ABOUT KATRINA REALLY IS THE PRIORITY VALUE THAT WE HAVE TO 10:17:40 HONOR. AND I THANK YOU, MADAM 10:17:42 CHAIRMAN, FOR DOING EXACTLY THAT IN YOUR RULING. 10:17:47 >> MR. BROWN, I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. 10:17:51 AND I AM GOING TO RECLAIM THE TIME THAT I HAD BEFORE WE HEAD 10:17:58 TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE. >> CHAIRMAN COLLINS, I'M HAPPY 10:18:02 TO ANSWER BOTH QUESTIONS. COULD YOU RESTATE THE QUESTION? 10:18:10 >> I ASKED YOU WITH WHOM YOU TALKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT 10:18:14 THE BUDGET, AUTHORITY AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS THAT YOU 10:18:18 PERCEIVED WERE HINDERING YOUR ABILITY TO CARRY OUT YOUR 10:18:21 MISSION. >> AT VARIOUS TIMES I HAD 10:18:23 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, JOSH 10:18:27 BOLTEN, BEFORE HE MOVED OVER TO O.M.B. AND I HAD NUMEROUS 10:18:31 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF JOE HAGGAN 10:18:34 AND OCCASIONALLY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIEF STAFF ANDY CARD. 10:18:40 I'VE ALSO HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH BOTH FORMER WHITE HOUSE 10:18:45 HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, GENERAL JOHN GORDON, AND WITH 10:18:48 CURRENT HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, FRAN TOWNSEND. 10:18:53 >> THANK YOU. MR. BROWN, EXHIBIT 6 IS A 10:18:56 SERIES OF EMAILS ABOUT CONDITIONS IN NEW ORLEANS ON 10:19:02 MONDAY MORNING. WE KNOW FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE 10:19:06 THIS COMMITTEE THAT MARTY OF FEMA SAW -- FIRST RECEIVED A 10:19:15 REPORT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING ON MONDAY MORNING AT ABOUT 10:19:19 11:00. HE LATER IN THE DAY OVERFLEW 10:19:21 THE AREA AND SAW IT FIRSTHAND. THE EMAILS ALSO TOOK ABOUT -- 10:19:27 TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS IN THE CITY. 10:19:30 BY 10:00 ON THAT MONDAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, YOU HAD 10:19:36 RECEIVED A REPORT FROM HIM THAT THERE WAS ALREADY SEVERE 10:19:43 FLOODING IN THE AREA. THE WATER LEVEL WAS, QUOTE, UP 10:19:46 TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE TWO-STORY HOUSES, THAT PEOPLE 10:19:49 WERE TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND THAT THE PUMPS FOR THE LEVEES WERE 10:19:55 STARTING TO FAIL. WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN 10:20:00 RESPONSE TO THAT INFORMATION AND TO PASS THAT INFORMATION 10:20:06 ALONG TO THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY? 10:20:12 >> TWO THINGS, CHAIRMAN COLLINS. 10:20:13 THE FIRST AND FOREMOST I ALERTED HEADQUARTERS AS TO 10:20:16 THOSE REPORTS AND ASKED THEM TO GET IN CONTACT WITH MARTY TO 10:20:20 CONFIRM THOSE REPORTS. AND I ALSO PUT A CALL IN AND 10:20:24 SPOKE TO -- I BELIEVE IT WAS DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF HAGGAN ON 10:20:32 AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS ON THAT DAY TO INFORM HIM OF WHAT WAS 10:20:36 GOING ON. >> WAS THERE ANYONE ELSE THAT 10:20:37 YOU CALLED AT THE WHITE HOUSE TO INFORM THEM OF THESE 10:20:41 DEVELOPMENTS? >> IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EITHER 10:20:44 ANDY CARD OR JOE HAGGAN. >> DHS OFFICIALS TELL US 10:20:48 THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW OF THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:20:53 NEW ORLEANS UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING. 10:20:57 THAT'S ALMOST 24 HOURS AFTER YOU RECEIVED THE INFORMATION 10:21:01 THAT I REFERRED TO ABOUT THE SEVERE FLOODING IN NEW ORLEANS. 10:21:07 THEY ALSO ASSERT THAT THEY BELIEVE YOU FAILED TO MAKE SURE 10:21:11 THAT THEY WERE GETTING THIS VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION. 10:21:19 I'D LIKE YOU TO RESPOND TO THAT CRITICISM. 10:21:22 >> FIRST AND FOREMOST I FIND IT A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS THAT 10:21:26 DHS WERE CLAIMING THAT THEY WERE NOT GETTING THAT 10:21:29 INFORMATION, BECAUSE FEMA HELD CONTINUOUS VIDEO TELEPHONE 10:21:33 CONFERENCES -- I'LL REFER TO THEM AS VTCS -- IN WHICH AT 10:21:37 LEAST ONCE A DAY, IF NOT SEVERAL TIMES A DAY WE WOULD BE 10:21:40 ON CONFERENCE CALLS AND VIDEO CALLS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT 10:21:43 EVERYONE HAD SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:21:45 NOW, I'M SITTING IN BATON ROUGE, SO I'M NOT SURE AT ALL 10:21:49 TIMES WHO IS IN THE VIDEO CONFERENCE, ON THE V.T.C. 10:21:52 BUT THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AT LEAST 10:21:55 DEPUTY SECRETARY JACKSON AND AT LEAST MATTHEW BRODERICK, BOB 10:22:00 STEPHAN, SOMEONE FROM THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS 10:22:04 CENTER, IS IN ON THOSE CONVERSATIONS ON THOSE 10:22:06 VTCS. SO FOR THEM TO NOW CLAIM THAT 10:22:09 WE DIDN'T HAVE AWARENESS OF IT I THINK IS JUST BALONEY. 10:22:12 THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD AWARENESS OF IT BECAUSE THEY WERE 10:22:15 RECEIVING THE SAME INFORMATION THAT WE WERE. 10:22:16 IT'S ALSO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT MR. RHODE OR SOMEONE ELSE ON 10:22:24 HIS BEHALF SENT AN EMAIL EITHER DIRECTLY TO THE DHS CHIEF OF 10:22:28 STAFF OR PERHAPS TO THE HSOT. BUT MUCH LIKE I HAD OPERATED 10:22:37 SUCCESSFULLY IN FLORIDA, MY ONLY GATION WAS TO THE WHITE 10:22:42 HOUSE AND TO -- OBLIGATION WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TO THE 10:22:44 PRESIDENT TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE SITUATION 10:22:46 WAS, AND I DID THAT. AND THE VTCS WERE THE 10:22:52 OPERATIONAL CONSTRUCT BY WHICH DHS WOULD GET THAT 10:22:54 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. THEY WOULD GET THAT THROUGH 10:22:56 THOSE VTCS. >> MR. RHODE, WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:00 WHEN THE LEVEES HAD BROKEN ON MONDAY MORNING AND WHAT DID YOU 10:23:05 DO WITH THE INFORMATION? FIRST, WHEN WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:09 THE PROBLEMS OF FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING? 10:23:13 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, I BELIEVE THAT I FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE 10:23:16 ISSUES WITH THE LEVEE, AT LEAST PARTIAL INFORMATION, DURING THE 10:23:19 EARLY HOURS OF MONDAY MORNING, OR MID MORNING, I WANT TO SAY, 10:23:23 SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 9:00, 10:00 OR SO. 10:23:26 I BELIEVE THAT I CAME ACROSS AN EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO ME THAT 10:23:31 SUESTED THAT PERHAPS THERE WAS A LEVEE BREACH. 10:23:33 I DON'T THINK THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT. 10:23:36 AND I ENDEAVORED TO, AS WAS ALWAYS MY PRACTICE, WHENEVER 10:23:40 SOMEONE WAS SENDING ME OPERATIONAL INFORMATION, I 10:23:42 TRIED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT INFORMATION MADE IT DIRECTLY TO 10:23:44 THE OPERATORS. OUR PROTOCOL WITHIN FEMA WAS TO 10:23:48 MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM D ANY SORT OF SITUATIONAL 10:23:51 INFORMATION. AGAIN, MY ROLE IS IN 10:23:54 WASHINGTON, DC I WAS NOT IN LOUISIANA. 10:23:55 BUT AS THAT INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE AND AS I BECAME AWARE 10:23:59 OF IT, I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM HAD IT 10:24:02 WITHIN WASHINGTON SO THAT IT COULD THEN BE TRANSMITTED TO 10:24:05 THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER. 10:24:07 AS THERE WERE MANY SITUATIONAL REPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, THROUGHOUT 10:24:09 THE DAY. >> BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I'M 10:24:13 ASKING YOU. YOU WERE IN WASHINGTON -- 10:24:16 >> YES, MA'AM. >> -- YOU ARE NOW THE TOP FEMA 10:24:20 OFFICIAL. DID YOU TAKE ANY STEPS TONE 10:24:22 SURE THAT SECRETARY CHERTOFF WAS AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION? 10:24:27 >> WAS THE INFORMATION BECAME MORE AND MORE APPARENT, MARTY 10:24:32 ON MONDAY LATER THAT DAY HELPED ORCHESTRATE A CONFERENCE CALL 10:24:35 THAT I PARTICIPATED IN, AND AT THE CONCLUSION OF THAT 10:24:38 CONFERENCE CALL I SENT A LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OR SENT AN 10:24:41 EMAIL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN ADDITION 10:24:44 TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS OPERATIONAL PEOPLE THAT WERE 10:24:48 ALSO ON THAT CALL TO MAKE SURE THE HOMELAND SECURITY 10:24:52 OPERATIONS CENTER HAD THAT INFORMATION. 10:24:54 >> MR. BROWN, IT ISN'T ONLY DHS OFFICIALS WHO SAY THAT 10:24:58 THEY WERE UNAWARE UNTIL TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEES HAD COLLAPSED. 10:25:03 I'VE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT EXACT SAME THING BY ADMIRAL TIMOTHY 10:25:11 KEATON, THE HEAD OF NORTHERN COMMAND, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 10:25:17 HOMELAND DEFENSE FOR DOD. HE, IN AN INTERVIEW, TOLD ME 10:25:20 THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING THAT THE LEVEES 10:25:25 HAD BREACHED AND THAT THE CITIES HAD FLOODED. 10:25:30 WAS THERE ANY COMMUNICATION FROM YOU OR DID YOU TAKE ANY 10:25:33 STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NORTHERN COMMAND WAS INFORMED OF THIS 10:25:39 CATASTROPHIC DEVELOPMENT? >> I WOULD HAVE NOT AT THAT 10:25:42 POINT HAVE CALLED ADMIRAL KEATING DIRECTLY. 10:25:46 BUT THROUGH THE FEMA OPERATIONS CENTER THERE IS A MILITARY 10:25:50 LIAISON THERE, SO THEY WOULD HAVE HAD THAT SAME OPERATIONAL 10:25:53 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO PASS BACK UP THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:25:57 SO ADMIRAL KEATING OR SECRETARY RUMSFELD OR ANY OF THOSE COULD 10:26:00 HAVE HAD THAT SAME SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:26:02 >> WHAT IS SO TROUBLING IS WE HAVE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN 10:26:08 FROM TOP DHS OFFICIALS, FROM TOP DOD. OFFICIALS, FROM THE 10:26:14 LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY WERE 10:26:19 SIMPLY UNAWARE OF HOW CATASTROPHIC THE HURRICANE'S 10:26:25 IMPACT HAD BEEN BECAUSE OF THE BREACHING OF THE LEVEE. 10:26:32 CAN YOU HELP US UNDERSTAND THIS ENORMOUS DISCONNECT BETWEEN 10:26:35 WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND, A CITY 80% FLOODED, 10:26:43 UNCONTROLLED LEVEES, PEOPLE DYING, PEOPLE -- THOUSANDS OF 10:26:47 PEOPLE WAITING TO BE RESCUED, AND THE OFFICIAL REACTION AMONG 10:26:54 MANY OF THE KEY LEADERS IN WASHINGTON AND IN NORTHERN 10:26:59 COMMAND THAT SOMEHOW NEW ORLEANS HAD DODGED THE BULLET? 10:27:05 >> CHAIRMAN COL LOANS, THERE IS -- CHAIRMAN COLLINS, LET ME 10:27:11 FRAME THE ANSWER A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY. 10:27:14 IT'S MY BELIEF THAT HAD THERE BEEN A REPORT COME OUT FROM 10:27:18 MARTY THAT SAID, YES, WE'VE CONFIRMED THAT A TERRORIST HAS 10:27:22 BLOWN UP THE 17TH STREET CANAL LEVEE, THEN EVERYBODY WOULD 10:27:28 HAVE JUMPED ALL OVER THAT AND BEEN TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING 10:27:34 THEY COULD. BUT BECAUSE THIS WAS A NATURAL 10:27:37 DISASTER, THAT HAS BECOME THE STEP CHILEDE WITHIN THE 10:27:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 10:27:42 AND SO YOU NOW HAVE THESE TWO SYSTEMS OPERATION, ONE WHICH 10:27:46 CARES ABOUT TERRORISM, AND FEMA AND OUR STATE AND LOCAL 10:27:49 PARTNERS, WHO ARE TRYING TO APPROACH EVERYTHING FROM ALL 10:27:52 HAZARDS. AND SO THERE'S THIS DISCONNECT 10:27:54 THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT WE'VE CREATED BECAUSE OF 10:27:57 DHS ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TO 10:28:02 LISTEN TO THOSE VTCS AND PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE 10:28:06 VTCS, AND THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON. 10:28:08 AND IN FACT, I EMAILED A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL THAT EVENING 10:28:14 ABOUT HOW BAD IT WAS, MAKING SURE THAT THEY KNEW, AGAIN, HOW 10:28:17 BAD THAT IT WAS, IDENTIFYING THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE 10:28:21 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND HOUSING PROBLEMS AND ALL OF 10:28:23 THOSE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. SO IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT 10:28:29 DHS OFFICIALS WOULD SAY, WELL, WE WEREN'T AWARE. 10:28:32 THEY'RE OFF DOING OTHER THINGS. IT'S A NATURAL DISASTER SO 10:28:35 WE'RE JUST GOING TO ALLOW FEMA TO DO ALL OF THAT. 10:28:38 THAT HAD BECOME THE MENTALITY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 10:28:40 >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. >> THANKS, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:28:45 THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION. MR. BROWN, WE'LL GET BACK TO 10:28:49 THOSE COMMENTS. OBVIOUSLY OUR HOPE WAS THAT THE 10:28:51 DEPARTMENT WOULD BE READY TO DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS AND 10:28:55 TERRORIST ATTACKS AND THE IMPACT OF A TERRORIST BOMB ON 10:28:57 THE LEVEES WOULD HAVE BEEN EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE 10:29:01 HURRICANE WAS TO FLOODING THE CITY. 10:29:03 LET ME GO BACK TO THAT DAY, BECAUSE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT 10:29:06 AND YOUR COMMENTS JUST NOW HIGHLIGHT IT, AND THIS IS ABOUT 10:29:09 MARTY. HE TAKES THE TWO HELICOPTER 10:29:11 FLIGHTS, 5:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. CENTRAL TIME. 10:29:15 HE SEES THE DEVASTATION AND HE TOLD US THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER 10:29:18 THOSE HELICOPTER RIDES HE CALLED YOU AND REPORTED HIS 10:29:22 FINDINGS TO YOU. IS IT CORRECT THAT MR. BAMUN DE 10:29:30 -- BAMUNDY TOLD YOU ON THAT EVENING THAT HE COULD SEE NEW 10:29:33 ORLEANS FLOODING? >> IT'S CORRECT. 10:29:35 >> IS IT ALSO CORRECT THAT MARTY TOLD YOU THAT DURING THE 10:29:37 HELICOPTER RIDE HE SO SEE THAT LEVEES HAD BROKEN. 10:29:40 IS THAT RIGHT? >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:29:42 >> MARTY TOLD US THAT AFTER HE FINISHED GIVING YOU THAT 10:29:44 DEVASTATING INFORMATION, YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO CALL THE 10:29:47 WHITE HOUSE. IN YOUR STAFF INTERVIEW YOU 10:29:48 SAID THAT YOU DID HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A WHITE HOUSE 10:29:53 OFFICIAL ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 29, REGARDING HIS 10:29:59 FLYOVER. WHO WAS THAT WHITE HOUSE 10:30:01 OFFICIAL? >> TWO RESPONSES, SENATOR 10:30:03 LIEBERMAN. THERE IS AN EMAIL, AND I 10:30:11 REMEMBER THE EMAIL, AND I RECALL THIS QUITE VIVIDLY, I'M 10:30:16 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. >> IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WERE 10:30:19 EMAILING SOMEBODY AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:30:21 >> NO, I WAS ACTUALLY EMAILING SOMEBODY IN RESPONSE TO MARTY'S 10:30:25 INFORMATION BACK TO FEMA. >> GOT IT. 10:30:27 >> IN WHICH I SAID, YES, I'M CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. 10:30:30 AND I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY WHO I CALLED, BUT BECAUSE OF 10:30:33 THE PATTERN OF HOW I USUALLY INTERACTED WITH THE WHITE 10:30:37 HOUSE, MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT I WAS PROBABLY CALLING AND 10:30:40 TALKING TO JOE HAGAN. >> JOE HAG ANN -- 10:30:46 >> WHO WAS IN CAUFERED WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY. 10:30:49 >> HE WAS AT CRAWFORD. I'M SURPRISED YOU WOULDN'T 10:30:51 REMEMBER EXACTLY. BUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR 10:30:53 RECOLLECTION, YOU CALLED JOE HAGAN. 10:30:56 AND IS IT RIGHT THAT YOU CALLED HIM BECAUSE HE HAD SOME SPECIAL 10:30:58 RESPONSIBILITY FOR OVERSIGHT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT? 10:31:01 >> NO, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JOE, 10:31:07 AND JOE UNDERSTANDS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, NUMBER ONE. 10:31:10 NUMBER TWO, HE'S AT CRAWFORD WITH THE PRESIDENT. 10:31:13 >> GOT IT. AND YOU QUITE APPROPRIATELY AND 10:31:17 ADMIRABLY WANTED TO GET THE WORD TO THE PRESIDENT AS 10:31:19 QUICKLY AS YOU COULD. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:31:20 >> DID YOU TELL MR. HAG ANN IN THAT PHONE CALL THAT NEW 10:31:25 ORLEANS WAS FLOODING? >> I THINK I TOLD HIM THAT WE 10:31:27 WERE REALIZING OUR WORST NIGHTMARE. 10:31:29 THAT EVERYTHING WE HAD PLANNED ABOUT, WORRIED ABOUT, THAT 10:31:31 FEMA, FRANKLY, HAD WORRIED ABOUT FOR 10 YEARS WAS COMING 10:31:34 TRUE. >> DO YOU REMEMBER IF YOU TOLD 10:31:36 HIM THAT THE LEVEESED THAT BROKEN? 10:31:39 -- LEVEES HAD BROKEN? >> OKAY THE WITNESS STAND I 10:31:43 FEEL OBLIGATED TO SAY THAT I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:31:45 SAYING THOSE WORDS. BUT IT WAS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS 10:31:50 FLOODING, IT'S THE WORST CAYS SCENARIO. 10:31:53 >> MAYBE THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE, THIS IS THE WORST CASE 10:31:56 SCENARIO, THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IS FLOODING. 10:31:58 DID YOU ASK MR. HAGAN FOR ANY PARTICULAR ACTION BY THE WHITE 10:32:03 HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT, THE ADMINISTRATION IN THAT PHONE 10:32:06 CALL? >> THEY ALWAYS ASKED ME WHAT DO 10:32:09 YOU NEED. >> RIGHT. 10:32:10 >> JOE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD ABOUT THAT. 10:32:21 >> THE DIFFERENCE IS IN 2004 -- THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, 10:32:24 SENATOR, IF YOU'LL BEAR WITH ME FOR A MINUTE, IS IN 2004 CURING 10:32:28 THE HURRICANES THAT STRUCK -- DURING 2004, THE HURRICANES 10:32:34 THAT STRUCK FLORIDA, I WAS ASKED THAT SAME QUESTION, WHAT 10:32:36 DO YOU NEED. AND I SPECIFICALLY ASKED BOTH 10:32:40 SECRETARY CARD AND JOE HAGAN THAT ON MY WAY DOWN TO PUNTA 10:32:45 GORDA, FLORIDA THAT THE BEST THING THEY COULD DO FOR ME WAS 10:32:48 TO KEEP DHS OUT OF MY HAIR. AND IF I COULD JUST FINISH -- 10:32:52 >> YEAH. >> SO WHAT HAD CHANGED BETWEEN 10:32:57 2004 AND 2005 -- >> KATRINA, RIGHT. 10:33:00 >> BETWEEN THE HURRICANES OF 2004 AND NOW KATRINA, WAS THAT 10:33:07 THERE WAS NOW THIS MENTALITY OR THIS THINKING THAT, NO, NOW 10:33:14 THIS TIME WE WERE GOING TO FOLLOW THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:33:17 >> WHICH WAS PUT YOU IN CHARGE? >> WAS PUT ME IN CHARGE, BUT 10:33:23 NOW I HAVE TO FEED EVERYTHING UP THROUGH CHERTOFF OR SOMEHOW 10:33:27 THROUGH DHS >> I GOT YOU. 10:33:29 >> WHICH JUST BOGGED THINGS DOWN. 10:33:32 >> SO YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF SPECIFICALLY 10:33:35 ASKING MR. HAGAN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ANY ACTION AT 10:33:38 THAT TIME. >> NOTHING IN SPECIFIC. 10:33:39 I JUST THOUGHT THEY NEEDED TO BE AWARE OF THE SITUATION. 10:33:42 >> UNDERSTOOD. MR. BROWN, ON THE EVENING OF 10:33:44 LANDFALL YOU APPEARED ON THE 9:00 P.M. EDITION OF MSNBC'S 10:33:50 RITA COSBY LIVE AND DIRECT. YOU SAID THEN VERY EXPLICITLY 10:33:54 THAT YOU WERE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN NEW 10:33:57 ORLEANS, AND I QUOTE, IT COULD BE WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE 10:33:59 PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET BACK INTO SOME OF THESE 10:34:02 NEIGHBORHOODS, ENDS OF QUOTE, BECAUSE OF THE FLOODING. 10:34:05 YOU ALSO SAID, AND I QUOTE, THAT YOU HAD ALREADY TOLD THE 10:34:10 PRESIDENT TONIGHT THAT WE CAN ANTICIPATE A HOUSING NEED HERE 10:34:13 OF AT LEAST IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS, ENDS OF QUOTE. 10:34:17 YOU WERE CORRECT. DID YOU IN FACT SPEAK TO 10:34:21 PRESIDENT BUSH THAT NIGHT, AUGUST 29? 10:34:24 >> I REALLY DON'T RECALL IF THE PRESIDENT GOT -- I MEAN, 10:34:29 NORMALLY DURING MY CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY CHIEF 10:34:34 OF STAFF HAGAN, SOMETIMES THE PRESIDENT WOULD GET ON THE 10:34:37 PHONE FOR A FEW MOMENTS, AND SOMETIMES HE WOULDN'T. 10:34:40 I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY THAT NIGHT WHETHER HE DID OR 10:34:42 NOT. BUT I NEVER WORRIED ABOUT 10:34:43 WHETHER I TALKED DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE I KNEW 10:34:46 THAT IN SPEAKING TO JOE I WAS TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE 10:34:49 PRESIDENT. >> WELL, IT'S SURPRISING AGAIN, 10:34:51 TO ME, THAT YOU WOULDN'T REMEMBER WHETHER THE PRESIDENT 10:34:55 WAS ON YOUR CALL TO JOE HAGAN. >> I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR 10:35:01 ARROGANT, BUT I TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT A LOT OF. 10:35:04 SO SOMETIMES WHEN HE'S ON THE PHONE OR NOT ON THE PHONE, I 10:35:07 JUST WOULDN'T RECALL. >> ALL RIGHT. 10:35:09 SO THAT MAYBE YOU WERE INFLATING A LITTLE BIT OR BEING 10:35:12 LOOSE WITH YOUR LANGUAGE WHEN YOU TOLD MSNBC THAT YOU HAD 10:35:15 ALREADY TOLD THE PRESIDENT THAT NIGHT ABOUT -- 10:35:17 >> WELL, NO, BECAUSE WHEN I SAY THAT I'VE TOLD THE PRESIDENT -- 10:35:20 IF I'VE TOLD JOE HAGAN OR TOLD ANDY CARD, I'VE TOLD THE 10:35:25 PRESIDENT. >> I HAVE THIS PROBLEM HERE IN 10:35:27 THE CAPITOL, TOO, WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS SARA WARNER TOLD ME TO 10:35:30 TELL YOU, AND THEN I FOUND OUT IT WAS A STAFF MEMBER, OR I 10:35:35 TOLD SENATOR WASH F WARNER. >> TRUST ME, THEY TELL THE 10:35:41 PRESIDENT. >> OK, NOW, LET ME GO TO 10:35:44 SECRETARY CHERTOFF BECAUSE YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CHAIN OF 10:35:47 COMMAND THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO FOLLOW. 10:35:50 DID YOU SPEAK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF AFTER YOUR CALL WITH 10:35:55 MARTY AND TELL HIM ABOUT THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:35:58 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY EVENING? >> I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:36:06 IF I TALKED TO CHERTOFF ON THAT DAY OR NOT. 10:36:09 >> WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE, IF THAT WAS THE CHAIN OF COMMAND? 10:36:16 >> I'M STILL OPERATING THAT I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE. 10:36:19 AND THE WAY I GET THINGS DONE IS I REQUEST IT FROM THE WHITE 10:36:22 HOUSE AND THEY HAPPEN. >> WELL, THEN, DID YOU TELL 10:36:25 ANYONE ELSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN A HIGH 10:36:30 POSITION, DEPUTY SECRETARY MICHAEL JACKSON, FOR INSTANCE? 10:36:33 >> I THINK MICHAEL AND I MAY HAVE HAD A CONVERSATION. 10:36:35 >> MONDAY EVENING? >> YES. 10:36:37 >> WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALONG THE SAME LINES. 10:36:39 >> EXACTLY. >> AM I RIGHT THAT AT SOME 10:36:42 POINT ON MONDAY EVENING THERE WAS EITHER A PHONE CONFERENCE 10:36:44 CALL OR A VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL THAT YOU WERE ON REPORTING ON 10:36:49 THE SITUATION FROM NEW ORLEANS? >> YES. 10:36:51 >> AND DO YOU KNOW WHETHER ANYBODY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:36:55 HOMELAND SECURITY WAS ON THAT CALL? 10:36:58 >> THEY WERE ON ALL THE CALLS. >> OK. 10:37:00 SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THAT CALL? 10:37:04 >> DON'T REMEMBER. I DON'T RECALL. 10:37:06 >> DO YOU KNOW WHERE HE WAS THAT EVENING? 10:37:08 >> AS I WENT BACK THROUGH MIEL MAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS 10:37:13 -- MY EMAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS EITHER GONE OR GOING TO 10:37:17 VISIT ATLANTA AND TO VISIT THE FLORIDA OFFICES OF C.DC 10:37:20 >> WE'RE GOING TO ASK HIM ABOUT THAT. 10:37:22 BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE NUMBER ONE MAN IN TERMS OF THE 10:37:25 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THIS 10:37:29 DISASTER FOR SOME REASON DID NOT APPRECIATE THAT IT WAS SUCH 10:37:32 A DISASTER, THAT HE GOT ON A PLANE AND WENT TO ATLANTA FOR A 10:37:36 CONFERENCE ON AVIAN FLU. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SUNDAY, 10:37:41 THE DAY BEFORE. AM I RIGHT THAT THERE WAS A 10:37:44 VIDEO TELECONFERENCE ON THAT SUNDAY IN WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH 10:37:50 AN SECRETARY CHERTOFF WERE ON THE CONFERENCE? 10:37:53 >> I RECALL -- I SPECIFICALLY RECALL THE PRESIDENT BEING ON 10:37:57 THE CONFERENCE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SKIFF AT CRAWFORD. 10:38:02 >> RIGHT. >> BUT I DON'T SPECIFICALLY 10:38:05 RECALL SEEING SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THE SCREEN. 10:38:07 >> OK. AND ON THAT SUNDAY VIDEO 10:38:10 CONFERENCE CALL, AM I RIGHT YOU WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON THEN? 10:38:12 >> THAT'S CORRECT. I LEFT THAT AFTERNOON. 10:38:15 >> BUT YOU DESCRIBED THE CATASTROPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF 10:38:20 THE KIND OF HURRICANE THAT DR. MAX MAYFIELD AND ALL THE OTHER 10:38:25 FORECASTERS WERE PREDICTING THAT DAY. 10:38:33 >> I TOLD THE STAFF -- AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS 10:38:38 OF THAT V.T.C., THEN WE NEED TO GET THEM FOR YOU. 10:38:40 >> NO, I'M GOING TO GIVE 'PHRASE. 10:38:44 YOU DESCRIBED IT AS A CATASTROPHE WITHIN A 10:38:47 CATASTROPHE. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:38:49 THIS WAS WHY I WAS SCREAMING AND HOLLERING ABOUT GETTING 10:38:52 MONEY TO DO CATASTROPHIC DISASTER PLANNING. 10:38:55 THIS IS WHY I SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO DO NEW ORLEANS AS THE 10:38:59 FIRST PLACE TO DO THAT. THIS IS WHY I WAS SO FURIOUS 10:39:01 THAT ONCE WE WERE ABLE TO DO HURRICANE PAM THAT I WAS 10:39:05 REBUFFED ON GETTING THE MONEY TO DO THE FOLLOW-UP, THE 10:39:09 FOLLOW-ON. THIS IS WHY I TOLD THE STAFF 10:39:11 DURING THAT VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL -- 10:39:13 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE. 10:39:14 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE STRUCK THAT I EXPECTED THEM TO 10:39:17 CUT EVERY PIECE OF RED TAPE, DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD, THAT IT 10:39:20 WAS BALLS TO THE WALL, THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANYBODY SAY 10:39:24 THAT WE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. TO DO EVERYTHING HELP HUMANLY 10:39:27 COULD TO RESPOND TO THIS. BECAUSE I KNEW IN MY GUT, 10:39:30 SENATOR, THIS WAS THE BAD ONE. >> THANKS, MR. BROWN. 10:39:33 TIME'S UP FOR ME. >> SENATOR COLEMAN. 10:39:35 >> THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. AGAIN, LIKE I THINK ALL MY 10:39:39 OTHER COLLEAGUES, MY THANKS TO YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP. 10:39:43 THIS HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARY. I HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF 10:39:48 OBSERVATIONS, AS I LISTEN TO TESTIMONY, MD DAM CHAIR. 10:39:51 WE HEAR A LOT, WE'VE SEEN IN THIS COMMITTEE A LOT OF 10:39:56 DISCUSSION ABOUT STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:39:57 WE'VE HEARD THAT FEDERAL AND LOCAL AND STATE FOLKS ALL 10:40:02 POINTED AT EACH OTHER SAYING, WELL, THEY WERE IN CHARGE, THEY 10:40:04 WERE IN CHARGE. ANY TIME YOU GET A DISASTER 10:40:06 LIKE THIS, A DISASTER, NOT JUST OF KATRINA, BUT THE DISASTER OF 10:40:11 THE RESPONSE, YOU GET THE ANALYSIS THAT WE'RE GETTING 10:40:14 HERE. LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 10:40:15 OF PAGES OF REVIEW OF INFORMATION. 10:40:17 BUT I'M GOING TO BE VERY, VERY BLUNT HERE. 10:40:20 WHAT WE HAD, AND HAVING BEEN A MAYOR AND BEEN INVOLVED IN 10:40:23 SITUATION THAT IS COULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE, THAT WEREN'T SO 10:40:26 TERRIBLE, IN THE END WHEN THINGS GO BAD WE DO THE 10:40:29 ANALYSIS AND WE SEE ALL THE STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES. 10:40:32 BUT WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD LEADERSHIP OFTENTIMES EVEN WITH 10:40:37 STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES THINGS DON'T GO BAD. 10:40:39 MY SENSE IS WE HAD ALMOST THE PERFECT STORM OF POOR 10:40:42 LEADERSHIP. WE HAD A GOVERNOR WHO WAS 10:40:45 INDECISIVE, MET WITH THE PRESIDENT, MET WITH THE MAYOR 10:40:47 AND DIDN'T MAKE A DECISION. WANTED MORE TIME. 10:40:50 WE HAD A MAYOR, THOUGH WELL-INTENTIONED, IS HOLED UP 10:40:53 IN A HOTEL ROOM WITHOUT COMMUNICATIONS, AGAIN, GOOD 10:40:57 INTENTIONS, KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON ON THE GROUND, BUT NOBODY'S 10:40:59 IN CHARGE. AND MR. BROWN, THE CONCERN THAT 10:41:02 I HAVE IS, YOU KNOW, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE I'M HEARING BALLS 10:41:06 TO THE WALL, BUT I'M LOOKING AT EMAILS AND LACK OF 10:41:12 RESPONSIVENESS. MARTY, ON SENDING AN EMAIL 10:41:15 ABOUT SITUATION PAST CRITICAL -- THIS IS ON WEDNESDAY AT THIS 10:41:18 TIME. HOTEL'S KICKING PEOPLE OUT, 10:41:20 DYING PATIENTS. AND YOUR RESPONSE IS, THANKS 10:41:22 FOR THE UPDATE. ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO 10:41:27 TWEAK?" WE HAVE QUESTIONS ON -- 10:41:28 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU TAKE THAT OUST 10:41:31 CONTEXT. BECAUSE YOU DO THAT ON THE FLY 10:41:33 SAYING, YES, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO TWEAK. 10:41:36 AND WHAT YOU IGNORE IS WHAT'S DONE BEYOND THAT, WHICH IS 10:41:39 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE, TALKING TO THE OPERATIONS 10:41:42 PEOPLE AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THINGS ARE GETTING DONE. 10:41:44 AND I'M FRANKLY GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF THESE EMAILS BEING 10:41:47 TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT WITH WORDS LIKE "WHAT DO I NEED TO TWEAK," 10:41:51 BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW, IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT I 10:41:53 NEED TO TWEAK. AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE 10:41:55 ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF THAT'S GOING ON, SENATOR. 10:41:57 SO WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DON'T DRAW CONCLUSIONS FROM AN EMAIL. 10:42:01 >> MR. BROWN, I WLD MAINTAIN THAT IN FACT THE CONTEXT OF THE 10:42:05 EMAILS ARE VERY CLEAR, THAT TH SHOW A LACK OF 10:42:08 RESPONSIVENESS, THAT THEY SHOW A DISCONNECT. 10:42:10 THAT'S THE CONTEXT. IN FACT, I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE 10:42:13 INDIVIDUAL ONES. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 10:42:15 CONTEXT OF THE EMAIL DISCUSSION, YOU'RE GETTING 10:42:18 INFORMATION, YOU'RE GETTING INFORMATION ON MONDAY, 11:57, A 10:42:22 MESSAGE SAYING, "NEW ORLEANS REPORTED 20-FOOT WIDE BREACH. 10:42:25 IT'S 11:57." YOUR EMAIL, NOT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:42:29 COMING BACK, I'M TOLD HERE WATER NOT OVER THE BRIDGE. 10:42:33 OBVIOUSLY IT HASN'T HIT THE FAN FOR YOU. 10:42:35 SO I DON'T THINK IT'S OUT OF CONTEXT. 10:42:37 I THINK THE CONTEXT OF THE EMAILS, AND NOT JUST THE 10:42:41 EMAILS, BUT THE THINGS THAT WE AS AMERICANS SAW TO ME IS 10:42:45 SLUT'S STUNNING -- YOU'VE GOT -- ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, YOU'VE 10:42:50 GOT PEOPLE SUFFERING, ALL OF AMERICA KNOWS THAT. 10:42:52 ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WATCH TV, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT CHANNEL YOU 10:42:55 WATCH, AND WE HAVE YOU SAYING AT THAT TIME "WE'VE JUST 10:42:59 LEARNED -- THIS IS A CNN INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER 1. 10:43:02 NOT OUT OF CONTEXT. "AND SO THIS IS THE CATASTROPHE 10:43:08 THAT CONTINUES TO GROW. EVERY PERSON IN THAT CONVENTION 10:43:11 CENTER, WE JUST LEARNED THAT TODAY. 10:43:12 I'VE DIRECTED WE HAVE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES." 10:43:15 I KNEW A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AS AN AMERICAN. 10:43:17 SO LET ME FINISH THE COMMENT. WHAT I HEAR HERE IS YOU SAYING, 10:43:21 WELL, THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEM FALLS WITH THE MITER REPORT, IN 10:43:25 WHICH IT WAS LAID OUT VERY CLEARLY THE STRUCTURAL 10:43:31 INADEQUACIES, AND YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY IS YOU HAD 10:43:33 CONVERSATIONS. YOU PUSHED THAT FORWARD. 10:43:34 CAN YOU SHOW ME WHETHER EITHER IN THE EMAILS OR IN THE RECORD 10:43:38 YOUR VERY CLEAR DIRECTIVES TO GO, QUOTE, BALLS TO THE WALL, 10:43:41 TO CLEAR UP THIS SITUATION, TO FIX IT? 10:43:43 DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT I CAN LOOK AT IN WRITING THAT GIVES 10:43:46 SUBSTANCE TO WHAT YOU'VE TESTIFIED TO TODAY? 10:43:48 >> ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. 10:43:51 I'VE TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE THAT I MISSPOKE ON THAT 10:43:56 DAY REGARDING THAT EMAIL. WE LEARNED ABOUT THE CONVENTION 10:44:00 CENTER ON WEDNESDAY. BECAUSE THE CONVENTION CENTER 10:44:02 WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. IT WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. 10:44:05 IT WAS NOT IN ANYONE'S PLANS, INCLUDING THE CITY AND THE 10:44:08 STATES. AND WHEN WE LEARNED ABOUT IT ON 10:44:10 WEDNESDAY NIGHT WE IMMEDIATELY STARTED DEMANDING THE ARMY AND 10:44:14 RESOURCES TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. AND THERE ARE EMAILS IN THE 10:44:17 PACKAGES THAT YOU HAVE WHERE I'M SCREAMING WHERE'S THE ARMY, 10:44:20 I NEED THE ARMY NOW. WHY HASN'T IT SHOWN UP. 10:44:23 AND BECAUSE I MISSPOKE ABOUT WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT THE 10:44:26 CONVENTION CENTER, AFTER BEING UP FOR 24 HOURS, YOU WANT TO 10:44:29 TAKE THAT OUT OF CONTEXT AND, SENATOR, I'M NOT GOING TO ALLOW 10:44:33 YOU TO DO THAT. >> LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A 10:44:36 CONVERSATION THAT MAYOR NAGIN CAME BEFORE US, THIS COMMITTEE, 10:44:40 AND HE TALKED ABOUT GOING TO THE ZEPHYR STADIUM, AND MAYOR 10:44:46 NAGIN'S STATEMENT IS I WAS SO FLABBERGASTED. 10:44:48 WE'RE IN NEW ORLEANS. WE WERE STRUGGLING. 10:44:50 IT'S TOUCH AND GO RELATING TO SECURITY. 10:44:53 I GOT OFF THE HELICOPTER AND JUST STARTED WALKING AROUND AND 10:44:56 I WAS AWESTRUCK. WE HAD BEEN REQUESTING THE 10:45:01 SUPERDOME BECAUSE WE WERE STANDING AT NIGHT, TO MAKE A 10:45:05 LONG STORY SHORT. THERE WERE POOR CONDITIONS. 10:45:08 WE WANTED PORTABLE TOILETS. THEY HAD THEM ALL OVER THE 10:45:11 PLACE. WERE YOU WITH MAYOR NAGIN AT 10:45:14 THE TIME? >> I DON'T KNOW WHETHER -- I 10:45:16 DON'T KNOW WHETHER I WAS WITH HIM ON THAT PARTICULAR DATE OR 10:45:18 NOT. BUT I KNOW THE AREA HE'S 10:45:20 TALKING ABOUT. >> AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO THIS 10:45:22 COMMITTEE WHY, IF THERE HAD BEEN OBVIOUS DEEP CONCERNS 10:45:26 ABOUT SANITARY FACILITIES, ABOUT LIGHTING, WHY THOSE 10:45:29 FACILITIES, THOSE CONCERNS, HAD NOT BEEN MET? 10:45:31 >> BECAUSE THEY WERE HAVING -- THE UNITED STATES ARMY, THE 10:45:38 NATIONAL GUARD, WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING THOSE 10:45:42 SUPPLIES INTO THE SUPERDOME. YOU NEED THAT UNDERSTAND THAT 10:45:45 THERE ARE MEDIA REPORTS OF SHOOTING, THERE ARE MEDIA 10:45:48 REPORTS OF LOOTING AND EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON. 10:45:49 AND IF THE ARMY MOVES IN THERE, THE ARMY KILLS PEOPLE. 10:45:53 AND SO THEY HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT MOVING THOSE 10:45:55 THINGS IN THERE. BY THE SAME TOKEN, YOU HAD 10:45:59 CIVILIANS WHO COMBAN TO MOVE THINGS IN THERE AND CONE GET 10:46:02 THEM THERE. SO, YES, THERE WERE THINGS 10:46:05 STOCKPILED AND AS THAT SUPPLY CHAIN CONTINUED TO PILE UP, 10:46:09 ZEPHYR FIELD WAS FULL OF A LOT OF STUFF AND THOSE THINGS WERE 10:46:12 CONTINUING TO GO ON THE OTHER END TO GET INTO THE CITY. 10:46:16 FOR YOU TO TAKE A SNAPSHOT OF THE PLAYER GOING THERE FOR A 10:46:19 FEW MINUTES AND HIM SCREAMING IN HIS TYPICAL WAY ABOUT I WANT 10:46:23 ALL OF THIS STUFF IN THE CITY IS TAKING IT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:46:26 SENATOR. >> WHEN DID YOU ORDER THAT FOOD 10:46:28 AND WATER BE DELIVERED INTO THE CONVENTION CENTER? 10:46:30 >> THE DAY THAT WE LEARNED ABOUT IT, THAT WEDNESDAY. 10:46:33 WE IMMEDIATELY ORDERED THAT STUFF TO BE MOVED. 10:46:36 WHETHER IT WAS OR NOT -- WHETHER IT WAS ACTUALLY DONE OR 10:46:39 NOT IS THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING. 10:46:41 AND IF IT WASN'T, YOU NEED TO BE ASKING WHY. 10:46:44 BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE CAPACITY WITHIN FEMA OURSELVES 10:46:48 TO DO THAT, AND WE NEEDED THE FIFTH ARMY OR THE FIRST ARMY TO 10:46:51 MOVE THAT STUFF IN THERE. PLUS, I WOULD ALSO REMIND YOU 10:46:55 THAT THERE'S NO -- >> MR. BROWN, JUST ON THAT 10:46:59 POINT ALONE, AND THAT'S WHAT MY NOTES INDICATE. 10:47:04 RECORDS HAD BEEN PRODUCED TO THE COMMITTEE INDICATE THAT 10:47:05 FEMA DID NOT ORDER, DID NOT ORDER FOOD AND WATER FOR THE 10:47:09 CONVENTION CENTER UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. 10:47:13 >> I CAN TELL YOU UNEQUIVOCALLY, SENATOR, UNDER 10:47:16 OATH, THAT THE MINUTE THAT I LEARNED THAT THERE WERE PEOPLE 10:47:20 IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, I TURNED TO BILLOW KEY, MY 10:47:23 INDIVIDUAL, MY OPERATIONS PERSON ON THE GROUND AND SAID 10:47:26 GET M.R.E.'S, GET STUFF MOVING IN THERE. 10:47:29 >> DID YOU EVER FOLLOW UP TO FIND OUT WHETHER THAT HAPPENED? 10:47:32 >> SENATOR, I CONTINUED TO DO OPERATIONS AS BEST I COULD ALL 10:47:36 ALONG THROUGHOUT THAT TIME AND I WOULD CONTINUALLY ASK 10:47:40 QUESTIONS, ARE THINGS HAPPENING, ARE THINGS 10:47:41 HAPPENING, ARE THINGS HAPPENING. 10:47:42 >> THE RECORD IS VERY CLEAR AS TO WHEN THE ORDER WAS GIVEN. 10:47:45 IT WAS GIVEN ON FRIDAY. AND MY CONCERN IS THIS, MR. 10:47:51 BROWN -- AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:47:54 I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED 10:47:57 ABOUT THE FUNCTION OF DHS AND THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA. 10:48:01 BUT AS I LISTEN TO YOUR TESTIMONY, YOU'RE NOT PREPARED 10:48:03 TO KIND OF PUT A MIRROR IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE AND 10:48:07 RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN INADEQUACIES AND SAY I MADE SOME BIG 10:48:11 MISTAKES, I DIDN'T GET THINGS DONE. 10:48:14 AND INSTEAD, YOU'RE SAYING THE PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL, I KNEW 10:48:16 IT UP FRONT, I REALLY TRIED TO CHANGE IT. 10:48:18 THE RECORD, THE ENTIRETY OF THE RECORD, DOESN'T REFLECT THAT. 10:48:21 AND PERHAPS YOU MAY GET A MORE SYMPATHETIC HEARING IF YOU HAD 10:48:24 A WILLINGNESS TO KIND OF CONFESS YOUR OWN SINS IN THIS. 10:48:30 YOUR TESTIMONY HERE IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO COMMUNICATE TO 10:48:33 THE PRESIDENT AS TO WHAT HE UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:35 I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:37 I'M NOT SURE YOU GOT IT. I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU THE 10:48:39 RECORD, NOT THE EMAILS, BUT THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT YOU DIDN'T 10:48:42 GET IT OR YOU DIDN'T, IN WRITING OR SOME WAY, MAKE 10:48:45 COMMANDS THAT WOULD MOVE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE UNTIL 10:48:48 WAY AFTER IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. 10:48:50 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO 10:48:55 SAY? I HAVE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES 10:48:59 PUBLICLY, I'VE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES IN HEARINGS. 10:49:02 WHAT MORE, SENATOR COLEMAN, DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:04 >> WELL, I THINK -- >> WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:07 I'M ASKING YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:09 >> WHAT I HEARD TODAY AND WHAT I HEARD FROM YOUR TESTIMONY AND 10:49:11 COMING IN AND TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE STRUCTURAL THINGS THAT, 10:49:15 THE DYEAS CAST. THAT WAS YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY. 10:49:19 AND I HAVE MY OWN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA 10:49:22 AND DHS BUT I HEARD TODAY THAT THE DIE 10:49:27 WAS CAST. >> IT WAS. 10:49:28 >> I'M SAYING THAT THE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 10:49:30 YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP. 10:49:32 EVEN WITH STRUCTURAL INFIRMITIES, STRONG LEADERSHIP 10:49:37 CAN OVERCOME THAT AND CLEARLY THAT WASN'T THE CASE HERE. 10:49:38 >> WELL, SENATOR, THAT'S VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY SITTING 10:49:43 BEHIND THAT DESK AND NOT BEING THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT 10:49:45 DISASTER WATCHING THAT HUMAN SUFFERING AND WATCHING THOSE 10:49:48 PEOPLE DYING AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH THOSE STRUCTURAL 10:49:55 DYSFUNCTION NATIONALITIES EVEN WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, AND I 10:49:58 RESENT YOU SITTING HERE SAYING I LACKED THE LEADERSHIP TO DO 10:50:00 THAST I WAS DOWN THERE PUSHING EVERYTHING THAT I COULD. 10:50:02 I'VE ADMITTED TO THOSE MISTAKES. 10:50:04 AND IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE FROM ME PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND 10:50:07 YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO ADMIT TO. 10:50:10 >> A LITTLE MORE CANDOR WOULD SUFFICE. 10:50:12 >> WHAT MORE CANDOR -- ASK ME THE QUESTION, SENATOR. 10:50:15 ASK ME THE QUESTION. >> THANK YOU. 10:50:17 BUT I THINK MY TIME IS UP. THANK YOU. 10:50:20 MADAM CHAIR. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM 10:50:24 CHAIRMAN. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I 10:50:30 ADMIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND COMMEND YOU AND YOUR RANKING 10:50:37 MEMBER FOR YOUR LEADERSHIPS ON PURSUING THESE HEARINGS FOR THE 10:50:45 SAKE OF THE SECURITY AND SAFETY OF OUR COUNTRY. 10:50:54 I AGREE WITH YOU, MADAM CHAIRMAN, AND WITH THE RANKING 10:50:57 MEMBER THAT IT IS UNFAIR TO LAY BLAME ON THE GROSS 10:51:05 MISMANAGEMENT OF THE DISASTER ON ONE OR TWO PEOPLE. 10:51:09 AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. BROWN SHOULD BE THE SCAPEGOAT 10:51:17 FOR ALL THAT WENT WRONG. >> THANK YOU, SENATOR. 10:51:19 >> HOWEVER, YOU AND MR. RHODE -- LET ME PUT IT YOU AND MR. 10:51:23 RHODE WERE IN CHARGE OF FEMA. AND I CAN RECALL HARRY TRUMAN'S 10:51:31 STATEMENT THAT THE BUCK STOPS HERE. 10:51:34 AND SO YOU'RE IT AND THE HEARING IS ON YOU. 10:51:41 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE IN LOUISIANA AND THROUGHOUT THE 10:51:46 GULF COAST REINFORCES THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED 10:51:51 LEADERS IN SENIOR POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:51:54 HOMELAND SECURITY. THAT IS WHY I INTRODUCED 10:51:59 LEGISLATION LAST FALL TO REQUIRE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL 10:52:06 QUALIFICATIONS FOR MOST SENATE-CONFIRMED POSITIONS AT 10:52:09 DHS, NOR SHOULD WE FORGET THAT UNTIL 2003 FEMA WAS AN 10:52:19 INDEPENDENT CABINET-LEVEL AGENCY. 10:52:21 ONE OF MY REASONS FOR VOTING AGAINST GRADING DHS WAS THAT 10:52:28 FEMA WOULD NO LONGER OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY. 10:52:33 FEMA'S ACTIVITIES AND BUDGET ARE CONTROLLED BY THE SECRETARY 10:52:38 OF THE DEPARTMENT. WE CANNOT FORGET THE PROBLEMS 10:52:44 OF FEMA, THAT THEY ARE THE PROBLEMS OF DHS AND THE 10:52:51 ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. 10:52:59 MR. BROWN, MY QUESTION RELATES TO A SAME YOU MADE DURING YOUR 10:53:06 INTERVIEW WITH THE COMMITTEE. WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHETHER YOU 10:53:09 WERE KEEPING SECRETARY CHERTOFF APPRISED OF THE SITUATION IN 10:53:15 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY, THE DAY THE STORM HIT, YOU STATED THAT 10:53:20 YOU, AND I QUOTE, DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAD 10:53:23 ANY OPERATIONAL MANDATE AT THAT POINT, AND THAT IF THE 10:53:32 SECRETARY WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT SOMETHING, HE CAN EITHER 10:53:34 CALL ME DIRECTLY OR REACH OUT TO HSOC TO GET THAT 10:53:44 INFORMATION, END QUOTE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WASN'T IT 10:53:48 YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS UNDERSECRETARY TO KEEP 10:53:51 SECRETARY CHERTOFF INFORMED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS OF AN ONGOING 10:53:56 CRISIS THAT INVOLVED MULTIPLE COMMONWEALTHS OF HIS AGENCY -- 10:54:03 MULTIPLE COMPONENTS OF HIS AGENCY. 10:54:07 WHAT'S YOUR COMMENT ON THAT? >> YES, SENATOR, IT IS MY 10:54:09 RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP HIM INFORMED AND WE HAVE STRUCTURES 10:54:12 IN PLACE BY WHICH TO DO THAT. THE HSOC AND HIS 10:54:16 REPRESENTATIVES ARE INVOLVED ON THE VTCS, AND HE AND I 10:54:19 EXCHANGED PHONE CALLS AND TALKED AT TIMES TO DO THAT. 10:54:22 BUT WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING OPERATIONS, THE PRIMARY 10:54:26 RESPONSIBILITY HAS TO BE TO RUN OPERATIONS, AND THEN YOU FEED 10:54:30 INFORMATION AS YOU SHOULD THROUGH THE CHANNELS, THROUGH 10:54:33 THE VTCS, THROUGH THE EMAILS, THROUGH THE SITUATIONAL 10:54:37 REPORTS THAT GET TO HIM. AND THEN IF HE HAS QUESTIONS 10:54:41 ABOUT ANY OF THOSE REPORTS THAT COME TO HIM, HE CAN CALL ME, OR 10:54:44 IF THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE REPORTS THAT I THINK IS OF 10:54:47 PARTICULAR INTEREST TO HIM, THEN I WOULD CALL AND TELL HIM. 10:54:53 >> MR. BROWN, IN YOUR INTERVIEW YOU REFERRED TO THE SO-CALLED 10:54:58 TAX, SO-CALLED TAX THAT FEMA WAS FORCED TO PAY. 10:55:12 YOU SAID THAT THE TAX FUNDED THE SHARED COMPONENTS OF 10:55:16 DHS, SUCH AS THE SECTTARY OF STATE'S OFFICE AND THE I.T. 10:55:21 SYSTEM. YOU TOLD COMMITTEE 10:55:23 INVESTIGATORS THAT FEMA'S MEDICATION FUNDING SUFFED A 10:55:32 PROPORTIONATE REDUCTION BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO TAKE MONEY 10:55:35 OUT OF OTHER AREAS, SUCH AS THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE FUND. 10:55:38 YOU MAY RECALL THAT THE ADMINISTRATION TRIED TO REDUCE 10:55:43 FEMA'S MITIGATION FUNDING PRIOR TO THE CREATION OF DHS 10:55:50 THE PRESIDENT'S FY-02 BUDGET PROPOSED ELIMINATING THE 10:55:56 PREDISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM WHICH LATER WAS SAVED BY 10:55:59 CONGRESS. THE ADMINISTRATION RESPONDED BY 10:56:02 SEEKING TO ELIMINATE ALL POST-DISASTER MITIGATION 10:56:08 FUNDING IN FY-03. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS IS IT 10:56:16 POSSIBLE THAT THE REASON THEY TOOK SUCH A HARD HIT WHEN 10:56:19 DHS COLLECTED ITS TAX IS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS ARE -- 10:56:26 AREN'T VALUED BY THE ADMINISTRATION? 10:56:28 >> IT'S NICE TO APPEAR BEFORE A COMMITTEE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN 10:56:31 AND NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY TALKING POINTS OR SAPS THAT SAY 10:56:37 WHAT YOU CAN OR CANNOT SAY, BUT YES, THAT IS PART OF THE 10:56:43 PROBLEM. THE BELIEF THAT MITIGATION 10:56:45 PROGRAMS DON'T HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT RATIO, SO WE HAVE TO 10:56:49 ELIMINATE THEM. WHEN INDEED, I DO BELIEVE THERE 10:56:51 IS A GOOD SIDE TO IT, THAT THE ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES THAT 10:56:55 PREDISASTER MITIGATION FUNDS COULD BE USED. 10:56:57 SO THERE'S A BALANCE TO BE STRUCK. 10:57:00 TRY TO DO BOTH PREAND POST-DISASTER. 10:57:02 BUFF I DO THINK THE MITIGATION TO A CERTAIN EXTENT WAS GIVEN 10:57:05 THE BACK SEAT. >> MR. BROWN, IN A RESPONSE TO 10:57:14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE PUBLIC DEFENDER THIS COMMITTEE IN JUNE 10:57:19 2002 TO BE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FEMA, YOU STATED, AND I QUOTE, 10:57:23 MITIGATION WILL CONTINUE TO BE A PRIMARY FOCUS FOR THE AGENCY, 10:57:26 UNQUOTE. AS UNDERSECRETARY, DID YOU 10:57:32 CONSIDER INFORMING CONGRESS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS WERE 10:57:38 NOT BEING PRIORITIZED AND WERE IN FACT RECEIVING LESS 10:57:43 REFUNDING THAN YOU THOUGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE UNDER DHS? 10:57:46 >> I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS IN 10:57:50 DC, THAT A AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR CAN HAVE HIS 10:57:55 PRIORITIES AND O.M.B. CAN HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES AND NEVER 10:58:02 SHALL THE TWO MEET. AND DESPITE MY PERSONAL BELIEF 10:58:05 THAT MITIGATION IS GOOD AND WE NEED MORE MIT COMBATION FUNDING 10:58:08 IN THIS COUNTRY, OMGTAKES A DIFFERENT TACT, THAT THEY DON'T 10:58:14 HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS, WHICH YOU CAN ARGUE 10:58:17 ALL DAY LONG. I BELIEVE THAT IT DOES. 10:58:19 SO SUBSEQUENTLY, MITIGATION GETS CUT. 10:58:20 I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT SHOULD. BUT BY THE SAME TOKEN, SENATOR, 10:58:24 I THINK YOU WOULD NOT RESPECT ME IF I CAME TO YOU IN YOUR 10:58:28 OFFICE AND SAT DOWN AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I KNOW THE PRESIDENT 10:58:31 HAS PROPOSED THIS, BUT, YOU KNOW, HERE'S MY PERSONAL 10:58:34 BELIEF. NOW, YES, SOMETIMES I WOULD TRY 10:58:36 TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT MY REAL BELIEF 10:58:39 WAS IN HOPES THAT THEY COULD MAYBE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 10:58:42 BUT I WOULD NEVER TRY -- I WOULD NEVER BE THAT -- WOULD 10:58:46 NOT WANT THAT BE -- WANT TO BE THAT DISLOYAL. 10:58:51 >> MR. BROWN, MARTY, THE FEMA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AND ONE 10:58:58 THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED BY OTHER SENATORS WAS
Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 -1100
Hurricane Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing with former FEMA Director Michael Brown. 09:35:55 >>> THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. 09:35:57 GOOD MORNING. TODAY IN OUR 18th HEARING ON 09:36:01 HURRICANE KATRINA, THE COMMITTEE WILL EXAMINE HOW THE DEPARTMENT 09:36:04 OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA COORDINATED AND LED THE FEDERAL 09:36:09 PREPARATIONS FORWARD AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 09:36:15 OUR FIRST PANEL THIS MORNING 09:36:17 CONSISTS OF MICHAEL BROWN AND PATRICK RHODI, WHO WERE FEMA'S 09:36:22 DIRECTER AND ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR IN THE DAYS LEADING UP 09:36:26 TO AND FOLLOWING THE STORM. AS KATRINA NEARED THE GULF COAST 09:36:33 MR. BROWN DISPATCHED TO LOUISIANA LEAVING MR. RHODI AS 09:36:38 THE TOP-RANKING OFFICIAL AT FEMA HEADQUARTERS. 09:36:42 TODAY, WE'LL DISCUSS THEIR LEADERSHIP AT THE AGENCY DURING 09:36:46 THIS ENORMOUSLY CHALLENGING PERIOD. 09:36:48 OUR SECOND PANEL CONSISTS OF TWO SENIOR OFFICIALS AT THE 09:36:53 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, ROBERT STEFFIN IS 09:36:59 THE ASSISTANT STRENGTH FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION AND 09:37:04 ONE OF THE CHIEF ARCHITECTS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:37:09 MATTHEW BRODERICK RUNS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND'S 09:37:12 SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER WHICH SERVES AS THE EYES AND EARS OF 09:37:17 TOP DHF OFFICIALS PARTICULARLY DURING TIMES OF CRISIS. 09:37:22 SECRETARY CHERTOFF RELIED HEAVILY ON MR. STEFFIN AND 09:37:27 MR. BRODERICK DURING KATRINA'S AFTERMATH. 09:37:30 WE WILL DISCUSS THEIR ROLES AND THEIR VIEWS OF FEMA FROM THE TOP 09:37:34 OFLE ORGIZATIONAL CHART. OUR PANELS TODAY SEPARATE 09:37:39 WITNESSES FROM A FEDERAL AGENCY, FEMA, FROM THOSE OF ITS PARENT 09:37:44 ORGANIZATION, DHS. THE SEPARATION IS DELIBERATE. 09:37:49 IT REFLECTS, IN PART, THE DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES ON 09:37:54 KATRINA THAT WE HAVE HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM OFFICIALS OF 09:37:58 THE TWO ENTITIES. IT ALSO REFLECTS TENSIONS 09:38:01 BETWEEN THE TWO THAT PREDATE THE STORM, TENSIONSES OVER RESOURCES 09:38:09 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 09:38:12 THIS TENSION IS CLEAR IN MR. BROWN'S RESPONSE WHEN 09:38:16 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATORS ASKED HIM WHY FEMA WAS NOT BETTER 09:38:21 PREPARED FOR KATRINA. MR. BROWN RESPONDED "IT'S -- ITS 09:38:27 MISSION HAD BEEN MARGINALIZED. ITS RESPONSE CAPABILITY HAD BEEN 09:38:32 DIMINISHED. THERE'S THE WHOLE CLASH OF 09:38:35 CULTURES BETWEEN DHS MISSION TO PREVENT TERRORISM AND FEMA'S 09:38:40 MISSION TO RESPOND TO AND TO PREPARE AND RESPOND TO DISASTERS 09:38:45 OF WHATEVER NATURE." BY ALMOST ANY MEASURE, FEMA'S 09:38:51 RESPONSE TO KATRINA HAS TO BE JUDGED A FAILURE. 09:38:56 I MUST SAY THAT I'VE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION WITH A SENSE OF 09:39:00 REMORSE BECAUSE I'VE BEEN STRUCK TLUT THIS INVESTIGATION BY THE 09:39:05 EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF MANY FEMA PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD 09:39:09 AS WELL AS SOME FEMA AND DHS OFFICIALS AT HEADQUARTERS WHO, 09:39:16 LITERALLY, WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO TRY TO HELP BRING 09:39:20 RELIEF TO THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF STATES. 09:39:23 BUT THE RESPONSE WAS RIDDLED WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, POOR 09:39:29 DECISION MAKING, AND FAILED LEADERSHIP. 09:39:34 THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FEMA AND AND, FOR THAT MATTER, THE 09:39:38 DEPARTMENT'S FAILED RESPONSE IS SHARED. 09:39:40 WHILE DHS' PLAYBOOK APPEARS DESIGNED TO DISTANCE THE 09:39:44 DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS AND HEADQUARTERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE 09:39:48 FROM FEMA, THE DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS MUST ANSWER FOR 09:39:52 DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE OVER FAILED TO MAKE THAT CONTRIBUTED 09:39:57 TO THE PROBLEMS. ONE PROBLEM THAT MANIFESTED 09:40:01 ITSELF IN A VARIETY OF WAYS WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S LACK OF 09:40:07 PREPAREDNESS FOR THE KATRINA CATASTROPHE. 09:40:09 INSTEAD OF SPRINGING INTO ACTION OR, BETTER YET, ACTING BEFORE 09:40:15 THE STORM MADE LANDFALL, THE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO HAVE MOVED 09:40:20 HALTINGLY AND, AS A RESULT, KEY DECISIONS WERE EITHER DELAYED OR 09:40:25 MADE BASED ON QUESTIONABLE AND, IN SOME CASES, ERRONEOUS 09:40:30 ASSUMPTIONS. THE DAY AFTER THE STORM, FOR 09:40:34 EXAMPLE, SECRETARY CHERTOFF NAMED MICHAEL BROWN AS THE LEAD 09:40:39 FEDERAL OFFICIAL FOR THE RESPONSE EFFORT. 09:40:41 AT THE SAME TIME, THE SECRETARY DECLARED HURRICANE KATRINA AN 09:40:46 INCIDENT OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, WHICH IS THE 09:40:49 DESIGNATION THAT TRIGGERS THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:40:52 THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, IN TURN, IS THE COMPREHENSIVE 09:40:57 NATIONAL ROADMAP THAT GUIDES THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO KAS TO 09:41:04 TROFS. THE SECRETARY'S ACTION LED MANY 09:41:08 TO THE QUESTION OF WHY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL 09:41:11 DECLARATION HAD NOT BEEN MADE EARLIER. 09:41:13 IN REALITY, THE DECLARATION ITSELF WAS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE, 09:41:17 BY THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, 09:41:20 HURRICANE KATRINA HAD BECOME AN INCIDENT OF NATIONAL 09:41:25 SIGNIFICANCE THREE DAYS EARLIER WHEN THE PRESIDENT DECLARED AN 09:41:31 EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA. THE LACK OF AWARENESS OF THIS 09:41:38 FUNDAMENTAL TENANT OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN RAISES 09:41:42 QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER DHS LEADERSHIP WAS TRULY READY FOR A 09:41:46 TA TAS TROF OF THIS MAGNITUDE. I THINK IT HELPS EXPLAIN THE 09:41:51 DEPARTMENT'S SLOW, SOMETIMES HES LANT RESPONSE TO THE STORM. 09:41:55 SIMILARLY, WE WILL LEARN TODAY THAT FAMOUS LEADERS FAILED TO 09:42:00 TAKE STEP THAT IS THEY KNEW COULD IMPROVE FEMA'S ABILITY TO 09:42:05 RESPOND MORE EFFECTIVELY AND QUICKLY TO A CATASTROPHE. 09:42:08 IN THE YEAR OR SO PRECEDING KATRINA, MR. BROWN WAS PRESENTED 09:42:12 WITH TWO IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS OF FEMA'S 09:42:18 INSTRUCTION TUR AND CAPABILITIES BOTH INCLUDED RECOMMENDATIONS 09:42:22 FOR IMPROVEMENT. THE FIRST WAS A MEMORANDUM BY 09:42:30 OPERATIVES KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS. 09:42:33 AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE MEMO WARNS OF UNPREPARED EMERGENCY 09:42:38 RESPONSE TEAMS THAT HAD NO FUNDING, ZERO FUNDING, FOR 09:42:44 TRAINING EXERCISES OR EQUIPMENT. THE OTHER WAS A STUDY CONDUCTED 09:42:49 BY THE MIDE -- MITER CORPORATION. 09:42:54 THE STUDY COMMISSIONED BY MR. BROWN WAS DESIGNED TO ANSWER 09:42:58 SUCH QUESTIONS AS WHAT'S PREVENTING FEMA FROM RESPONDING 09:43:02 AND RECOVERING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. 09:43:05 THE MITER STUDY IS EARLY PREDICTIVE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS 09:43:11 THAT WOULD PLAGUE THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KA TREE NACHLT THE 09:43:17 STUDY POINTS OUT A LACK OF ADEQUATE AND SITUATIONAL 09:43:21 AWARENESS ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE, A PREDICTION THAT BECAME REALITY 09:43:26 WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESPOND 09:43:30 TO THE LEVEE BREAKS. AND INADEQUATE ABILITY TO 09:43:34 CONTROL INVENTORY AND TRACK ASSETS. 09:43:37 WE SAW THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES NOT 09:43:42 REACHING THE DESTINATION IN TIME. 09:43:45 AND UNDEFINED AND MISUNDERSTOOD STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. 09:43:51 DESPITE THIS STUDY, KEY PROBLEMS WERE SIMPLY NOT RESOLVED AND, AS 09:43:57 A RESULT, OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN FEMA PRIOR TO KATRINA 09:44:01 WERE MISSED. AS THIS COMMITTEE WINDS DOWN ITS 09:44:07 LENGTHY SERIES OF SERIES AND MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS OF 09:44:11 INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PREPAREDNESS FOR AND RESPONSE TO 09:44:16 HURRICANE KATRINA, WE INCREASINGLY REFLECT UPON WHAT 09:44:19 CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE THOUSANDS OF FACTS WE HAVE 09:44:24 GATHERED. ONE THING THAT I HAVE FOUND IS A 09:44:27 STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND 09:44:32 EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ALSO FOUND 09:44:37 THE CONVERSE TO BE TRUE. SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 09:44:42 >> THANKS VERY MUCH, MADAM CHAIRMAN. 09:44:45 THANKS NOT ONLY FOR YOUR EXCELLENT OPEN STATEMENT, THANKS 09:44:48 FOR THE LEADERSHIP YOU HAVE GIVEN THIS INVESTIGATION OVER 09:44:51 FIVE MONTHS AND NOW ALMOST 20 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN MY -- THIS IS 09:44:58 NOW MY 18th YEAR, PRIVILEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES 09:45:03 SENATE. I'VE NOT BEEN IN A MORE THOROUGH 09:45:06 NONPARTISAN AND, I'D SAY, IMPORTANT INVESTIGATION. 09:45:09 I THANK YOU FOR SETTING THE TONE SHOWING THE LEADERSHIP THAT YOU 09:45:15 JUST DESCRIBED IN ANOTHER SENSE. I THINK OUR JOINT STAFF FOR THE 09:45:21 EXTRAORDINARY WORK THEY HAVE DONE INTERVIEWING MORE THAN 200 09:45:24 WITNESSES, COMPILING AND OBTAINING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 09:45:28 OF DOCUMENTS. TODAY AND TUESDAY WE'RE GOING TO 09:45:32 HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF BOTH THE FEDERAL 09:45:38 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND ITS PARENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 09:45:42 OUR HEARINGS ARE NOW REACHING THE CONCLUDING PHASE. 09:45:45 TO DATE, I THINK THESE HEARINGS HAVE SET THE -- THE PREVIOUS 09:45:50 HEARINGS HAVE SET THE STAGE FOR THE PANELS WE'RE GOING TO HEAR 09:45:53 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE'VE BROKEN MUCH NEW GROUND 09:45:56 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE HAVE SOME TOUGH AND IMPORTANT 09:46:01 QUESTIONS TO ASK. IN MY OPINION, OUR INVESTIGATION 09:46:04 HAS SHOWN A GROSS LACK OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION BY BOTH 09:46:07 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA. 09:46:09 AND THAT GUARANTEED THAT THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA OR 09:46:15 FOR THAT MATTER, ANY OTHER CATASTROPHE THAT MIGHT HAVE 09:46:19 HAPPENED WAS DOOMED TO BE UNCOORDINATED, INADEQUATE, AND, 09:46:23 THEREFORE, MORE DAMAGING THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. 09:46:30 WE HAVE HEARD FROM A LARGE NUMBER OF WITNESS WHOSE SPOKE OF 09:46:33 THE FAILURES OF KATRINA. -- WE HAVE HEARD, EVACUATION, 09:46:41 SEARCH AND RESCUE, LAW AND ORDER AND DEPLOYMENT OF ASSETS. 09:46:45 WE HAVE LEARNED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS SIMPLY NOT 09:46:47 PREPARED TO OVERCOME THESE PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES IN THIS 09:46:52 PREDICTABLE AND PREDICTED HURRICANE. 09:46:58 EVEN THOSE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE IT DID NOT MEET THE DESPERATE NEEDS 09:47:02 OF THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. FEMA AND DHS OFFICIAL VERSUS 09:47:06 TOLD US IN INTERVIEWS AND TESTIMONY AND IN EVIDENCE 09:47:09 GATHERED BY OUR STAFF -- I WANT TO READ JUST A FEW OF THOSE THAT 09:47:12 ARE ON THAT CHART. FOR MICHAEL LAUER, FEMA'S 09:47:18 DIRECTOR OF RESPONSE, AUGUST 27 2005 E-MAIL, TWO DAYS BEFORE 09:47:22 KATRINA HIT LANDFALL SAID, AND I QUOTE, IF THIS IS THE NEW 09:47:26 ORLEANS SCENARIO, WHICH WAS THE WAY THEY DESCRIBED THE BIG 09:47:29 HURRICANE ARRIVING, WE ARE ALREADY WAY BEHIND. 09:47:32 FROM SCOTT WELLS OF FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER, "THIS WAS 09:47:38 A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. WE DON'T HAVE THE STRUCTURE. 09:47:41 WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE FOR CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. 09:47:45 IT'S THAT SIMPLE." FROM FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING 09:47:49 OFFICER BIG LOCHI, THE TOP MAN FOR FEMA IN LOUISIANA, 09:47:55 "COMMUNICATIONS AND COORDINATING WAS LACKING, PREPLANNING WAS 09:47:58 LACKING. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS." 09:48:00 FROM FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN WHO WE'LL HEAR 09:48:04 FROM TODAY. WHEN ASKED THE QUESTION BEFORE 09:48:06 KATRINA WAS FEMA READY FOR THIS KIND OF CATASTROPHE, MR. BROWN 09:48:10 SAID, SIMPLY AND DIRECTLY, I DON'T THINK SO. 09:48:14 FINALLY, FROM SECRETARY CHERTOFF WHO WE WILL HEAR FROM TUESDAY, 09:48:18 "I ALWAYS THINK KATRINA TESTED OUR PLANNING AND OUR PLANNING 09:48:22 FELL SHORT." THE FACT IS THAT WHEN DHS, 09:48:26 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAS CREATE INDEED 2002 IN THE 09:48:30 AFTERMATH OF THE TERRORIST AACTS OF 9/11/01. 09:48:35 I SAID, AND I KNOW I SPOKE FOR MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS I HOPED 09:48:40 TO SEE A COORDINATED, CONSOLIDATED AND ACCOUNTABLE 09:48:43 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. IN THIS INVESTIGATION, 09:48:46 UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SEEN SO LITTLE EFFECTIVE COORDINATION 09:48:50 AND CONSOLIDATION THAT WE MUST HOLD THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 09:48:53 SECURITY ACCOUNTABLE AND ASK URGENTLY THAT IT DO A LOT 09:48:58 BETTER. WE HOPE THAT THE DEPARTMENT 09:49:00 WOULD QUICKLY EVOLVE INTO A WORLD CLASS AGENCY THAT HAD THE 09:49:06 PLANNING PERSONNEL AND MATERIALS IN PLACE TO RESPOND SWIFTLY AND 09:49:10 EFFECTIVELY IN A DISASTER, NATURAL OR TERRORIST. 09:49:15 KATRINA SHOWED US THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 09:49:18 HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON ITSELF. 09:49:22 DESPITE AMPLE WARNINGS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS A BOWL COVERED BY 09:49:27 INADEQUATE LEVEE THAT IS WOULD BE OVERTOPPED OR BREACHED IN A 09:49:31 BIG HURRICANE, DES PAT THE SPECIFIC WARNINGS OF THE MOCK 09:49:37 HURRICANE EXERCISE DONE A YEAR BEFORE KATRINA HIT, GOVERNMENT 09:49:42 AT ALL LEVELS WAS UNPREPARED TO PROTECT NEW ORLEANS FROM THE 09:49:46 EXPECTED BIG HURRICANE AND DESPITE THE SPECIFIC MENTIONS OF 09:49:51 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESCUE RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE 09:49:55 NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN OF JANUARY 2005, THE FACT IS WHEN 09:50:01 KATRINA HIT, AMERICA'S GOVERNMENT WAS LARGELY 09:50:05 UNPREPARED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. 09:50:09 NATURE HIT NEW ORLEANS HARD, BUT ALSO GAVE ITS PEOPLE A BREAK BY 09:50:14 HITTING HARDEST 15 MILES TO THE EAST. 09:50:18 BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO EFFECTIVELY EVACUATE THE POOR 09:50:21 AND INFIRMED WHO COULD NOT EVACUATE THEM, IF KATRINA HAD 09:50:25 HIT NEW ORLEANS HEAD-ON, THE DEATH TOLL PROBABLY WOULD HAVE 09:50:29 BEEN IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS AS HURRICANE PAM EXERCISED HAD 09:50:35 PREDICTED. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS 09:50:37 THAT CAME TO PASS. IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE STORM 09:50:39 FEMA FAILED TO PRESTAGE PERSONNEL IN NEW ORLEANS OTHER 09:50:42 THAN A SINGLE PUBLIC AFFAIRS EMPLOYER, MOVED ADEQUATE AMOUNTS 09:50:46 OF FOOD, AND WATER SUPPLIES TO THE SCENE. 09:50:51 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO IMPLEMENT THE 09:50:54 CATASTROPHIC INCIDENT ANNEX TO THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN EARLY 09:50:57 ENOUGH. THAT WOULD HAVE TRIGGERED A MORE 09:50:59 AGGRESSIVE, TIMELY FEDERAL RESPONSE. 09:51:01 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO DEVELOP AN 09:51:04 EFFECTIVE PLAN TO MAIN TAN ACCURATE SITUATION ESTIMATES 09:51:08 THAT THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATION CENTER, WHICH WAS SET 09:51:13 UP TO BE THE NATION'S NERVE CENTER DURING A DISASTER. 09:51:16 THAT FAILURE LED TO THE IGNORING OF REPORTS THAT THE LEVEES WERE 09:51:21 BEING BREACHED AND OVERTOPPED AND THAT THE CITY HAD FLOODED 09:51:24 WITH PEOPLE ALREADY TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND ON ROOFTOPS. 09:51:28 FEMA WAS LATE IN BRINGING IN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS. 09:51:32 THAT PULLED THEM OUT FOR SECURITY REASONS, EVEN THOUGH 09:51:35 OTHER AGENCIES CONTINUED TO STAY AND DO SEARCH AND RESCUE. 09:51:39 DHS FAILED TO TAND UP UNTIL THE DAY AFTER LANDFALL. 09:51:43 THE INTERAGENCY INCIDENT MATH GROUP, THAT SENIOR LEVEL GROUP 09:51:48 CHARGED WITH HELPING TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL RESPONSE 09:51:51 TO A CATASTROPHE THAT WAS REQUIRED ONCE THE PRESIDENT 09:51:57 DECLARED AN EMERGENCY ON SATURDAY MORNING. 09:52:00 YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM GENERAL BENNETT LANDRINOEAU FROM THE 09:52:07 LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD WHO TOLD US THE BUSES PROMISED BY 09:52:10 FEMA BEFORE THE STORM WERE POST LANDFALL EVAC SKPIGS KP 09:52:13 DIFFERENT POINTS ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AFTER THE 09:52:16 STORM DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL THURSDAY. 09:52:18 THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE HUMAN SUFFERING THAT THE 09:52:22 WORLD SAW AT THE SUPER DOME AND THE CONVENTION CENTER. 09:52:26 ALL THOSE MISTAKES MEANT TIME WAS LOST AND LIVES WERE 09:52:30 THREATENED OR LOST. TIME IS, OBVIOUSLY, EVERYTHING 09:52:32 IN A CRISIS LIKE KATRINA. OR, IN GOD FORBID, A TERRORIST 09:52:39 ATTACK. THE NEW ORLEANS SUPERINTENDENT 09:52:43 TOLD US THAT EARLY. HE'S RIGHT. 09:52:44 PEOPLE WERE DROWNING INTO STREETS AND YARDS AND BREAKING 09:52:47 TO THEIR ROOF TOPS STARVING IN ATTICS FEELING THEY WERE 09:52:52 ABANDONED AND LOSING HOPE AS VENTILATERS AND MEDICAL SUPPORT 09:52:56 SYSTEMS FAILED FOR LACK OF POWER. 09:52:57 THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MADE IT TO THE SUPER DOME OR 09:53:01 CONVENTION CENTER. WE ALL SAW THE GRIM PICTURES OF 09:53:05 HUMAN NEGLECT THERE. BECAUSE TIMING AND SITUATIONAL 09:53:09 AWARENESS IS SO CENTRAL TO THE RESPONSE TO EVERY CATASTROPHE, 09:53:13 TODAY'S HEARING IS GOING TO LOOK AT THE MOST -- AT WHAT THE MOST 09:53:16 SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNEW ABOUT THE 09:53:19 FLOODING OF NEW ORLEANSES AND THE BREAKING OF THE LEVEES AND 09:53:23 WHEN THEY KNEW IT. A LITTLE LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER 09:53:27 KATRINA MADE LANDFALL, SECRETARY CHERTOFF SAID, "IT WAS ON 09:53:32 TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEE MAY HAVE BEEN OVERNIGHT MONDAY TO TUESDAY 09:53:37 THAT LEVEE STARTED TO BREAK. IT WAS MIDDAY TUESDAY THAT I 09:53:43 BECAME AWARE OF THE FACT THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF PLUGGING 09:53:46 THE GAP AND ESSENTIALLY THE LAKE WAS GOING TO START TRAINING INTO 09:53:50 THE CITY. I THINK THAT SECOND CATASTROPHE 09:53:53 REALLY CAUGHT EVERYBODY BY SURPRISE." 09:53:58 WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF ABOUT THAT NEXT 09:54:01 TUESDAY. TODAY, WE WILL ASK SOME OF HIS 09:54:03 SENIOR STAFF HOW THE NEWS MEDIA, INCLUDING A NEW ORLEANS RADIO 09:54:10 STATION EARLY MONDAY MORNING, NUMEROUS FEDERAL AGENCIES, THE 09:54:13 AMERICAN RED CROSS COULD BE AWARE OF GROWING AND 09:54:18 CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN NEW ORLEANS ALL DAMON DAY, AUGUST 29 09:54:23 THE DAY OF LANDFALL, WHILE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 09:54:29 ON HOMELAND SECURITY RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER RESPONSE SOMEHOW 09:54:38 DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. WE HAVE QIBT Q WHICH REPORTS 09:54:43 LEVEE BREACHES AND DESPERATE CITIZENS SEEKING REFUGE FROM 09:54:47 RISING FLOOD WATER THAT IS BEGAN COMING IN AS EARLY AS 8:30 A.M. 09:54:52 ON MONDAY, AUGUST 29th. SELECTION OF THEM ARE SHOWN ON 09:54:57 THE BOARDS HERE TO MY LEFT. THEY INCLUDE AT 9:14 A.M. 09:55:02 THE FASHIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A FLASH FLOOD WARNING 09:55:06 REPORTING, "A LEVEE BREACH PROP OCCURRED ALONG THE INDUSTRIAL 09:55:11 CANAL AT TENNESSEE STREET. 3 TO 8 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED 09:55:15 DUE TO THE BREACH." TWO HOURS LATER AT 11:30, THE 09:55:19 WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUE AS REPORT THAT 09:55:23 SAYS IN PART "FLOODING IS SIGNIFICANT THROUGHOUT THE 09:55:26 REGION AND A LEVEE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN BREACHED, 09:55:31 SENDING 6 TO 8 FEET OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE NINTH WARD AIR 09:55:34 WRA OF THE INDUSTRY -- STIT." THE HOMELAND REPORTS THAT RISING 09:55:41 WATER RESIDENTS ARE IN THAT ATTICS AND ROOFS. 09:55:44 THAT'S A QUOTE FROM SECURITY COUNCIL. 09:55:48 AT 8:34 EVENING MONDAY THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REPORTED 09:55:55 FLOODING IN ST. BERNARD PARISH WITH WATER UP TO ROOFS OF HOMES 09:56:00 AND ALL JEFFERSON AND OR LENS PUMPING STATIONSES ARE 09:56:07 INOPERABLE. FINALLY, M ARE THEY BUMUNDI, THE 09:56:14 FEMA EMPLOYEE WHO DIRECTOR BROWN I BELIEVE, DISPATCHED TO NEW 09:56:18 ORLEANS WAS THERE EARLY, TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD TAKEN A 09:56:22 FLILTH ON A COAST GUARD HELICOPTER OVER NEW ORLEANS AT 09:56:27 APPROXIMATELY 6:30 EASTERN. A REPORT FROM 10:30 THAT THERE 09:56:31 IS A QUARTER MILE BREACH IN THE LEVEE NEAR THE 17th STREET CANAL 09:56:38 FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TO FLOW INTO THE CITY. 09:56:42 TWO-THIRDS TO 75% OF THE CITY IS UNDER WATER. 09:56:46 HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED ON THE BALCONIES AND ROOFS OF A 09:56:50 MAJOR APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE CITY. 09:56:53 A FEW BODIES WERE SEEN FLOATING IN THE WATER. 09:56:56 THE COAST GUARD PILOTS REPORTED SEEING BODIES BUT NO DETAILS ON 09:57:01 LOCATIONS. THAT'S THE END OF THE REPORT 09:57:04 FROM MARTY BUMUNDI WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE THAT AFTERNOON. 09:57:13 IT SHOWS A GREAT AMERICAN CITY UNDERWATTER AND STILL SOMEHOW 09:57:16 THE HIGHEST OFFICIALS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 09:57:20 AND PERHAPS AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION AS 09:57:25 MONDAY, AUGUST 29, ENDED THAT THE CITY HAD DODGED A BULLET. 09:57:30 MADAM CHAIRMAN, WE HAVE TO ASK SOME TOUGH QUESTIONS BECAUSE WE 09:57:33 HAVE TO HAVE ANSWER IFS WE'RE TO MAKE THE CHANGES WE WANT TO MAKE 09:57:38 AT DHS. IN THE EARLY AFTERMATH OF THE 09:57:41 HURRICANE KATRINA DEBACKAL, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL 09:57:46 BROWN WAS BLAMED FOR THE INADEQUATE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 09:57:51 RESPONSE. OUR INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS, IN 09:57:53 MY OPINION, IN FACT, THAT MR. BROWN DID NOT DO A LOT OF 09:57:56 WHAT HE SHOULDAVE DONE, BUT HE WAS NOT ALONE. 09:58:03 IN FACT, THERE WAS A MASSIVE FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT AT ALL 09:58:06 LEVELS, AND BY THOSE WHO LEAD IT TO PREPARE AND RESPOND AS THEY 09:58:09 HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO. IN THE CASE OF THE FEDERAL 09:58:13 GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO KATRINA, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS, PROUD 09:58:18 EXCEPTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE U.S. 09:58:21 COAST GUARD, THERE WAS A SHOCKING CONSEQUENTIAL AND 09:58:27 PERVASIVE LACK OF PREPARATION RESPONSE AND LEADERSHIP. 09:58:30 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE PREPARED THIS MORNING TO 09:58:33 ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS FULLY AND TRUTHFULLY. 09:58:36 I APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH. I THANK YOU FOR IT. 09:58:40 IN DOING SO, I BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SERVING THE PUBLIC INTEREST 09:58:44 AND THIS COMMITTEE'S NONPARTISAN INTEREST IN FINDING OUT EXACTLY 09:58:49 WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILED SO BADLY IN ITS 09:58:53 PREPARATIONS AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA SO, TOGETHER, 09:58:59 WE CAN MAKE SURE IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. 09:59:02 KA TREE FA HAS PASSED. THE CLOCK IS RESET AND TICKING 09:59:05 AGAIN. WE KNOW WE WILL HAVE TO RESPOND 09:59:07 TO ANOTHER DISASTER, NATURAL OR 10:00:00 STAFF. I WOULD ASK THAT THE WITNESSES 10:00:02 RISE SO I CAN ADMINISTER THE OATH. 10:00:10 DO YOU SWEAR THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU ARE ABOUT TO GIVE TO THE 10:00:13 COMMITTEE WILL BE THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING 10:00:16 BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP YOU GOD? >> I DO. 10:00:18 >> I DO. >> THANK YOU. 10:00:21 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE SOME BRIEF REMARKS 10:00:24 THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE. >> I DO, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, 10:00:27 THANK YOU. IN 1989 A CONGRESSMAN WROTE A 10:00:31 LETTER TO "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" AND THAT LETTER SAID 10:00:34 THAT THERE IS A FATAL FLAW IF WE SEPARATE PREPAREDNESS FROM 10:00:40 RESPONSE. THAT CONGRESSMAN'S NAME WAS TOM 10:00:44 RIDGE. WE REACHED THAT FATAL FLAW IN 10:00:48 2003 WHEN FEMA WAS FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:00:52 SECURITY. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE COMMITTEE 10:00:53 TO LOOK AT A 1978 STUDY DONE BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR'S 10:00:57 ASSOCIATION IN WHICH -- AND I'LL QUOTE VERY BRIEFLY -- AS 10:01:00 THE TASK OF THE PROJECTS WERE PURSUED, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT 10:01:03 THE MAJOR FINDING OF THIS STUDY IS THAT MANY STATE EMERGENCY 10:01:08 OPERATIONS ARE FRAGMENTED. THIS IS NOT ONLY BECAUSE 10:01:13 UNCOORDINATED FEDERAL PROGRAMS ENCOURAGE STATE FRAGMENTATION, 10:01:16 BUT BECAUSE THE STRONG RELATIONSHIP OF LONG-TERM 10:01:18 RECOVERY AND MITIGATION OF FUTURE DISASTERS MUST BE TIED 10:01:21 TO PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR MORE IMMEDIATE DISASTERS, 10:01:25 AND THAT IS NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATELY UNDERSTOOD. 10:01:29 MADAM CHAIRMAN, I TELL YOU THAT WHAT OCCURRED AFTER FEMA WAS 10:01:33 FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THERE WAS A 10:01:36 CULTURAL CLASH WHICH DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE ABSOLUTE INHERENT 10:01:45 SCIENCE OF PREPARING FOR DISASTER, RESPONDING TO IT, 10:01:49 MITIGATING AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS AND RECOVERING FROM 10:01:52 DISASTERS. AND ANY TIME THAT YOU BREAK 10:01:55 THAT CYCLE OF PREPARING, RESPONDING, RECOVERING AND 10:01:58 MITIGATING, YOU'RE DOOMED TO FAILURE. 10:02:01 AND THE POLICIES AND THE DECISIONS THAT WERE IMPLEMENTED 10:02:04 BY DHS PUT FEMA ON A PATH TO FAILURE. 10:02:07 AND I THINK THE EVIDENCE THAT WE'LL HAVE BEFORE YOU TODAY 10:02:11 WILL SHOW THE ACTIONS THAT WERE TAKEN THAT CAUSED THAT FAILURE. 10:02:16 AND I BEG THIS COMMITTEE TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION TO FIX 10:02:20 THAT SO THESE DISASTERS DON'T OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. 10:02:24 THANK YOU. >> MR. RHODE. 10:02:27 >> GOOD MORNING, MADAM CHAIRMAN, SENATOR LIEBERMAN, 10:02:31 SENATORS. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE JUST A 10:02:33 VERY BRIEF OPENING STATEMENT, IF I COULD. 10:02:35 MY NAME IS PATRICK RHODE. I SERVE AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF 10:02:38 THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, PART OF THE 10:02:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FROM APRIL 2003 UNTIL JANUARY 10:02:44 OF 2006. I SERVED UNDER BOTH FORMER 10:02:47 DIRECTOR BROWN AND THE CURRENT ACTING DIRECTOR. 10:02:52 I'M HAPPY TO BE APPEARING BEFORE YOU TODAY VOLUNTARILY AS 10:02:55 YOU CONTINUE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN REVIEWING THE 10:02:58 COLLECTIVE GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 10:03:00 AND ASSESSING POSSIBLE CHANGES IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. 10:03:03 AT THE OUTSET I WOULD LIKE TO OBSERVE, IF I COULD, THAT 10:03:07 HURRICANE KATRINA WAS A TRULY CATASTROPHIC EVENT. 10:03:11 IT WAS AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY ON NUMEROUS LEVELS. 10:03:13 THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER WAS UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAD 10:03:17 PREVIOUSLY FACED AS A NATION. THE STORM COMPROMISED 90,000 10:03:23 SQUARE MILES OF THE GULF COAST, AN AREA ALMOST THE SIZE OF 10:03:27 GREAT BRITAIN. ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL OF 10:03:29 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IT WAS UNPRECEDENTED. 10:03:31 ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL, MY HEART WENT OUT TO THOSE WHO WERE 10:03:35 SUFFERING, AND INDEED, MY HEART STILL GOES OUT TO THOSE WHO 10:03:38 CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA. 10:03:41 MANY PEOPLE IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY, INCLUDING 10:03:44 MYSELF, TRIED TO DO THE VERY BEST THEY COULD UNDER VERY 10:03:48 DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. THE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS 10:03:50 WORKING ON THIS ISSUE AT THE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL 10:03:54 WERE DOING THEIR VERY BEST TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY 10:03:57 COULD UNDER THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY 10:04:01 MANAGEMENT. AS IN ALL THINGS THERE ARE 10:04:03 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. 10:04:05 I HOPE THAT THESE HEARINGS WILL PRODUCE JUST SUCH LEARNING AND 10:04:09 LEAD TO THE CREATION OF NEW LEGISLATION THAT CAN IMPROVE ON 10:04:12 THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT. 10:04:14 IF WE CAN APPLY THOSE LESSONS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE 10:04:16 NEXT EMERGENCY SITUATION, I WANT TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO 10:04:20 CONTRIBUTE APPROPRIATELY TO THAT EFFORT. 10:04:22 AS YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO APPEARING HERE TODAY 10:04:25 VOLUNTARILY, I HAVE FULLY COOPERATED WITH YOUR STAFFS BY 10:04:28 PARTICIPATING WILLINGLY IN SEVERAL INTERVIEWS WITH THEM. 10:04:31 IN ADDITION, I WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY TO NOTE THAT ANY 10:04:33 STATEMENTS I OFFER TODAY IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW 10:04:36 TO IMPROVE THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ARE THE 10:04:39 OPINIONS OF ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:04:41 AS I SIT BEFORE YOU TODAY I AM NO LONGER A GOVERNMENT 10:04:45 EMPLOYEE, BUT HAVE RETURNED TO PRIVATE LIFE WITH MY WIFE AND 10:04:48 6-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER. I DO NOT AND CANNOT SPEAK FOR 10:04:51 FEMA. ANYTHING I HAVE TO OFFER IS MY 10:04:54 OWN PERSONAL OPINION, FOR WHATEVER THE COMMITTEE MAY DEEM 10:04:56 IT TO BE WORTH. AND I WANT TO TAKE CARE TO BE 10:04:59 CLEAR THAT IT DOES NOT REFLECT THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF THE 10:05:03 AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 10:05:04 I APPLAUD THE COMMITTEE FOR TAKING ON THESE CHALLENGES AND 10:05:08 WHAT CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE TO THE COUNTRY'S EMERGENCY 10:05:11 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. I AM HOPEFUL THAT TOGETHER WE 10:05:13 CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENHANCEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS THAT BEST 10:05:16 ASSIST DISASTER VICTIMS IN THE FUTURE. 10:05:18 WITH THAT, I WELCOME ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MAY 10:05:20 HAVE. >> THANK YOU, MR. RHODE. 10:05:24 MR. BROWN, IN MY OPENING STATEMENT I MENTIONED A STUDY 10:05:30 THAT YOU COMMISSIONED FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:05:38 IT'S UNDER EXHIBIT 2 IN THE EXHIBIT BOOK. 10:05:41 MITER CORPORATION GAVE YOU ITS FINDINGS ON MARCH 2005, AND I'D 10:05:47 LIKE TO READ SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF THIS CONSULTANT. 10:05:53 "UNCLEAR LINES OF RESPONSIBILITY LEAD TO 10:05:56 INCONSISTENT ACCOUNTABILITY. THERE IS NO DEPUTY TO YOU WITH 10:06:02 OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND THERE ARE TOO MANY POLITICAL 10:06:05 APPOINTEES, NOT ENOUGH SENIOR MANAGEMENT EMERGENCY EXPERTS, 10:06:10 LACK OF ADEQUATE AND CONSISTENT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ACROSS 10:06:14 THE ENTERPRISE." I ALSO MENTIONED THAT EARLIER 10:06:20 IN 2004 THAT A GROUP OF SENIOR FEMA OPERATIONAL PROFESSIONALS, 10:06:26 THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS CADRE WROTE TO YOU A 10:06:32 MEMO OUTLINING THEIR GRAVE CONCERNS. 10:06:35 THE MEMO CAUTIONS OF UNPREPARED TEAMS AND ZERO FUNDING FOR 10:06:44 TRAINING, EXERCISES AND TEAM EQUIPMENT. 10:06:46 IT HAS SUGGESTED RE-ESTABLISHING A SINGLE 10:06:49 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY DIVISION AT FEMA TO FACILITATE THE 10:06:53 REFOCUSING THAT IS NECESSARY TO REGAIN SOME OF THE EFFICIENCY 10:06:59 THAT HAS BEEN LOST AT FEMA. WE'VE RECEIVED TESTIMONY THAT 10:07:05 IN RESPONSE TO BOTH OF THESE WARNINGS, WHICH WERE VERY 10:07:10 EXPLICIT IN IDENTIFYING SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITHIN PEOPLE, THAT 10:07:14 YOU DID NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. MY FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS 10:07:19 WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN RESPONSE TO THE WARNINGS FROM 10:07:23 THE SENIOR CAREER PEOPLE AND THE OUTSIDE CONSULTANT. 10:07:29 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, THE FIRST THING THE COMMITTEE NEEDS TO 10:07:32 UNDERSTAND IS THAT I INDEED DID COMMISSION THOSE STUDIES. 10:07:35 IN FACT, I ASKED FOR BOTH OF THOSE DOCUMENTS FROM THE 10:07:39 F.C.O.'S AND FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:07:41 WE HAD TO LITERALLY GO SCRAPE TOGETHER THE MONEY JUST TO GET 10:07:43 THE OFFICIAL WORK DONE BY MITER. 10:07:46 BUT I HAD COME TO THIS CLSH -- AFTER THREE YEARS OF FINDING 10:07:51 THE ARTICLES YOU SEE IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" ABOUT MY 10:07:54 ATTEMPTS TO TRY TO GET THE FEMA MISSION PUT BACK ON TRACK AND 10:07:58 HOW THAT WAS REBUFFED CONSISTENTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT 10:08:01 OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THAT I REACHED THIS CLSH. 10:08:05 THAT IN ORDER FOR FEMA TO WORK EFFECTIVELY I D TO HAVE 10:08:08 SOMETHING THAT WOULD GIVE A ROAD MAP TO EITHER FUTURE FEMA 10:08:11 DIRECTORS, BECAUSE I WAS INTENDING TO LEAVE, AND/OR TO 10:08:15 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OTHER THAN ME SAYING 10:08:17 IT THAT WOULD POINT OUT THESE PROBLEMS. 10:08:21 AS I SAID, WE HAD TO FIGHT TO GET THE MONEY JUST TO DO THE 10:08:25 MITER STUDY. ONCE WE RECEIVED THE MITER 10:08:27 STUDY WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO 10:08:30 COMPLETE THAT, GET THAT INTO A DOCUMENT THAT WOULD SAY HERE'S 10:08:34 WHAT WE NEED TO DO, A, B, C, SO I COULD PRESENT THAT TO 10:08:38 SECRETARY RINL AND THEN SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO IMPLEMENT 10:08:43 THOSE. WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE MONEY, 10:08:44 NEVER GIVEN THE RESOURCES, WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE 10:08:48 OPPORTUNITY TO IMPLEMENT ANY OF THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS. 10:08:50 >> SO YOU'RE TESTIFYING THAT YOU WERE REBUFFED IN YOUR 10:08:55 EFFORTS TO REMEDY THEE PROBLEMS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:08:59 SECURITY. DID YOU EVER DISCUSS THESE 10:09:03 CONCERNS ABOUT BUDGET, AUTHORITY, ORGANIZATION, 10:09:07 PERSONNEL WITH INDIVIDUALS AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:09:11 >> YES, MA'AM, I DID. >> AND WITH WHOM DID YOU 10:09:15 DISCUSS THOSE CONCERNS? >> I DISCUSSED THOSE CONCERNS 10:09:20 WITH SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SENIOR STAFF. 10:09:24 >> AND WOULD YOU IDENTIFY WITH WHOM YOU DISCUSSED THOSE 10:09:28 CONCERNS. >> BEFORE I DO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:09:31 MAY I JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENTS AND ASK FOR THE COMMITTEE'S 10:09:35 RECOMMENDATION? >> CERTAINLY. 10:09:38 >> ON FEBRUARY 6, 2006, MY COUNSEL SAID TO HARRIET MIERS 10:09:47 -- SENT TO HARRIET MIERS, COUNSEL FOR THE PRESIDENT, A 10:09:53 LETTER ASKING FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT I SHOULD DO IF THIS KIND 10:09:56 OF QUESTION IS POSED TO ME BY THE COMMITTEE. 10:09:59 LIKE PATRICK, I'M A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:10:01 THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN 10:10:04 WHICH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HIS 10:10:06 SENIOR VISORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY OR 10:10:13 DISCUSSION. IT'S MY BELIEF, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:10:16 THAT I DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:18 THAT I CANNOT INVOKE THAT. YET, I UNDERSTAND THAT 10:10:21 PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, THE EXECUTIVE, IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:27 OF GOVERNMENT AND THAT RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE RESIDES WITH THE 10:10:35 PRESIDENT. I AM HERE TO TRUTHFULLY AND 10:10:37 HONESTLY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK. 10:10:41 SO IN RESPONSE TO THE LETTER WHICH DID NOT -- AND I WANT TO 10:10:43 MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE LETTER DID NOT REQUEST THAT 10:10:45 I BE GRANTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:48 THE LETTER REQUESTED GUIDANCE ON WHAT THE OTHER EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:52 OF GOVERNMENT WANTED ME TO SAY OR NOT SAY WHEN THESE KINDS OF 10:10:57 QUESTIONS WERE POSED. SO DESPITE REPORTS IN THE PRESS 10:11:00 TO THE CONTRARY, THE LETTER SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. 10:11:03 IT DID NOT REQUEST EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, BUT GUIDANCE. 10:11:08 I RECEIVED THAT GUIDANCE BY LETTER, AGAIN, TO COUNSEL TO 10:11:12 MR. LESTER FROM WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL HARRIET MIERS IN A 10:11:17 LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2006. AND I'LL JUST READ YOU THE LAST 10:11:21 PARAGRAPH. "THE PRESIDENT'S VIEWS 10:11:23 REGARDING THESE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTERESTS HAVE NOT 10:11:27 CHANGED. I APPRECIATE THAT YOUR CLIENT 10:11:29 IS SENSITIVE TO THE INTERESTS IMPLICATED BY POTENTIAL 10:11:33 DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO WHICH HE WAS 10:11:36 A PARTY AS A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN THE ADMINISTRATION, AS 10:11:40 REFLECTED IN HIS RECENT RESPONSES TO CONGRESSIONAL 10:11:42 COMMITTEES AND THEIR STAFFS AND REQUEST THAT HE OBSERVE HIS 10:11:46 PAST PRACTICES WITH RESPECT TO THOSE COMMUNICATIONS." 10:11:52 IN MY OPINION, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:11:55 ANSWER OUR REQUEST FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT IS TO BE 10:11:58 DONE. SO I AM HERE AS A PRIVATE 10:12:01 CITIZEN STUCK BETWEEN TWO EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, ONE 10:12:05 WHICH IS REQUESTING THATE'RE NOT GOING TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE 10:12:09 PRIVILEGE, BUT THAT I RESPECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE 10:12:14 CONCEPT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND ON THE OTHER HAND APPEARING 10:12:18 BEFORE YOU AS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, UNDER OATH, 10:12:21 SWORN TO TELL THE TRUTH, WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM EITHER 10:12:25 ONE. SO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, I WOULD ASK 10:12:27 YOU FOR GUIDANCE IN WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE MICHAEL BROWN, 10:12:31 PRIVATE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, TO DO IN THIS REGARD. 10:12:34 >> DOES THE LETTER THAT YOU HAVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE 10:12:39 COUNSEL DIRECT YOU TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH 10:12:44 RESPECT TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION 10:12:49 OFFICIALS? >> IT DOES NOT, AND NOR DO I 10:12:51 BELIEVE THAT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSERT THAT PRIVILEGE ON 10:12:53 BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT. I AM A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:12:57 >> HAS THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL ORALLY DIRECTED YOU TO ASSERT 10:13:04 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO THOSE CONVERSATIONS 10:13:07 YOU'VE HAD WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS? 10:13:10 >> THEY HAVE NOT TO ME, AND TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY 10:13:13 HAVE NOT DIRECTED THAT TO MY COUNSEL EITHER. 10:13:16 THAT'S CORRECT. >> THESE CONVERSATIONS CLEARLY 10:13:24 COULD BE SUBJECT TO AN ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE 10:13:28 PRIVILEGE. IN FACT, IF SUCH A PRIVILEGE 10:13:30 WERE TO BE ASSERTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE, I WOULD, IN ALL 10:13:36 LIKELIHOOD, RULE THAT THE PRIVILEGE APPLIED TO THOSE 10:13:41 CONVERSATIONS, AND I WOULD INSTRUCT YOU NOT TO ANSWER THE 10:13:45 QUESTIONS SO THAT WE COULD FURTHER EXPLORE THE PRIVILEGES 10:13:52 ISSUE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. HOWEVER IN, THE CASE OF 10:13:55 CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORS, THE 10:14:01 PRIVILEGE IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO ASSERT, NOT THE 10:14:05 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TESTIFIED 10:14:09 THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE HAS CHOSEN NOT TO ASSERT 10:14:14 THIS PRIVILEGE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR YOU TO DECLINE TO 10:14:19 ANSWER THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH PRESIDENTIAL 10:14:25 ADVISORS. SO I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO 10:14:28 RESPOND TO THE QUESTION. >> MADAM CHAIRMAN. 10:14:32 >> SENATOR STEVENS. >> HAS ANYONE CONTACTED THE 10:14:36 STAFF OR YOURSELF FROM THE WHITE HOUSE REQUESTING THAT 10:14:39 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BE RECOGNIZED IN THIS AREA? 10:14:41 >> YES. I HAD A LENGTHY DISCUSSION LAST 10:14:44 NIGHT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL IN WHICH I ADVISED HER 10:14:49 TO EITHER SEND MR. BROWN A CLEAR LETTER ASSERTING 10:14:55 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OR TO SEND IT TO THIS COMMITTEE, OR TO 10:15:00 HAVE A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE PRESENT 10:15:04 TODAY TO OBJECT TO QUESTIONS, AND MS. MEIERS DECLINED TO DO 10:15:12 EITHER. >> I WANT TO SAY FOR THE RECORD 10:15:14 AS A FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, I 10:15:17 BELIEVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE 10:15:20 COUNTRY AND IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, IF THIS WITNESS TESTIFIES 10:15:25 AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION, THAT THEN WE'RE FACED 10:15:28 WITH A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS TO SEND 10:15:33 SOMEONE DOWN TO CHALLENGE THE STATEMENT THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. 10:15:38 IT'S VERY DIFFICULT GROUND WE'RE ON. 10:15:39 I DON'T KNOW WHERE MR. BROWN IS GOING. 10:15:41 BUT IT DOES WORRY ME THAT THERE IS A LEGITIMATE BASIS FOR 10:15:45 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF THEY HAVE NOT ASSERTED IT TO 10:15:47 YOU, THEN THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. >> THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. 10:15:56 AND I INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROVIDE ME WITH THAT 10:16:01 ASSERTION LAST NIGHT. THEY DECLINED TO DO SO. 10:16:05 INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY PRESENT TO MAKE THE 10:16:09 ASSERTION. I HAVE REVIEWED THE LETTER, AND 10:16:10 WE WILL PUT BOTH THE LETTER FROM MR. BROWN'S LAWYER AND MS. 10:16:17 MEIERS' RESPONSE INTO THE RECORD, AND THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:16:22 ASSERT THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >> IS WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL 10:16:28 PRESENT? >> THERE IS NOT A WHITE HOUSE 10:16:32 COUNSEL PRESENT THAT I AM AWARE OF. 10:16:35 I SUSPECT THERE ARE WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS HERE, HOWEVER. 10:16:40 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN -- >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 10:16:43 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, IF I MAY, FIRST, I WANT TO TELL YOU I 10:16:47 BOTH APPRECIATE AND SUPPORT YOUR RULING IN THE CONTEXT OF 10:16:52 -- EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD BEEN ASSERTED, WE ARE A 10:16:57 CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND IN THIS CASE WE ARE DOING 10:16:59 AN INVESTIGATION ON A TOTALLY NONPARTISAN BASIS THAT GOES TO 10:17:03 THE HEART OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. 10:17:07 SO WE HAVE AN INTEREST IN OBTAINING THE TRUTH. 10:17:09 WE'RE NOT OUT TO GET ANYBODY. WE'RE OUT TO GET THE TRUTH. 10:17:13 BUT -- THAT WOULD BE MY OPINION EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD 10:17:18 BEEN ASSERTED. BUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAS NOT 10:17:22 BEEN ASSERTED, AND, THEREFORE, I THINK THE PRIVILEGE AND 10:17:26 RESPONSIBILITY, LET ALONE THE RIGHT OF CONGRESS AS 10:17:29 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO GET THE WHOLE TRUTH 10:17:36 ABOUT KATRINA REALLY IS THE PRIORITY VALUE THAT WE HAVE TO 10:17:40 HONOR. AND I THANK YOU, MADAM 10:17:42 CHAIRMAN, FOR DOING EXACTLY THAT IN YOUR RULING. 10:17:47 >> MR. BROWN, I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. 10:17:51 AND I AM GOING TO RECLAIM THE TIME THAT I HAD BEFORE WE HEAD 10:17:58 TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE. >> CHAIRMAN COLLINS, I'M HAPPY 10:18:02 TO ANSWER BOTH QUESTIONS. COULD YOU RESTATE THE QUESTION? 10:18:10 >> I ASKED YOU WITH WHOM YOU TALKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT 10:18:14 THE BUDGET, AUTHORITY AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS THAT YOU 10:18:18 PERCEIVED WERE HINDERING YOUR ABILITY TO CARRY OUT YOUR 10:18:21 MISSION. >> AT VARIOUS TIMES I HAD 10:18:23 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, JOSH 10:18:27 BOLTEN, BEFORE HE MOVED OVER TO O.M.B. AND I HAD NUMEROUS 10:18:31 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF JOE HAGGAN 10:18:34 AND OCCASIONALLY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIEF STAFF ANDY CARD. 10:18:40 I'VE ALSO HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH BOTH FORMER WHITE HOUSE 10:18:45 HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, GENERAL JOHN GORDON, AND WITH 10:18:48 CURRENT HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, FRAN TOWNSEND. 10:18:53 >> THANK YOU. MR. BROWN, EXHIBIT 6 IS A 10:18:56 SERIES OF EMAILS ABOUT CONDITIONS IN NEW ORLEANS ON 10:19:02 MONDAY MORNING. WE KNOW FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE 10:19:06 THIS COMMITTEE THAT MARTY OF FEMA SAW -- FIRST RECEIVED A 10:19:15 REPORT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING ON MONDAY MORNING AT ABOUT 10:19:19 11:00. HE LATER IN THE DAY OVERFLEW 10:19:21 THE AREA AND SAW IT FIRSTHAND. THE EMAILS ALSO TOOK ABOUT -- 10:19:27 TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS IN THE CITY. 10:19:30 BY 10:00 ON THAT MONDAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, YOU HAD 10:19:36 RECEIVED A REPORT FROM HIM THAT THERE WAS ALREADY SEVERE 10:19:43 FLOODING IN THE AREA. THE WATER LEVEL WAS, QUOTE, UP 10:19:46 TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE TWO-STORY HOUSES, THAT PEOPLE 10:19:49 WERE TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND THAT THE PUMPS FOR THE LEVEES WERE 10:19:55 STARTING TO FAIL. WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN 10:20:00 RESPONSE TO THAT INFORMATION AND TO PASS THAT INFORMATION 10:20:06 ALONG TO THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY? 10:20:12 >> TWO THINGS, CHAIRMAN COLLINS. 10:20:13 THE FIRST AND FOREMOST I ALERTED HEADQUARTERS AS TO 10:20:16 THOSE REPORTS AND ASKED THEM TO GET IN CONTACT WITH MARTY TO 10:20:20 CONFIRM THOSE REPORTS. AND I ALSO PUT A CALL IN AND 10:20:24 SPOKE TO -- I BELIEVE IT WAS DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF HAGGAN ON 10:20:32 AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS ON THAT DAY TO INFORM HIM OF WHAT WAS 10:20:36 GOING ON. >> WAS THERE ANYONE ELSE THAT 10:20:37 YOU CALLED AT THE WHITE HOUSE TO INFORM THEM OF THESE 10:20:41 DEVELOPMENTS? >> IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EITHER 10:20:44 ANDY CARD OR JOE HAGGAN. >> DHS OFFICIALS TELL US 10:20:48 THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW OF THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:20:53 NEW ORLEANS UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING. 10:20:57 THAT'S ALMOST 24 HOURS AFTER YOU RECEIVED THE INFORMATION 10:21:01 THAT I REFERRED TO ABOUT THE SEVERE FLOODING IN NEW ORLEANS. 10:21:07 THEY ALSO ASSERT THAT THEY BELIEVE YOU FAILED TO MAKE SURE 10:21:11 THAT THEY WERE GETTING THIS VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION. 10:21:19 I'D LIKE YOU TO RESPOND TO THAT CRITICISM. 10:21:22 >> FIRST AND FOREMOST I FIND IT A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS THAT 10:21:26 DHS WERE CLAIMING THAT THEY WERE NOT GETTING THAT 10:21:29 INFORMATION, BECAUSE FEMA HELD CONTINUOUS VIDEO TELEPHONE 10:21:33 CONFERENCES -- I'LL REFER TO THEM AS VTCS -- IN WHICH AT 10:21:37 LEAST ONCE A DAY, IF NOT SEVERAL TIMES A DAY WE WOULD BE 10:21:40 ON CONFERENCE CALLS AND VIDEO CALLS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT 10:21:43 EVERYONE HAD SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:21:45 NOW, I'M SITTING IN BATON ROUGE, SO I'M NOT SURE AT ALL 10:21:49 TIMES WHO IS IN THE VIDEO CONFERENCE, ON THE V.T.C. 10:21:52 BUT THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AT LEAST 10:21:55 DEPUTY SECRETARY JACKSON AND AT LEAST MATTHEW BRODERICK, BOB 10:22:00 STEPHAN, SOMEONE FROM THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS 10:22:04 CENTER, IS IN ON THOSE CONVERSATIONS ON THOSE 10:22:06 VTCS. SO FOR THEM TO NOW CLAIM THAT 10:22:09 WE DIDN'T HAVE AWARENESS OF IT I THINK IS JUST BALONEY. 10:22:12 THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD AWARENESS OF IT BECAUSE THEY WERE 10:22:15 RECEIVING THE SAME INFORMATION THAT WE WERE. 10:22:16 IT'S ALSO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT MR. RHODE OR SOMEONE ELSE ON 10:22:24 HIS BEHALF SENT AN EMAIL EITHER DIRECTLY TO THE DHS CHIEF OF 10:22:28 STAFF OR PERHAPS TO THE HSOT. BUT MUCH LIKE I HAD OPERATED 10:22:37 SUCCESSFULLY IN FLORIDA, MY ONLY GATION WAS TO THE WHITE 10:22:42 HOUSE AND TO -- OBLIGATION WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TO THE 10:22:44 PRESIDENT TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE SITUATION 10:22:46 WAS, AND I DID THAT. AND THE VTCS WERE THE 10:22:52 OPERATIONAL CONSTRUCT BY WHICH DHS WOULD GET THAT 10:22:54 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. THEY WOULD GET THAT THROUGH 10:22:56 THOSE VTCS. >> MR. RHODE, WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:00 WHEN THE LEVEES HAD BROKEN ON MONDAY MORNING AND WHAT DID YOU 10:23:05 DO WITH THE INFORMATION? FIRST, WHEN WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:09 THE PROBLEMS OF FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING? 10:23:13 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, I BELIEVE THAT I FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE 10:23:16 ISSUES WITH THE LEVEE, AT LEAST PARTIAL INFORMATION, DURING THE 10:23:19 EARLY HOURS OF MONDAY MORNING, OR MID MORNING, I WANT TO SAY, 10:23:23 SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 9:00, 10:00 OR SO. 10:23:26 I BELIEVE THAT I CAME ACROSS AN EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO ME THAT 10:23:31 SUESTED THAT PERHAPS THERE WAS A LEVEE BREACH. 10:23:33 I DON'T THINK THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT. 10:23:36 AND I ENDEAVORED TO, AS WAS ALWAYS MY PRACTICE, WHENEVER 10:23:40 SOMEONE WAS SENDING ME OPERATIONAL INFORMATION, I 10:23:42 TRIED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT INFORMATION MADE IT DIRECTLY TO 10:23:44 THE OPERATORS. OUR PROTOCOL WITHIN FEMA WAS TO 10:23:48 MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM D ANY SORT OF SITUATIONAL 10:23:51 INFORMATION. AGAIN, MY ROLE IS IN 10:23:54 WASHINGTON, DC I WAS NOT IN LOUISIANA. 10:23:55 BUT AS THAT INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE AND AS I BECAME AWARE 10:23:59 OF IT, I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM HAD IT 10:24:02 WITHIN WASHINGTON SO THAT IT COULD THEN BE TRANSMITTED TO 10:24:05 THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER. 10:24:07 AS THERE WERE MANY SITUATIONAL REPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, THROUGHOUT 10:24:09 THE DAY. >> BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I'M 10:24:13 ASKING YOU. YOU WERE IN WASHINGTON -- 10:24:16 >> YES, MA'AM. >> -- YOU ARE NOW THE TOP FEMA 10:24:20 OFFICIAL. DID YOU TAKE ANY STEPS TONE 10:24:22 SURE THAT SECRETARY CHERTOFF WAS AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION? 10:24:27 >> WAS THE INFORMATION BECAME MORE AND MORE APPARENT, MARTY 10:24:32 ON MONDAY LATER THAT DAY HELPED ORCHESTRATE A CONFERENCE CALL 10:24:35 THAT I PARTICIPATED IN, AND AT THE CONCLUSION OF THAT 10:24:38 CONFERENCE CALL I SENT A LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OR SENT AN 10:24:41 EMAIL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN ADDITION 10:24:44 TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS OPERATIONAL PEOPLE THAT WERE 10:24:48 ALSO ON THAT CALL TO MAKE SURE THE HOMELAND SECURITY 10:24:52 OPERATIONS CENTER HAD THAT INFORMATION. 10:24:54 >> MR. BROWN, IT ISN'T ONLY DHS OFFICIALS WHO SAY THAT 10:24:58 THEY WERE UNAWARE UNTIL TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEES HAD COLLAPSED. 10:25:03 I'VE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT EXACT SAME THING BY ADMIRAL TIMOTHY 10:25:11 KEATON, THE HEAD OF NORTHERN COMMAND, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 10:25:17 HOMELAND DEFENSE FOR DOD. HE, IN AN INTERVIEW, TOLD ME 10:25:20 THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING THAT THE LEVEES 10:25:25 HAD BREACHED AND THAT THE CITIES HAD FLOODED. 10:25:30 WAS THERE ANY COMMUNICATION FROM YOU OR DID YOU TAKE ANY 10:25:33 STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NORTHERN COMMAND WAS INFORMED OF THIS 10:25:39 CATASTROPHIC DEVELOPMENT? >> I WOULD HAVE NOT AT THAT 10:25:42 POINT HAVE CALLED ADMIRAL KEATING DIRECTLY. 10:25:46 BUT THROUGH THE FEMA OPERATIONS CENTER THERE IS A MILITARY 10:25:50 LIAISON THERE, SO THEY WOULD HAVE HAD THAT SAME OPERATIONAL 10:25:53 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO PASS BACK UP THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:25:57 SO ADMIRAL KEATING OR SECRETARY RUMSFELD OR ANY OF THOSE COULD 10:26:00 HAVE HAD THAT SAME SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:26:02 >> WHAT IS SO TROUBLING IS WE HAVE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN 10:26:08 FROM TOP DHS OFFICIALS, FROM TOP DOD. OFFICIALS, FROM THE 10:26:14 LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY WERE 10:26:19 SIMPLY UNAWARE OF HOW CATASTROPHIC THE HURRICANE'S 10:26:25 IMPACT HAD BEEN BECAUSE OF THE BREACHING OF THE LEVEE. 10:26:32 CAN YOU HELP US UNDERSTAND THIS ENORMOUS DISCONNECT BETWEEN 10:26:35 WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND, A CITY 80% FLOODED, 10:26:43 UNCONTROLLED LEVEES, PEOPLE DYING, PEOPLE -- THOUSANDS OF 10:26:47 PEOPLE WAITING TO BE RESCUED, AND THE OFFICIAL REACTION AMONG 10:26:54 MANY OF THE KEY LEADERS IN WASHINGTON AND IN NORTHERN 10:26:59 COMMAND THAT SOMEHOW NEW ORLEANS HAD DODGED THE BULLET? 10:27:05 >> CHAIRMAN COL LOANS, THERE IS -- CHAIRMAN COLLINS, LET ME 10:27:11 FRAME THE ANSWER A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY. 10:27:14 IT'S MY BELIEF THAT HAD THERE BEEN A REPORT COME OUT FROM 10:27:18 MARTY THAT SAID, YES, WE'VE CONFIRMED THAT A TERRORIST HAS 10:27:22 BLOWN UP THE 17TH STREET CANAL LEVEE, THEN EVERYBODY WOULD 10:27:28 HAVE JUMPED ALL OVER THAT AND BEEN TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING 10:27:34 THEY COULD. BUT BECAUSE THIS WAS A NATURAL 10:27:37 DISASTER, THAT HAS BECOME THE STEP CHILEDE WITHIN THE 10:27:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 10:27:42 AND SO YOU NOW HAVE THESE TWO SYSTEMS OPERATION, ONE WHICH 10:27:46 CARES ABOUT TERRORISM, AND FEMA AND OUR STATE AND LOCAL 10:27:49 PARTNERS, WHO ARE TRYING TO APPROACH EVERYTHING FROM ALL 10:27:52 HAZARDS. AND SO THERE'S THIS DISCONNECT 10:27:54 THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT WE'VE CREATED BECAUSE OF 10:27:57 DHS ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TO 10:28:02 LISTEN TO THOSE VTCS AND PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE 10:28:06 VTCS, AND THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON. 10:28:08 AND IN FACT, I EMAILED A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL THAT EVENING 10:28:14 ABOUT HOW BAD IT WAS, MAKING SURE THAT THEY KNEW, AGAIN, HOW 10:28:17 BAD THAT IT WAS, IDENTIFYING THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE 10:28:21 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND HOUSING PROBLEMS AND ALL OF 10:28:23 THOSE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. SO IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT 10:28:29 DHS OFFICIALS WOULD SAY, WELL, WE WEREN'T AWARE. 10:28:32 THEY'RE OFF DOING OTHER THINGS. IT'S A NATURAL DISASTER SO 10:28:35 WE'RE JUST GOING TO ALLOW FEMA TO DO ALL OF THAT. 10:28:38 THAT HAD BECOME THE MENTALITY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 10:28:40 >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. >> THANKS, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:28:45 THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION. MR. BROWN, WE'LL GET BACK TO 10:28:49 THOSE COMMENTS. OBVIOUSLY OUR HOPE WAS THAT THE 10:28:51 DEPARTMENT WOULD BE READY TO DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS AND 10:28:55 TERRORIST ATTACKS AND THE IMPACT OF A TERRORIST BOMB ON 10:28:57 THE LEVEES WOULD HAVE BEEN EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE 10:29:01 HURRICANE WAS TO FLOODING THE CITY. 10:29:03 LET ME GO BACK TO THAT DAY, BECAUSE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT 10:29:06 AND YOUR COMMENTS JUST NOW HIGHLIGHT IT, AND THIS IS ABOUT 10:29:09 MARTY. HE TAKES THE TWO HELICOPTER 10:29:11 FLIGHTS, 5:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. CENTRAL TIME. 10:29:15 HE SEES THE DEVASTATION AND HE TOLD US THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER 10:29:18 THOSE HELICOPTER RIDES HE CALLED YOU AND REPORTED HIS 10:29:22 FINDINGS TO YOU. IS IT CORRECT THAT MR. BAMUN DE 10:29:30 -- BAMUNDY TOLD YOU ON THAT EVENING THAT HE COULD SEE NEW 10:29:33 ORLEANS FLOODING? >> IT'S CORRECT. 10:29:35 >> IS IT ALSO CORRECT THAT MARTY TOLD YOU THAT DURING THE 10:29:37 HELICOPTER RIDE HE SO SEE THAT LEVEES HAD BROKEN. 10:29:40 IS THAT RIGHT? >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:29:42 >> MARTY TOLD US THAT AFTER HE FINISHED GIVING YOU THAT 10:29:44 DEVASTATING INFORMATION, YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO CALL THE 10:29:47 WHITE HOUSE. IN YOUR STAFF INTERVIEW YOU 10:29:48 SAID THAT YOU DID HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A WHITE HOUSE 10:29:53 OFFICIAL ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 29, REGARDING HIS 10:29:59 FLYOVER. WHO WAS THAT WHITE HOUSE 10:30:01 OFFICIAL? >> TWO RESPONSES, SENATOR 10:30:03 LIEBERMAN. THERE IS AN EMAIL, AND I 10:30:11 REMEMBER THE EMAIL, AND I RECALL THIS QUITE VIVIDLY, I'M 10:30:16 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. >> IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WERE 10:30:19 EMAILING SOMEBODY AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:30:21 >> NO, I WAS ACTUALLY EMAILING SOMEBODY IN RESPONSE TO MARTY'S 10:30:25 INFORMATION BACK TO FEMA. >> GOT IT. 10:30:27 >> IN WHICH I SAID, YES, I'M CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. 10:30:30 AND I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY WHO I CALLED, BUT BECAUSE OF 10:30:33 THE PATTERN OF HOW I USUALLY INTERACTED WITH THE WHITE 10:30:37 HOUSE, MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT I WAS PROBABLY CALLING AND 10:30:40 TALKING TO JOE HAGAN. >> JOE HAG ANN -- 10:30:46 >> WHO WAS IN CAUFERED WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY. 10:30:49 >> HE WAS AT CRAWFORD. I'M SURPRISED YOU WOULDN'T 10:30:51 REMEMBER EXACTLY. BUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR 10:30:53 RECOLLECTION, YOU CALLED JOE HAGAN. 10:30:56 AND IS IT RIGHT THAT YOU CALLED HIM BECAUSE HE HAD SOME SPECIAL 10:30:58 RESPONSIBILITY FOR OVERSIGHT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT? 10:31:01 >> NO, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JOE, 10:31:07 AND JOE UNDERSTANDS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, NUMBER ONE. 10:31:10 NUMBER TWO, HE'S AT CRAWFORD WITH THE PRESIDENT. 10:31:13 >> GOT IT. AND YOU QUITE APPROPRIATELY AND 10:31:17 ADMIRABLY WANTED TO GET THE WORD TO THE PRESIDENT AS 10:31:19 QUICKLY AS YOU COULD. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:31:20 >> DID YOU TELL MR. HAG ANN IN THAT PHONE CALL THAT NEW 10:31:25 ORLEANS WAS FLOODING? >> I THINK I TOLD HIM THAT WE 10:31:27 WERE REALIZING OUR WORST NIGHTMARE. 10:31:29 THAT EVERYTHING WE HAD PLANNED ABOUT, WORRIED ABOUT, THAT 10:31:31 FEMA, FRANKLY, HAD WORRIED ABOUT FOR 10 YEARS WAS COMING 10:31:34 TRUE. >> DO YOU REMEMBER IF YOU TOLD 10:31:36 HIM THAT THE LEVEESED THAT BROKEN? 10:31:39 -- LEVEES HAD BROKEN? >> OKAY THE WITNESS STAND I 10:31:43 FEEL OBLIGATED TO SAY THAT I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:31:45 SAYING THOSE WORDS. BUT IT WAS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS 10:31:50 FLOODING, IT'S THE WORST CAYS SCENARIO. 10:31:53 >> MAYBE THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE, THIS IS THE WORST CASE 10:31:56 SCENARIO, THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IS FLOODING. 10:31:58 DID YOU ASK MR. HAGAN FOR ANY PARTICULAR ACTION BY THE WHITE 10:32:03 HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT, THE ADMINISTRATION IN THAT PHONE 10:32:06 CALL? >> THEY ALWAYS ASKED ME WHAT DO 10:32:09 YOU NEED. >> RIGHT. 10:32:10 >> JOE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD ABOUT THAT. 10:32:21 >> THE DIFFERENCE IS IN 2004 -- THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, 10:32:24 SENATOR, IF YOU'LL BEAR WITH ME FOR A MINUTE, IS IN 2004 CURING 10:32:28 THE HURRICANES THAT STRUCK -- DURING 2004, THE HURRICANES 10:32:34 THAT STRUCK FLORIDA, I WAS ASKED THAT SAME QUESTION, WHAT 10:32:36 DO YOU NEED. AND I SPECIFICALLY ASKED BOTH 10:32:40 SECRETARY CARD AND JOE HAGAN THAT ON MY WAY DOWN TO PUNTA 10:32:45 GORDA, FLORIDA THAT THE BEST THING THEY COULD DO FOR ME WAS 10:32:48 TO KEEP DHS OUT OF MY HAIR. AND IF I COULD JUST FINISH -- 10:32:52 >> YEAH. >> SO WHAT HAD CHANGED BETWEEN 10:32:57 2004 AND 2005 -- >> KATRINA, RIGHT. 10:33:00 >> BETWEEN THE HURRICANES OF 2004 AND NOW KATRINA, WAS THAT 10:33:07 THERE WAS NOW THIS MENTALITY OR THIS THINKING THAT, NO, NOW 10:33:14 THIS TIME WE WERE GOING TO FOLLOW THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:33:17 >> WHICH WAS PUT YOU IN CHARGE? >> WAS PUT ME IN CHARGE, BUT 10:33:23 NOW I HAVE TO FEED EVERYTHING UP THROUGH CHERTOFF OR SOMEHOW 10:33:27 THROUGH DHS >> I GOT YOU. 10:33:29 >> WHICH JUST BOGGED THINGS DOWN. 10:33:32 >> SO YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF SPECIFICALLY 10:33:35 ASKING MR. HAGAN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ANY ACTION AT 10:33:38 THAT TIME. >> NOTHING IN SPECIFIC. 10:33:39 I JUST THOUGHT THEY NEEDED TO BE AWARE OF THE SITUATION. 10:33:42 >> UNDERSTOOD. MR. BROWN, ON THE EVENING OF 10:33:44 LANDFALL YOU APPEARED ON THE 9:00 P.M. EDITION OF MSNBC'S 10:33:50 RITA COSBY LIVE AND DIRECT. YOU SAID THEN VERY EXPLICITLY 10:33:54 THAT YOU WERE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN NEW 10:33:57 ORLEANS, AND I QUOTE, IT COULD BE WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE 10:33:59 PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET BACK INTO SOME OF THESE 10:34:02 NEIGHBORHOODS, ENDS OF QUOTE, BECAUSE OF THE FLOODING. 10:34:05 YOU ALSO SAID, AND I QUOTE, THAT YOU HAD ALREADY TOLD THE 10:34:10 PRESIDENT TONIGHT THAT WE CAN ANTICIPATE A HOUSING NEED HERE 10:34:13 OF AT LEAST IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS, ENDS OF QUOTE. 10:34:17 YOU WERE CORRECT. DID YOU IN FACT SPEAK TO 10:34:21 PRESIDENT BUSH THAT NIGHT, AUGUST 29? 10:34:24 >> I REALLY DON'T RECALL IF THE PRESIDENT GOT -- I MEAN, 10:34:29 NORMALLY DURING MY CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY CHIEF 10:34:34 OF STAFF HAGAN, SOMETIMES THE PRESIDENT WOULD GET ON THE 10:34:37 PHONE FOR A FEW MOMENTS, AND SOMETIMES HE WOULDN'T. 10:34:40 I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY THAT NIGHT WHETHER HE DID OR 10:34:42 NOT. BUT I NEVER WORRIED ABOUT 10:34:43 WHETHER I TALKED DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE I KNEW 10:34:46 THAT IN SPEAKING TO JOE I WAS TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE 10:34:49 PRESIDENT. >> WELL, IT'S SURPRISING AGAIN, 10:34:51 TO ME, THAT YOU WOULDN'T REMEMBER WHETHER THE PRESIDENT 10:34:55 WAS ON YOUR CALL TO JOE HAGAN. >> I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR 10:35:01 ARROGANT, BUT I TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT A LOT OF. 10:35:04 SO SOMETIMES WHEN HE'S ON THE PHONE OR NOT ON THE PHONE, I 10:35:07 JUST WOULDN'T RECALL. >> ALL RIGHT. 10:35:09 SO THAT MAYBE YOU WERE INFLATING A LITTLE BIT OR BEING 10:35:12 LOOSE WITH YOUR LANGUAGE WHEN YOU TOLD MSNBC THAT YOU HAD 10:35:15 ALREADY TOLD THE PRESIDENT THAT NIGHT ABOUT -- 10:35:17 >> WELL, NO, BECAUSE WHEN I SAY THAT I'VE TOLD THE PRESIDENT -- 10:35:20 IF I'VE TOLD JOE HAGAN OR TOLD ANDY CARD, I'VE TOLD THE 10:35:25 PRESIDENT. >> I HAVE THIS PROBLEM HERE IN 10:35:27 THE CAPITOL, TOO, WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS SARA WARNER TOLD ME TO 10:35:30 TELL YOU, AND THEN I FOUND OUT IT WAS A STAFF MEMBER, OR I 10:35:35 TOLD SENATOR WASH F WARNER. >> TRUST ME, THEY TELL THE 10:35:41 PRESIDENT. >> OK, NOW, LET ME GO TO 10:35:44 SECRETARY CHERTOFF BECAUSE YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CHAIN OF 10:35:47 COMMAND THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO FOLLOW. 10:35:50 DID YOU SPEAK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF AFTER YOUR CALL WITH 10:35:55 MARTY AND TELL HIM ABOUT THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:35:58 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY EVENING? >> I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:36:06 IF I TALKED TO CHERTOFF ON THAT DAY OR NOT. 10:36:09 >> WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE, IF THAT WAS THE CHAIN OF COMMAND? 10:36:16 >> I'M STILL OPERATING THAT I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE. 10:36:19 AND THE WAY I GET THINGS DONE IS I REQUEST IT FROM THE WHITE 10:36:22 HOUSE AND THEY HAPPEN. >> WELL, THEN, DID YOU TELL 10:36:25 ANYONE ELSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN A HIGH 10:36:30 POSITION, DEPUTY SECRETARY MICHAEL JACKSON, FOR INSTANCE? 10:36:33 >> I THINK MICHAEL AND I MAY HAVE HAD A CONVERSATION. 10:36:35 >> MONDAY EVENING? >> YES. 10:36:37 >> WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALONG THE SAME LINES. 10:36:39 >> EXACTLY. >> AM I RIGHT THAT AT SOME 10:36:42 POINT ON MONDAY EVENING THERE WAS EITHER A PHONE CONFERENCE 10:36:44 CALL OR A VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL THAT YOU WERE ON REPORTING ON 10:36:49 THE SITUATION FROM NEW ORLEANS? >> YES. 10:36:51 >> AND DO YOU KNOW WHETHER ANYBODY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:36:55 HOMELAND SECURITY WAS ON THAT CALL? 10:36:58 >> THEY WERE ON ALL THE CALLS. >> OK. 10:37:00 SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THAT CALL? 10:37:04 >> DON'T REMEMBER. I DON'T RECALL. 10:37:06 >> DO YOU KNOW WHERE HE WAS THAT EVENING? 10:37:08 >> AS I WENT BACK THROUGH MIEL MAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS 10:37:13 -- MY EMAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS EITHER GONE OR GOING TO 10:37:17 VISIT ATLANTA AND TO VISIT THE FLORIDA OFFICES OF C.DC 10:37:20 >> WE'RE GOING TO ASK HIM ABOUT THAT. 10:37:22 BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE NUMBER ONE MAN IN TERMS OF THE 10:37:25 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THIS 10:37:29 DISASTER FOR SOME REASON DID NOT APPRECIATE THAT IT WAS SUCH 10:37:32 A DISASTER, THAT HE GOT ON A PLANE AND WENT TO ATLANTA FOR A 10:37:36 CONFERENCE ON AVIAN FLU. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SUNDAY, 10:37:41 THE DAY BEFORE. AM I RIGHT THAT THERE WAS A 10:37:44 VIDEO TELECONFERENCE ON THAT SUNDAY IN WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH 10:37:50 AN SECRETARY CHERTOFF WERE ON THE CONFERENCE? 10:37:53 >> I RECALL -- I SPECIFICALLY RECALL THE PRESIDENT BEING ON 10:37:57 THE CONFERENCE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SKIFF AT CRAWFORD. 10:38:02 >> RIGHT. >> BUT I DON'T SPECIFICALLY 10:38:05 RECALL SEEING SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THE SCREEN. 10:38:07 >> OK. AND ON THAT SUNDAY VIDEO 10:38:10 CONFERENCE CALL, AM I RIGHT YOU WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON THEN? 10:38:12 >> THAT'S CORRECT. I LEFT THAT AFTERNOON. 10:38:15 >> BUT YOU DESCRIBED THE CATASTROPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF 10:38:20 THE KIND OF HURRICANE THAT DR. MAX MAYFIELD AND ALL THE OTHER 10:38:25 FORECASTERS WERE PREDICTING THAT DAY. 10:38:33 >> I TOLD THE STAFF -- AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS 10:38:38 OF THAT V.T.C., THEN WE NEED TO GET THEM FOR YOU. 10:38:40 >> NO, I'M GOING TO GIVE 'PHRASE. 10:38:44 YOU DESCRIBED IT AS A CATASTROPHE WITHIN A 10:38:47 CATASTROPHE. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:38:49 THIS WAS WHY I WAS SCREAMING AND HOLLERING ABOUT GETTING 10:38:52 MONEY TO DO CATASTROPHIC DISASTER PLANNING. 10:38:55 THIS IS WHY I SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO DO NEW ORLEANS AS THE 10:38:59 FIRST PLACE TO DO THAT. THIS IS WHY I WAS SO FURIOUS 10:39:01 THAT ONCE WE WERE ABLE TO DO HURRICANE PAM THAT I WAS 10:39:05 REBUFFED ON GETTING THE MONEY TO DO THE FOLLOW-UP, THE 10:39:09 FOLLOW-ON. THIS IS WHY I TOLD THE STAFF 10:39:11 DURING THAT VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL -- 10:39:13 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE. 10:39:14 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE STRUCK THAT I EXPECTED THEM TO 10:39:17 CUT EVERY PIECE OF RED TAPE, DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD, THAT IT 10:39:20 WAS BALLS TO THE WALL, THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANYBODY SAY 10:39:24 THAT WE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. TO DO EVERYTHING HELP HUMANLY 10:39:27 COULD TO RESPOND TO THIS. BECAUSE I KNEW IN MY GUT, 10:39:30 SENATOR, THIS WAS THE BAD ONE. >> THANKS, MR. BROWN. 10:39:33 TIME'S UP FOR ME. >> SENATOR COLEMAN. 10:39:35 >> THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. AGAIN, LIKE I THINK ALL MY 10:39:39 OTHER COLLEAGUES, MY THANKS TO YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP. 10:39:43 THIS HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARY. I HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF 10:39:48 OBSERVATIONS, AS I LISTEN TO TESTIMONY, MD DAM CHAIR. 10:39:51 WE HEAR A LOT, WE'VE SEEN IN THIS COMMITTEE A LOT OF 10:39:56 DISCUSSION ABOUT STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:39:57 WE'VE HEARD THAT FEDERAL AND LOCAL AND STATE FOLKS ALL 10:40:02 POINTED AT EACH OTHER SAYING, WELL, THEY WERE IN CHARGE, THEY 10:40:04 WERE IN CHARGE. ANY TIME YOU GET A DISASTER 10:40:06 LIKE THIS, A DISASTER, NOT JUST OF KATRINA, BUT THE DISASTER OF 10:40:11 THE RESPONSE, YOU GET THE ANALYSIS THAT WE'RE GETTING 10:40:14 HERE. LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 10:40:15 OF PAGES OF REVIEW OF INFORMATION. 10:40:17 BUT I'M GOING TO BE VERY, VERY BLUNT HERE. 10:40:20 WHAT WE HAD, AND HAVING BEEN A MAYOR AND BEEN INVOLVED IN 10:40:23 SITUATION THAT IS COULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE, THAT WEREN'T SO 10:40:26 TERRIBLE, IN THE END WHEN THINGS GO BAD WE DO THE 10:40:29 ANALYSIS AND WE SEE ALL THE STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES. 10:40:32 BUT WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD LEADERSHIP OFTENTIMES EVEN WITH 10:40:37 STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES THINGS DON'T GO BAD. 10:40:39 MY SENSE IS WE HAD ALMOST THE PERFECT STORM OF POOR 10:40:42 LEADERSHIP. WE HAD A GOVERNOR WHO WAS 10:40:45 INDECISIVE, MET WITH THE PRESIDENT, MET WITH THE MAYOR 10:40:47 AND DIDN'T MAKE A DECISION. WANTED MORE TIME. 10:40:50 WE HAD A MAYOR, THOUGH WELL-INTENTIONED, IS HOLED UP 10:40:53 IN A HOTEL ROOM WITHOUT COMMUNICATIONS, AGAIN, GOOD 10:40:57 INTENTIONS, KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON ON THE GROUND, BUT NOBODY'S 10:40:59 IN CHARGE. AND MR. BROWN, THE CONCERN THAT 10:41:02 I HAVE IS, YOU KNOW, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE I'M HEARING BALLS 10:41:06 TO THE WALL, BUT I'M LOOKING AT EMAILS AND LACK OF 10:41:12 RESPONSIVENESS. MARTY, ON SENDING AN EMAIL 10:41:15 ABOUT SITUATION PAST CRITICAL -- THIS IS ON WEDNESDAY AT THIS 10:41:18 TIME. HOTEL'S KICKING PEOPLE OUT, 10:41:20 DYING PATIENTS. AND YOUR RESPONSE IS, THANKS 10:41:22 FOR THE UPDATE. ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO 10:41:27 TWEAK?" WE HAVE QUESTIONS ON -- 10:41:28 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU TAKE THAT OUST 10:41:31 CONTEXT. BECAUSE YOU DO THAT ON THE FLY 10:41:33 SAYING, YES, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO TWEAK. 10:41:36 AND WHAT YOU IGNORE IS WHAT'S DONE BEYOND THAT, WHICH IS 10:41:39 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE, TALKING TO THE OPERATIONS 10:41:42 PEOPLE AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THINGS ARE GETTING DONE. 10:41:44 AND I'M FRANKLY GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF THESE EMAILS BEING 10:41:47 TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT WITH WORDS LIKE "WHAT DO I NEED TO TWEAK," 10:41:51 BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW, IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT I 10:41:53 NEED TO TWEAK. AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE 10:41:55 ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF THAT'S GOING ON, SENATOR. 10:41:57 SO WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DON'T DRAW CONCLUSIONS FROM AN EMAIL. 10:42:01 >> MR. BROWN, I WLD MAINTAIN THAT IN FACT THE CONTEXT OF THE 10:42:05 EMAILS ARE VERY CLEAR, THAT TH SHOW A LACK OF 10:42:08 RESPONSIVENESS, THAT THEY SHOW A DISCONNECT. 10:42:10 THAT'S THE CONTEXT. IN FACT, I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE 10:42:13 INDIVIDUAL ONES. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 10:42:15 CONTEXT OF THE EMAIL DISCUSSION, YOU'RE GETTING 10:42:18 INFORMATION, YOU'RE GETTING INFORMATION ON MONDAY, 11:57, A 10:42:22 MESSAGE SAYING, "NEW ORLEANS REPORTED 20-FOOT WIDE BREACH. 10:42:25 IT'S 11:57." YOUR EMAIL, NOT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:42:29 COMING BACK, I'M TOLD HERE WATER NOT OVER THE BRIDGE. 10:42:33 OBVIOUSLY IT HASN'T HIT THE FAN FOR YOU. 10:42:35 SO I DON'T THINK IT'S OUT OF CONTEXT. 10:42:37 I THINK THE CONTEXT OF THE EMAILS, AND NOT JUST THE 10:42:41 EMAILS, BUT THE THINGS THAT WE AS AMERICANS SAW TO ME IS 10:42:45 SLUT'S STUNNING -- YOU'VE GOT -- ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, YOU'VE 10:42:50 GOT PEOPLE SUFFERING, ALL OF AMERICA KNOWS THAT. 10:42:52 ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WATCH TV, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT CHANNEL YOU 10:42:55 WATCH, AND WE HAVE YOU SAYING AT THAT TIME "WE'VE JUST 10:42:59 LEARNED -- THIS IS A CNN INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER 1. 10:43:02 NOT OUT OF CONTEXT. "AND SO THIS IS THE CATASTROPHE 10:43:08 THAT CONTINUES TO GROW. EVERY PERSON IN THAT CONVENTION 10:43:11 CENTER, WE JUST LEARNED THAT TODAY. 10:43:12 I'VE DIRECTED WE HAVE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES." 10:43:15 I KNEW A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AS AN AMERICAN. 10:43:17 SO LET ME FINISH THE COMMENT. WHAT I HEAR HERE IS YOU SAYING, 10:43:21 WELL, THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEM FALLS WITH THE MITER REPORT, IN 10:43:25 WHICH IT WAS LAID OUT VERY CLEARLY THE STRUCTURAL 10:43:31 INADEQUACIES, AND YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY IS YOU HAD 10:43:33 CONVERSATIONS. YOU PUSHED THAT FORWARD. 10:43:34 CAN YOU SHOW ME WHETHER EITHER IN THE EMAILS OR IN THE RECORD 10:43:38 YOUR VERY CLEAR DIRECTIVES TO GO, QUOTE, BALLS TO THE WALL, 10:43:41 TO CLEAR UP THIS SITUATION, TO FIX IT? 10:43:43 DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT I CAN LOOK AT IN WRITING THAT GIVES 10:43:46 SUBSTANCE TO WHAT YOU'VE TESTIFIED TO TODAY? 10:43:48 >> ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. 10:43:51 I'VE TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE THAT I MISSPOKE ON THAT 10:43:56 DAY REGARDING THAT EMAIL. WE LEARNED ABOUT THE CONVENTION 10:44:00 CENTER ON WEDNESDAY. BECAUSE THE CONVENTION CENTER 10:44:02 WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. IT WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. 10:44:05 IT WAS NOT IN ANYONE'S PLANS, INCLUDING THE CITY AND THE 10:44:08 STATES. AND WHEN WE LEARNED ABOUT IT ON 10:44:10 WEDNESDAY NIGHT WE IMMEDIATELY STARTED DEMANDING THE ARMY AND 10:44:14 RESOURCES TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. AND THERE ARE EMAILS IN THE 10:44:17 PACKAGES THAT YOU HAVE WHERE I'M SCREAMING WHERE'S THE ARMY, 10:44:20 I NEED THE ARMY NOW. WHY HASN'T IT SHOWN UP. 10:44:23 AND BECAUSE I MISSPOKE ABOUT WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT THE 10:44:26 CONVENTION CENTER, AFTER BEING UP FOR 24 HOURS, YOU WANT TO 10:44:29 TAKE THAT OUT OF CONTEXT AND, SENATOR, I'M NOT GOING TO ALLOW 10:44:33 YOU TO DO THAT. >> LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A 10:44:36 CONVERSATION THAT MAYOR NAGIN CAME BEFORE US, THIS COMMITTEE, 10:44:40 AND HE TALKED ABOUT GOING TO THE ZEPHYR STADIUM, AND MAYOR 10:44:46 NAGIN'S STATEMENT IS I WAS SO FLABBERGASTED. 10:44:48 WE'RE IN NEW ORLEANS. WE WERE STRUGGLING. 10:44:50 IT'S TOUCH AND GO RELATING TO SECURITY. 10:44:53 I GOT OFF THE HELICOPTER AND JUST STARTED WALKING AROUND AND 10:44:56 I WAS AWESTRUCK. WE HAD BEEN REQUESTING THE 10:45:01 SUPERDOME BECAUSE WE WERE STANDING AT NIGHT, TO MAKE A 10:45:05 LONG STORY SHORT. THERE WERE POOR CONDITIONS. 10:45:08 WE WANTED PORTABLE TOILETS. THEY HAD THEM ALL OVER THE 10:45:11 PLACE. WERE YOU WITH MAYOR NAGIN AT 10:45:14 THE TIME? >> I DON'T KNOW WHETHER -- I 10:45:16 DON'T KNOW WHETHER I WAS WITH HIM ON THAT PARTICULAR DATE OR 10:45:18 NOT. BUT I KNOW THE AREA HE'S 10:45:20 TALKING ABOUT. >> AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO THIS 10:45:22 COMMITTEE WHY, IF THERE HAD BEEN OBVIOUS DEEP CONCERNS 10:45:26 ABOUT SANITARY FACILITIES, ABOUT LIGHTING, WHY THOSE 10:45:29 FACILITIES, THOSE CONCERNS, HAD NOT BEEN MET? 10:45:31 >> BECAUSE THEY WERE HAVING -- THE UNITED STATES ARMY, THE 10:45:38 NATIONAL GUARD, WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING THOSE 10:45:42 SUPPLIES INTO THE SUPERDOME. YOU NEED THAT UNDERSTAND THAT 10:45:45 THERE ARE MEDIA REPORTS OF SHOOTING, THERE ARE MEDIA 10:45:48 REPORTS OF LOOTING AND EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON. 10:45:49 AND IF THE ARMY MOVES IN THERE, THE ARMY KILLS PEOPLE. 10:45:53 AND SO THEY HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT MOVING THOSE 10:45:55 THINGS IN THERE. BY THE SAME TOKEN, YOU HAD 10:45:59 CIVILIANS WHO COMBAN TO MOVE THINGS IN THERE AND CONE GET 10:46:02 THEM THERE. SO, YES, THERE WERE THINGS 10:46:05 STOCKPILED AND AS THAT SUPPLY CHAIN CONTINUED TO PILE UP, 10:46:09 ZEPHYR FIELD WAS FULL OF A LOT OF STUFF AND THOSE THINGS WERE 10:46:12 CONTINUING TO GO ON THE OTHER END TO GET INTO THE CITY. 10:46:16 FOR YOU TO TAKE A SNAPSHOT OF THE PLAYER GOING THERE FOR A 10:46:19 FEW MINUTES AND HIM SCREAMING IN HIS TYPICAL WAY ABOUT I WANT 10:46:23 ALL OF THIS STUFF IN THE CITY IS TAKING IT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:46:26 SENATOR. >> WHEN DID YOU ORDER THAT FOOD 10:46:28 AND WATER BE DELIVERED INTO THE CONVENTION CENTER? 10:46:30 >> THE DAY THAT WE LEARNED ABOUT IT, THAT WEDNESDAY. 10:46:33 WE IMMEDIATELY ORDERED THAT STUFF TO BE MOVED. 10:46:36 WHETHER IT WAS OR NOT -- WHETHER IT WAS ACTUALLY DONE OR 10:46:39 NOT IS THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING. 10:46:41 AND IF IT WASN'T, YOU NEED TO BE ASKING WHY. 10:46:44 BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE CAPACITY WITHIN FEMA OURSELVES 10:46:48 TO DO THAT, AND WE NEEDED THE FIFTH ARMY OR THE FIRST ARMY TO 10:46:51 MOVE THAT STUFF IN THERE. PLUS, I WOULD ALSO REMIND YOU 10:46:55 THAT THERE'S NO -- >> MR. BROWN, JUST ON THAT 10:46:59 POINT ALONE, AND THAT'S WHAT MY NOTES INDICATE. 10:47:04 RECORDS HAD BEEN PRODUCED TO THE COMMITTEE INDICATE THAT 10:47:05 FEMA DID NOT ORDER, DID NOT ORDER FOOD AND WATER FOR THE 10:47:09 CONVENTION CENTER UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. 10:47:13 >> I CAN TELL YOU UNEQUIVOCALLY, SENATOR, UNDER 10:47:16 OATH, THAT THE MINUTE THAT I LEARNED THAT THERE WERE PEOPLE 10:47:20 IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, I TURNED TO BILLOW KEY, MY 10:47:23 INDIVIDUAL, MY OPERATIONS PERSON ON THE GROUND AND SAID 10:47:26 GET M.R.E.'S, GET STUFF MOVING IN THERE. 10:47:29 >> DID YOU EVER FOLLOW UP TO FIND OUT WHETHER THAT HAPPENED? 10:47:32 >> SENATOR, I CONTINUED TO DO OPERATIONS AS BEST I COULD ALL 10:47:36 ALONG THROUGHOUT THAT TIME AND I WOULD CONTINUALLY ASK 10:47:40 QUESTIONS, ARE THINGS HAPPENING, ARE THINGS 10:47:41 HAPPENING, ARE THINGS HAPPENING. 10:47:42 >> THE RECORD IS VERY CLEAR AS TO WHEN THE ORDER WAS GIVEN. 10:47:45 IT WAS GIVEN ON FRIDAY. AND MY CONCERN IS THIS, MR. 10:47:51 BROWN -- AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:47:54 I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED 10:47:57 ABOUT THE FUNCTION OF DHS AND THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA. 10:48:01 BUT AS I LISTEN TO YOUR TESTIMONY, YOU'RE NOT PREPARED 10:48:03 TO KIND OF PUT A MIRROR IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE AND 10:48:07 RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN INADEQUACIES AND SAY I MADE SOME BIG 10:48:11 MISTAKES, I DIDN'T GET THINGS DONE. 10:48:14 AND INSTEAD, YOU'RE SAYING THE PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL, I KNEW 10:48:16 IT UP FRONT, I REALLY TRIED TO CHANGE IT. 10:48:18 THE RECORD, THE ENTIRETY OF THE RECORD, DOESN'T REFLECT THAT. 10:48:21 AND PERHAPS YOU MAY GET A MORE SYMPATHETIC HEARING IF YOU HAD 10:48:24 A WILLINGNESS TO KIND OF CONFESS YOUR OWN SINS IN THIS. 10:48:30 YOUR TESTIMONY HERE IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO COMMUNICATE TO 10:48:33 THE PRESIDENT AS TO WHAT HE UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:35 I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:37 I'M NOT SURE YOU GOT IT. I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU THE 10:48:39 RECORD, NOT THE EMAILS, BUT THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT YOU DIDN'T 10:48:42 GET IT OR YOU DIDN'T, IN WRITING OR SOME WAY, MAKE 10:48:45 COMMANDS THAT WOULD MOVE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE UNTIL 10:48:48 WAY AFTER IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. 10:48:50 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO 10:48:55 SAY? I HAVE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES 10:48:59 PUBLICLY, I'VE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES IN HEARINGS. 10:49:02 WHAT MORE, SENATOR COLEMAN, DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:04 >> WELL, I THINK -- >> WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:07 I'M ASKING YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:09 >> WHAT I HEARD TODAY AND WHAT I HEARD FROM YOUR TESTIMONY AND 10:49:11 COMING IN AND TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE STRUCTURAL THINGS THAT, 10:49:15 THE DYEAS CAST. THAT WAS YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY. 10:49:19 AND I HAVE MY OWN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA 10:49:22 AND DHS BUT I HEARD TODAY THAT THE DIE 10:49:27 WAS CAST. >> IT WAS. 10:49:28 >> I'M SAYING THAT THE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 10:49:30 YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP. 10:49:32 EVEN WITH STRUCTURAL INFIRMITIES, STRONG LEADERSHIP 10:49:37 CAN OVERCOME THAT AND CLEARLY THAT WASN'T THE CASE HERE. 10:49:38 >> WELL, SENATOR, THAT'S VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY SITTING 10:49:43 BEHIND THAT DESK AND NOT BEING THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT 10:49:45 DISASTER WATCHING THAT HUMAN SUFFERING AND WATCHING THOSE 10:49:48 PEOPLE DYING AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH THOSE STRUCTURAL 10:49:55 DYSFUNCTION NATIONALITIES EVEN WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, AND I 10:49:58 RESENT YOU SITTING HERE SAYING I LACKED THE LEADERSHIP TO DO 10:50:00 THAST I WAS DOWN THERE PUSHING EVERYTHING THAT I COULD. 10:50:02 I'VE ADMITTED TO THOSE MISTAKES. 10:50:04 AND IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE FROM ME PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND 10:50:07 YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO ADMIT TO. 10:50:10 >> A LITTLE MORE CANDOR WOULD SUFFICE. 10:50:12 >> WHAT MORE CANDOR -- ASK ME THE QUESTION, SENATOR. 10:50:15 ASK ME THE QUESTION. >> THANK YOU. 10:50:17 BUT I THINK MY TIME IS UP. THANK YOU. 10:50:20 MADAM CHAIR. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM 10:50:24 CHAIRMAN. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I 10:50:30 ADMIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND COMMEND YOU AND YOUR RANKING 10:50:37 MEMBER FOR YOUR LEADERSHIPS ON PURSUING THESE HEARINGS FOR THE 10:50:45 SAKE OF THE SECURITY AND SAFETY OF OUR COUNTRY. 10:50:54 I AGREE WITH YOU, MADAM CHAIRMAN, AND WITH THE RANKING 10:50:57 MEMBER THAT IT IS UNFAIR TO LAY BLAME ON THE GROSS 10:51:05 MISMANAGEMENT OF THE DISASTER ON ONE OR TWO PEOPLE. 10:51:09 AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. BROWN SHOULD BE THE SCAPEGOAT 10:51:17 FOR ALL THAT WENT WRONG. >> THANK YOU, SENATOR. 10:51:19 >> HOWEVER, YOU AND MR. RHODE -- LET ME PUT IT YOU AND MR. 10:51:23 RHODE WERE IN CHARGE OF FEMA. AND I CAN RECALL HARRY TRUMAN'S 10:51:31 STATEMENT THAT THE BUCK STOPS HERE. 10:51:34 AND SO YOU'RE IT AND THE HEARING IS ON YOU. 10:51:41 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE IN LOUISIANA AND THROUGHOUT THE 10:51:46 GULF COAST REINFORCES THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED 10:51:51 LEADERS IN SENIOR POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:51:54 HOMELAND SECURITY. THAT IS WHY I INTRODUCED 10:51:59 LEGISLATION LAST FALL TO REQUIRE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL 10:52:06 QUALIFICATIONS FOR MOST SENATE-CONFIRMED POSITIONS AT 10:52:09 DHS, NOR SHOULD WE FORGET THAT UNTIL 2003 FEMA WAS AN 10:52:19 INDEPENDENT CABINET-LEVEL AGENCY. 10:52:21 ONE OF MY REASONS FOR VOTING AGAINST GRADING DHS WAS THAT 10:52:28 FEMA WOULD NO LONGER OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY. 10:52:33 FEMA'S ACTIVITIES AND BUDGET ARE CONTROLLED BY THE SECRETARY 10:52:38 OF THE DEPARTMENT. WE CANNOT FORGET THE PROBLEMS 10:52:44 OF FEMA, THAT THEY ARE THE PROBLEMS OF DHS AND THE 10:52:51 ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. 10:52:59 MR. BROWN, MY QUESTION RELATES TO A SAME YOU MADE DURING YOUR 10:53:06 INTERVIEW WITH THE COMMITTEE. WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHETHER YOU 10:53:09 WERE KEEPING SECRETARY CHERTOFF APPRISED OF THE SITUATION IN 10:53:15 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY, THE DAY THE STORM HIT, YOU STATED THAT 10:53:20 YOU, AND I QUOTE, DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAD 10:53:23 ANY OPERATIONAL MANDATE AT THAT POINT, AND THAT IF THE 10:53:32 SECRETARY WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT SOMETHING, HE CAN EITHER 10:53:34 CALL ME DIRECTLY OR REACH OUT TO HSOC TO GET THAT 10:53:44 INFORMATION, END QUOTE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WASN'T IT 10:53:48 YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS UNDERSECRETARY TO KEEP 10:53:51 SECRETARY CHERTOFF INFORMED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS OF AN ONGOING 10:53:56 CRISIS THAT INVOLVED MULTIPLE COMMONWEALTHS OF HIS AGENCY -- 10:54:03 MULTIPLE COMPONENTS OF HIS AGENCY. 10:54:07 WHAT'S YOUR COMMENT ON THAT? >> YES, SENATOR, IT IS MY 10:54:09 RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP HIM INFORMED AND WE HAVE STRUCTURES 10:54:12 IN PLACE BY WHICH TO DO THAT. THE HSOC AND HIS 10:54:16 REPRESENTATIVES ARE INVOLVED ON THE VTCS, AND HE AND I 10:54:19 EXCHANGED PHONE CALLS AND TALKED AT TIMES TO DO THAT. 10:54:22 BUT WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING OPERATIONS, THE PRIMARY 10:54:26 RESPONSIBILITY HAS TO BE TO RUN OPERATIONS, AND THEN YOU FEED 10:54:30 INFORMATION AS YOU SHOULD THROUGH THE CHANNELS, THROUGH 10:54:33 THE VTCS, THROUGH THE EMAILS, THROUGH THE SITUATIONAL 10:54:37 REPORTS THAT GET TO HIM. AND THEN IF HE HAS QUESTIONS 10:54:41 ABOUT ANY OF THOSE REPORTS THAT COME TO HIM, HE CAN CALL ME, OR 10:54:44 IF THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE REPORTS THAT I THINK IS OF 10:54:47 PARTICULAR INTEREST TO HIM, THEN I WOULD CALL AND TELL HIM. 10:54:53 >> MR. BROWN, IN YOUR INTERVIEW YOU REFERRED TO THE SO-CALLED 10:54:58 TAX, SO-CALLED TAX THAT FEMA WAS FORCED TO PAY. 10:55:12 YOU SAID THAT THE TAX FUNDED THE SHARED COMPONENTS OF 10:55:16 DHS, SUCH AS THE SECTTARY OF STATE'S OFFICE AND THE I.T. 10:55:21 SYSTEM. YOU TOLD COMMITTEE 10:55:23 INVESTIGATORS THAT FEMA'S MEDICATION FUNDING SUFFED A 10:55:32 PROPORTIONATE REDUCTION BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO TAKE MONEY 10:55:35 OUT OF OTHER AREAS, SUCH AS THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE FUND. 10:55:38 YOU MAY RECALL THAT THE ADMINISTRATION TRIED TO REDUCE 10:55:43 FEMA'S MITIGATION FUNDING PRIOR TO THE CREATION OF DHS 10:55:50 THE PRESIDENT'S FY-02 BUDGET PROPOSED ELIMINATING THE 10:55:56 PREDISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM WHICH LATER WAS SAVED BY 10:55:59 CONGRESS. THE ADMINISTRATION RESPONDED BY 10:56:02 SEEKING TO ELIMINATE ALL POST-DISASTER MITIGATION 10:56:08 FUNDING IN FY-03. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS IS IT 10:56:16 POSSIBLE THAT THE REASON THEY TOOK SUCH A HARD HIT WHEN 10:56:19 DHS COLLECTED ITS TAX IS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS ARE -- 10:56:26 AREN'T VALUED BY THE ADMINISTRATION? 10:56:28 >> IT'S NICE TO APPEAR BEFORE A COMMITTEE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN 10:56:31 AND NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY TALKING POINTS OR SAPS THAT SAY 10:56:37 WHAT YOU CAN OR CANNOT SAY, BUT YES, THAT IS PART OF THE 10:56:43 PROBLEM. THE BELIEF THAT MITIGATION 10:56:45 PROGRAMS DON'T HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT RATIO, SO WE HAVE TO 10:56:49 ELIMINATE THEM. WHEN INDEED, I DO BELIEVE THERE 10:56:51 IS A GOOD SIDE TO IT, THAT THE ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES THAT 10:56:55 PREDISASTER MITIGATION FUNDS COULD BE USED. 10:56:57 SO THERE'S A BALANCE TO BE STRUCK. 10:57:00 TRY TO DO BOTH PREAND POST-DISASTER. 10:57:02 BUFF I DO THINK THE MITIGATION TO A CERTAIN EXTENT WAS GIVEN 10:57:05 THE BACK SEAT. >> MR. BROWN, IN A RESPONSE TO 10:57:14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE PUBLIC DEFENDER THIS COMMITTEE IN JUNE 10:57:19 2002 TO BE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FEMA, YOU STATED, AND I QUOTE, 10:57:23 MITIGATION WILL CONTINUE TO BE A PRIMARY FOCUS FOR THE AGENCY, 10:57:26 UNQUOTE. AS UNDERSECRETARY, DID YOU 10:57:32 CONSIDER INFORMING CONGRESS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS WERE 10:57:38 NOT BEING PRIORITIZED AND WERE IN FACT RECEIVING LESS 10:57:43 REFUNDING THAN YOU THOUGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE UNDER DHS? 10:57:46 >> I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS IN 10:57:50 DC, THAT A AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR CAN HAVE HIS 10:57:55 PRIORITIES AND O.M.B. CAN HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES AND NEVER 10:58:02 SHALL THE TWO MEET. AND DESPITE MY PERSONAL BELIEF 10:58:05 THAT MITIGATION IS GOOD AND WE NEED MORE MIT COMBATION FUNDING 10:58:08 IN THIS COUNTRY, OMGTAKES A DIFFERENT TACT, THAT THEY DON'T 10:58:14 HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS, WHICH YOU CAN ARGUE 10:58:17 ALL DAY LONG. I BELIEVE THAT IT DOES. 10:58:19 SO SUBSEQUENTLY, MITIGATION GETS CUT. 10:58:20 I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT SHOULD. BUT BY THE SAME TOKEN, SENATOR, 10:58:24 I THINK YOU WOULD NOT RESPECT ME IF I CAME TO YOU IN YOUR 10:58:28 OFFICE AND SAT DOWN AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I KNOW THE PRESIDENT 10:58:31 HAS PROPOSED THIS, BUT, YOU KNOW, HERE'S MY PERSONAL 10:58:34 BELIEF. NOW, YES, SOMETIMES I WOULD TRY 10:58:36 TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT MY REAL BELIEF 10:58:39 WAS IN HOPES THAT THEY COULD MAYBE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 10:58:42 BUT I WOULD NEVER TRY -- I WOULD NEVER BE THAT -- WOULD 10:58:46 NOT WANT THAT BE -- WANT TO BE THAT DISLOYAL. 10:58:51 >> MR. BROWN, MARTY, THE FEMA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AND ONE 10:58:58 THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED BY OTHER SENATORS WAS
Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100
Hurricane Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing with former FEMA Director Michael Brown. 09:35:55 >>> THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. 09:35:57 GOOD MORNING. TODAY IN OUR 18th HEARING ON 09:36:01 HURRICANE KATRINA, THE COMMITTEE WILL EXAMINE HOW THE DEPARTMENT 09:36:04 OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA COORDINATED AND LED THE FEDERAL 09:36:09 PREPARATIONS FORWARD AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 09:36:15 OUR FIRST PANEL THIS MORNING 09:36:17 CONSISTS OF MICHAEL BROWN AND PATRICK RHODI, WHO WERE FEMA'S 09:36:22 DIRECTER AND ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR IN THE DAYS LEADING UP 09:36:26 TO AND FOLLOWING THE STORM. AS KATRINA NEARED THE GULF COAST 09:36:33 MR. BROWN DISPATCHED TO LOUISIANA LEAVING MR. RHODI AS 09:36:38 THE TOP-RANKING OFFICIAL AT FEMA HEADQUARTERS. 09:36:42 TODAY, WE'LL DISCUSS THEIR LEADERSHIP AT THE AGENCY DURING 09:36:46 THIS ENORMOUSLY CHALLENGING PERIOD. 09:36:48 OUR SECOND PANEL CONSISTS OF TWO SENIOR OFFICIALS AT THE 09:36:53 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, ROBERT STEFFIN IS 09:36:59 THE ASSISTANT STRENGTH FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION AND 09:37:04 ONE OF THE CHIEF ARCHITECTS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:37:09 MATTHEW BRODERICK RUNS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND'S 09:37:12 SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER WHICH SERVES AS THE EYES AND EARS OF 09:37:17 TOP DHF OFFICIALS PARTICULARLY DURING TIMES OF CRISIS. 09:37:22 SECRETARY CHERTOFF RELIED HEAVILY ON MR. STEFFIN AND 09:37:27 MR. BRODERICK DURING KATRINA'S AFTERMATH. 09:37:30 WE WILL DISCUSS THEIR ROLES AND THEIR VIEWS OF FEMA FROM THE TOP 09:37:34 OFLE ORGIZATIONAL CHART. OUR PANELS TODAY SEPARATE 09:37:39 WITNESSES FROM A FEDERAL AGENCY, FEMA, FROM THOSE OF ITS PARENT 09:37:44 ORGANIZATION, DHS. THE SEPARATION IS DELIBERATE. 09:37:49 IT REFLECTS, IN PART, THE DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES ON 09:37:54 KATRINA THAT WE HAVE HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM OFFICIALS OF 09:37:58 THE TWO ENTITIES. IT ALSO REFLECTS TENSIONS 09:38:01 BETWEEN THE TWO THAT PREDATE THE STORM, TENSIONSES OVER RESOURCES 09:38:09 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 09:38:12 THIS TENSION IS CLEAR IN MR. BROWN'S RESPONSE WHEN 09:38:16 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATORS ASKED HIM WHY FEMA WAS NOT BETTER 09:38:21 PREPARED FOR KATRINA. MR. BROWN RESPONDED "IT'S -- ITS 09:38:27 MISSION HAD BEEN MARGINALIZED. ITS RESPONSE CAPABILITY HAD BEEN 09:38:32 DIMINISHED. THERE'S THE WHOLE CLASH OF 09:38:35 CULTURES BETWEEN DHS MISSION TO PREVENT TERRORISM AND FEMA'S 09:38:40 MISSION TO RESPOND TO AND TO PREPARE AND RESPOND TO DISASTERS 09:38:45 OF WHATEVER NATURE." BY ALMOST ANY MEASURE, FEMA'S 09:38:51 RESPONSE TO KATRINA HAS TO BE JUDGED A FAILURE. 09:38:56 I MUST SAY THAT I'VE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION WITH A SENSE OF 09:39:00 REMORSE BECAUSE I'VE BEEN STRUCK TLUT THIS INVESTIGATION BY THE 09:39:05 EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF MANY FEMA PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD 09:39:09 AS WELL AS SOME FEMA AND DHS OFFICIALS AT HEADQUARTERS WHO, 09:39:16 LITERALLY, WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO TRY TO HELP BRING 09:39:20 RELIEF TO THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF STATES. 09:39:23 BUT THE RESPONSE WAS RIDDLED WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, POOR 09:39:29 DECISION MAKING, AND FAILED LEADERSHIP. 09:39:34 THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FEMA AND AND, FOR THAT MATTER, THE 09:39:38 DEPARTMENT'S FAILED RESPONSE IS SHARED. 09:39:40 WHILE DHS' PLAYBOOK APPEARS DESIGNED TO DISTANCE THE 09:39:44 DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS AND HEADQUARTERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE 09:39:48 FROM FEMA, THE DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS MUST ANSWER FOR 09:39:52 DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE OVER FAILED TO MAKE THAT CONTRIBUTED 09:39:57 TO THE PROBLEMS. ONE PROBLEM THAT MANIFESTED 09:40:01 ITSELF IN A VARIETY OF WAYS WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S LACK OF 09:40:07 PREPAREDNESS FOR THE KATRINA CATASTROPHE. 09:40:09 INSTEAD OF SPRINGING INTO ACTION OR, BETTER YET, ACTING BEFORE 09:40:15 THE STORM MADE LANDFALL, THE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO HAVE MOVED 09:40:20 HALTINGLY AND, AS A RESULT, KEY DECISIONS WERE EITHER DELAYED OR 09:40:25 MADE BASED ON QUESTIONABLE AND, IN SOME CASES, ERRONEOUS 09:40:30 ASSUMPTIONS. THE DAY AFTER THE STORM, FOR 09:40:34 EXAMPLE, SECRETARY CHERTOFF NAMED MICHAEL BROWN AS THE LEAD 09:40:39 FEDERAL OFFICIAL FOR THE RESPONSE EFFORT. 09:40:41 AT THE SAME TIME, THE SECRETARY DECLARED HURRICANE KATRINA AN 09:40:46 INCIDENT OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, WHICH IS THE 09:40:49 DESIGNATION THAT TRIGGERS THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:40:52 THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, IN TURN, IS THE COMPREHENSIVE 09:40:57 NATIONAL ROADMAP THAT GUIDES THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO KAS TO 09:41:04 TROFS. THE SECRETARY'S ACTION LED MANY 09:41:08 TO THE QUESTION OF WHY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL 09:41:11 DECLARATION HAD NOT BEEN MADE EARLIER. 09:41:13 IN REALITY, THE DECLARATION ITSELF WAS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE, 09:41:17 BY THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, 09:41:20 HURRICANE KATRINA HAD BECOME AN INCIDENT OF NATIONAL 09:41:25 SIGNIFICANCE THREE DAYS EARLIER WHEN THE PRESIDENT DECLARED AN 09:41:31 EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA. THE LACK OF AWARENESS OF THIS 09:41:38 FUNDAMENTAL TENANT OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN RAISES 09:41:42 QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER DHS LEADERSHIP WAS TRULY READY FOR A 09:41:46 TA TAS TROF OF THIS MAGNITUDE. I THINK IT HELPS EXPLAIN THE 09:41:51 DEPARTMENT'S SLOW, SOMETIMES HES LANT RESPONSE TO THE STORM. 09:41:55 SIMILARLY, WE WILL LEARN TODAY THAT FAMOUS LEADERS FAILED TO 09:42:00 TAKE STEP THAT IS THEY KNEW COULD IMPROVE FEMA'S ABILITY TO 09:42:05 RESPOND MORE EFFECTIVELY AND QUICKLY TO A CATASTROPHE. 09:42:08 IN THE YEAR OR SO PRECEDING KATRINA, MR. BROWN WAS PRESENTED 09:42:12 WITH TWO IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS OF FEMA'S 09:42:18 INSTRUCTION TUR AND CAPABILITIES BOTH INCLUDED RECOMMENDATIONS 09:42:22 FOR IMPROVEMENT. THE FIRST WAS A MEMORANDUM BY 09:42:30 OPERATIVES KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS. 09:42:33 AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE MEMO WARNS OF UNPREPARED EMERGENCY 09:42:38 RESPONSE TEAMS THAT HAD NO FUNDING, ZERO FUNDING, FOR 09:42:44 TRAINING EXERCISES OR EQUIPMENT. THE OTHER WAS A STUDY CONDUCTED 09:42:49 BY THE MIDE -- MITER CORPORATION. 09:42:54 THE STUDY COMMISSIONED BY MR. BROWN WAS DESIGNED TO ANSWER 09:42:58 SUCH QUESTIONS AS WHAT'S PREVENTING FEMA FROM RESPONDING 09:43:02 AND RECOVERING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. 09:43:05 THE MITER STUDY IS EARLY PREDICTIVE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS 09:43:11 THAT WOULD PLAGUE THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KA TREE NACHLT THE 09:43:17 STUDY POINTS OUT A LACK OF ADEQUATE AND SITUATIONAL 09:43:21 AWARENESS ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE, A PREDICTION THAT BECAME REALITY 09:43:26 WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESPOND 09:43:30 TO THE LEVEE BREAKS. AND INADEQUATE ABILITY TO 09:43:34 CONTROL INVENTORY AND TRACK ASSETS. 09:43:37 WE SAW THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES NOT 09:43:42 REACHING THE DESTINATION IN TIME. 09:43:45 AND UNDEFINED AND MISUNDERSTOOD STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. 09:43:51 DESPITE THIS STUDY, KEY PROBLEMS WERE SIMPLY NOT RESOLVED AND, AS 09:43:57 A RESULT, OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN FEMA PRIOR TO KATRINA 09:44:01 WERE MISSED. AS THIS COMMITTEE WINDS DOWN ITS 09:44:07 LENGTHY SERIES OF SERIES AND MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS OF 09:44:11 INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PREPAREDNESS FOR AND RESPONSE TO 09:44:16 HURRICANE KATRINA, WE INCREASINGLY REFLECT UPON WHAT 09:44:19 CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE THOUSANDS OF FACTS WE HAVE 09:44:24 GATHERED. ONE THING THAT I HAVE FOUND IS A 09:44:27 STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND 09:44:32 EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ALSO FOUND 09:44:37 THE CONVERSE TO BE TRUE. SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 09:44:42 >> THANKS VERY MUCH, MADAM CHAIRMAN. 09:44:45 THANKS NOT ONLY FOR YOUR EXCELLENT OPEN STATEMENT, THANKS 09:44:48 FOR THE LEADERSHIP YOU HAVE GIVEN THIS INVESTIGATION OVER 09:44:51 FIVE MONTHS AND NOW ALMOST 20 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN MY -- THIS IS 09:44:58 NOW MY 18th YEAR, PRIVILEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES 09:45:03 SENATE. I'VE NOT BEEN IN A MORE THOROUGH 09:45:06 NONPARTISAN AND, I'D SAY, IMPORTANT INVESTIGATION. 09:45:09 I THANK YOU FOR SETTING THE TONE SHOWING THE LEADERSHIP THAT YOU 09:45:15 JUST DESCRIBED IN ANOTHER SENSE. I THINK OUR JOINT STAFF FOR THE 09:45:21 EXTRAORDINARY WORK THEY HAVE DONE INTERVIEWING MORE THAN 200 09:45:24 WITNESSES, COMPILING AND OBTAINING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 09:45:28 OF DOCUMENTS. TODAY AND TUESDAY WE'RE GOING TO 09:45:32 HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF BOTH THE FEDERAL 09:45:38 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND ITS PARENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 09:45:42 OUR HEARINGS ARE NOW REACHING THE CONCLUDING PHASE. 09:45:45 TO DATE, I THINK THESE HEARINGS HAVE SET THE -- THE PREVIOUS 09:45:50 HEARINGS HAVE SET THE STAGE FOR THE PANELS WE'RE GOING TO HEAR 09:45:53 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE'VE BROKEN MUCH NEW GROUND 09:45:56 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE HAVE SOME TOUGH AND IMPORTANT 09:46:01 QUESTIONS TO ASK. IN MY OPINION, OUR INVESTIGATION 09:46:04 HAS SHOWN A GROSS LACK OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION BY BOTH 09:46:07 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA. 09:46:09 AND THAT GUARANTEED THAT THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA OR 09:46:15 FOR THAT MATTER, ANY OTHER CATASTROPHE THAT MIGHT HAVE 09:46:19 HAPPENED WAS DOOMED TO BE UNCOORDINATED, INADEQUATE, AND, 09:46:23 THEREFORE, MORE DAMAGING THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. 09:46:30 WE HAVE HEARD FROM A LARGE NUMBER OF WITNESS WHOSE SPOKE OF 09:46:33 THE FAILURES OF KATRINA. -- WE HAVE HEARD, EVACUATION, 09:46:41 SEARCH AND RESCUE, LAW AND ORDER AND DEPLOYMENT OF ASSETS. 09:46:45 WE HAVE LEARNED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS SIMPLY NOT 09:46:47 PREPARED TO OVERCOME THESE PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES IN THIS 09:46:52 PREDICTABLE AND PREDICTED HURRICANE. 09:46:58 EVEN THOSE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE IT DID NOT MEET THE DESPERATE NEEDS 09:47:02 OF THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. FEMA AND DHS OFFICIAL VERSUS 09:47:06 TOLD US IN INTERVIEWS AND TESTIMONY AND IN EVIDENCE 09:47:09 GATHERED BY OUR STAFF -- I WANT TO READ JUST A FEW OF THOSE THAT 09:47:12 ARE ON THAT CHART. FOR MICHAEL LAUER, FEMA'S 09:47:18 DIRECTOR OF RESPONSE, AUGUST 27 2005 E-MAIL, TWO DAYS BEFORE 09:47:22 KATRINA HIT LANDFALL SAID, AND I QUOTE, IF THIS IS THE NEW 09:47:26 ORLEANS SCENARIO, WHICH WAS THE WAY THEY DESCRIBED THE BIG 09:47:29 HURRICANE ARRIVING, WE ARE ALREADY WAY BEHIND. 09:47:32 FROM SCOTT WELLS OF FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER, "THIS WAS 09:47:38 A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. WE DON'T HAVE THE STRUCTURE. 09:47:41 WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE FOR CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. 09:47:45 IT'S THAT SIMPLE." FROM FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING 09:47:49 OFFICER BIG LOCHI, THE TOP MAN FOR FEMA IN LOUISIANA, 09:47:55 "COMMUNICATIONS AND COORDINATING WAS LACKING, PREPLANNING WAS 09:47:58 LACKING. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS." 09:48:00 FROM FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN WHO WE'LL HEAR 09:48:04 FROM TODAY. WHEN ASKED THE QUESTION BEFORE 09:48:06 KATRINA WAS FEMA READY FOR THIS KIND OF CATASTROPHE, MR. BROWN 09:48:10 SAID, SIMPLY AND DIRECTLY, I DON'T THINK SO. 09:48:14 FINALLY, FROM SECRETARY CHERTOFF WHO WE WILL HEAR FROM TUESDAY, 09:48:18 "I ALWAYS THINK KATRINA TESTED OUR PLANNING AND OUR PLANNING 09:48:22 FELL SHORT." THE FACT IS THAT WHEN DHS, 09:48:26 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAS CREATE INDEED 2002 IN THE 09:48:30 AFTERMATH OF THE TERRORIST AACTS OF 9/11/01. 09:48:35 I SAID, AND I KNOW I SPOKE FOR MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS I HOPED 09:48:40 TO SEE A COORDINATED, CONSOLIDATED AND ACCOUNTABLE 09:48:43 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. IN THIS INVESTIGATION, 09:48:46 UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SEEN SO LITTLE EFFECTIVE COORDINATION 09:48:50 AND CONSOLIDATION THAT WE MUST HOLD THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 09:48:53 SECURITY ACCOUNTABLE AND ASK URGENTLY THAT IT DO A LOT 09:48:58 BETTER. WE HOPE THAT THE DEPARTMENT 09:49:00 WOULD QUICKLY EVOLVE INTO A WORLD CLASS AGENCY THAT HAD THE 09:49:06 PLANNING PERSONNEL AND MATERIALS IN PLACE TO RESPOND SWIFTLY AND 09:49:10 EFFECTIVELY IN A DISASTER, NATURAL OR TERRORIST. 09:49:15 KATRINA SHOWED US THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 09:49:18 HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON ITSELF. 09:49:22 DESPITE AMPLE WARNINGS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS A BOWL COVERED BY 09:49:27 INADEQUATE LEVEE THAT IS WOULD BE OVERTOPPED OR BREACHED IN A 09:49:31 BIG HURRICANE, DES PAT THE SPECIFIC WARNINGS OF THE MOCK 09:49:37 HURRICANE EXERCISE DONE A YEAR BEFORE KATRINA HIT, GOVERNMENT 09:49:42 AT ALL LEVELS WAS UNPREPARED TO PROTECT NEW ORLEANS FROM THE 09:49:46 EXPECTED BIG HURRICANE AND DESPITE THE SPECIFIC MENTIONS OF 09:49:51 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESCUE RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE 09:49:55 NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN OF JANUARY 2005, THE FACT IS WHEN 09:50:01 KATRINA HIT, AMERICA'S GOVERNMENT WAS LARGELY 09:50:05 UNPREPARED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. 09:50:09 NATURE HIT NEW ORLEANS HARD, BUT ALSO GAVE ITS PEOPLE A BREAK BY 09:50:14 HITTING HARDEST 15 MILES TO THE EAST. 09:50:18 BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO EFFECTIVELY EVACUATE THE POOR 09:50:21 AND INFIRMED WHO COULD NOT EVACUATE THEM, IF KATRINA HAD 09:50:25 HIT NEW ORLEANS HEAD-ON, THE DEATH TOLL PROBABLY WOULD HAVE 09:50:29 BEEN IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS AS HURRICANE PAM EXERCISED HAD 09:50:35 PREDICTED. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS 09:50:37 THAT CAME TO PASS. IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE STORM 09:50:39 FEMA FAILED TO PRESTAGE PERSONNEL IN NEW ORLEANS OTHER 09:50:42 THAN A SINGLE PUBLIC AFFAIRS EMPLOYER, MOVED ADEQUATE AMOUNTS 09:50:46 OF FOOD, AND WATER SUPPLIES TO THE SCENE. 09:50:51 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO IMPLEMENT THE 09:50:54 CATASTROPHIC INCIDENT ANNEX TO THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN EARLY 09:50:57 ENOUGH. THAT WOULD HAVE TRIGGERED A MORE 09:50:59 AGGRESSIVE, TIMELY FEDERAL RESPONSE. 09:51:01 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO DEVELOP AN 09:51:04 EFFECTIVE PLAN TO MAIN TAN ACCURATE SITUATION ESTIMATES 09:51:08 THAT THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATION CENTER, WHICH WAS SET 09:51:13 UP TO BE THE NATION'S NERVE CENTER DURING A DISASTER. 09:51:16 THAT FAILURE LED TO THE IGNORING OF REPORTS THAT THE LEVEES WERE 09:51:21 BEING BREACHED AND OVERTOPPED AND THAT THE CITY HAD FLOODED 09:51:24 WITH PEOPLE ALREADY TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND ON ROOFTOPS. 09:51:28 FEMA WAS LATE IN BRINGING IN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS. 09:51:32 THAT PULLED THEM OUT FOR SECURITY REASONS, EVEN THOUGH 09:51:35 OTHER AGENCIES CONTINUED TO STAY AND DO SEARCH AND RESCUE. 09:51:39 DHS FAILED TO TAND UP UNTIL THE DAY AFTER LANDFALL. 09:51:43 THE INTERAGENCY INCIDENT MATH GROUP, THAT SENIOR LEVEL GROUP 09:51:48 CHARGED WITH HELPING TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL RESPONSE 09:51:51 TO A CATASTROPHE THAT WAS REQUIRED ONCE THE PRESIDENT 09:51:57 DECLARED AN EMERGENCY ON SATURDAY MORNING. 09:52:00 YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM GENERAL BENNETT LANDRINOEAU FROM THE 09:52:07 LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD WHO TOLD US THE BUSES PROMISED BY 09:52:10 FEMA BEFORE THE STORM WERE POST LANDFALL EVAC SKPIGS KP 09:52:13 DIFFERENT POINTS ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AFTER THE 09:52:16 STORM DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL THURSDAY. 09:52:18 THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE HUMAN SUFFERING THAT THE 09:52:22 WORLD SAW AT THE SUPER DOME AND THE CONVENTION CENTER. 09:52:26 ALL THOSE MISTAKES MEANT TIME WAS LOST AND LIVES WERE 09:52:30 THREATENED OR LOST. TIME IS, OBVIOUSLY, EVERYTHING 09:52:32 IN A CRISIS LIKE KATRINA. OR, IN GOD FORBID, A TERRORIST 09:52:39 ATTACK. THE NEW ORLEANS SUPERINTENDENT 09:52:43 TOLD US THAT EARLY. HE'S RIGHT. 09:52:44 PEOPLE WERE DROWNING INTO STREETS AND YARDS AND BREAKING 09:52:47 TO THEIR ROOF TOPS STARVING IN ATTICS FEELING THEY WERE 09:52:52 ABANDONED AND LOSING HOPE AS VENTILATERS AND MEDICAL SUPPORT 09:52:56 SYSTEMS FAILED FOR LACK OF POWER. 09:52:57 THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MADE IT TO THE SUPER DOME OR 09:53:01 CONVENTION CENTER. WE ALL SAW THE GRIM PICTURES OF 09:53:05 HUMAN NEGLECT THERE. BECAUSE TIMING AND SITUATIONAL 09:53:09 AWARENESS IS SO CENTRAL TO THE RESPONSE TO EVERY CATASTROPHE, 09:53:13 TODAY'S HEARING IS GOING TO LOOK AT THE MOST -- AT WHAT THE MOST 09:53:16 SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNEW ABOUT THE 09:53:19 FLOODING OF NEW ORLEANSES AND THE BREAKING OF THE LEVEES AND 09:53:23 WHEN THEY KNEW IT. A LITTLE LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER 09:53:27 KATRINA MADE LANDFALL, SECRETARY CHERTOFF SAID, "IT WAS ON 09:53:32 TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEE MAY HAVE BEEN OVERNIGHT MONDAY TO TUESDAY 09:53:37 THAT LEVEE STARTED TO BREAK. IT WAS MIDDAY TUESDAY THAT I 09:53:43 BECAME AWARE OF THE FACT THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF PLUGGING 09:53:46 THE GAP AND ESSENTIALLY THE LAKE WAS GOING TO START TRAINING INTO 09:53:50 THE CITY. I THINK THAT SECOND CATASTROPHE 09:53:53 REALLY CAUGHT EVERYBODY BY SURPRISE." 09:53:58 WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF ABOUT THAT NEXT 09:54:01 TUESDAY. TODAY, WE WILL ASK SOME OF HIS 09:54:03 SENIOR STAFF HOW THE NEWS MEDIA, INCLUDING A NEW ORLEANS RADIO 09:54:10 STATION EARLY MONDAY MORNING, NUMEROUS FEDERAL AGENCIES, THE 09:54:13 AMERICAN RED CROSS COULD BE AWARE OF GROWING AND 09:54:18 CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN NEW ORLEANS ALL DAMON DAY, AUGUST 29 09:54:23 THE DAY OF LANDFALL, WHILE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 09:54:29 ON HOMELAND SECURITY RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER RESPONSE SOMEHOW 09:54:38 DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. WE HAVE QIBT Q WHICH REPORTS 09:54:43 LEVEE BREACHES AND DESPERATE CITIZENS SEEKING REFUGE FROM 09:54:47 RISING FLOOD WATER THAT IS BEGAN COMING IN AS EARLY AS 8:30 A.M. 09:54:52 ON MONDAY, AUGUST 29th. SELECTION OF THEM ARE SHOWN ON 09:54:57 THE BOARDS HERE TO MY LEFT. THEY INCLUDE AT 9:14 A.M. 09:55:02 THE FASHIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A FLASH FLOOD WARNING 09:55:06 REPORTING, "A LEVEE BREACH PROP OCCURRED ALONG THE INDUSTRIAL 09:55:11 CANAL AT TENNESSEE STREET. 3 TO 8 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED 09:55:15 DUE TO THE BREACH." TWO HOURS LATER AT 11:30, THE 09:55:19 WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUE AS REPORT THAT 09:55:23 SAYS IN PART "FLOODING IS SIGNIFICANT THROUGHOUT THE 09:55:26 REGION AND A LEVEE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN BREACHED, 09:55:31 SENDING 6 TO 8 FEET OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE NINTH WARD AIR 09:55:34 WRA OF THE INDUSTRY -- STIT." THE HOMELAND REPORTS THAT RISING 09:55:41 WATER RESIDENTS ARE IN THAT ATTICS AND ROOFS. 09:55:44 THAT'S A QUOTE FROM SECURITY COUNCIL. 09:55:48 AT 8:34 EVENING MONDAY THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REPORTED 09:55:55 FLOODING IN ST. BERNARD PARISH WITH WATER UP TO ROOFS OF HOMES 09:56:00 AND ALL JEFFERSON AND OR LENS PUMPING STATIONSES ARE 09:56:07 INOPERABLE. FINALLY, M ARE THEY BUMUNDI, THE 09:56:14 FEMA EMPLOYEE WHO DIRECTOR BROWN I BELIEVE, DISPATCHED TO NEW 09:56:18 ORLEANS WAS THERE EARLY, TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD TAKEN A 09:56:22 FLILTH ON A COAST GUARD HELICOPTER OVER NEW ORLEANS AT 09:56:27 APPROXIMATELY 6:30 EASTERN. A REPORT FROM 10:30 THAT THERE 09:56:31 IS A QUARTER MILE BREACH IN THE LEVEE NEAR THE 17th STREET CANAL 09:56:38 FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TO FLOW INTO THE CITY. 09:56:42 TWO-THIRDS TO 75% OF THE CITY IS UNDER WATER. 09:56:46 HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED ON THE BALCONIES AND ROOFS OF A 09:56:50 MAJOR APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE CITY. 09:56:53 A FEW BODIES WERE SEEN FLOATING IN THE WATER. 09:56:56 THE COAST GUARD PILOTS REPORTED SEEING BODIES BUT NO DETAILS ON 09:57:01 LOCATIONS. THAT'S THE END OF THE REPORT 09:57:04 FROM MARTY BUMUNDI WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE THAT AFTERNOON. 09:57:13 IT SHOWS A GREAT AMERICAN CITY UNDERWATTER AND STILL SOMEHOW 09:57:16 THE HIGHEST OFFICIALS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 09:57:20 AND PERHAPS AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION AS 09:57:25 MONDAY, AUGUST 29, ENDED THAT THE CITY HAD DODGED A BULLET. 09:57:30 MADAM CHAIRMAN, WE HAVE TO ASK SOME TOUGH QUESTIONS BECAUSE WE 09:57:33 HAVE TO HAVE ANSWER IFS WE'RE TO MAKE THE CHANGES WE WANT TO MAKE 09:57:38 AT DHS. IN THE EARLY AFTERMATH OF THE 09:57:41 HURRICANE KATRINA DEBACKAL, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL 09:57:46 BROWN WAS BLAMED FOR THE INADEQUATE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 09:57:51 RESPONSE. OUR INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS, IN 09:57:53 MY OPINION, IN FACT, THAT MR. BROWN DID NOT DO A LOT OF 09:57:56 WHAT HE SHOULDAVE DONE, BUT HE WAS NOT ALONE. 09:58:03 IN FACT, THERE WAS A MASSIVE FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT AT ALL 09:58:06 LEVELS, AND BY THOSE WHO LEAD IT TO PREPARE AND RESPOND AS THEY 09:58:09 HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO. IN THE CASE OF THE FEDERAL 09:58:13 GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO KATRINA, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS, PROUD 09:58:18 EXCEPTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE U.S. 09:58:21 COAST GUARD, THERE WAS A SHOCKING CONSEQUENTIAL AND 09:58:27 PERVASIVE LACK OF PREPARATION RESPONSE AND LEADERSHIP. 09:58:30 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE PREPARED THIS MORNING TO 09:58:33 ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS FULLY AND TRUTHFULLY. 09:58:36 I APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH. I THANK YOU FOR IT. 09:58:40 IN DOING SO, I BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SERVING THE PUBLIC INTEREST 09:58:44 AND THIS COMMITTEE'S NONPARTISAN INTEREST IN FINDING OUT EXACTLY 09:58:49 WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILED SO BADLY IN ITS 09:58:53 PREPARATIONS AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA SO, TOGETHER, 09:58:59 WE CAN MAKE SURE IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. 09:59:02 KA TREE FA HAS PASSED. THE CLOCK IS RESET AND TICKING 09:59:05 AGAIN. WE KNOW WE WILL HAVE TO RESPOND 09:59:07 TO ANOTHER DISASTER, NATURAL OR 10:00:00 STAFF. I WOULD ASK THAT THE WITNESSES 10:00:02 RISE SO I CAN ADMINISTER THE OATH. 10:00:10 DO YOU SWEAR THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU ARE ABOUT TO GIVE TO THE 10:00:13 COMMITTEE WILL BE THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING 10:00:16 BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP YOU GOD? >> I DO. 10:00:18 >> I DO. >> THANK YOU. 10:00:21 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE SOME BRIEF REMARKS 10:00:24 THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE. >> I DO, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, 10:00:27 THANK YOU. IN 1989 A CONGRESSMAN WROTE A 10:00:31 LETTER TO "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" AND THAT LETTER SAID 10:00:34 THAT THERE IS A FATAL FLAW IF WE SEPARATE PREPAREDNESS FROM 10:00:40 RESPONSE. THAT CONGRESSMAN'S NAME WAS TOM 10:00:44 RIDGE. WE REACHED THAT FATAL FLAW IN 10:00:48 2003 WHEN FEMA WAS FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:00:52 SECURITY. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE COMMITTEE 10:00:53 TO LOOK AT A 1978 STUDY DONE BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR'S 10:00:57 ASSOCIATION IN WHICH -- AND I'LL QUOTE VERY BRIEFLY -- AS 10:01:00 THE TASK OF THE PROJECTS WERE PURSUED, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT 10:01:03 THE MAJOR FINDING OF THIS STUDY IS THAT MANY STATE EMERGENCY 10:01:08 OPERATIONS ARE FRAGMENTED. THIS IS NOT ONLY BECAUSE 10:01:13 UNCOORDINATED FEDERAL PROGRAMS ENCOURAGE STATE FRAGMENTATION, 10:01:16 BUT BECAUSE THE STRONG RELATIONSHIP OF LONG-TERM 10:01:18 RECOVERY AND MITIGATION OF FUTURE DISASTERS MUST BE TIED 10:01:21 TO PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR MORE IMMEDIATE DISASTERS, 10:01:25 AND THAT IS NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATELY UNDERSTOOD. 10:01:29 MADAM CHAIRMAN, I TELL YOU THAT WHAT OCCURRED AFTER FEMA WAS 10:01:33 FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THERE WAS A 10:01:36 CULTURAL CLASH WHICH DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE ABSOLUTE INHERENT 10:01:45 SCIENCE OF PREPARING FOR DISASTER, RESPONDING TO IT, 10:01:49 MITIGATING AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS AND RECOVERING FROM 10:01:52 DISASTERS. AND ANY TIME THAT YOU BREAK 10:01:55 THAT CYCLE OF PREPARING, RESPONDING, RECOVERING AND 10:01:58 MITIGATING, YOU'RE DOOMED TO FAILURE. 10:02:01 AND THE POLICIES AND THE DECISIONS THAT WERE IMPLEMENTED 10:02:04 BY DHS PUT FEMA ON A PATH TO FAILURE. 10:02:07 AND I THINK THE EVIDENCE THAT WE'LL HAVE BEFORE YOU TODAY 10:02:11 WILL SHOW THE ACTIONS THAT WERE TAKEN THAT CAUSED THAT FAILURE. 10:02:16 AND I BEG THIS COMMITTEE TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION TO FIX 10:02:20 THAT SO THESE DISASTERS DON'T OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. 10:02:24 THANK YOU. >> MR. RHODE. 10:02:27 >> GOOD MORNING, MADAM CHAIRMAN, SENATOR LIEBERMAN, 10:02:31 SENATORS. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE JUST A 10:02:33 VERY BRIEF OPENING STATEMENT, IF I COULD. 10:02:35 MY NAME IS PATRICK RHODE. I SERVE AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF 10:02:38 THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, PART OF THE 10:02:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FROM APRIL 2003 UNTIL JANUARY 10:02:44 OF 2006. I SERVED UNDER BOTH FORMER 10:02:47 DIRECTOR BROWN AND THE CURRENT ACTING DIRECTOR. 10:02:52 I'M HAPPY TO BE APPEARING BEFORE YOU TODAY VOLUNTARILY AS 10:02:55 YOU CONTINUE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN REVIEWING THE 10:02:58 COLLECTIVE GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 10:03:00 AND ASSESSING POSSIBLE CHANGES IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. 10:03:03 AT THE OUTSET I WOULD LIKE TO OBSERVE, IF I COULD, THAT 10:03:07 HURRICANE KATRINA WAS A TRULY CATASTROPHIC EVENT. 10:03:11 IT WAS AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY ON NUMEROUS LEVELS. 10:03:13 THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER WAS UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAD 10:03:17 PREVIOUSLY FACED AS A NATION. THE STORM COMPROMISED 90,000 10:03:23 SQUARE MILES OF THE GULF COAST, AN AREA ALMOST THE SIZE OF 10:03:27 GREAT BRITAIN. ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL OF 10:03:29 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IT WAS UNPRECEDENTED. 10:03:31 ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL, MY HEART WENT OUT TO THOSE WHO WERE 10:03:35 SUFFERING, AND INDEED, MY HEART STILL GOES OUT TO THOSE WHO 10:03:38 CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA. 10:03:41 MANY PEOPLE IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY, INCLUDING 10:03:44 MYSELF, TRIED TO DO THE VERY BEST THEY COULD UNDER VERY 10:03:48 DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. THE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS 10:03:50 WORKING ON THIS ISSUE AT THE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL 10:03:54 WERE DOING THEIR VERY BEST TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY 10:03:57 COULD UNDER THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY 10:04:01 MANAGEMENT. AS IN ALL THINGS THERE ARE 10:04:03 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. 10:04:05 I HOPE THAT THESE HEARINGS WILL PRODUCE JUST SUCH LEARNING AND 10:04:09 LEAD TO THE CREATION OF NEW LEGISLATION THAT CAN IMPROVE ON 10:04:12 THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT. 10:04:14 IF WE CAN APPLY THOSE LESSONS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE 10:04:16 NEXT EMERGENCY SITUATION, I WANT TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO 10:04:20 CONTRIBUTE APPROPRIATELY TO THAT EFFORT. 10:04:22 AS YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO APPEARING HERE TODAY 10:04:25 VOLUNTARILY, I HAVE FULLY COOPERATED WITH YOUR STAFFS BY 10:04:28 PARTICIPATING WILLINGLY IN SEVERAL INTERVIEWS WITH THEM. 10:04:31 IN ADDITION, I WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY TO NOTE THAT ANY 10:04:33 STATEMENTS I OFFER TODAY IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW 10:04:36 TO IMPROVE THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ARE THE 10:04:39 OPINIONS OF ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:04:41 AS I SIT BEFORE YOU TODAY I AM NO LONGER A GOVERNMENT 10:04:45 EMPLOYEE, BUT HAVE RETURNED TO PRIVATE LIFE WITH MY WIFE AND 10:04:48 6-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER. I DO NOT AND CANNOT SPEAK FOR 10:04:51 FEMA. ANYTHING I HAVE TO OFFER IS MY 10:04:54 OWN PERSONAL OPINION, FOR WHATEVER THE COMMITTEE MAY DEEM 10:04:56 IT TO BE WORTH. AND I WANT TO TAKE CARE TO BE 10:04:59 CLEAR THAT IT DOES NOT REFLECT THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF THE 10:05:03 AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 10:05:04 I APPLAUD THE COMMITTEE FOR TAKING ON THESE CHALLENGES AND 10:05:08 WHAT CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE TO THE COUNTRY'S EMERGENCY 10:05:11 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. I AM HOPEFUL THAT TOGETHER WE 10:05:13 CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENHANCEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS THAT BEST 10:05:16 ASSIST DISASTER VICTIMS IN THE FUTURE. 10:05:18 WITH THAT, I WELCOME ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MAY 10:05:20 HAVE. >> THANK YOU, MR. RHODE. 10:05:24 MR. BROWN, IN MY OPENING STATEMENT I MENTIONED A STUDY 10:05:30 THAT YOU COMMISSIONED FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:05:38 IT'S UNDER EXHIBIT 2 IN THE EXHIBIT BOOK. 10:05:41 MITER CORPORATION GAVE YOU ITS FINDINGS ON MARCH 2005, AND I'D 10:05:47 LIKE TO READ SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF THIS CONSULTANT. 10:05:53 "UNCLEAR LINES OF RESPONSIBILITY LEAD TO 10:05:56 INCONSISTENT ACCOUNTABILITY. THERE IS NO DEPUTY TO YOU WITH 10:06:02 OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND THERE ARE TOO MANY POLITICAL 10:06:05 APPOINTEES, NOT ENOUGH SENIOR MANAGEMENT EMERGENCY EXPERTS, 10:06:10 LACK OF ADEQUATE AND CONSISTENT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ACROSS 10:06:14 THE ENTERPRISE." I ALSO MENTIONED THAT EARLIER 10:06:20 IN 2004 THAT A GROUP OF SENIOR FEMA OPERATIONAL PROFESSIONALS, 10:06:26 THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS CADRE WROTE TO YOU A 10:06:32 MEMO OUTLINING THEIR GRAVE CONCERNS. 10:06:35 THE MEMO CAUTIONS OF UNPREPARED TEAMS AND ZERO FUNDING FOR 10:06:44 TRAINING, EXERCISES AND TEAM EQUIPMENT. 10:06:46 IT HAS SUGGESTED RE-ESTABLISHING A SINGLE 10:06:49 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY DIVISION AT FEMA TO FACILITATE THE 10:06:53 REFOCUSING THAT IS NECESSARY TO REGAIN SOME OF THE EFFICIENCY 10:06:59 THAT HAS BEEN LOST AT FEMA. WE'VE RECEIVED TESTIMONY THAT 10:07:05 IN RESPONSE TO BOTH OF THESE WARNINGS, WHICH WERE VERY 10:07:10 EXPLICIT IN IDENTIFYING SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITHIN PEOPLE, THAT 10:07:14 YOU DID NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. MY FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS 10:07:19 WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN RESPONSE TO THE WARNINGS FROM 10:07:23 THE SENIOR CAREER PEOPLE AND THE OUTSIDE CONSULTANT. 10:07:29 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, THE FIRST THING THE COMMITTEE NEEDS TO 10:07:32 UNDERSTAND IS THAT I INDEED DID COMMISSION THOSE STUDIES. 10:07:35 IN FACT, I ASKED FOR BOTH OF THOSE DOCUMENTS FROM THE 10:07:39 F.C.O.'S AND FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:07:41 WE HAD TO LITERALLY GO SCRAPE TOGETHER THE MONEY JUST TO GET 10:07:43 THE OFFICIAL WORK DONE BY MITER. 10:07:46 BUT I HAD COME TO THIS CLSH -- AFTER THREE YEARS OF FINDING 10:07:51 THE ARTICLES YOU SEE IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" ABOUT MY 10:07:54 ATTEMPTS TO TRY TO GET THE FEMA MISSION PUT BACK ON TRACK AND 10:07:58 HOW THAT WAS REBUFFED CONSISTENTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT 10:08:01 OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THAT I REACHED THIS CLSH. 10:08:05 THAT IN ORDER FOR FEMA TO WORK EFFECTIVELY I D TO HAVE 10:08:08 SOMETHING THAT WOULD GIVE A ROAD MAP TO EITHER FUTURE FEMA 10:08:11 DIRECTORS, BECAUSE I WAS INTENDING TO LEAVE, AND/OR TO 10:08:15 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OTHER THAN ME SAYING 10:08:17 IT THAT WOULD POINT OUT THESE PROBLEMS. 10:08:21 AS I SAID, WE HAD TO FIGHT TO GET THE MONEY JUST TO DO THE 10:08:25 MITER STUDY. ONCE WE RECEIVED THE MITER 10:08:27 STUDY WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO 10:08:30 COMPLETE THAT, GET THAT INTO A DOCUMENT THAT WOULD SAY HERE'S 10:08:34 WHAT WE NEED TO DO, A, B, C, SO I COULD PRESENT THAT TO 10:08:38 SECRETARY RINL AND THEN SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO IMPLEMENT 10:08:43 THOSE. WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE MONEY, 10:08:44 NEVER GIVEN THE RESOURCES, WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE 10:08:48 OPPORTUNITY TO IMPLEMENT ANY OF THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS. 10:08:50 >> SO YOU'RE TESTIFYING THAT YOU WERE REBUFFED IN YOUR 10:08:55 EFFORTS TO REMEDY THEE PROBLEMS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:08:59 SECURITY. DID YOU EVER DISCUSS THESE 10:09:03 CONCERNS ABOUT BUDGET, AUTHORITY, ORGANIZATION, 10:09:07 PERSONNEL WITH INDIVIDUALS AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:09:11 >> YES, MA'AM, I DID. >> AND WITH WHOM DID YOU 10:09:15 DISCUSS THOSE CONCERNS? >> I DISCUSSED THOSE CONCERNS 10:09:20 WITH SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SENIOR STAFF. 10:09:24 >> AND WOULD YOU IDENTIFY WITH WHOM YOU DISCUSSED THOSE 10:09:28 CONCERNS. >> BEFORE I DO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:09:31 MAY I JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENTS AND ASK FOR THE COMMITTEE'S 10:09:35 RECOMMENDATION? >> CERTAINLY. 10:09:38 >> ON FEBRUARY 6, 2006, MY COUNSEL SAID TO HARRIET MIERS 10:09:47 -- SENT TO HARRIET MIERS, COUNSEL FOR THE PRESIDENT, A 10:09:53 LETTER ASKING FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT I SHOULD DO IF THIS KIND 10:09:56 OF QUESTION IS POSED TO ME BY THE COMMITTEE. 10:09:59 LIKE PATRICK, I'M A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:10:01 THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN 10:10:04 WHICH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HIS 10:10:06 SENIOR VISORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY OR 10:10:13 DISCUSSION. IT'S MY BELIEF, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:10:16 THAT I DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:18 THAT I CANNOT INVOKE THAT. YET, I UNDERSTAND THAT 10:10:21 PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, THE EXECUTIVE, IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:27 OF GOVERNMENT AND THAT RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE RESIDES WITH THE 10:10:35 PRESIDENT. I AM HERE TO TRUTHFULLY AND 10:10:37 HONESTLY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK. 10:10:41 SO IN RESPONSE TO THE LETTER WHICH DID NOT -- AND I WANT TO 10:10:43 MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE LETTER DID NOT REQUEST THAT 10:10:45 I BE GRANTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:48 THE LETTER REQUESTED GUIDANCE ON WHAT THE OTHER EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:52 OF GOVERNMENT WANTED ME TO SAY OR NOT SAY WHEN THESE KINDS OF 10:10:57 QUESTIONS WERE POSED. SO DESPITE REPORTS IN THE PRESS 10:11:00 TO THE CONTRARY, THE LETTER SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. 10:11:03 IT DID NOT REQUEST EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, BUT GUIDANCE. 10:11:08 I RECEIVED THAT GUIDANCE BY LETTER, AGAIN, TO COUNSEL TO 10:11:12 MR. LESTER FROM WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL HARRIET MIERS IN A 10:11:17 LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2006. AND I'LL JUST READ YOU THE LAST 10:11:21 PARAGRAPH. "THE PRESIDENT'S VIEWS 10:11:23 REGARDING THESE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTERESTS HAVE NOT 10:11:27 CHANGED. I APPRECIATE THAT YOUR CLIENT 10:11:29 IS SENSITIVE TO THE INTERESTS IMPLICATED BY POTENTIAL 10:11:33 DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO WHICH HE WAS 10:11:36 A PARTY AS A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN THE ADMINISTRATION, AS 10:11:40 REFLECTED IN HIS RECENT RESPONSES TO CONGRESSIONAL 10:11:42 COMMITTEES AND THEIR STAFFS AND REQUEST THAT HE OBSERVE HIS 10:11:46 PAST PRACTICES WITH RESPECT TO THOSE COMMUNICATIONS." 10:11:52 IN MY OPINION, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:11:55 ANSWER OUR REQUEST FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT IS TO BE 10:11:58 DONE. SO I AM HERE AS A PRIVATE 10:12:01 CITIZEN STUCK BETWEEN TWO EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, ONE 10:12:05 WHICH IS REQUESTING THATE'RE NOT GOING TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE 10:12:09 PRIVILEGE, BUT THAT I RESPECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE 10:12:14 CONCEPT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND ON THE OTHER HAND APPEARING 10:12:18 BEFORE YOU AS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, UNDER OATH, 10:12:21 SWORN TO TELL THE TRUTH, WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM EITHER 10:12:25 ONE. SO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, I WOULD ASK 10:12:27 YOU FOR GUIDANCE IN WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE MICHAEL BROWN, 10:12:31 PRIVATE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, TO DO IN THIS REGARD. 10:12:34 >> DOES THE LETTER THAT YOU HAVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE 10:12:39 COUNSEL DIRECT YOU TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH 10:12:44 RESPECT TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION 10:12:49 OFFICIALS? >> IT DOES NOT, AND NOR DO I 10:12:51 BELIEVE THAT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSERT THAT PRIVILEGE ON 10:12:53 BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT. I AM A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:12:57 >> HAS THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL ORALLY DIRECTED YOU TO ASSERT 10:13:04 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO THOSE CONVERSATIONS 10:13:07 YOU'VE HAD WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS? 10:13:10 >> THEY HAVE NOT TO ME, AND TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY 10:13:13 HAVE NOT DIRECTED THAT TO MY COUNSEL EITHER. 10:13:16 THAT'S CORRECT. >> THESE CONVERSATIONS CLEARLY 10:13:24 COULD BE SUBJECT TO AN ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE 10:13:28 PRIVILEGE. IN FACT, IF SUCH A PRIVILEGE 10:13:30 WERE TO BE ASSERTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE, I WOULD, IN ALL 10:13:36 LIKELIHOOD, RULE THAT THE PRIVILEGE APPLIED TO THOSE 10:13:41 CONVERSATIONS, AND I WOULD INSTRUCT YOU NOT TO ANSWER THE 10:13:45 QUESTIONS SO THAT WE COULD FURTHER EXPLORE THE PRIVILEGES 10:13:52 ISSUE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. HOWEVER IN, THE CASE OF 10:13:55 CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORS, THE 10:14:01 PRIVILEGE IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO ASSERT, NOT THE 10:14:05 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TESTIFIED 10:14:09 THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE HAS CHOSEN NOT TO ASSERT 10:14:14 THIS PRIVILEGE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR YOU TO DECLINE TO 10:14:19 ANSWER THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH PRESIDENTIAL 10:14:25 ADVISORS. SO I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO 10:14:28 RESPOND TO THE QUESTION. >> MADAM CHAIRMAN. 10:14:32 >> SENATOR STEVENS. >> HAS ANYONE CONTACTED THE 10:14:36 STAFF OR YOURSELF FROM THE WHITE HOUSE REQUESTING THAT 10:14:39 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BE RECOGNIZED IN THIS AREA? 10:14:41 >> YES. I HAD A LENGTHY DISCUSSION LAST 10:14:44 NIGHT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL IN WHICH I ADVISED HER 10:14:49 TO EITHER SEND MR. BROWN A CLEAR LETTER ASSERTING 10:14:55 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OR TO SEND IT TO THIS COMMITTEE, OR TO 10:15:00 HAVE A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE PRESENT 10:15:04 TODAY TO OBJECT TO QUESTIONS, AND MS. MEIERS DECLINED TO DO 10:15:12 EITHER. >> I WANT TO SAY FOR THE RECORD 10:15:14 AS A FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, I 10:15:17 BELIEVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE 10:15:20 COUNTRY AND IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, IF THIS WITNESS TESTIFIES 10:15:25 AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION, THAT THEN WE'RE FACED 10:15:28 WITH A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS TO SEND 10:15:33 SOMEONE DOWN TO CHALLENGE THE STATEMENT THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. 10:15:38 IT'S VERY DIFFICULT GROUND WE'RE ON. 10:15:39 I DON'T KNOW WHERE MR. BROWN IS GOING. 10:15:41 BUT IT DOES WORRY ME THAT THERE IS A LEGITIMATE BASIS FOR 10:15:45 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF THEY HAVE NOT ASSERTED IT TO 10:15:47 YOU, THEN THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. >> THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. 10:15:56 AND I INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROVIDE ME WITH THAT 10:16:01 ASSERTION LAST NIGHT. THEY DECLINED TO DO SO. 10:16:05 INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY PRESENT TO MAKE THE 10:16:09 ASSERTION. I HAVE REVIEWED THE LETTER, AND 10:16:10 WE WILL PUT BOTH THE LETTER FROM MR. BROWN'S LAWYER AND MS. 10:16:17 MEIERS' RESPONSE INTO THE RECORD, AND THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:16:22 ASSERT THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >> IS WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL 10:16:28 PRESENT? >> THERE IS NOT A WHITE HOUSE 10:16:32 COUNSEL PRESENT THAT I AM AWARE OF. 10:16:35 I SUSPECT THERE ARE WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS HERE, HOWEVER. 10:16:40 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN -- >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 10:16:43 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, IF I MAY, FIRST, I WANT TO TELL YOU I 10:16:47 BOTH APPRECIATE AND SUPPORT YOUR RULING IN THE CONTEXT OF 10:16:52 -- EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD BEEN ASSERTED, WE ARE A 10:16:57 CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND IN THIS CASE WE ARE DOING 10:16:59 AN INVESTIGATION ON A TOTALLY NONPARTISAN BASIS THAT GOES TO 10:17:03 THE HEART OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. 10:17:07 SO WE HAVE AN INTEREST IN OBTAINING THE TRUTH. 10:17:09 WE'RE NOT OUT TO GET ANYBODY. WE'RE OUT TO GET THE TRUTH. 10:17:13 BUT -- THAT WOULD BE MY OPINION EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD 10:17:18 BEEN ASSERTED. BUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAS NOT 10:17:22 BEEN ASSERTED, AND, THEREFORE, I THINK THE PRIVILEGE AND 10:17:26 RESPONSIBILITY, LET ALONE THE RIGHT OF CONGRESS AS 10:17:29 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO GET THE WHOLE TRUTH 10:17:36 ABOUT KATRINA REALLY IS THE PRIORITY VALUE THAT WE HAVE TO 10:17:40 HONOR. AND I THANK YOU, MADAM 10:17:42 CHAIRMAN, FOR DOING EXACTLY THAT IN YOUR RULING. 10:17:47 >> MR. BROWN, I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. 10:17:51 AND I AM GOING TO RECLAIM THE TIME THAT I HAD BEFORE WE HEAD 10:17:58 TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE. >> CHAIRMAN COLLINS, I'M HAPPY 10:18:02 TO ANSWER BOTH QUESTIONS. COULD YOU RESTATE THE QUESTION? 10:18:10 >> I ASKED YOU WITH WHOM YOU TALKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT 10:18:14 THE BUDGET, AUTHORITY AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS THAT YOU 10:18:18 PERCEIVED WERE HINDERING YOUR ABILITY TO CARRY OUT YOUR 10:18:21 MISSION. >> AT VARIOUS TIMES I HAD 10:18:23 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, JOSH 10:18:27 BOLTEN, BEFORE HE MOVED OVER TO O.M.B. AND I HAD NUMEROUS 10:18:31 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF JOE HAGGAN 10:18:34 AND OCCASIONALLY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIEF STAFF ANDY CARD. 10:18:40 I'VE ALSO HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH BOTH FORMER WHITE HOUSE 10:18:45 HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, GENERAL JOHN GORDON, AND WITH 10:18:48 CURRENT HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, FRAN TOWNSEND. 10:18:53 >> THANK YOU. MR. BROWN, EXHIBIT 6 IS A 10:18:56 SERIES OF EMAILS ABOUT CONDITIONS IN NEW ORLEANS ON 10:19:02 MONDAY MORNING. WE KNOW FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE 10:19:06 THIS COMMITTEE THAT MARTY OF FEMA SAW -- FIRST RECEIVED A 10:19:15 REPORT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING ON MONDAY MORNING AT ABOUT 10:19:19 11:00. HE LATER IN THE DAY OVERFLEW 10:19:21 THE AREA AND SAW IT FIRSTHAND. THE EMAILS ALSO TOOK ABOUT -- 10:19:27 TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS IN THE CITY. 10:19:30 BY 10:00 ON THAT MONDAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, YOU HAD 10:19:36 RECEIVED A REPORT FROM HIM THAT THERE WAS ALREADY SEVERE 10:19:43 FLOODING IN THE AREA. THE WATER LEVEL WAS, QUOTE, UP 10:19:46 TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE TWO-STORY HOUSES, THAT PEOPLE 10:19:49 WERE TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND THAT THE PUMPS FOR THE LEVEES WERE 10:19:55 STARTING TO FAIL. WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN 10:20:00 RESPONSE TO THAT INFORMATION AND TO PASS THAT INFORMATION 10:20:06 ALONG TO THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY? 10:20:12 >> TWO THINGS, CHAIRMAN COLLINS. 10:20:13 THE FIRST AND FOREMOST I ALERTED HEADQUARTERS AS TO 10:20:16 THOSE REPORTS AND ASKED THEM TO GET IN CONTACT WITH MARTY TO 10:20:20 CONFIRM THOSE REPORTS. AND I ALSO PUT A CALL IN AND 10:20:24 SPOKE TO -- I BELIEVE IT WAS DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF HAGGAN ON 10:20:32 AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS ON THAT DAY TO INFORM HIM OF WHAT WAS 10:20:36 GOING ON. >> WAS THERE ANYONE ELSE THAT 10:20:37 YOU CALLED AT THE WHITE HOUSE TO INFORM THEM OF THESE 10:20:41 DEVELOPMENTS? >> IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EITHER 10:20:44 ANDY CARD OR JOE HAGGAN. >> DHS OFFICIALS TELL US 10:20:48 THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW OF THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:20:53 NEW ORLEANS UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING. 10:20:57 THAT'S ALMOST 24 HOURS AFTER YOU RECEIVED THE INFORMATION 10:21:01 THAT I REFERRED TO ABOUT THE SEVERE FLOODING IN NEW ORLEANS. 10:21:07 THEY ALSO ASSERT THAT THEY BELIEVE YOU FAILED TO MAKE SURE 10:21:11 THAT THEY WERE GETTING THIS VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION. 10:21:19 I'D LIKE YOU TO RESPOND TO THAT CRITICISM. 10:21:22 >> FIRST AND FOREMOST I FIND IT A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS THAT 10:21:26 DHS WERE CLAIMING THAT THEY WERE NOT GETTING THAT 10:21:29 INFORMATION, BECAUSE FEMA HELD CONTINUOUS VIDEO TELEPHONE 10:21:33 CONFERENCES -- I'LL REFER TO THEM AS VTCS -- IN WHICH AT 10:21:37 LEAST ONCE A DAY, IF NOT SEVERAL TIMES A DAY WE WOULD BE 10:21:40 ON CONFERENCE CALLS AND VIDEO CALLS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT 10:21:43 EVERYONE HAD SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:21:45 NOW, I'M SITTING IN BATON ROUGE, SO I'M NOT SURE AT ALL 10:21:49 TIMES WHO IS IN THE VIDEO CONFERENCE, ON THE V.T.C. 10:21:52 BUT THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AT LEAST 10:21:55 DEPUTY SECRETARY JACKSON AND AT LEAST MATTHEW BRODERICK, BOB 10:22:00 STEPHAN, SOMEONE FROM THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS 10:22:04 CENTER, IS IN ON THOSE CONVERSATIONS ON THOSE 10:22:06 VTCS. SO FOR THEM TO NOW CLAIM THAT 10:22:09 WE DIDN'T HAVE AWARENESS OF IT I THINK IS JUST BALONEY. 10:22:12 THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD AWARENESS OF IT BECAUSE THEY WERE 10:22:15 RECEIVING THE SAME INFORMATION THAT WE WERE. 10:22:16 IT'S ALSO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT MR. RHODE OR SOMEONE ELSE ON 10:22:24 HIS BEHALF SENT AN EMAIL EITHER DIRECTLY TO THE DHS CHIEF OF 10:22:28 STAFF OR PERHAPS TO THE HSOT. BUT MUCH LIKE I HAD OPERATED 10:22:37 SUCCESSFULLY IN FLORIDA, MY ONLY GATION WAS TO THE WHITE 10:22:42 HOUSE AND TO -- OBLIGATION WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TO THE 10:22:44 PRESIDENT TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE SITUATION 10:22:46 WAS, AND I DID THAT. AND THE VTCS WERE THE 10:22:52 OPERATIONAL CONSTRUCT BY WHICH DHS WOULD GET THAT 10:22:54 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. THEY WOULD GET THAT THROUGH 10:22:56 THOSE VTCS. >> MR. RHODE, WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:00 WHEN THE LEVEES HAD BROKEN ON MONDAY MORNING AND WHAT DID YOU 10:23:05 DO WITH THE INFORMATION? FIRST, WHEN WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:09 THE PROBLEMS OF FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING? 10:23:13 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, I BELIEVE THAT I FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE 10:23:16 ISSUES WITH THE LEVEE, AT LEAST PARTIAL INFORMATION, DURING THE 10:23:19 EARLY HOURS OF MONDAY MORNING, OR MID MORNING, I WANT TO SAY, 10:23:23 SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 9:00, 10:00 OR SO. 10:23:26 I BELIEVE THAT I CAME ACROSS AN EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO ME THAT 10:23:31 SUESTED THAT PERHAPS THERE WAS A LEVEE BREACH. 10:23:33 I DON'T THINK THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT. 10:23:36 AND I ENDEAVORED TO, AS WAS ALWAYS MY PRACTICE, WHENEVER 10:23:40 SOMEONE WAS SENDING ME OPERATIONAL INFORMATION, I 10:23:42 TRIED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT INFORMATION MADE IT DIRECTLY TO 10:23:44 THE OPERATORS. OUR PROTOCOL WITHIN FEMA WAS TO 10:23:48 MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM D ANY SORT OF SITUATIONAL 10:23:51 INFORMATION. AGAIN, MY ROLE IS IN 10:23:54 WASHINGTON, DC I WAS NOT IN LOUISIANA. 10:23:55 BUT AS THAT INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE AND AS I BECAME AWARE 10:23:59 OF IT, I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM HAD IT 10:24:02 WITHIN WASHINGTON SO THAT IT COULD THEN BE TRANSMITTED TO 10:24:05 THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER. 10:24:07 AS THERE WERE MANY SITUATIONAL REPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, THROUGHOUT 10:24:09 THE DAY. >> BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I'M 10:24:13 ASKING YOU. YOU WERE IN WASHINGTON -- 10:24:16 >> YES, MA'AM. >> -- YOU ARE NOW THE TOP FEMA 10:24:20 OFFICIAL. DID YOU TAKE ANY STEPS TONE 10:24:22 SURE THAT SECRETARY CHERTOFF WAS AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION? 10:24:27 >> WAS THE INFORMATION BECAME MORE AND MORE APPARENT, MARTY 10:24:32 ON MONDAY LATER THAT DAY HELPED ORCHESTRATE A CONFERENCE CALL 10:24:35 THAT I PARTICIPATED IN, AND AT THE CONCLUSION OF THAT 10:24:38 CONFERENCE CALL I SENT A LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OR SENT AN 10:24:41 EMAIL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN ADDITION 10:24:44 TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS OPERATIONAL PEOPLE THAT WERE 10:24:48 ALSO ON THAT CALL TO MAKE SURE THE HOMELAND SECURITY 10:24:52 OPERATIONS CENTER HAD THAT INFORMATION. 10:24:54 >> MR. BROWN, IT ISN'T ONLY DHS OFFICIALS WHO SAY THAT 10:24:58 THEY WERE UNAWARE UNTIL TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEES HAD COLLAPSED. 10:25:03 I'VE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT EXACT SAME THING BY ADMIRAL TIMOTHY 10:25:11 KEATON, THE HEAD OF NORTHERN COMMAND, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 10:25:17 HOMELAND DEFENSE FOR DOD. HE, IN AN INTERVIEW, TOLD ME 10:25:20 THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING THAT THE LEVEES 10:25:25 HAD BREACHED AND THAT THE CITIES HAD FLOODED. 10:25:30 WAS THERE ANY COMMUNICATION FROM YOU OR DID YOU TAKE ANY 10:25:33 STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NORTHERN COMMAND WAS INFORMED OF THIS 10:25:39 CATASTROPHIC DEVELOPMENT? >> I WOULD HAVE NOT AT THAT 10:25:42 POINT HAVE CALLED ADMIRAL KEATING DIRECTLY. 10:25:46 BUT THROUGH THE FEMA OPERATIONS CENTER THERE IS A MILITARY 10:25:50 LIAISON THERE, SO THEY WOULD HAVE HAD THAT SAME OPERATIONAL 10:25:53 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO PASS BACK UP THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:25:57 SO ADMIRAL KEATING OR SECRETARY RUMSFELD OR ANY OF THOSE COULD 10:26:00 HAVE HAD THAT SAME SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:26:02 >> WHAT IS SO TROUBLING IS WE HAVE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN 10:26:08 FROM TOP DHS OFFICIALS, FROM TOP DOD. OFFICIALS, FROM THE 10:26:14 LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY WERE 10:26:19 SIMPLY UNAWARE OF HOW CATASTROPHIC THE HURRICANE'S 10:26:25 IMPACT HAD BEEN BECAUSE OF THE BREACHING OF THE LEVEE. 10:26:32 CAN YOU HELP US UNDERSTAND THIS ENORMOUS DISCONNECT BETWEEN 10:26:35 WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND, A CITY 80% FLOODED, 10:26:43 UNCONTROLLED LEVEES, PEOPLE DYING, PEOPLE -- THOUSANDS OF 10:26:47 PEOPLE WAITING TO BE RESCUED, AND THE OFFICIAL REACTION AMONG 10:26:54 MANY OF THE KEY LEADERS IN WASHINGTON AND IN NORTHERN 10:26:59 COMMAND THAT SOMEHOW NEW ORLEANS HAD DODGED THE BULLET? 10:27:05 >> CHAIRMAN COL LOANS, THERE IS -- CHAIRMAN COLLINS, LET ME 10:27:11 FRAME THE ANSWER A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY. 10:27:14 IT'S MY BELIEF THAT HAD THERE BEEN A REPORT COME OUT FROM 10:27:18 MARTY THAT SAID, YES, WE'VE CONFIRMED THAT A TERRORIST HAS 10:27:22 BLOWN UP THE 17TH STREET CANAL LEVEE, THEN EVERYBODY WOULD 10:27:28 HAVE JUMPED ALL OVER THAT AND BEEN TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING 10:27:34 THEY COULD. BUT BECAUSE THIS WAS A NATURAL 10:27:37 DISASTER, THAT HAS BECOME THE STEP CHILEDE WITHIN THE 10:27:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 10:27:42 AND SO YOU NOW HAVE THESE TWO SYSTEMS OPERATION, ONE WHICH 10:27:46 CARES ABOUT TERRORISM, AND FEMA AND OUR STATE AND LOCAL 10:27:49 PARTNERS, WHO ARE TRYING TO APPROACH EVERYTHING FROM ALL 10:27:52 HAZARDS. AND SO THERE'S THIS DISCONNECT 10:27:54 THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT WE'VE CREATED BECAUSE OF 10:27:57 DHS ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TO 10:28:02 LISTEN TO THOSE VTCS AND PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE 10:28:06 VTCS, AND THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON. 10:28:08 AND IN FACT, I EMAILED A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL THAT EVENING 10:28:14 ABOUT HOW BAD IT WAS, MAKING SURE THAT THEY KNEW, AGAIN, HOW 10:28:17 BAD THAT IT WAS, IDENTIFYING THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE 10:28:21 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND HOUSING PROBLEMS AND ALL OF 10:28:23 THOSE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. SO IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT 10:28:29 DHS OFFICIALS WOULD SAY, WELL, WE WEREN'T AWARE. 10:28:32 THEY'RE OFF DOING OTHER THINGS. IT'S A NATURAL DISASTER SO 10:28:35 WE'RE JUST GOING TO ALLOW FEMA TO DO ALL OF THAT. 10:28:38 THAT HAD BECOME THE MENTALITY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 10:28:40 >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. >> THANKS, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:28:45 THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION. MR. BROWN, WE'LL GET BACK TO 10:28:49 THOSE COMMENTS. OBVIOUSLY OUR HOPE WAS THAT THE 10:28:51 DEPARTMENT WOULD BE READY TO DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS AND 10:28:55 TERRORIST ATTACKS AND THE IMPACT OF A TERRORIST BOMB ON 10:28:57 THE LEVEES WOULD HAVE BEEN EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE 10:29:01 HURRICANE WAS TO FLOODING THE CITY. 10:29:03 LET ME GO BACK TO THAT DAY, BECAUSE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT 10:29:06 AND YOUR COMMENTS JUST NOW HIGHLIGHT IT, AND THIS IS ABOUT 10:29:09 MARTY. HE TAKES THE TWO HELICOPTER 10:29:11 FLIGHTS, 5:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. CENTRAL TIME. 10:29:15 HE SEES THE DEVASTATION AND HE TOLD US THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER 10:29:18 THOSE HELICOPTER RIDES HE CALLED YOU AND REPORTED HIS 10:29:22 FINDINGS TO YOU. IS IT CORRECT THAT MR. BAMUN DE 10:29:30 -- BAMUNDY TOLD YOU ON THAT EVENING THAT HE COULD SEE NEW 10:29:33 ORLEANS FLOODING? >> IT'S CORRECT. 10:29:35 >> IS IT ALSO CORRECT THAT MARTY TOLD YOU THAT DURING THE 10:29:37 HELICOPTER RIDE HE SO SEE THAT LEVEES HAD BROKEN. 10:29:40 IS THAT RIGHT? >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:29:42 >> MARTY TOLD US THAT AFTER HE FINISHED GIVING YOU THAT 10:29:44 DEVASTATING INFORMATION, YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO CALL THE 10:29:47 WHITE HOUSE. IN YOUR STAFF INTERVIEW YOU 10:29:48 SAID THAT YOU DID HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A WHITE HOUSE 10:29:53 OFFICIAL ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 29, REGARDING HIS 10:29:59 FLYOVER. WHO WAS THAT WHITE HOUSE 10:30:01 OFFICIAL? >> TWO RESPONSES, SENATOR 10:30:03 LIEBERMAN. THERE IS AN EMAIL, AND I 10:30:11 REMEMBER THE EMAIL, AND I RECALL THIS QUITE VIVIDLY, I'M 10:30:16 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. >> IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WERE 10:30:19 EMAILING SOMEBODY AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:30:21 >> NO, I WAS ACTUALLY EMAILING SOMEBODY IN RESPONSE TO MARTY'S 10:30:25 INFORMATION BACK TO FEMA. >> GOT IT. 10:30:27 >> IN WHICH I SAID, YES, I'M CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. 10:30:30 AND I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY WHO I CALLED, BUT BECAUSE OF 10:30:33 THE PATTERN OF HOW I USUALLY INTERACTED WITH THE WHITE 10:30:37 HOUSE, MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT I WAS PROBABLY CALLING AND 10:30:40 TALKING TO JOE HAGAN. >> JOE HAG ANN -- 10:30:46 >> WHO WAS IN CAUFERED WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY. 10:30:49 >> HE WAS AT CRAWFORD. I'M SURPRISED YOU WOULDN'T 10:30:51 REMEMBER EXACTLY. BUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR 10:30:53 RECOLLECTION, YOU CALLED JOE HAGAN. 10:30:56 AND IS IT RIGHT THAT YOU CALLED HIM BECAUSE HE HAD SOME SPECIAL 10:30:58 RESPONSIBILITY FOR OVERSIGHT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT? 10:31:01 >> NO, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JOE, 10:31:07 AND JOE UNDERSTANDS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, NUMBER ONE. 10:31:10 NUMBER TWO, HE'S AT CRAWFORD WITH THE PRESIDENT. 10:31:13 >> GOT IT. AND YOU QUITE APPROPRIATELY AND 10:31:17 ADMIRABLY WANTED TO GET THE WORD TO THE PRESIDENT AS 10:31:19 QUICKLY AS YOU COULD. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:31:20 >> DID YOU TELL MR. HAG ANN IN THAT PHONE CALL THAT NEW 10:31:25 ORLEANS WAS FLOODING? >> I THINK I TOLD HIM THAT WE 10:31:27 WERE REALIZING OUR WORST NIGHTMARE. 10:31:29 THAT EVERYTHING WE HAD PLANNED ABOUT, WORRIED ABOUT, THAT 10:31:31 FEMA, FRANKLY, HAD WORRIED ABOUT FOR 10 YEARS WAS COMING 10:31:34 TRUE. >> DO YOU REMEMBER IF YOU TOLD 10:31:36 HIM THAT THE LEVEESED THAT BROKEN? 10:31:39 -- LEVEES HAD BROKEN? >> OKAY THE WITNESS STAND I 10:31:43 FEEL OBLIGATED TO SAY THAT I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:31:45 SAYING THOSE WORDS. BUT IT WAS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS 10:31:50 FLOODING, IT'S THE WORST CAYS SCENARIO. 10:31:53 >> MAYBE THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE, THIS IS THE WORST CASE 10:31:56 SCENARIO, THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IS FLOODING. 10:31:58 DID YOU ASK MR. HAGAN FOR ANY PARTICULAR ACTION BY THE WHITE 10:32:03 HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT, THE ADMINISTRATION IN THAT PHONE 10:32:06 CALL? >> THEY ALWAYS ASKED ME WHAT DO 10:32:09 YOU NEED. >> RIGHT. 10:32:10 >> JOE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD ABOUT THAT. 10:32:21 >> THE DIFFERENCE IS IN 2004 -- THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, 10:32:24 SENATOR, IF YOU'LL BEAR WITH ME FOR A MINUTE, IS IN 2004 CURING 10:32:28 THE HURRICANES THAT STRUCK -- DURING 2004, THE HURRICANES 10:32:34 THAT STRUCK FLORIDA, I WAS ASKED THAT SAME QUESTION, WHAT 10:32:36 DO YOU NEED. AND I SPECIFICALLY ASKED BOTH 10:32:40 SECRETARY CARD AND JOE HAGAN THAT ON MY WAY DOWN TO PUNTA 10:32:45 GORDA, FLORIDA THAT THE BEST THING THEY COULD DO FOR ME WAS 10:32:48 TO KEEP DHS OUT OF MY HAIR. AND IF I COULD JUST FINISH -- 10:32:52 >> YEAH. >> SO WHAT HAD CHANGED BETWEEN 10:32:57 2004 AND 2005 -- >> KATRINA, RIGHT. 10:33:00 >> BETWEEN THE HURRICANES OF 2004 AND NOW KATRINA, WAS THAT 10:33:07 THERE WAS NOW THIS MENTALITY OR THIS THINKING THAT, NO, NOW 10:33:14 THIS TIME WE WERE GOING TO FOLLOW THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:33:17 >> WHICH WAS PUT YOU IN CHARGE? >> WAS PUT ME IN CHARGE, BUT 10:33:23 NOW I HAVE TO FEED EVERYTHING UP THROUGH CHERTOFF OR SOMEHOW 10:33:27 THROUGH DHS >> I GOT YOU. 10:33:29 >> WHICH JUST BOGGED THINGS DOWN. 10:33:32 >> SO YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF SPECIFICALLY 10:33:35 ASKING MR. HAGAN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ANY ACTION AT 10:33:38 THAT TIME. >> NOTHING IN SPECIFIC. 10:33:39 I JUST THOUGHT THEY NEEDED TO BE AWARE OF THE SITUATION. 10:33:42 >> UNDERSTOOD. MR. BROWN, ON THE EVENING OF 10:33:44 LANDFALL YOU APPEARED ON THE 9:00 P.M. EDITION OF MSNBC'S 10:33:50 RITA COSBY LIVE AND DIRECT. YOU SAID THEN VERY EXPLICITLY 10:33:54 THAT YOU WERE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN NEW 10:33:57 ORLEANS, AND I QUOTE, IT COULD BE WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE 10:33:59 PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET BACK INTO SOME OF THESE 10:34:02 NEIGHBORHOODS, ENDS OF QUOTE, BECAUSE OF THE FLOODING. 10:34:05 YOU ALSO SAID, AND I QUOTE, THAT YOU HAD ALREADY TOLD THE 10:34:10 PRESIDENT TONIGHT THAT WE CAN ANTICIPATE A HOUSING NEED HERE 10:34:13 OF AT LEAST IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS, ENDS OF QUOTE. 10:34:17 YOU WERE CORRECT. DID YOU IN FACT SPEAK TO 10:34:21 PRESIDENT BUSH THAT NIGHT, AUGUST 29? 10:34:24 >> I REALLY DON'T RECALL IF THE PRESIDENT GOT -- I MEAN, 10:34:29 NORMALLY DURING MY CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY CHIEF 10:34:34 OF STAFF HAGAN, SOMETIMES THE PRESIDENT WOULD GET ON THE 10:34:37 PHONE FOR A FEW MOMENTS, AND SOMETIMES HE WOULDN'T. 10:34:40 I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY THAT NIGHT WHETHER HE DID OR 10:34:42 NOT. BUT I NEVER WORRIED ABOUT 10:34:43 WHETHER I TALKED DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE I KNEW 10:34:46 THAT IN SPEAKING TO JOE I WAS TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE 10:34:49 PRESIDENT. >> WELL, IT'S SURPRISING AGAIN, 10:34:51 TO ME, THAT YOU WOULDN'T REMEMBER WHETHER THE PRESIDENT 10:34:55 WAS ON YOUR CALL TO JOE HAGAN. >> I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR 10:35:01 ARROGANT, BUT I TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT A LOT OF. 10:35:04 SO SOMETIMES WHEN HE'S ON THE PHONE OR NOT ON THE PHONE, I 10:35:07 JUST WOULDN'T RECALL. >> ALL RIGHT. 10:35:09 SO THAT MAYBE YOU WERE INFLATING A LITTLE BIT OR BEING 10:35:12 LOOSE WITH YOUR LANGUAGE WHEN YOU TOLD MSNBC THAT YOU HAD 10:35:15 ALREADY TOLD THE PRESIDENT THAT NIGHT ABOUT -- 10:35:17 >> WELL, NO, BECAUSE WHEN I SAY THAT I'VE TOLD THE PRESIDENT -- 10:35:20 IF I'VE TOLD JOE HAGAN OR TOLD ANDY CARD, I'VE TOLD THE 10:35:25 PRESIDENT. >> I HAVE THIS PROBLEM HERE IN 10:35:27 THE CAPITOL, TOO, WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS SARA WARNER TOLD ME TO 10:35:30 TELL YOU, AND THEN I FOUND OUT IT WAS A STAFF MEMBER, OR I 10:35:35 TOLD SENATOR WASH F WARNER. >> TRUST ME, THEY TELL THE 10:35:41 PRESIDENT. >> OK, NOW, LET ME GO TO 10:35:44 SECRETARY CHERTOFF BECAUSE YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CHAIN OF 10:35:47 COMMAND THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO FOLLOW. 10:35:50 DID YOU SPEAK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF AFTER YOUR CALL WITH 10:35:55 MARTY AND TELL HIM ABOUT THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:35:58 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY EVENING? >> I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:36:06 IF I TALKED TO CHERTOFF ON THAT DAY OR NOT. 10:36:09 >> WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE, IF THAT WAS THE CHAIN OF COMMAND? 10:36:16 >> I'M STILL OPERATING THAT I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE. 10:36:19 AND THE WAY I GET THINGS DONE IS I REQUEST IT FROM THE WHITE 10:36:22 HOUSE AND THEY HAPPEN. >> WELL, THEN, DID YOU TELL 10:36:25 ANYONE ELSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN A HIGH 10:36:30 POSITION, DEPUTY SECRETARY MICHAEL JACKSON, FOR INSTANCE? 10:36:33 >> I THINK MICHAEL AND I MAY HAVE HAD A CONVERSATION. 10:36:35 >> MONDAY EVENING? >> YES. 10:36:37 >> WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALONG THE SAME LINES. 10:36:39 >> EXACTLY. >> AM I RIGHT THAT AT SOME 10:36:42 POINT ON MONDAY EVENING THERE WAS EITHER A PHONE CONFERENCE 10:36:44 CALL OR A VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL THAT YOU WERE ON REPORTING ON 10:36:49 THE SITUATION FROM NEW ORLEANS? >> YES. 10:36:51 >> AND DO YOU KNOW WHETHER ANYBODY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:36:55 HOMELAND SECURITY WAS ON THAT CALL? 10:36:58 >> THEY WERE ON ALL THE CALLS. >> OK. 10:37:00 SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THAT CALL? 10:37:04 >> DON'T REMEMBER. I DON'T RECALL. 10:37:06 >> DO YOU KNOW WHERE HE WAS THAT EVENING? 10:37:08 >> AS I WENT BACK THROUGH MIEL MAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS 10:37:13 -- MY EMAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS EITHER GONE OR GOING TO 10:37:17 VISIT ATLANTA AND TO VISIT THE FLORIDA OFFICES OF C.DC 10:37:20 >> WE'RE GOING TO ASK HIM ABOUT THAT. 10:37:22 BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE NUMBER ONE MAN IN TERMS OF THE 10:37:25 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THIS 10:37:29 DISASTER FOR SOME REASON DID NOT APPRECIATE THAT IT WAS SUCH 10:37:32 A DISASTER, THAT HE GOT ON A PLANE AND WENT TO ATLANTA FOR A 10:37:36 CONFERENCE ON AVIAN FLU. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SUNDAY, 10:37:41 THE DAY BEFORE. AM I RIGHT THAT THERE WAS A 10:37:44 VIDEO TELECONFERENCE ON THAT SUNDAY IN WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH 10:37:50 AN SECRETARY CHERTOFF WERE ON THE CONFERENCE? 10:37:53 >> I RECALL -- I SPECIFICALLY RECALL THE PRESIDENT BEING ON 10:37:57 THE CONFERENCE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SKIFF AT CRAWFORD. 10:38:02 >> RIGHT. >> BUT I DON'T SPECIFICALLY 10:38:05 RECALL SEEING SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THE SCREEN. 10:38:07 >> OK. AND ON THAT SUNDAY VIDEO 10:38:10 CONFERENCE CALL, AM I RIGHT YOU WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON THEN? 10:38:12 >> THAT'S CORRECT. I LEFT THAT AFTERNOON. 10:38:15 >> BUT YOU DESCRIBED THE CATASTROPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF 10:38:20 THE KIND OF HURRICANE THAT DR. MAX MAYFIELD AND ALL THE OTHER 10:38:25 FORECASTERS WERE PREDICTING THAT DAY. 10:38:33 >> I TOLD THE STAFF -- AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS 10:38:38 OF THAT V.T.C., THEN WE NEED TO GET THEM FOR YOU. 10:38:40 >> NO, I'M GOING TO GIVE 'PHRASE. 10:38:44 YOU DESCRIBED IT AS A CATASTROPHE WITHIN A 10:38:47 CATASTROPHE. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:38:49 THIS WAS WHY I WAS SCREAMING AND HOLLERING ABOUT GETTING 10:38:52 MONEY TO DO CATASTROPHIC DISASTER PLANNING. 10:38:55 THIS IS WHY I SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO DO NEW ORLEANS AS THE 10:38:59 FIRST PLACE TO DO THAT. THIS IS WHY I WAS SO FURIOUS 10:39:01 THAT ONCE WE WERE ABLE TO DO HURRICANE PAM THAT I WAS 10:39:05 REBUFFED ON GETTING THE MONEY TO DO THE FOLLOW-UP, THE 10:39:09 FOLLOW-ON. THIS IS WHY I TOLD THE STAFF 10:39:11 DURING THAT VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL -- 10:39:13 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE. 10:39:14 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE STRUCK THAT I EXPECTED THEM TO 10:39:17 CUT EVERY PIECE OF RED TAPE, DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD, THAT IT 10:39:20 WAS BALLS TO THE WALL, THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANYBODY SAY 10:39:24 THAT WE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. TO DO EVERYTHING HELP HUMANLY 10:39:27 COULD TO RESPOND TO THIS. BECAUSE I KNEW IN MY GUT, 10:39:30 SENATOR, THIS WAS THE BAD ONE. >> THANKS, MR. BROWN. 10:39:33 TIME'S UP FOR ME. >> SENATOR COLEMAN. 10:39:35 >> THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. AGAIN, LIKE I THINK ALL MY 10:39:39 OTHER COLLEAGUES, MY THANKS TO YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP. 10:39:43 THIS HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARY. I HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF 10:39:48 OBSERVATIONS, AS I LISTEN TO TESTIMONY, MD DAM CHAIR. 10:39:51 WE HEAR A LOT, WE'VE SEEN IN THIS COMMITTEE A LOT OF 10:39:56 DISCUSSION ABOUT STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:39:57 WE'VE HEARD THAT FEDERAL AND LOCAL AND STATE FOLKS ALL 10:40:02 POINTED AT EACH OTHER SAYING, WELL, THEY WERE IN CHARGE, THEY 10:40:04 WERE IN CHARGE. ANY TIME YOU GET A DISASTER 10:40:06 LIKE THIS, A DISASTER, NOT JUST OF KATRINA, BUT THE DISASTER OF 10:40:11 THE RESPONSE, YOU GET THE ANALYSIS THAT WE'RE GETTING 10:40:14 HERE. LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 10:40:15 OF PAGES OF REVIEW OF INFORMATION. 10:40:17 BUT I'M GOING TO BE VERY, VERY BLUNT HERE. 10:40:20 WHAT WE HAD, AND HAVING BEEN A MAYOR AND BEEN INVOLVED IN 10:40:23 SITUATION THAT IS COULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE, THAT WEREN'T SO 10:40:26 TERRIBLE, IN THE END WHEN THINGS GO BAD WE DO THE 10:40:29 ANALYSIS AND WE SEE ALL THE STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES. 10:40:32 BUT WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD LEADERSHIP OFTENTIMES EVEN WITH 10:40:37 STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES THINGS DON'T GO BAD. 10:40:39 MY SENSE IS WE HAD ALMOST THE PERFECT STORM OF POOR 10:40:42 LEADERSHIP. WE HAD A GOVERNOR WHO WAS 10:40:45 INDECISIVE, MET WITH THE PRESIDENT, MET WITH THE MAYOR 10:40:47 AND DIDN'T MAKE A DECISION. WANTED MORE TIME. 10:40:50 WE HAD A MAYOR, THOUGH WELL-INTENTIONED, IS HOLED UP 10:40:53 IN A HOTEL ROOM WITHOUT COMMUNICATIONS, AGAIN, GOOD 10:40:57 INTENTIONS, KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON ON THE GROUND, BUT NOBODY'S 10:40:59 IN CHARGE. AND MR. BROWN, THE CONCERN THAT 10:41:02 I HAVE IS, YOU KNOW, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE I'M HEARING BALLS 10:41:06 TO THE WALL, BUT I'M LOOKING AT EMAILS AND LACK OF 10:41:12 RESPONSIVENESS. MARTY, ON SENDING AN EMAIL 10:41:15 ABOUT SITUATION PAST CRITICAL -- THIS IS ON WEDNESDAY AT THIS 10:41:18 TIME. HOTEL'S KICKING PEOPLE OUT, 10:41:20 DYING PATIENTS. AND YOUR RESPONSE IS, THANKS 10:41:22 FOR THE UPDATE. ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO 10:41:27 TWEAK?" WE HAVE QUESTIONS ON -- 10:41:28 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU TAKE THAT OUST 10:41:31 CONTEXT. BECAUSE YOU DO THAT ON THE FLY 10:41:33 SAYING, YES, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO TWEAK. 10:41:36 AND WHAT YOU IGNORE IS WHAT'S DONE BEYOND THAT, WHICH IS 10:41:39 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE, TALKING TO THE OPERATIONS 10:41:42 PEOPLE AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THINGS ARE GETTING DONE. 10:41:44 AND I'M FRANKLY GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF THESE EMAILS BEING 10:41:47 TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT WITH WORDS LIKE "WHAT DO I NEED TO TWEAK," 10:41:51 BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW, IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT I 10:41:53 NEED TO TWEAK. AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE 10:41:55 ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF THAT'S GOING ON, SENATOR. 10:41:57 SO WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DON'T DRAW CONCLUSIONS FROM AN EMAIL. 10:42:01 >> MR. BROWN, I WLD MAINTAIN THAT IN FACT THE CONTEXT OF THE 10:42:05 EMAILS ARE VERY CLEAR, THAT TH SHOW A LACK OF 10:42:08 RESPONSIVENESS, THAT THEY SHOW A DISCONNECT. 10:42:10 THAT'S THE CONTEXT. IN FACT, I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE 10:42:13 INDIVIDUAL ONES. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 10:42:15 CONTEXT OF THE EMAIL DISCUSSION, YOU'RE GETTING 10:42:18 INFORMATION, YOU'RE GETTING INFORMATION ON MONDAY, 11:57, A 10:42:22 MESSAGE SAYING, "NEW ORLEANS REPORTED 20-FOOT WIDE BREACH. 10:42:25 IT'S 11:57." YOUR EMAIL, NOT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:42:29 COMING BACK, I'M TOLD HERE WATER NOT OVER THE BRIDGE. 10:42:33 OBVIOUSLY IT HASN'T HIT THE FAN FOR YOU. 10:42:35 SO I DON'T THINK IT'S OUT OF CONTEXT. 10:42:37 I THINK THE CONTEXT OF THE EMAILS, AND NOT JUST THE 10:42:41 EMAILS, BUT THE THINGS THAT WE AS AMERICANS SAW TO ME IS 10:42:45 SLUT'S STUNNING -- YOU'VE GOT -- ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, YOU'VE 10:42:50 GOT PEOPLE SUFFERING, ALL OF AMERICA KNOWS THAT. 10:42:52 ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WATCH TV, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT CHANNEL YOU 10:42:55 WATCH, AND WE HAVE YOU SAYING AT THAT TIME "WE'VE JUST 10:42:59 LEARNED -- THIS IS A CNN INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER 1. 10:43:02 NOT OUT OF CONTEXT. "AND SO THIS IS THE CATASTROPHE 10:43:08 THAT CONTINUES TO GROW. EVERY PERSON IN THAT CONVENTION 10:43:11 CENTER, WE JUST LEARNED THAT TODAY. 10:43:12 I'VE DIRECTED WE HAVE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES." 10:43:15 I KNEW A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AS AN AMERICAN. 10:43:17 SO LET ME FINISH THE COMMENT. WHAT I HEAR HERE IS YOU SAYING, 10:43:21 WELL, THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEM FALLS WITH THE MITER REPORT, IN 10:43:25 WHICH IT WAS LAID OUT VERY CLEARLY THE STRUCTURAL 10:43:31 INADEQUACIES, AND YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY IS YOU HAD 10:43:33 CONVERSATIONS. YOU PUSHED THAT FORWARD. 10:43:34 CAN YOU SHOW ME WHETHER EITHER IN THE EMAILS OR IN THE RECORD 10:43:38 YOUR VERY CLEAR DIRECTIVES TO GO, QUOTE, BALLS TO THE WALL, 10:43:41 TO CLEAR UP THIS SITUATION, TO FIX IT? 10:43:43 DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT I CAN LOOK AT IN WRITING THAT GIVES 10:43:46 SUBSTANCE TO WHAT YOU'VE TESTIFIED TO TODAY? 10:43:48 >> ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. 10:43:51 I'VE TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE THAT I MISSPOKE ON THAT 10:43:56 DAY REGARDING THAT EMAIL. WE LEARNED ABOUT THE CONVENTION 10:44:00 CENTER ON WEDNESDAY. BECAUSE THE CONVENTION CENTER 10:44:02 WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. IT WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. 10:44:05 IT WAS NOT IN ANYONE'S PLANS, INCLUDING THE CITY AND THE 10:44:08 STATES. AND WHEN WE LEARNED ABOUT IT ON 10:44:10 WEDNESDAY NIGHT WE IMMEDIATELY STARTED DEMANDING THE ARMY AND 10:44:14 RESOURCES TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. AND THERE ARE EMAILS IN THE 10:44:17 PACKAGES THAT YOU HAVE WHERE I'M SCREAMING WHERE'S THE ARMY, 10:44:20 I NEED THE ARMY NOW. WHY HASN'T IT SHOWN UP. 10:44:23 AND BECAUSE I MISSPOKE ABOUT WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT THE 10:44:26 CONVENTION CENTER, AFTER BEING UP FOR 24 HOURS, YOU WANT TO 10:44:29 TAKE THAT OUT OF CONTEXT AND, SENATOR, I'M NOT GOING TO ALLOW 10:44:33 YOU TO DO THAT. >> LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A 10:44:36 CONVERSATION THAT MAYOR NAGIN CAME BEFORE US, THIS COMMITTEE, 10:44:40 AND HE TALKED ABOUT GOING TO THE ZEPHYR STADIUM, AND MAYOR 10:44:46 NAGIN'S STATEMENT IS I WAS SO FLABBERGASTED. 10:44:48 WE'RE IN NEW ORLEANS. WE WERE STRUGGLING. 10:44:50 IT'S TOUCH AND GO RELATING TO SECURITY. 10:44:53 I GOT OFF THE HELICOPTER AND JUST STARTED WALKING AROUND AND 10:44:56 I WAS AWESTRUCK. WE HAD BEEN REQUESTING THE 10:45:01 SUPERDOME BECAUSE WE WERE STANDING AT NIGHT, TO MAKE A 10:45:05 LONG STORY SHORT. THERE WERE POOR CONDITIONS. 10:45:08 WE WANTED PORTABLE TOILETS. THEY HAD THEM ALL OVER THE 10:45:11 PLACE. WERE YOU WITH MAYOR NAGIN AT 10:45:14 THE TIME? >> I DON'T KNOW WHETHER -- I 10:45:16 DON'T KNOW WHETHER I WAS WITH HIM ON THAT PARTICULAR DATE OR 10:45:18 NOT. BUT I KNOW THE AREA HE'S 10:45:20 TALKING ABOUT. >> AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO THIS 10:45:22 COMMITTEE WHY, IF THERE HAD BEEN OBVIOUS DEEP CONCERNS 10:45:26 ABOUT SANITARY FACILITIES, ABOUT LIGHTING, WHY THOSE 10:45:29 FACILITIES, THOSE CONCERNS, HAD NOT BEEN MET? 10:45:31 >> BECAUSE THEY WERE HAVING -- THE UNITED STATES ARMY, THE 10:45:38 NATIONAL GUARD, WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING THOSE 10:45:42 SUPPLIES INTO THE SUPERDOME. YOU NEED THAT UNDERSTAND THAT 10:45:45 THERE ARE MEDIA REPORTS OF SHOOTING, THERE ARE MEDIA 10:45:48 REPORTS OF LOOTING AND EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON. 10:45:49 AND IF THE ARMY MOVES IN THERE, THE ARMY KILLS PEOPLE. 10:45:53 AND SO THEY HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT MOVING THOSE 10:45:55 THINGS IN THERE. BY THE SAME TOKEN, YOU HAD 10:45:59 CIVILIANS WHO COMBAN TO MOVE THINGS IN THERE AND CONE GET 10:46:02 THEM THERE. SO, YES, THERE WERE THINGS 10:46:05 STOCKPILED AND AS THAT SUPPLY CHAIN CONTINUED TO PILE UP, 10:46:09 ZEPHYR FIELD WAS FULL OF A LOT OF STUFF AND THOSE THINGS WERE 10:46:12 CONTINUING TO GO ON THE OTHER END TO GET INTO THE CITY. 10:46:16 FOR YOU TO TAKE A SNAPSHOT OF THE PLAYER GOING THERE FOR A 10:46:19 FEW MINUTES AND HIM SCREAMING IN HIS TYPICAL WAY ABOUT I WANT 10:46:23 ALL OF THIS STUFF IN THE CITY IS TAKING IT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:46:26 SENATOR. >> WHEN DID YOU ORDER THAT FOOD 10:46:28 AND WATER BE DELIVERED INTO THE CONVENTION CENTER? 10:46:30 >> THE DAY THAT WE LEARNED ABOUT IT, THAT WEDNESDAY. 10:46:33 WE IMMEDIATELY ORDERED THAT STUFF TO BE MOVED. 10:46:36 WHETHER IT WAS OR NOT -- WHETHER IT WAS ACTUALLY DONE OR 10:46:39 NOT IS THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING. 10:46:41 AND IF IT WASN'T, YOU NEED TO BE ASKING WHY. 10:46:44 BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE CAPACITY WITHIN FEMA OURSELVES 10:46:48 TO DO THAT, AND WE NEEDED THE FIFTH ARMY OR THE FIRST ARMY TO 10:46:51 MOVE THAT STUFF IN THERE. PLUS, I WOULD ALSO REMIND YOU 10:46:55 THAT THERE'S NO -- >> MR. BROWN, JUST ON THAT 10:46:59 POINT ALONE, AND THAT'S WHAT MY NOTES INDICATE. 10:47:04 RECORDS HAD BEEN PRODUCED TO THE COMMITTEE INDICATE THAT 10:47:05 FEMA DID NOT ORDER, DID NOT ORDER FOOD AND WATER FOR THE 10:47:09 CONVENTION CENTER UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. 10:47:13 >> I CAN TELL YOU UNEQUIVOCALLY, SENATOR, UNDER 10:47:16 OATH, THAT THE MINUTE THAT I LEARNED THAT THERE WERE PEOPLE 10:47:20 IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, I TURNED TO BILLOW KEY, MY 10:47:23 INDIVIDUAL, MY OPERATIONS PERSON ON THE GROUND AND SAID 10:47:26 GET M.R.E.'S, GET STUFF MOVING IN THERE. 10:47:29 >> DID YOU EVER FOLLOW UP TO FIND OUT WHETHER THAT HAPPENED? 10:47:32 >> SENATOR, I CONTINUED TO DO OPERATIONS AS BEST I COULD ALL 10:47:36 ALONG THROUGHOUT THAT TIME AND I WOULD CONTINUALLY ASK 10:47:40 QUESTIONS, ARE THINGS HAPPENING, ARE THINGS 10:47:41 HAPPENING, ARE THINGS HAPPENING. 10:47:42 >> THE RECORD IS VERY CLEAR AS TO WHEN THE ORDER WAS GIVEN. 10:47:45 IT WAS GIVEN ON FRIDAY. AND MY CONCERN IS THIS, MR. 10:47:51 BROWN -- AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:47:54 I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED 10:47:57 ABOUT THE FUNCTION OF DHS AND THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA. 10:48:01 BUT AS I LISTEN TO YOUR TESTIMONY, YOU'RE NOT PREPARED 10:48:03 TO KIND OF PUT A MIRROR IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE AND 10:48:07 RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN INADEQUACIES AND SAY I MADE SOME BIG 10:48:11 MISTAKES, I DIDN'T GET THINGS DONE. 10:48:14 AND INSTEAD, YOU'RE SAYING THE PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL, I KNEW 10:48:16 IT UP FRONT, I REALLY TRIED TO CHANGE IT. 10:48:18 THE RECORD, THE ENTIRETY OF THE RECORD, DOESN'T REFLECT THAT. 10:48:21 AND PERHAPS YOU MAY GET A MORE SYMPATHETIC HEARING IF YOU HAD 10:48:24 A WILLINGNESS TO KIND OF CONFESS YOUR OWN SINS IN THIS. 10:48:30 YOUR TESTIMONY HERE IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO COMMUNICATE TO 10:48:33 THE PRESIDENT AS TO WHAT HE UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:35 I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:37 I'M NOT SURE YOU GOT IT. I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU THE 10:48:39 RECORD, NOT THE EMAILS, BUT THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT YOU DIDN'T 10:48:42 GET IT OR YOU DIDN'T, IN WRITING OR SOME WAY, MAKE 10:48:45 COMMANDS THAT WOULD MOVE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE UNTIL 10:48:48 WAY AFTER IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. 10:48:50 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO 10:48:55 SAY? I HAVE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES 10:48:59 PUBLICLY, I'VE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES IN HEARINGS. 10:49:02 WHAT MORE, SENATOR COLEMAN, DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:04 >> WELL, I THINK -- >> WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:07 I'M ASKING YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:09 >> WHAT I HEARD TODAY AND WHAT I HEARD FROM YOUR TESTIMONY AND 10:49:11 COMING IN AND TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE STRUCTURAL THINGS THAT, 10:49:15 THE DYEAS CAST. THAT WAS YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY. 10:49:19 AND I HAVE MY OWN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA 10:49:22 AND DHS BUT I HEARD TODAY THAT THE DIE 10:49:27 WAS CAST. >> IT WAS. 10:49:28 >> I'M SAYING THAT THE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 10:49:30 YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP. 10:49:32 EVEN WITH STRUCTURAL INFIRMITIES, STRONG LEADERSHIP 10:49:37 CAN OVERCOME THAT AND CLEARLY THAT WASN'T THE CASE HERE. 10:49:38 >> WELL, SENATOR, THAT'S VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY SITTING 10:49:43 BEHIND THAT DESK AND NOT BEING THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT 10:49:45 DISASTER WATCHING THAT HUMAN SUFFERING AND WATCHING THOSE 10:49:48 PEOPLE DYING AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH THOSE STRUCTURAL 10:49:55 DYSFUNCTION NATIONALITIES EVEN WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, AND I 10:49:58 RESENT YOU SITTING HERE SAYING I LACKED THE LEADERSHIP TO DO 10:50:00 THAST I WAS DOWN THERE PUSHING EVERYTHING THAT I COULD. 10:50:02 I'VE ADMITTED TO THOSE MISTAKES. 10:50:04 AND IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE FROM ME PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND 10:50:07 YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO ADMIT TO. 10:50:10 >> A LITTLE MORE CANDOR WOULD SUFFICE. 10:50:12 >> WHAT MORE CANDOR -- ASK ME THE QUESTION, SENATOR. 10:50:15 ASK ME THE QUESTION. >> THANK YOU. 10:50:17 BUT I THINK MY TIME IS UP. THANK YOU. 10:50:20 MADAM CHAIR. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM 10:50:24 CHAIRMAN. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I 10:50:30 ADMIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND COMMEND YOU AND YOUR RANKING 10:50:37 MEMBER FOR YOUR LEADERSHIPS ON PURSUING THESE HEARINGS FOR THE 10:50:45 SAKE OF THE SECURITY AND SAFETY OF OUR COUNTRY. 10:50:54 I AGREE WITH YOU, MADAM CHAIRMAN, AND WITH THE RANKING 10:50:57 MEMBER THAT IT IS UNFAIR TO LAY BLAME ON THE GROSS 10:51:05 MISMANAGEMENT OF THE DISASTER ON ONE OR TWO PEOPLE. 10:51:09 AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. BROWN SHOULD BE THE SCAPEGOAT 10:51:17 FOR ALL THAT WENT WRONG. >> THANK YOU, SENATOR. 10:51:19 >> HOWEVER, YOU AND MR. RHODE -- LET ME PUT IT YOU AND MR. 10:51:23 RHODE WERE IN CHARGE OF FEMA. AND I CAN RECALL HARRY TRUMAN'S 10:51:31 STATEMENT THAT THE BUCK STOPS HERE. 10:51:34 AND SO YOU'RE IT AND THE HEARING IS ON YOU. 10:51:41 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE IN LOUISIANA AND THROUGHOUT THE 10:51:46 GULF COAST REINFORCES THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED 10:51:51 LEADERS IN SENIOR POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:51:54 HOMELAND SECURITY. THAT IS WHY I INTRODUCED 10:51:59 LEGISLATION LAST FALL TO REQUIRE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL 10:52:06 QUALIFICATIONS FOR MOST SENATE-CONFIRMED POSITIONS AT 10:52:09 DHS, NOR SHOULD WE FORGET THAT UNTIL 2003 FEMA WAS AN 10:52:19 INDEPENDENT CABINET-LEVEL AGENCY. 10:52:21 ONE OF MY REASONS FOR VOTING AGAINST GRADING DHS WAS THAT 10:52:28 FEMA WOULD NO LONGER OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY. 10:52:33 FEMA'S ACTIVITIES AND BUDGET ARE CONTROLLED BY THE SECRETARY 10:52:38 OF THE DEPARTMENT. WE CANNOT FORGET THE PROBLEMS 10:52:44 OF FEMA, THAT THEY ARE THE PROBLEMS OF DHS AND THE 10:52:51 ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. 10:52:59 MR. BROWN, MY QUESTION RELATES TO A SAME YOU MADE DURING YOUR 10:53:06 INTERVIEW WITH THE COMMITTEE. WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHETHER YOU 10:53:09 WERE KEEPING SECRETARY CHERTOFF APPRISED OF THE SITUATION IN 10:53:15 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY, THE DAY THE STORM HIT, YOU STATED THAT 10:53:20 YOU, AND I QUOTE, DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAD 10:53:23 ANY OPERATIONAL MANDATE AT THAT POINT, AND THAT IF THE 10:53:32 SECRETARY WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT SOMETHING, HE CAN EITHER 10:53:34 CALL ME DIRECTLY OR REACH OUT TO HSOC TO GET THAT 10:53:44 INFORMATION, END QUOTE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WASN'T IT 10:53:48 YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS UNDERSECRETARY TO KEEP 10:53:51 SECRETARY CHERTOFF INFORMED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS OF AN ONGOING 10:53:56 CRISIS THAT INVOLVED MULTIPLE COMMONWEALTHS OF HIS AGENCY -- 10:54:03 MULTIPLE COMPONENTS OF HIS AGENCY. 10:54:07 WHAT'S YOUR COMMENT ON THAT? >> YES, SENATOR, IT IS MY 10:54:09 RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP HIM INFORMED AND WE HAVE STRUCTURES 10:54:12 IN PLACE BY WHICH TO DO THAT. THE HSOC AND HIS 10:54:16 REPRESENTATIVES ARE INVOLVED ON THE VTCS, AND HE AND I 10:54:19 EXCHANGED PHONE CALLS AND TALKED AT TIMES TO DO THAT. 10:54:22 BUT WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING OPERATIONS, THE PRIMARY 10:54:26 RESPONSIBILITY HAS TO BE TO RUN OPERATIONS, AND THEN YOU FEED 10:54:30 INFORMATION AS YOU SHOULD THROUGH THE CHANNELS, THROUGH 10:54:33 THE VTCS, THROUGH THE EMAILS, THROUGH THE SITUATIONAL 10:54:37 REPORTS THAT GET TO HIM. AND THEN IF HE HAS QUESTIONS 10:54:41 ABOUT ANY OF THOSE REPORTS THAT COME TO HIM, HE CAN CALL ME, OR 10:54:44 IF THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE REPORTS THAT I THINK IS OF 10:54:47 PARTICULAR INTEREST TO HIM, THEN I WOULD CALL AND TELL HIM. 10:54:53 >> MR. BROWN, IN YOUR INTERVIEW YOU REFERRED TO THE SO-CALLED 10:54:58 TAX, SO-CALLED TAX THAT FEMA WAS FORCED TO PAY. 10:55:12 YOU SAID THAT THE TAX FUNDED THE SHARED COMPONENTS OF 10:55:16 DHS, SUCH AS THE SECTTARY OF STATE'S OFFICE AND THE I.T. 10:55:21 SYSTEM. YOU TOLD COMMITTEE 10:55:23 INVESTIGATORS THAT FEMA'S MEDICATION FUNDING SUFFED A 10:55:32 PROPORTIONATE REDUCTION BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO TAKE MONEY 10:55:35 OUT OF OTHER AREAS, SUCH AS THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE FUND. 10:55:38 YOU MAY RECALL THAT THE ADMINISTRATION TRIED TO REDUCE 10:55:43 FEMA'S MITIGATION FUNDING PRIOR TO THE CREATION OF DHS 10:55:50 THE PRESIDENT'S FY-02 BUDGET PROPOSED ELIMINATING THE 10:55:56 PREDISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM WHICH LATER WAS SAVED BY 10:55:59 CONGRESS. THE ADMINISTRATION RESPONDED BY 10:56:02 SEEKING TO ELIMINATE ALL POST-DISASTER MITIGATION 10:56:08 FUNDING IN FY-03. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS IS IT 10:56:16 POSSIBLE THAT THE REASON THEY TOOK SUCH A HARD HIT WHEN 10:56:19 DHS COLLECTED ITS TAX IS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS ARE -- 10:56:26 AREN'T VALUED BY THE ADMINISTRATION? 10:56:28 >> IT'S NICE TO APPEAR BEFORE A COMMITTEE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN 10:56:31 AND NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY TALKING POINTS OR SAPS THAT SAY 10:56:37 WHAT YOU CAN OR CANNOT SAY, BUT YES, THAT IS PART OF THE 10:56:43 PROBLEM. THE BELIEF THAT MITIGATION 10:56:45 PROGRAMS DON'T HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT RATIO, SO WE HAVE TO 10:56:49 ELIMINATE THEM. WHEN INDEED, I DO BELIEVE THERE 10:56:51 IS A GOOD SIDE TO IT, THAT THE ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES THAT 10:56:55 PREDISASTER MITIGATION FUNDS COULD BE USED. 10:56:57 SO THERE'S A BALANCE TO BE STRUCK. 10:57:00 TRY TO DO BOTH PREAND POST-DISASTER. 10:57:02 BUFF I DO THINK THE MITIGATION TO A CERTAIN EXTENT WAS GIVEN 10:57:05 THE BACK SEAT. >> MR. BROWN, IN A RESPONSE TO 10:57:14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE PUBLIC DEFENDER THIS COMMITTEE IN JUNE 10:57:19 2002 TO BE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FEMA, YOU STATED, AND I QUOTE, 10:57:23 MITIGATION WILL CONTINUE TO BE A PRIMARY FOCUS FOR THE AGENCY, 10:57:26 UNQUOTE. AS UNDERSECRETARY, DID YOU 10:57:32 CONSIDER INFORMING CONGRESS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS WERE 10:57:38 NOT BEING PRIORITIZED AND WERE IN FACT RECEIVING LESS 10:57:43 REFUNDING THAN YOU THOUGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE UNDER DHS? 10:57:46 >> I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS IN 10:57:50 DC, THAT A AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR CAN HAVE HIS 10:57:55 PRIORITIES AND O.M.B. CAN HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES AND NEVER 10:58:02 SHALL THE TWO MEET. AND DESPITE MY PERSONAL BELIEF 10:58:05 THAT MITIGATION IS GOOD AND WE NEED MORE MIT COMBATION FUNDING 10:58:08 IN THIS COUNTRY, OMGTAKES A DIFFERENT TACT, THAT THEY DON'T 10:58:14 HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS, WHICH YOU CAN ARGUE 10:58:17 ALL DAY LONG. I BELIEVE THAT IT DOES. 10:58:19 SO SUBSEQUENTLY, MITIGATION GETS CUT. 10:58:20 I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT SHOULD. BUT BY THE SAME TOKEN, SENATOR, 10:58:24 I THINK YOU WOULD NOT RESPECT ME IF I CAME TO YOU IN YOUR 10:58:28 OFFICE AND SAT DOWN AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I KNOW THE PRESIDENT 10:58:31 HAS PROPOSED THIS, BUT, YOU KNOW, HERE'S MY PERSONAL 10:58:34 BELIEF. NOW, YES, SOMETIMES I WOULD TRY 10:58:36 TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT MY REAL BELIEF 10:58:39 WAS IN HOPES THAT THEY COULD MAYBE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 10:58:42 BUT I WOULD NEVER TRY -- I WOULD NEVER BE THAT -- WOULD 10:58:46 NOT WANT THAT BE -- WANT TO BE THAT DISLOYAL. 10:58:51 >> MR. BROWN, MARTY, THE FEMA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AND ONE 10:58:58 THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED BY OTHER SENATORS WAS
Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100
Hurricane Katrina Hearing / Senate Homeland Security 0930 - 1100 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing with former FEMA Director Michael Brown. 09:35:55 >>> THE COMMITTEE WILL COME TO ORDER. 09:35:57 GOOD MORNING. TODAY IN OUR 18th HEARING ON 09:36:01 HURRICANE KATRINA, THE COMMITTEE WILL EXAMINE HOW THE DEPARTMENT 09:36:04 OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA COORDINATED AND LED THE FEDERAL 09:36:09 PREPARATIONS FORWARD AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 09:36:15 OUR FIRST PANEL THIS MORNING 09:36:17 CONSISTS OF MICHAEL BROWN AND PATRICK RHODI, WHO WERE FEMA'S 09:36:22 DIRECTER AND ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR IN THE DAYS LEADING UP 09:36:26 TO AND FOLLOWING THE STORM. AS KATRINA NEARED THE GULF COAST 09:36:33 MR. BROWN DISPATCHED TO LOUISIANA LEAVING MR. RHODI AS 09:36:38 THE TOP-RANKING OFFICIAL AT FEMA HEADQUARTERS. 09:36:42 TODAY, WE'LL DISCUSS THEIR LEADERSHIP AT THE AGENCY DURING 09:36:46 THIS ENORMOUSLY CHALLENGING PERIOD. 09:36:48 OUR SECOND PANEL CONSISTS OF TWO SENIOR OFFICIALS AT THE 09:36:53 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, ROBERT STEFFIN IS 09:36:59 THE ASSISTANT STRENGTH FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION AND 09:37:04 ONE OF THE CHIEF ARCHITECTS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:37:09 MATTHEW BRODERICK RUNS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND'S 09:37:12 SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER WHICH SERVES AS THE EYES AND EARS OF 09:37:17 TOP DHF OFFICIALS PARTICULARLY DURING TIMES OF CRISIS. 09:37:22 SECRETARY CHERTOFF RELIED HEAVILY ON MR. STEFFIN AND 09:37:27 MR. BRODERICK DURING KATRINA'S AFTERMATH. 09:37:30 WE WILL DISCUSS THEIR ROLES AND THEIR VIEWS OF FEMA FROM THE TOP 09:37:34 OFLE ORGIZATIONAL CHART. OUR PANELS TODAY SEPARATE 09:37:39 WITNESSES FROM A FEDERAL AGENCY, FEMA, FROM THOSE OF ITS PARENT 09:37:44 ORGANIZATION, DHS. THE SEPARATION IS DELIBERATE. 09:37:49 IT REFLECTS, IN PART, THE DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES ON 09:37:54 KATRINA THAT WE HAVE HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM OFFICIALS OF 09:37:58 THE TWO ENTITIES. IT ALSO REFLECTS TENSIONS 09:38:01 BETWEEN THE TWO THAT PREDATE THE STORM, TENSIONSES OVER RESOURCES 09:38:09 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 09:38:12 THIS TENSION IS CLEAR IN MR. BROWN'S RESPONSE WHEN 09:38:16 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATORS ASKED HIM WHY FEMA WAS NOT BETTER 09:38:21 PREPARED FOR KATRINA. MR. BROWN RESPONDED "IT'S -- ITS 09:38:27 MISSION HAD BEEN MARGINALIZED. ITS RESPONSE CAPABILITY HAD BEEN 09:38:32 DIMINISHED. THERE'S THE WHOLE CLASH OF 09:38:35 CULTURES BETWEEN DHS MISSION TO PREVENT TERRORISM AND FEMA'S 09:38:40 MISSION TO RESPOND TO AND TO PREPARE AND RESPOND TO DISASTERS 09:38:45 OF WHATEVER NATURE." BY ALMOST ANY MEASURE, FEMA'S 09:38:51 RESPONSE TO KATRINA HAS TO BE JUDGED A FAILURE. 09:38:56 I MUST SAY THAT I'VE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION WITH A SENSE OF 09:39:00 REMORSE BECAUSE I'VE BEEN STRUCK TLUT THIS INVESTIGATION BY THE 09:39:05 EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF MANY FEMA PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD 09:39:09 AS WELL AS SOME FEMA AND DHS OFFICIALS AT HEADQUARTERS WHO, 09:39:16 LITERALLY, WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO TRY TO HELP BRING 09:39:20 RELIEF TO THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF STATES. 09:39:23 BUT THE RESPONSE WAS RIDDLED WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, POOR 09:39:29 DECISION MAKING, AND FAILED LEADERSHIP. 09:39:34 THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FEMA AND AND, FOR THAT MATTER, THE 09:39:38 DEPARTMENT'S FAILED RESPONSE IS SHARED. 09:39:40 WHILE DHS' PLAYBOOK APPEARS DESIGNED TO DISTANCE THE 09:39:44 DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS AND HEADQUARTERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE 09:39:48 FROM FEMA, THE DEPARTMENT'S LEADERS MUST ANSWER FOR 09:39:52 DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE OVER FAILED TO MAKE THAT CONTRIBUTED 09:39:57 TO THE PROBLEMS. ONE PROBLEM THAT MANIFESTED 09:40:01 ITSELF IN A VARIETY OF WAYS WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S LACK OF 09:40:07 PREPAREDNESS FOR THE KATRINA CATASTROPHE. 09:40:09 INSTEAD OF SPRINGING INTO ACTION OR, BETTER YET, ACTING BEFORE 09:40:15 THE STORM MADE LANDFALL, THE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO HAVE MOVED 09:40:20 HALTINGLY AND, AS A RESULT, KEY DECISIONS WERE EITHER DELAYED OR 09:40:25 MADE BASED ON QUESTIONABLE AND, IN SOME CASES, ERRONEOUS 09:40:30 ASSUMPTIONS. THE DAY AFTER THE STORM, FOR 09:40:34 EXAMPLE, SECRETARY CHERTOFF NAMED MICHAEL BROWN AS THE LEAD 09:40:39 FEDERAL OFFICIAL FOR THE RESPONSE EFFORT. 09:40:41 AT THE SAME TIME, THE SECRETARY DECLARED HURRICANE KATRINA AN 09:40:46 INCIDENT OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, WHICH IS THE 09:40:49 DESIGNATION THAT TRIGGERS THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN. 09:40:52 THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, IN TURN, IS THE COMPREHENSIVE 09:40:57 NATIONAL ROADMAP THAT GUIDES THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO KAS TO 09:41:04 TROFS. THE SECRETARY'S ACTION LED MANY 09:41:08 TO THE QUESTION OF WHY THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL 09:41:11 DECLARATION HAD NOT BEEN MADE EARLIER. 09:41:13 IN REALITY, THE DECLARATION ITSELF WAS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE, 09:41:17 BY THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN, 09:41:20 HURRICANE KATRINA HAD BECOME AN INCIDENT OF NATIONAL 09:41:25 SIGNIFICANCE THREE DAYS EARLIER WHEN THE PRESIDENT DECLARED AN 09:41:31 EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA. THE LACK OF AWARENESS OF THIS 09:41:38 FUNDAMENTAL TENANT OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN RAISES 09:41:42 QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER DHS LEADERSHIP WAS TRULY READY FOR A 09:41:46 TA TAS TROF OF THIS MAGNITUDE. I THINK IT HELPS EXPLAIN THE 09:41:51 DEPARTMENT'S SLOW, SOMETIMES HES LANT RESPONSE TO THE STORM. 09:41:55 SIMILARLY, WE WILL LEARN TODAY THAT FAMOUS LEADERS FAILED TO 09:42:00 TAKE STEP THAT IS THEY KNEW COULD IMPROVE FEMA'S ABILITY TO 09:42:05 RESPOND MORE EFFECTIVELY AND QUICKLY TO A CATASTROPHE. 09:42:08 IN THE YEAR OR SO PRECEDING KATRINA, MR. BROWN WAS PRESENTED 09:42:12 WITH TWO IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS OF FEMA'S 09:42:18 INSTRUCTION TUR AND CAPABILITIES BOTH INCLUDED RECOMMENDATIONS 09:42:22 FOR IMPROVEMENT. THE FIRST WAS A MEMORANDUM BY 09:42:30 OPERATIVES KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS. 09:42:33 AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE MEMO WARNS OF UNPREPARED EMERGENCY 09:42:38 RESPONSE TEAMS THAT HAD NO FUNDING, ZERO FUNDING, FOR 09:42:44 TRAINING EXERCISES OR EQUIPMENT. THE OTHER WAS A STUDY CONDUCTED 09:42:49 BY THE MIDE -- MITER CORPORATION. 09:42:54 THE STUDY COMMISSIONED BY MR. BROWN WAS DESIGNED TO ANSWER 09:42:58 SUCH QUESTIONS AS WHAT'S PREVENTING FEMA FROM RESPONDING 09:43:02 AND RECOVERING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. 09:43:05 THE MITER STUDY IS EARLY PREDICTIVE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS 09:43:11 THAT WOULD PLAGUE THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KA TREE NACHLT THE 09:43:17 STUDY POINTS OUT A LACK OF ADEQUATE AND SITUATIONAL 09:43:21 AWARENESS ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE, A PREDICTION THAT BECAME REALITY 09:43:26 WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESPOND 09:43:30 TO THE LEVEE BREAKS. AND INADEQUATE ABILITY TO 09:43:34 CONTROL INVENTORY AND TRACK ASSETS. 09:43:37 WE SAW THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES NOT 09:43:42 REACHING THE DESTINATION IN TIME. 09:43:45 AND UNDEFINED AND MISUNDERSTOOD STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. 09:43:51 DESPITE THIS STUDY, KEY PROBLEMS WERE SIMPLY NOT RESOLVED AND, AS 09:43:57 A RESULT, OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN FEMA PRIOR TO KATRINA 09:44:01 WERE MISSED. AS THIS COMMITTEE WINDS DOWN ITS 09:44:07 LENGTHY SERIES OF SERIES AND MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS OF 09:44:11 INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PREPAREDNESS FOR AND RESPONSE TO 09:44:16 HURRICANE KATRINA, WE INCREASINGLY REFLECT UPON WHAT 09:44:19 CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE THOUSANDS OF FACTS WE HAVE 09:44:24 GATHERED. ONE THING THAT I HAVE FOUND IS A 09:44:27 STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND 09:44:32 EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ALSO FOUND 09:44:37 THE CONVERSE TO BE TRUE. SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 09:44:42 >> THANKS VERY MUCH, MADAM CHAIRMAN. 09:44:45 THANKS NOT ONLY FOR YOUR EXCELLENT OPEN STATEMENT, THANKS 09:44:48 FOR THE LEADERSHIP YOU HAVE GIVEN THIS INVESTIGATION OVER 09:44:51 FIVE MONTHS AND NOW ALMOST 20 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN MY -- THIS IS 09:44:58 NOW MY 18th YEAR, PRIVILEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES 09:45:03 SENATE. I'VE NOT BEEN IN A MORE THOROUGH 09:45:06 NONPARTISAN AND, I'D SAY, IMPORTANT INVESTIGATION. 09:45:09 I THANK YOU FOR SETTING THE TONE SHOWING THE LEADERSHIP THAT YOU 09:45:15 JUST DESCRIBED IN ANOTHER SENSE. I THINK OUR JOINT STAFF FOR THE 09:45:21 EXTRAORDINARY WORK THEY HAVE DONE INTERVIEWING MORE THAN 200 09:45:24 WITNESSES, COMPILING AND OBTAINING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 09:45:28 OF DOCUMENTS. TODAY AND TUESDAY WE'RE GOING TO 09:45:32 HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF BOTH THE FEDERAL 09:45:38 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND ITS PARENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 09:45:42 OUR HEARINGS ARE NOW REACHING THE CONCLUDING PHASE. 09:45:45 TO DATE, I THINK THESE HEARINGS HAVE SET THE -- THE PREVIOUS 09:45:50 HEARINGS HAVE SET THE STAGE FOR THE PANELS WE'RE GOING TO HEAR 09:45:53 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE'VE BROKEN MUCH NEW GROUND 09:45:56 TODAY AND TUESDAY. WE HAVE SOME TOUGH AND IMPORTANT 09:46:01 QUESTIONS TO ASK. IN MY OPINION, OUR INVESTIGATION 09:46:04 HAS SHOWN A GROSS LACK OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION BY BOTH 09:46:07 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND FEMA. 09:46:09 AND THAT GUARANTEED THAT THE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA OR 09:46:15 FOR THAT MATTER, ANY OTHER CATASTROPHE THAT MIGHT HAVE 09:46:19 HAPPENED WAS DOOMED TO BE UNCOORDINATED, INADEQUATE, AND, 09:46:23 THEREFORE, MORE DAMAGING THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. 09:46:30 WE HAVE HEARD FROM A LARGE NUMBER OF WITNESS WHOSE SPOKE OF 09:46:33 THE FAILURES OF KATRINA. -- WE HAVE HEARD, EVACUATION, 09:46:41 SEARCH AND RESCUE, LAW AND ORDER AND DEPLOYMENT OF ASSETS. 09:46:45 WE HAVE LEARNED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS SIMPLY NOT 09:46:47 PREPARED TO OVERCOME THESE PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES IN THIS 09:46:52 PREDICTABLE AND PREDICTED HURRICANE. 09:46:58 EVEN THOSE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE IT DID NOT MEET THE DESPERATE NEEDS 09:47:02 OF THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. FEMA AND DHS OFFICIAL VERSUS 09:47:06 TOLD US IN INTERVIEWS AND TESTIMONY AND IN EVIDENCE 09:47:09 GATHERED BY OUR STAFF -- I WANT TO READ JUST A FEW OF THOSE THAT 09:47:12 ARE ON THAT CHART. FOR MICHAEL LAUER, FEMA'S 09:47:18 DIRECTOR OF RESPONSE, AUGUST 27 2005 E-MAIL, TWO DAYS BEFORE 09:47:22 KATRINA HIT LANDFALL SAID, AND I QUOTE, IF THIS IS THE NEW 09:47:26 ORLEANS SCENARIO, WHICH WAS THE WAY THEY DESCRIBED THE BIG 09:47:29 HURRICANE ARRIVING, WE ARE ALREADY WAY BEHIND. 09:47:32 FROM SCOTT WELLS OF FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER, "THIS WAS 09:47:38 A CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. WE DON'T HAVE THE STRUCTURE. 09:47:41 WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE FOR CATASTROPHIC DISASTER. 09:47:45 IT'S THAT SIMPLE." FROM FEMA FEDERAL COORDINATING 09:47:49 OFFICER BIG LOCHI, THE TOP MAN FOR FEMA IN LOUISIANA, 09:47:55 "COMMUNICATIONS AND COORDINATING WAS LACKING, PREPLANNING WAS 09:47:58 LACKING. WE WERE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS." 09:48:00 FROM FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN WHO WE'LL HEAR 09:48:04 FROM TODAY. WHEN ASKED THE QUESTION BEFORE 09:48:06 KATRINA WAS FEMA READY FOR THIS KIND OF CATASTROPHE, MR. BROWN 09:48:10 SAID, SIMPLY AND DIRECTLY, I DON'T THINK SO. 09:48:14 FINALLY, FROM SECRETARY CHERTOFF WHO WE WILL HEAR FROM TUESDAY, 09:48:18 "I ALWAYS THINK KATRINA TESTED OUR PLANNING AND OUR PLANNING 09:48:22 FELL SHORT." THE FACT IS THAT WHEN DHS, 09:48:26 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAS CREATE INDEED 2002 IN THE 09:48:30 AFTERMATH OF THE TERRORIST AACTS OF 9/11/01. 09:48:35 I SAID, AND I KNOW I SPOKE FOR MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS I HOPED 09:48:40 TO SEE A COORDINATED, CONSOLIDATED AND ACCOUNTABLE 09:48:43 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. IN THIS INVESTIGATION, 09:48:46 UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SEEN SO LITTLE EFFECTIVE COORDINATION 09:48:50 AND CONSOLIDATION THAT WE MUST HOLD THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 09:48:53 SECURITY ACCOUNTABLE AND ASK URGENTLY THAT IT DO A LOT 09:48:58 BETTER. WE HOPE THAT THE DEPARTMENT 09:49:00 WOULD QUICKLY EVOLVE INTO A WORLD CLASS AGENCY THAT HAD THE 09:49:06 PLANNING PERSONNEL AND MATERIALS IN PLACE TO RESPOND SWIFTLY AND 09:49:10 EFFECTIVELY IN A DISASTER, NATURAL OR TERRORIST. 09:49:15 KATRINA SHOWED US THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 09:49:18 HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON ITSELF. 09:49:22 DESPITE AMPLE WARNINGS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS A BOWL COVERED BY 09:49:27 INADEQUATE LEVEE THAT IS WOULD BE OVERTOPPED OR BREACHED IN A 09:49:31 BIG HURRICANE, DES PAT THE SPECIFIC WARNINGS OF THE MOCK 09:49:37 HURRICANE EXERCISE DONE A YEAR BEFORE KATRINA HIT, GOVERNMENT 09:49:42 AT ALL LEVELS WAS UNPREPARED TO PROTECT NEW ORLEANS FROM THE 09:49:46 EXPECTED BIG HURRICANE AND DESPITE THE SPECIFIC MENTIONS OF 09:49:51 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESCUE RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE 09:49:55 NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN OF JANUARY 2005, THE FACT IS WHEN 09:50:01 KATRINA HIT, AMERICA'S GOVERNMENT WAS LARGELY 09:50:05 UNPREPARED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST. 09:50:09 NATURE HIT NEW ORLEANS HARD, BUT ALSO GAVE ITS PEOPLE A BREAK BY 09:50:14 HITTING HARDEST 15 MILES TO THE EAST. 09:50:18 BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO EFFECTIVELY EVACUATE THE POOR 09:50:21 AND INFIRMED WHO COULD NOT EVACUATE THEM, IF KATRINA HAD 09:50:25 HIT NEW ORLEANS HEAD-ON, THE DEATH TOLL PROBABLY WOULD HAVE 09:50:29 BEEN IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS AS HURRICANE PAM EXERCISED HAD 09:50:35 PREDICTED. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS 09:50:37 THAT CAME TO PASS. IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE STORM 09:50:39 FEMA FAILED TO PRESTAGE PERSONNEL IN NEW ORLEANS OTHER 09:50:42 THAN A SINGLE PUBLIC AFFAIRS EMPLOYER, MOVED ADEQUATE AMOUNTS 09:50:46 OF FOOD, AND WATER SUPPLIES TO THE SCENE. 09:50:51 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO IMPLEMENT THE 09:50:54 CATASTROPHIC INCIDENT ANNEX TO THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN EARLY 09:50:57 ENOUGH. THAT WOULD HAVE TRIGGERED A MORE 09:50:59 AGGRESSIVE, TIMELY FEDERAL RESPONSE. 09:51:01 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FAILED TO DEVELOP AN 09:51:04 EFFECTIVE PLAN TO MAIN TAN ACCURATE SITUATION ESTIMATES 09:51:08 THAT THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATION CENTER, WHICH WAS SET 09:51:13 UP TO BE THE NATION'S NERVE CENTER DURING A DISASTER. 09:51:16 THAT FAILURE LED TO THE IGNORING OF REPORTS THAT THE LEVEES WERE 09:51:21 BEING BREACHED AND OVERTOPPED AND THAT THE CITY HAD FLOODED 09:51:24 WITH PEOPLE ALREADY TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND ON ROOFTOPS. 09:51:28 FEMA WAS LATE IN BRINGING IN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS. 09:51:32 THAT PULLED THEM OUT FOR SECURITY REASONS, EVEN THOUGH 09:51:35 OTHER AGENCIES CONTINUED TO STAY AND DO SEARCH AND RESCUE. 09:51:39 DHS FAILED TO TAND UP UNTIL THE DAY AFTER LANDFALL. 09:51:43 THE INTERAGENCY INCIDENT MATH GROUP, THAT SENIOR LEVEL GROUP 09:51:48 CHARGED WITH HELPING TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL RESPONSE 09:51:51 TO A CATASTROPHE THAT WAS REQUIRED ONCE THE PRESIDENT 09:51:57 DECLARED AN EMERGENCY ON SATURDAY MORNING. 09:52:00 YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM GENERAL BENNETT LANDRINOEAU FROM THE 09:52:07 LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD WHO TOLD US THE BUSES PROMISED BY 09:52:10 FEMA BEFORE THE STORM WERE POST LANDFALL EVAC SKPIGS KP 09:52:13 DIFFERENT POINTS ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AFTER THE 09:52:16 STORM DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL THURSDAY. 09:52:18 THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE HUMAN SUFFERING THAT THE 09:52:22 WORLD SAW AT THE SUPER DOME AND THE CONVENTION CENTER. 09:52:26 ALL THOSE MISTAKES MEANT TIME WAS LOST AND LIVES WERE 09:52:30 THREATENED OR LOST. TIME IS, OBVIOUSLY, EVERYTHING 09:52:32 IN A CRISIS LIKE KATRINA. OR, IN GOD FORBID, A TERRORIST 09:52:39 ATTACK. THE NEW ORLEANS SUPERINTENDENT 09:52:43 TOLD US THAT EARLY. HE'S RIGHT. 09:52:44 PEOPLE WERE DROWNING INTO STREETS AND YARDS AND BREAKING 09:52:47 TO THEIR ROOF TOPS STARVING IN ATTICS FEELING THEY WERE 09:52:52 ABANDONED AND LOSING HOPE AS VENTILATERS AND MEDICAL SUPPORT 09:52:56 SYSTEMS FAILED FOR LACK OF POWER. 09:52:57 THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MADE IT TO THE SUPER DOME OR 09:53:01 CONVENTION CENTER. WE ALL SAW THE GRIM PICTURES OF 09:53:05 HUMAN NEGLECT THERE. BECAUSE TIMING AND SITUATIONAL 09:53:09 AWARENESS IS SO CENTRAL TO THE RESPONSE TO EVERY CATASTROPHE, 09:53:13 TODAY'S HEARING IS GOING TO LOOK AT THE MOST -- AT WHAT THE MOST 09:53:16 SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNEW ABOUT THE 09:53:19 FLOODING OF NEW ORLEANSES AND THE BREAKING OF THE LEVEES AND 09:53:23 WHEN THEY KNEW IT. A LITTLE LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER 09:53:27 KATRINA MADE LANDFALL, SECRETARY CHERTOFF SAID, "IT WAS ON 09:53:32 TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEE MAY HAVE BEEN OVERNIGHT MONDAY TO TUESDAY 09:53:37 THAT LEVEE STARTED TO BREAK. IT WAS MIDDAY TUESDAY THAT I 09:53:43 BECAME AWARE OF THE FACT THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF PLUGGING 09:53:46 THE GAP AND ESSENTIALLY THE LAKE WAS GOING TO START TRAINING INTO 09:53:50 THE CITY. I THINK THAT SECOND CATASTROPHE 09:53:53 REALLY CAUGHT EVERYBODY BY SURPRISE." 09:53:58 WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF ABOUT THAT NEXT 09:54:01 TUESDAY. TODAY, WE WILL ASK SOME OF HIS 09:54:03 SENIOR STAFF HOW THE NEWS MEDIA, INCLUDING A NEW ORLEANS RADIO 09:54:10 STATION EARLY MONDAY MORNING, NUMEROUS FEDERAL AGENCIES, THE 09:54:13 AMERICAN RED CROSS COULD BE AWARE OF GROWING AND 09:54:18 CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN NEW ORLEANS ALL DAMON DAY, AUGUST 29 09:54:23 THE DAY OF LANDFALL, WHILE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 09:54:29 ON HOMELAND SECURITY RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER RESPONSE SOMEHOW 09:54:38 DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. WE HAVE QIBT Q WHICH REPORTS 09:54:43 LEVEE BREACHES AND DESPERATE CITIZENS SEEKING REFUGE FROM 09:54:47 RISING FLOOD WATER THAT IS BEGAN COMING IN AS EARLY AS 8:30 A.M. 09:54:52 ON MONDAY, AUGUST 29th. SELECTION OF THEM ARE SHOWN ON 09:54:57 THE BOARDS HERE TO MY LEFT. THEY INCLUDE AT 9:14 A.M. 09:55:02 THE FASHIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A FLASH FLOOD WARNING 09:55:06 REPORTING, "A LEVEE BREACH PROP OCCURRED ALONG THE INDUSTRIAL 09:55:11 CANAL AT TENNESSEE STREET. 3 TO 8 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED 09:55:15 DUE TO THE BREACH." TWO HOURS LATER AT 11:30, THE 09:55:19 WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUE AS REPORT THAT 09:55:23 SAYS IN PART "FLOODING IS SIGNIFICANT THROUGHOUT THE 09:55:26 REGION AND A LEVEE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN BREACHED, 09:55:31 SENDING 6 TO 8 FEET OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE NINTH WARD AIR 09:55:34 WRA OF THE INDUSTRY -- STIT." THE HOMELAND REPORTS THAT RISING 09:55:41 WATER RESIDENTS ARE IN THAT ATTICS AND ROOFS. 09:55:44 THAT'S A QUOTE FROM SECURITY COUNCIL. 09:55:48 AT 8:34 EVENING MONDAY THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REPORTED 09:55:55 FLOODING IN ST. BERNARD PARISH WITH WATER UP TO ROOFS OF HOMES 09:56:00 AND ALL JEFFERSON AND OR LENS PUMPING STATIONSES ARE 09:56:07 INOPERABLE. FINALLY, M ARE THEY BUMUNDI, THE 09:56:14 FEMA EMPLOYEE WHO DIRECTOR BROWN I BELIEVE, DISPATCHED TO NEW 09:56:18 ORLEANS WAS THERE EARLY, TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD TAKEN A 09:56:22 FLILTH ON A COAST GUARD HELICOPTER OVER NEW ORLEANS AT 09:56:27 APPROXIMATELY 6:30 EASTERN. A REPORT FROM 10:30 THAT THERE 09:56:31 IS A QUARTER MILE BREACH IN THE LEVEE NEAR THE 17th STREET CANAL 09:56:38 FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TO FLOW INTO THE CITY. 09:56:42 TWO-THIRDS TO 75% OF THE CITY IS UNDER WATER. 09:56:46 HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED ON THE BALCONIES AND ROOFS OF A 09:56:50 MAJOR APARTMENT COMPLEX IN THE CITY. 09:56:53 A FEW BODIES WERE SEEN FLOATING IN THE WATER. 09:56:56 THE COAST GUARD PILOTS REPORTED SEEING BODIES BUT NO DETAILS ON 09:57:01 LOCATIONS. THAT'S THE END OF THE REPORT 09:57:04 FROM MARTY BUMUNDI WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE THAT AFTERNOON. 09:57:13 IT SHOWS A GREAT AMERICAN CITY UNDERWATTER AND STILL SOMEHOW 09:57:16 THE HIGHEST OFFICIALS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 09:57:20 AND PERHAPS AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION AS 09:57:25 MONDAY, AUGUST 29, ENDED THAT THE CITY HAD DODGED A BULLET. 09:57:30 MADAM CHAIRMAN, WE HAVE TO ASK SOME TOUGH QUESTIONS BECAUSE WE 09:57:33 HAVE TO HAVE ANSWER IFS WE'RE TO MAKE THE CHANGES WE WANT TO MAKE 09:57:38 AT DHS. IN THE EARLY AFTERMATH OF THE 09:57:41 HURRICANE KATRINA DEBACKAL, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL 09:57:46 BROWN WAS BLAMED FOR THE INADEQUATE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 09:57:51 RESPONSE. OUR INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS, IN 09:57:53 MY OPINION, IN FACT, THAT MR. BROWN DID NOT DO A LOT OF 09:57:56 WHAT HE SHOULDAVE DONE, BUT HE WAS NOT ALONE. 09:58:03 IN FACT, THERE WAS A MASSIVE FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT AT ALL 09:58:06 LEVELS, AND BY THOSE WHO LEAD IT TO PREPARE AND RESPOND AS THEY 09:58:09 HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO. IN THE CASE OF THE FEDERAL 09:58:13 GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO KATRINA, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS, PROUD 09:58:18 EXCEPTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE U.S. 09:58:21 COAST GUARD, THERE WAS A SHOCKING CONSEQUENTIAL AND 09:58:27 PERVASIVE LACK OF PREPARATION RESPONSE AND LEADERSHIP. 09:58:30 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE PREPARED THIS MORNING TO 09:58:33 ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS FULLY AND TRUTHFULLY. 09:58:36 I APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH. I THANK YOU FOR IT. 09:58:40 IN DOING SO, I BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SERVING THE PUBLIC INTEREST 09:58:44 AND THIS COMMITTEE'S NONPARTISAN INTEREST IN FINDING OUT EXACTLY 09:58:49 WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILED SO BADLY IN ITS 09:58:53 PREPARATIONS AND RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA SO, TOGETHER, 09:58:59 WE CAN MAKE SURE IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. 09:59:02 KA TREE FA HAS PASSED. THE CLOCK IS RESET AND TICKING 09:59:05 AGAIN. WE KNOW WE WILL HAVE TO RESPOND 09:59:07 TO ANOTHER DISASTER, NATURAL OR 10:00:00 STAFF. I WOULD ASK THAT THE WITNESSES 10:00:02 RISE SO I CAN ADMINISTER THE OATH. 10:00:10 DO YOU SWEAR THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU ARE ABOUT TO GIVE TO THE 10:00:13 COMMITTEE WILL BE THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING 10:00:16 BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP YOU GOD? >> I DO. 10:00:18 >> I DO. >> THANK YOU. 10:00:21 MR. BROWN, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE SOME BRIEF REMARKS 10:00:24 THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE. >> I DO, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, 10:00:27 THANK YOU. IN 1989 A CONGRESSMAN WROTE A 10:00:31 LETTER TO "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" AND THAT LETTER SAID 10:00:34 THAT THERE IS A FATAL FLAW IF WE SEPARATE PREPAREDNESS FROM 10:00:40 RESPONSE. THAT CONGRESSMAN'S NAME WAS TOM 10:00:44 RIDGE. WE REACHED THAT FATAL FLAW IN 10:00:48 2003 WHEN FEMA WAS FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:00:52 SECURITY. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE COMMITTEE 10:00:53 TO LOOK AT A 1978 STUDY DONE BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR'S 10:00:57 ASSOCIATION IN WHICH -- AND I'LL QUOTE VERY BRIEFLY -- AS 10:01:00 THE TASK OF THE PROJECTS WERE PURSUED, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT 10:01:03 THE MAJOR FINDING OF THIS STUDY IS THAT MANY STATE EMERGENCY 10:01:08 OPERATIONS ARE FRAGMENTED. THIS IS NOT ONLY BECAUSE 10:01:13 UNCOORDINATED FEDERAL PROGRAMS ENCOURAGE STATE FRAGMENTATION, 10:01:16 BUT BECAUSE THE STRONG RELATIONSHIP OF LONG-TERM 10:01:18 RECOVERY AND MITIGATION OF FUTURE DISASTERS MUST BE TIED 10:01:21 TO PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR MORE IMMEDIATE DISASTERS, 10:01:25 AND THAT IS NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATELY UNDERSTOOD. 10:01:29 MADAM CHAIRMAN, I TELL YOU THAT WHAT OCCURRED AFTER FEMA WAS 10:01:33 FOLDED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THERE WAS A 10:01:36 CULTURAL CLASH WHICH DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE ABSOLUTE INHERENT 10:01:45 SCIENCE OF PREPARING FOR DISASTER, RESPONDING TO IT, 10:01:49 MITIGATING AGAINST FUTURE DISASTERS AND RECOVERING FROM 10:01:52 DISASTERS. AND ANY TIME THAT YOU BREAK 10:01:55 THAT CYCLE OF PREPARING, RESPONDING, RECOVERING AND 10:01:58 MITIGATING, YOU'RE DOOMED TO FAILURE. 10:02:01 AND THE POLICIES AND THE DECISIONS THAT WERE IMPLEMENTED 10:02:04 BY DHS PUT FEMA ON A PATH TO FAILURE. 10:02:07 AND I THINK THE EVIDENCE THAT WE'LL HAVE BEFORE YOU TODAY 10:02:11 WILL SHOW THE ACTIONS THAT WERE TAKEN THAT CAUSED THAT FAILURE. 10:02:16 AND I BEG THIS COMMITTEE TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION TO FIX 10:02:20 THAT SO THESE DISASTERS DON'T OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. 10:02:24 THANK YOU. >> MR. RHODE. 10:02:27 >> GOOD MORNING, MADAM CHAIRMAN, SENATOR LIEBERMAN, 10:02:31 SENATORS. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE JUST A 10:02:33 VERY BRIEF OPENING STATEMENT, IF I COULD. 10:02:35 MY NAME IS PATRICK RHODE. I SERVE AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF 10:02:38 THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, PART OF THE 10:02:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FROM APRIL 2003 UNTIL JANUARY 10:02:44 OF 2006. I SERVED UNDER BOTH FORMER 10:02:47 DIRECTOR BROWN AND THE CURRENT ACTING DIRECTOR. 10:02:52 I'M HAPPY TO BE APPEARING BEFORE YOU TODAY VOLUNTARILY AS 10:02:55 YOU CONTINUE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN REVIEWING THE 10:02:58 COLLECTIVE GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA 10:03:00 AND ASSESSING POSSIBLE CHANGES IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. 10:03:03 AT THE OUTSET I WOULD LIKE TO OBSERVE, IF I COULD, THAT 10:03:07 HURRICANE KATRINA WAS A TRULY CATASTROPHIC EVENT. 10:03:11 IT WAS AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY ON NUMEROUS LEVELS. 10:03:13 THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER WAS UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAD 10:03:17 PREVIOUSLY FACED AS A NATION. THE STORM COMPROMISED 90,000 10:03:23 SQUARE MILES OF THE GULF COAST, AN AREA ALMOST THE SIZE OF 10:03:27 GREAT BRITAIN. ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL OF 10:03:29 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IT WAS UNPRECEDENTED. 10:03:31 ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL, MY HEART WENT OUT TO THOSE WHO WERE 10:03:35 SUFFERING, AND INDEED, MY HEART STILL GOES OUT TO THOSE WHO 10:03:38 CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA. 10:03:41 MANY PEOPLE IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY, INCLUDING 10:03:44 MYSELF, TRIED TO DO THE VERY BEST THEY COULD UNDER VERY 10:03:48 DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. THE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS 10:03:50 WORKING ON THIS ISSUE AT THE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL 10:03:54 WERE DOING THEIR VERY BEST TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY 10:03:57 COULD UNDER THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY 10:04:01 MANAGEMENT. AS IN ALL THINGS THERE ARE 10:04:03 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. 10:04:05 I HOPE THAT THESE HEARINGS WILL PRODUCE JUST SUCH LEARNING AND 10:04:09 LEAD TO THE CREATION OF NEW LEGISLATION THAT CAN IMPROVE ON 10:04:12 THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT. 10:04:14 IF WE CAN APPLY THOSE LESSONS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE 10:04:16 NEXT EMERGENCY SITUATION, I WANT TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO 10:04:20 CONTRIBUTE APPROPRIATELY TO THAT EFFORT. 10:04:22 AS YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO APPEARING HERE TODAY 10:04:25 VOLUNTARILY, I HAVE FULLY COOPERATED WITH YOUR STAFFS BY 10:04:28 PARTICIPATING WILLINGLY IN SEVERAL INTERVIEWS WITH THEM. 10:04:31 IN ADDITION, I WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY TO NOTE THAT ANY 10:04:33 STATEMENTS I OFFER TODAY IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW 10:04:36 TO IMPROVE THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ARE THE 10:04:39 OPINIONS OF ONE PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:04:41 AS I SIT BEFORE YOU TODAY I AM NO LONGER A GOVERNMENT 10:04:45 EMPLOYEE, BUT HAVE RETURNED TO PRIVATE LIFE WITH MY WIFE AND 10:04:48 6-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER. I DO NOT AND CANNOT SPEAK FOR 10:04:51 FEMA. ANYTHING I HAVE TO OFFER IS MY 10:04:54 OWN PERSONAL OPINION, FOR WHATEVER THE COMMITTEE MAY DEEM 10:04:56 IT TO BE WORTH. AND I WANT TO TAKE CARE TO BE 10:04:59 CLEAR THAT IT DOES NOT REFLECT THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF THE 10:05:03 AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 10:05:04 I APPLAUD THE COMMITTEE FOR TAKING ON THESE CHALLENGES AND 10:05:08 WHAT CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE TO THE COUNTRY'S EMERGENCY 10:05:11 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. I AM HOPEFUL THAT TOGETHER WE 10:05:13 CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENHANCEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS THAT BEST 10:05:16 ASSIST DISASTER VICTIMS IN THE FUTURE. 10:05:18 WITH THAT, I WELCOME ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MAY 10:05:20 HAVE. >> THANK YOU, MR. RHODE. 10:05:24 MR. BROWN, IN MY OPENING STATEMENT I MENTIONED A STUDY 10:05:30 THAT YOU COMMISSIONED FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:05:38 IT'S UNDER EXHIBIT 2 IN THE EXHIBIT BOOK. 10:05:41 MITER CORPORATION GAVE YOU ITS FINDINGS ON MARCH 2005, AND I'D 10:05:47 LIKE TO READ SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF THIS CONSULTANT. 10:05:53 "UNCLEAR LINES OF RESPONSIBILITY LEAD TO 10:05:56 INCONSISTENT ACCOUNTABILITY. THERE IS NO DEPUTY TO YOU WITH 10:06:02 OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND THERE ARE TOO MANY POLITICAL 10:06:05 APPOINTEES, NOT ENOUGH SENIOR MANAGEMENT EMERGENCY EXPERTS, 10:06:10 LACK OF ADEQUATE AND CONSISTENT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ACROSS 10:06:14 THE ENTERPRISE." I ALSO MENTIONED THAT EARLIER 10:06:20 IN 2004 THAT A GROUP OF SENIOR FEMA OPERATIONAL PROFESSIONALS, 10:06:26 THE FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICERS CADRE WROTE TO YOU A 10:06:32 MEMO OUTLINING THEIR GRAVE CONCERNS. 10:06:35 THE MEMO CAUTIONS OF UNPREPARED TEAMS AND ZERO FUNDING FOR 10:06:44 TRAINING, EXERCISES AND TEAM EQUIPMENT. 10:06:46 IT HAS SUGGESTED RE-ESTABLISHING A SINGLE 10:06:49 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY DIVISION AT FEMA TO FACILITATE THE 10:06:53 REFOCUSING THAT IS NECESSARY TO REGAIN SOME OF THE EFFICIENCY 10:06:59 THAT HAS BEEN LOST AT FEMA. WE'VE RECEIVED TESTIMONY THAT 10:07:05 IN RESPONSE TO BOTH OF THESE WARNINGS, WHICH WERE VERY 10:07:10 EXPLICIT IN IDENTIFYING SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITHIN PEOPLE, THAT 10:07:14 YOU DID NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. MY FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS 10:07:19 WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN RESPONSE TO THE WARNINGS FROM 10:07:23 THE SENIOR CAREER PEOPLE AND THE OUTSIDE CONSULTANT. 10:07:29 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, THE FIRST THING THE COMMITTEE NEEDS TO 10:07:32 UNDERSTAND IS THAT I INDEED DID COMMISSION THOSE STUDIES. 10:07:35 IN FACT, I ASKED FOR BOTH OF THOSE DOCUMENTS FROM THE 10:07:39 F.C.O.'S AND FROM THE MITER CORPORATION. 10:07:41 WE HAD TO LITERALLY GO SCRAPE TOGETHER THE MONEY JUST TO GET 10:07:43 THE OFFICIAL WORK DONE BY MITER. 10:07:46 BUT I HAD COME TO THIS CLSH -- AFTER THREE YEARS OF FINDING 10:07:51 THE ARTICLES YOU SEE IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" ABOUT MY 10:07:54 ATTEMPTS TO TRY TO GET THE FEMA MISSION PUT BACK ON TRACK AND 10:07:58 HOW THAT WAS REBUFFED CONSISTENTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT 10:08:01 OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THAT I REACHED THIS CLSH. 10:08:05 THAT IN ORDER FOR FEMA TO WORK EFFECTIVELY I D TO HAVE 10:08:08 SOMETHING THAT WOULD GIVE A ROAD MAP TO EITHER FUTURE FEMA 10:08:11 DIRECTORS, BECAUSE I WAS INTENDING TO LEAVE, AND/OR TO 10:08:15 THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OTHER THAN ME SAYING 10:08:17 IT THAT WOULD POINT OUT THESE PROBLEMS. 10:08:21 AS I SAID, WE HAD TO FIGHT TO GET THE MONEY JUST TO DO THE 10:08:25 MITER STUDY. ONCE WE RECEIVED THE MITER 10:08:27 STUDY WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO 10:08:30 COMPLETE THAT, GET THAT INTO A DOCUMENT THAT WOULD SAY HERE'S 10:08:34 WHAT WE NEED TO DO, A, B, C, SO I COULD PRESENT THAT TO 10:08:38 SECRETARY RINL AND THEN SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO IMPLEMENT 10:08:43 THOSE. WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE MONEY, 10:08:44 NEVER GIVEN THE RESOURCES, WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE 10:08:48 OPPORTUNITY TO IMPLEMENT ANY OF THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS. 10:08:50 >> SO YOU'RE TESTIFYING THAT YOU WERE REBUFFED IN YOUR 10:08:55 EFFORTS TO REMEDY THEE PROBLEMS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND 10:08:59 SECURITY. DID YOU EVER DISCUSS THESE 10:09:03 CONCERNS ABOUT BUDGET, AUTHORITY, ORGANIZATION, 10:09:07 PERSONNEL WITH INDIVIDUALS AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:09:11 >> YES, MA'AM, I DID. >> AND WITH WHOM DID YOU 10:09:15 DISCUSS THOSE CONCERNS? >> I DISCUSSED THOSE CONCERNS 10:09:20 WITH SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SENIOR STAFF. 10:09:24 >> AND WOULD YOU IDENTIFY WITH WHOM YOU DISCUSSED THOSE 10:09:28 CONCERNS. >> BEFORE I DO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:09:31 MAY I JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENTS AND ASK FOR THE COMMITTEE'S 10:09:35 RECOMMENDATION? >> CERTAINLY. 10:09:38 >> ON FEBRUARY 6, 2006, MY COUNSEL SAID TO HARRIET MIERS 10:09:47 -- SENT TO HARRIET MIERS, COUNSEL FOR THE PRESIDENT, A 10:09:53 LETTER ASKING FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT I SHOULD DO IF THIS KIND 10:09:56 OF QUESTION IS POSED TO ME BY THE COMMITTEE. 10:09:59 LIKE PATRICK, I'M A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:10:01 THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN 10:10:04 WHICH CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HIS 10:10:06 SENIOR VISORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY OR 10:10:13 DISCUSSION. IT'S MY BELIEF, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:10:16 THAT I DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:18 THAT I CANNOT INVOKE THAT. YET, I UNDERSTAND THAT 10:10:21 PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, THE EXECUTIVE, IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:27 OF GOVERNMENT AND THAT RIGHT OF EXECUTIVE RESIDES WITH THE 10:10:35 PRESIDENT. I AM HERE TO TRUTHFULLY AND 10:10:37 HONESTLY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK. 10:10:41 SO IN RESPONSE TO THE LETTER WHICH DID NOT -- AND I WANT TO 10:10:43 MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE LETTER DID NOT REQUEST THAT 10:10:45 I BE GRANTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. 10:10:48 THE LETTER REQUESTED GUIDANCE ON WHAT THE OTHER EQUAL BRANCH 10:10:52 OF GOVERNMENT WANTED ME TO SAY OR NOT SAY WHEN THESE KINDS OF 10:10:57 QUESTIONS WERE POSED. SO DESPITE REPORTS IN THE PRESS 10:11:00 TO THE CONTRARY, THE LETTER SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. 10:11:03 IT DID NOT REQUEST EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, BUT GUIDANCE. 10:11:08 I RECEIVED THAT GUIDANCE BY LETTER, AGAIN, TO COUNSEL TO 10:11:12 MR. LESTER FROM WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL HARRIET MIERS IN A 10:11:17 LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2006. AND I'LL JUST READ YOU THE LAST 10:11:21 PARAGRAPH. "THE PRESIDENT'S VIEWS 10:11:23 REGARDING THESE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTERESTS HAVE NOT 10:11:27 CHANGED. I APPRECIATE THAT YOUR CLIENT 10:11:29 IS SENSITIVE TO THE INTERESTS IMPLICATED BY POTENTIAL 10:11:33 DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO WHICH HE WAS 10:11:36 A PARTY AS A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN THE ADMINISTRATION, AS 10:11:40 REFLECTED IN HIS RECENT RESPONSES TO CONGRESSIONAL 10:11:42 COMMITTEES AND THEIR STAFFS AND REQUEST THAT HE OBSERVE HIS 10:11:46 PAST PRACTICES WITH RESPECT TO THOSE COMMUNICATIONS." 10:11:52 IN MY OPINION, CHAIRMAN COLLINS, THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:11:55 ANSWER OUR REQUEST FOR DIRECTION ON WHAT IS TO BE 10:11:58 DONE. SO I AM HERE AS A PRIVATE 10:12:01 CITIZEN STUCK BETWEEN TWO EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, ONE 10:12:05 WHICH IS REQUESTING THATE'RE NOT GOING TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE 10:12:09 PRIVILEGE, BUT THAT I RESPECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE 10:12:14 CONCEPT OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND ON THE OTHER HAND APPEARING 10:12:18 BEFORE YOU AS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, UNDER OATH, 10:12:21 SWORN TO TELL THE TRUTH, WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM EITHER 10:12:25 ONE. SO, MADAM CHAIRMAN, I WOULD ASK 10:12:27 YOU FOR GUIDANCE IN WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE MICHAEL BROWN, 10:12:31 PRIVATE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, TO DO IN THIS REGARD. 10:12:34 >> DOES THE LETTER THAT YOU HAVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE 10:12:39 COUNSEL DIRECT YOU TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH 10:12:44 RESPECT TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION 10:12:49 OFFICIALS? >> IT DOES NOT, AND NOR DO I 10:12:51 BELIEVE THAT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSERT THAT PRIVILEGE ON 10:12:53 BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT. I AM A PRIVATE CITIZEN. 10:12:57 >> HAS THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL ORALLY DIRECTED YOU TO ASSERT 10:13:04 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO THOSE CONVERSATIONS 10:13:07 YOU'VE HAD WITH SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS? 10:13:10 >> THEY HAVE NOT TO ME, AND TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THEY 10:13:13 HAVE NOT DIRECTED THAT TO MY COUNSEL EITHER. 10:13:16 THAT'S CORRECT. >> THESE CONVERSATIONS CLEARLY 10:13:24 COULD BE SUBJECT TO AN ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE 10:13:28 PRIVILEGE. IN FACT, IF SUCH A PRIVILEGE 10:13:30 WERE TO BE ASSERTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE, I WOULD, IN ALL 10:13:36 LIKELIHOOD, RULE THAT THE PRIVILEGE APPLIED TO THOSE 10:13:41 CONVERSATIONS, AND I WOULD INSTRUCT YOU NOT TO ANSWER THE 10:13:45 QUESTIONS SO THAT WE COULD FURTHER EXPLORE THE PRIVILEGES 10:13:52 ISSUE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. HOWEVER IN, THE CASE OF 10:13:55 CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORS, THE 10:14:01 PRIVILEGE IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO ASSERT, NOT THE 10:14:05 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TESTIFIED 10:14:09 THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE HAS CHOSEN NOT TO ASSERT 10:14:14 THIS PRIVILEGE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR YOU TO DECLINE TO 10:14:19 ANSWER THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH PRESIDENTIAL 10:14:25 ADVISORS. SO I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO 10:14:28 RESPOND TO THE QUESTION. >> MADAM CHAIRMAN. 10:14:32 >> SENATOR STEVENS. >> HAS ANYONE CONTACTED THE 10:14:36 STAFF OR YOURSELF FROM THE WHITE HOUSE REQUESTING THAT 10:14:39 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BE RECOGNIZED IN THIS AREA? 10:14:41 >> YES. I HAD A LENGTHY DISCUSSION LAST 10:14:44 NIGHT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL IN WHICH I ADVISED HER 10:14:49 TO EITHER SEND MR. BROWN A CLEAR LETTER ASSERTING 10:14:55 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OR TO SEND IT TO THIS COMMITTEE, OR TO 10:15:00 HAVE A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE PRESENT 10:15:04 TODAY TO OBJECT TO QUESTIONS, AND MS. MEIERS DECLINED TO DO 10:15:12 EITHER. >> I WANT TO SAY FOR THE RECORD 10:15:14 AS A FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, I 10:15:17 BELIEVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE 10:15:20 COUNTRY AND IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, IF THIS WITNESS TESTIFIES 10:15:25 AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION, THAT THEN WE'RE FACED 10:15:28 WITH A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS TO SEND 10:15:33 SOMEONE DOWN TO CHALLENGE THE STATEMENT THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. 10:15:38 IT'S VERY DIFFICULT GROUND WE'RE ON. 10:15:39 I DON'T KNOW WHERE MR. BROWN IS GOING. 10:15:41 BUT IT DOES WORRY ME THAT THERE IS A LEGITIMATE BASIS FOR 10:15:45 EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF THEY HAVE NOT ASSERTED IT TO 10:15:47 YOU, THEN THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. >> THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. 10:15:56 AND I INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROVIDE ME WITH THAT 10:16:01 ASSERTION LAST NIGHT. THEY DECLINED TO DO SO. 10:16:05 INVITED THE WHITE HOUSE TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY PRESENT TO MAKE THE 10:16:09 ASSERTION. I HAVE REVIEWED THE LETTER, AND 10:16:10 WE WILL PUT BOTH THE LETTER FROM MR. BROWN'S LAWYER AND MS. 10:16:17 MEIERS' RESPONSE INTO THE RECORD, AND THE LETTER DOES NOT 10:16:22 ASSERT THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >> IS WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL 10:16:28 PRESENT? >> THERE IS NOT A WHITE HOUSE 10:16:32 COUNSEL PRESENT THAT I AM AWARE OF. 10:16:35 I SUSPECT THERE ARE WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS HERE, HOWEVER. 10:16:40 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN -- >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. 10:16:43 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, IF I MAY, FIRST, I WANT TO TELL YOU I 10:16:47 BOTH APPRECIATE AND SUPPORT YOUR RULING IN THE CONTEXT OF 10:16:52 -- EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD BEEN ASSERTED, WE ARE A 10:16:57 CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND IN THIS CASE WE ARE DOING 10:16:59 AN INVESTIGATION ON A TOTALLY NONPARTISAN BASIS THAT GOES TO 10:17:03 THE HEART OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. 10:17:07 SO WE HAVE AN INTEREST IN OBTAINING THE TRUTH. 10:17:09 WE'RE NOT OUT TO GET ANYBODY. WE'RE OUT TO GET THE TRUTH. 10:17:13 BUT -- THAT WOULD BE MY OPINION EVEN IF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAD 10:17:18 BEEN ASSERTED. BUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HAS NOT 10:17:22 BEEN ASSERTED, AND, THEREFORE, I THINK THE PRIVILEGE AND 10:17:26 RESPONSIBILITY, LET ALONE THE RIGHT OF CONGRESS AS 10:17:29 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO GET THE WHOLE TRUTH 10:17:36 ABOUT KATRINA REALLY IS THE PRIORITY VALUE THAT WE HAVE TO 10:17:40 HONOR. AND I THANK YOU, MADAM 10:17:42 CHAIRMAN, FOR DOING EXACTLY THAT IN YOUR RULING. 10:17:47 >> MR. BROWN, I WOULD DIRECT YOU TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. 10:17:51 AND I AM GOING TO RECLAIM THE TIME THAT I HAD BEFORE WE HEAD 10:17:58 TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE. >> CHAIRMAN COLLINS, I'M HAPPY 10:18:02 TO ANSWER BOTH QUESTIONS. COULD YOU RESTATE THE QUESTION? 10:18:10 >> I ASKED YOU WITH WHOM YOU TALKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT 10:18:14 THE BUDGET, AUTHORITY AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS THAT YOU 10:18:18 PERCEIVED WERE HINDERING YOUR ABILITY TO CARRY OUT YOUR 10:18:21 MISSION. >> AT VARIOUS TIMES I HAD 10:18:23 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, JOSH 10:18:27 BOLTEN, BEFORE HE MOVED OVER TO O.M.B. AND I HAD NUMEROUS 10:18:31 CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF JOE HAGGAN 10:18:34 AND OCCASIONALLY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIEF STAFF ANDY CARD. 10:18:40 I'VE ALSO HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH BOTH FORMER WHITE HOUSE 10:18:45 HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, GENERAL JOHN GORDON, AND WITH 10:18:48 CURRENT HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, FRAN TOWNSEND. 10:18:53 >> THANK YOU. MR. BROWN, EXHIBIT 6 IS A 10:18:56 SERIES OF EMAILS ABOUT CONDITIONS IN NEW ORLEANS ON 10:19:02 MONDAY MORNING. WE KNOW FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE 10:19:06 THIS COMMITTEE THAT MARTY OF FEMA SAW -- FIRST RECEIVED A 10:19:15 REPORT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING ON MONDAY MORNING AT ABOUT 10:19:19 11:00. HE LATER IN THE DAY OVERFLEW 10:19:21 THE AREA AND SAW IT FIRSTHAND. THE EMAILS ALSO TOOK ABOUT -- 10:19:27 TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS IN THE CITY. 10:19:30 BY 10:00 ON THAT MONDAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, YOU HAD 10:19:36 RECEIVED A REPORT FROM HIM THAT THERE WAS ALREADY SEVERE 10:19:43 FLOODING IN THE AREA. THE WATER LEVEL WAS, QUOTE, UP 10:19:46 TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE TWO-STORY HOUSES, THAT PEOPLE 10:19:49 WERE TRAPPED IN ATTICS AND THAT THE PUMPS FOR THE LEVEES WERE 10:19:55 STARTING TO FAIL. WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE IN 10:20:00 RESPONSE TO THAT INFORMATION AND TO PASS THAT INFORMATION 10:20:06 ALONG TO THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY? 10:20:12 >> TWO THINGS, CHAIRMAN COLLINS. 10:20:13 THE FIRST AND FOREMOST I ALERTED HEADQUARTERS AS TO 10:20:16 THOSE REPORTS AND ASKED THEM TO GET IN CONTACT WITH MARTY TO 10:20:20 CONFIRM THOSE REPORTS. AND I ALSO PUT A CALL IN AND 10:20:24 SPOKE TO -- I BELIEVE IT WAS DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF HAGGAN ON 10:20:32 AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS ON THAT DAY TO INFORM HIM OF WHAT WAS 10:20:36 GOING ON. >> WAS THERE ANYONE ELSE THAT 10:20:37 YOU CALLED AT THE WHITE HOUSE TO INFORM THEM OF THESE 10:20:41 DEVELOPMENTS? >> IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EITHER 10:20:44 ANDY CARD OR JOE HAGGAN. >> DHS OFFICIALS TELL US 10:20:48 THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW OF THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:20:53 NEW ORLEANS UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING. 10:20:57 THAT'S ALMOST 24 HOURS AFTER YOU RECEIVED THE INFORMATION 10:21:01 THAT I REFERRED TO ABOUT THE SEVERE FLOODING IN NEW ORLEANS. 10:21:07 THEY ALSO ASSERT THAT THEY BELIEVE YOU FAILED TO MAKE SURE 10:21:11 THAT THEY WERE GETTING THIS VERY CRITICAL INFORMATION. 10:21:19 I'D LIKE YOU TO RESPOND TO THAT CRITICISM. 10:21:22 >> FIRST AND FOREMOST I FIND IT A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS THAT 10:21:26 DHS WERE CLAIMING THAT THEY WERE NOT GETTING THAT 10:21:29 INFORMATION, BECAUSE FEMA HELD CONTINUOUS VIDEO TELEPHONE 10:21:33 CONFERENCES -- I'LL REFER TO THEM AS VTCS -- IN WHICH AT 10:21:37 LEAST ONCE A DAY, IF NOT SEVERAL TIMES A DAY WE WOULD BE 10:21:40 ON CONFERENCE CALLS AND VIDEO CALLS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT 10:21:43 EVERYONE HAD SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:21:45 NOW, I'M SITTING IN BATON ROUGE, SO I'M NOT SURE AT ALL 10:21:49 TIMES WHO IS IN THE VIDEO CONFERENCE, ON THE V.T.C. 10:21:52 BUT THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AT LEAST 10:21:55 DEPUTY SECRETARY JACKSON AND AT LEAST MATTHEW BRODERICK, BOB 10:22:00 STEPHAN, SOMEONE FROM THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS 10:22:04 CENTER, IS IN ON THOSE CONVERSATIONS ON THOSE 10:22:06 VTCS. SO FOR THEM TO NOW CLAIM THAT 10:22:09 WE DIDN'T HAVE AWARENESS OF IT I THINK IS JUST BALONEY. 10:22:12 THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD AWARENESS OF IT BECAUSE THEY WERE 10:22:15 RECEIVING THE SAME INFORMATION THAT WE WERE. 10:22:16 IT'S ALSO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT MR. RHODE OR SOMEONE ELSE ON 10:22:24 HIS BEHALF SENT AN EMAIL EITHER DIRECTLY TO THE DHS CHIEF OF 10:22:28 STAFF OR PERHAPS TO THE HSOT. BUT MUCH LIKE I HAD OPERATED 10:22:37 SUCCESSFULLY IN FLORIDA, MY ONLY GATION WAS TO THE WHITE 10:22:42 HOUSE AND TO -- OBLIGATION WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TO THE 10:22:44 PRESIDENT TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE SITUATION 10:22:46 WAS, AND I DID THAT. AND THE VTCS WERE THE 10:22:52 OPERATIONAL CONSTRUCT BY WHICH DHS WOULD GET THAT 10:22:54 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. THEY WOULD GET THAT THROUGH 10:22:56 THOSE VTCS. >> MR. RHODE, WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:00 WHEN THE LEVEES HAD BROKEN ON MONDAY MORNING AND WHAT DID YOU 10:23:05 DO WITH THE INFORMATION? FIRST, WHEN WERE YOU AWARE OF 10:23:09 THE PROBLEMS OF FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE LEVEES BREACHING? 10:23:13 >> MADAM CHAIRMAN, I BELIEVE THAT I FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE 10:23:16 ISSUES WITH THE LEVEE, AT LEAST PARTIAL INFORMATION, DURING THE 10:23:19 EARLY HOURS OF MONDAY MORNING, OR MID MORNING, I WANT TO SAY, 10:23:23 SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 9:00, 10:00 OR SO. 10:23:26 I BELIEVE THAT I CAME ACROSS AN EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO ME THAT 10:23:31 SUESTED THAT PERHAPS THERE WAS A LEVEE BREACH. 10:23:33 I DON'T THINK THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT. 10:23:36 AND I ENDEAVORED TO, AS WAS ALWAYS MY PRACTICE, WHENEVER 10:23:40 SOMEONE WAS SENDING ME OPERATIONAL INFORMATION, I 10:23:42 TRIED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT INFORMATION MADE IT DIRECTLY TO 10:23:44 THE OPERATORS. OUR PROTOCOL WITHIN FEMA WAS TO 10:23:48 MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM D ANY SORT OF SITUATIONAL 10:23:51 INFORMATION. AGAIN, MY ROLE IS IN 10:23:54 WASHINGTON, DC I WAS NOT IN LOUISIANA. 10:23:55 BUT AS THAT INFORMATION BECAME AVAILABLE AND AS I BECAME AWARE 10:23:59 OF IT, I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT OPERATIONS TEAM HAD IT 10:24:02 WITHIN WASHINGTON SO THAT IT COULD THEN BE TRANSMITTED TO 10:24:05 THE HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER. 10:24:07 AS THERE WERE MANY SITUATIONAL REPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, THROUGHOUT 10:24:09 THE DAY. >> BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I'M 10:24:13 ASKING YOU. YOU WERE IN WASHINGTON -- 10:24:16 >> YES, MA'AM. >> -- YOU ARE NOW THE TOP FEMA 10:24:20 OFFICIAL. DID YOU TAKE ANY STEPS TONE 10:24:22 SURE THAT SECRETARY CHERTOFF WAS AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION? 10:24:27 >> WAS THE INFORMATION BECAME MORE AND MORE APPARENT, MARTY 10:24:32 ON MONDAY LATER THAT DAY HELPED ORCHESTRATE A CONFERENCE CALL 10:24:35 THAT I PARTICIPATED IN, AND AT THE CONCLUSION OF THAT 10:24:38 CONFERENCE CALL I SENT A LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OR SENT AN 10:24:41 EMAIL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN ADDITION 10:24:44 TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS OPERATIONAL PEOPLE THAT WERE 10:24:48 ALSO ON THAT CALL TO MAKE SURE THE HOMELAND SECURITY 10:24:52 OPERATIONS CENTER HAD THAT INFORMATION. 10:24:54 >> MR. BROWN, IT ISN'T ONLY DHS OFFICIALS WHO SAY THAT 10:24:58 THEY WERE UNAWARE UNTIL TUESDAY THAT THE LEVEES HAD COLLAPSED. 10:25:03 I'VE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT EXACT SAME THING BY ADMIRAL TIMOTHY 10:25:11 KEATON, THE HEAD OF NORTHERN COMMAND, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 10:25:17 HOMELAND DEFENSE FOR DOD. HE, IN AN INTERVIEW, TOLD ME 10:25:20 THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING THAT THE LEVEES 10:25:25 HAD BREACHED AND THAT THE CITIES HAD FLOODED. 10:25:30 WAS THERE ANY COMMUNICATION FROM YOU OR DID YOU TAKE ANY 10:25:33 STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NORTHERN COMMAND WAS INFORMED OF THIS 10:25:39 CATASTROPHIC DEVELOPMENT? >> I WOULD HAVE NOT AT THAT 10:25:42 POINT HAVE CALLED ADMIRAL KEATING DIRECTLY. 10:25:46 BUT THROUGH THE FEMA OPERATIONS CENTER THERE IS A MILITARY 10:25:50 LIAISON THERE, SO THEY WOULD HAVE HAD THAT SAME OPERATIONAL 10:25:53 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO PASS BACK UP THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:25:57 SO ADMIRAL KEATING OR SECRETARY RUMSFELD OR ANY OF THOSE COULD 10:26:00 HAVE HAD THAT SAME SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. 10:26:02 >> WHAT IS SO TROUBLING IS WE HAVE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN 10:26:08 FROM TOP DHS OFFICIALS, FROM TOP DOD. OFFICIALS, FROM THE 10:26:14 LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY WERE 10:26:19 SIMPLY UNAWARE OF HOW CATASTROPHIC THE HURRICANE'S 10:26:25 IMPACT HAD BEEN BECAUSE OF THE BREACHING OF THE LEVEE. 10:26:32 CAN YOU HELP US UNDERSTAND THIS ENORMOUS DISCONNECT BETWEEN 10:26:35 WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND, A CITY 80% FLOODED, 10:26:43 UNCONTROLLED LEVEES, PEOPLE DYING, PEOPLE -- THOUSANDS OF 10:26:47 PEOPLE WAITING TO BE RESCUED, AND THE OFFICIAL REACTION AMONG 10:26:54 MANY OF THE KEY LEADERS IN WASHINGTON AND IN NORTHERN 10:26:59 COMMAND THAT SOMEHOW NEW ORLEANS HAD DODGED THE BULLET? 10:27:05 >> CHAIRMAN COL LOANS, THERE IS -- CHAIRMAN COLLINS, LET ME 10:27:11 FRAME THE ANSWER A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY. 10:27:14 IT'S MY BELIEF THAT HAD THERE BEEN A REPORT COME OUT FROM 10:27:18 MARTY THAT SAID, YES, WE'VE CONFIRMED THAT A TERRORIST HAS 10:27:22 BLOWN UP THE 17TH STREET CANAL LEVEE, THEN EVERYBODY WOULD 10:27:28 HAVE JUMPED ALL OVER THAT AND BEEN TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING 10:27:34 THEY COULD. BUT BECAUSE THIS WAS A NATURAL 10:27:37 DISASTER, THAT HAS BECOME THE STEP CHILEDE WITHIN THE 10:27:40 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. 10:27:42 AND SO YOU NOW HAVE THESE TWO SYSTEMS OPERATION, ONE WHICH 10:27:46 CARES ABOUT TERRORISM, AND FEMA AND OUR STATE AND LOCAL 10:27:49 PARTNERS, WHO ARE TRYING TO APPROACH EVERYTHING FROM ALL 10:27:52 HAZARDS. AND SO THERE'S THIS DISCONNECT 10:27:54 THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT WE'VE CREATED BECAUSE OF 10:27:57 DHS ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TO 10:28:02 LISTEN TO THOSE VTCS AND PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE 10:28:06 VTCS, AND THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON. 10:28:08 AND IN FACT, I EMAILED A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL THAT EVENING 10:28:14 ABOUT HOW BAD IT WAS, MAKING SURE THAT THEY KNEW, AGAIN, HOW 10:28:17 BAD THAT IT WAS, IDENTIFYING THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE 10:28:21 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND HOUSING PROBLEMS AND ALL OF 10:28:23 THOSE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. SO IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT 10:28:29 DHS OFFICIALS WOULD SAY, WELL, WE WEREN'T AWARE. 10:28:32 THEY'RE OFF DOING OTHER THINGS. IT'S A NATURAL DISASTER SO 10:28:35 WE'RE JUST GOING TO ALLOW FEMA TO DO ALL OF THAT. 10:28:38 THAT HAD BECOME THE MENTALITY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. 10:28:40 >> SENATOR LIEBERMAN. >> THANKS, MADAM CHAIRMAN, 10:28:45 THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION. MR. BROWN, WE'LL GET BACK TO 10:28:49 THOSE COMMENTS. OBVIOUSLY OUR HOPE WAS THAT THE 10:28:51 DEPARTMENT WOULD BE READY TO DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS AND 10:28:55 TERRORIST ATTACKS AND THE IMPACT OF A TERRORIST BOMB ON 10:28:57 THE LEVEES WOULD HAVE BEEN EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE 10:29:01 HURRICANE WAS TO FLOODING THE CITY. 10:29:03 LET ME GO BACK TO THAT DAY, BECAUSE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT 10:29:06 AND YOUR COMMENTS JUST NOW HIGHLIGHT IT, AND THIS IS ABOUT 10:29:09 MARTY. HE TAKES THE TWO HELICOPTER 10:29:11 FLIGHTS, 5:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. CENTRAL TIME. 10:29:15 HE SEES THE DEVASTATION AND HE TOLD US THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER 10:29:18 THOSE HELICOPTER RIDES HE CALLED YOU AND REPORTED HIS 10:29:22 FINDINGS TO YOU. IS IT CORRECT THAT MR. BAMUN DE 10:29:30 -- BAMUNDY TOLD YOU ON THAT EVENING THAT HE COULD SEE NEW 10:29:33 ORLEANS FLOODING? >> IT'S CORRECT. 10:29:35 >> IS IT ALSO CORRECT THAT MARTY TOLD YOU THAT DURING THE 10:29:37 HELICOPTER RIDE HE SO SEE THAT LEVEES HAD BROKEN. 10:29:40 IS THAT RIGHT? >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:29:42 >> MARTY TOLD US THAT AFTER HE FINISHED GIVING YOU THAT 10:29:44 DEVASTATING INFORMATION, YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO CALL THE 10:29:47 WHITE HOUSE. IN YOUR STAFF INTERVIEW YOU 10:29:48 SAID THAT YOU DID HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A WHITE HOUSE 10:29:53 OFFICIAL ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 29, REGARDING HIS 10:29:59 FLYOVER. WHO WAS THAT WHITE HOUSE 10:30:01 OFFICIAL? >> TWO RESPONSES, SENATOR 10:30:03 LIEBERMAN. THERE IS AN EMAIL, AND I 10:30:11 REMEMBER THE EMAIL, AND I RECALL THIS QUITE VIVIDLY, I'M 10:30:16 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. >> IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WERE 10:30:19 EMAILING SOMEBODY AT THE WHITE HOUSE? 10:30:21 >> NO, I WAS ACTUALLY EMAILING SOMEBODY IN RESPONSE TO MARTY'S 10:30:25 INFORMATION BACK TO FEMA. >> GOT IT. 10:30:27 >> IN WHICH I SAID, YES, I'M CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE NOW. 10:30:30 AND I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY WHO I CALLED, BUT BECAUSE OF 10:30:33 THE PATTERN OF HOW I USUALLY INTERACTED WITH THE WHITE 10:30:37 HOUSE, MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT I WAS PROBABLY CALLING AND 10:30:40 TALKING TO JOE HAGAN. >> JOE HAG ANN -- 10:30:46 >> WHO WAS IN CAUFERED WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY. 10:30:49 >> HE WAS AT CRAWFORD. I'M SURPRISED YOU WOULDN'T 10:30:51 REMEMBER EXACTLY. BUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR 10:30:53 RECOLLECTION, YOU CALLED JOE HAGAN. 10:30:56 AND IS IT RIGHT THAT YOU CALLED HIM BECAUSE HE HAD SOME SPECIAL 10:30:58 RESPONSIBILITY FOR OVERSIGHT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT? 10:31:01 >> NO, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JOE, 10:31:07 AND JOE UNDERSTANDS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, NUMBER ONE. 10:31:10 NUMBER TWO, HE'S AT CRAWFORD WITH THE PRESIDENT. 10:31:13 >> GOT IT. AND YOU QUITE APPROPRIATELY AND 10:31:17 ADMIRABLY WANTED TO GET THE WORD TO THE PRESIDENT AS 10:31:19 QUICKLY AS YOU COULD. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:31:20 >> DID YOU TELL MR. HAG ANN IN THAT PHONE CALL THAT NEW 10:31:25 ORLEANS WAS FLOODING? >> I THINK I TOLD HIM THAT WE 10:31:27 WERE REALIZING OUR WORST NIGHTMARE. 10:31:29 THAT EVERYTHING WE HAD PLANNED ABOUT, WORRIED ABOUT, THAT 10:31:31 FEMA, FRANKLY, HAD WORRIED ABOUT FOR 10 YEARS WAS COMING 10:31:34 TRUE. >> DO YOU REMEMBER IF YOU TOLD 10:31:36 HIM THAT THE LEVEESED THAT BROKEN? 10:31:39 -- LEVEES HAD BROKEN? >> OKAY THE WITNESS STAND I 10:31:43 FEEL OBLIGATED TO SAY THAT I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:31:45 SAYING THOSE WORDS. BUT IT WAS THAT NEW ORLEANS IS 10:31:50 FLOODING, IT'S THE WORST CAYS SCENARIO. 10:31:53 >> MAYBE THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE, THIS IS THE WORST CASE 10:31:56 SCENARIO, THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IS FLOODING. 10:31:58 DID YOU ASK MR. HAGAN FOR ANY PARTICULAR ACTION BY THE WHITE 10:32:03 HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT, THE ADMINISTRATION IN THAT PHONE 10:32:06 CALL? >> THEY ALWAYS ASKED ME WHAT DO 10:32:09 YOU NEED. >> RIGHT. 10:32:10 >> JOE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD ABOUT THAT. 10:32:21 >> THE DIFFERENCE IS IN 2004 -- THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, 10:32:24 SENATOR, IF YOU'LL BEAR WITH ME FOR A MINUTE, IS IN 2004 CURING 10:32:28 THE HURRICANES THAT STRUCK -- DURING 2004, THE HURRICANES 10:32:34 THAT STRUCK FLORIDA, I WAS ASKED THAT SAME QUESTION, WHAT 10:32:36 DO YOU NEED. AND I SPECIFICALLY ASKED BOTH 10:32:40 SECRETARY CARD AND JOE HAGAN THAT ON MY WAY DOWN TO PUNTA 10:32:45 GORDA, FLORIDA THAT THE BEST THING THEY COULD DO FOR ME WAS 10:32:48 TO KEEP DHS OUT OF MY HAIR. AND IF I COULD JUST FINISH -- 10:32:52 >> YEAH. >> SO WHAT HAD CHANGED BETWEEN 10:32:57 2004 AND 2005 -- >> KATRINA, RIGHT. 10:33:00 >> BETWEEN THE HURRICANES OF 2004 AND NOW KATRINA, WAS THAT 10:33:07 THERE WAS NOW THIS MENTALITY OR THIS THINKING THAT, NO, NOW 10:33:14 THIS TIME WE WERE GOING TO FOLLOW THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. 10:33:17 >> WHICH WAS PUT YOU IN CHARGE? >> WAS PUT ME IN CHARGE, BUT 10:33:23 NOW I HAVE TO FEED EVERYTHING UP THROUGH CHERTOFF OR SOMEHOW 10:33:27 THROUGH DHS >> I GOT YOU. 10:33:29 >> WHICH JUST BOGGED THINGS DOWN. 10:33:32 >> SO YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF SPECIFICALLY 10:33:35 ASKING MR. HAGAN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ANY ACTION AT 10:33:38 THAT TIME. >> NOTHING IN SPECIFIC. 10:33:39 I JUST THOUGHT THEY NEEDED TO BE AWARE OF THE SITUATION. 10:33:42 >> UNDERSTOOD. MR. BROWN, ON THE EVENING OF 10:33:44 LANDFALL YOU APPEARED ON THE 9:00 P.M. EDITION OF MSNBC'S 10:33:50 RITA COSBY LIVE AND DIRECT. YOU SAID THEN VERY EXPLICITLY 10:33:54 THAT YOU WERE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN NEW 10:33:57 ORLEANS, AND I QUOTE, IT COULD BE WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE 10:33:59 PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET BACK INTO SOME OF THESE 10:34:02 NEIGHBORHOODS, ENDS OF QUOTE, BECAUSE OF THE FLOODING. 10:34:05 YOU ALSO SAID, AND I QUOTE, THAT YOU HAD ALREADY TOLD THE 10:34:10 PRESIDENT TONIGHT THAT WE CAN ANTICIPATE A HOUSING NEED HERE 10:34:13 OF AT LEAST IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS, ENDS OF QUOTE. 10:34:17 YOU WERE CORRECT. DID YOU IN FACT SPEAK TO 10:34:21 PRESIDENT BUSH THAT NIGHT, AUGUST 29? 10:34:24 >> I REALLY DON'T RECALL IF THE PRESIDENT GOT -- I MEAN, 10:34:29 NORMALLY DURING MY CONVERSATIONS WITH DEPUTY CHIEF 10:34:34 OF STAFF HAGAN, SOMETIMES THE PRESIDENT WOULD GET ON THE 10:34:37 PHONE FOR A FEW MOMENTS, AND SOMETIMES HE WOULDN'T. 10:34:40 I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY THAT NIGHT WHETHER HE DID OR 10:34:42 NOT. BUT I NEVER WORRIED ABOUT 10:34:43 WHETHER I TALKED DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE I KNEW 10:34:46 THAT IN SPEAKING TO JOE I WAS TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE 10:34:49 PRESIDENT. >> WELL, IT'S SURPRISING AGAIN, 10:34:51 TO ME, THAT YOU WOULDN'T REMEMBER WHETHER THE PRESIDENT 10:34:55 WAS ON YOUR CALL TO JOE HAGAN. >> I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR 10:35:01 ARROGANT, BUT I TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT A LOT OF. 10:35:04 SO SOMETIMES WHEN HE'S ON THE PHONE OR NOT ON THE PHONE, I 10:35:07 JUST WOULDN'T RECALL. >> ALL RIGHT. 10:35:09 SO THAT MAYBE YOU WERE INFLATING A LITTLE BIT OR BEING 10:35:12 LOOSE WITH YOUR LANGUAGE WHEN YOU TOLD MSNBC THAT YOU HAD 10:35:15 ALREADY TOLD THE PRESIDENT THAT NIGHT ABOUT -- 10:35:17 >> WELL, NO, BECAUSE WHEN I SAY THAT I'VE TOLD THE PRESIDENT -- 10:35:20 IF I'VE TOLD JOE HAGAN OR TOLD ANDY CARD, I'VE TOLD THE 10:35:25 PRESIDENT. >> I HAVE THIS PROBLEM HERE IN 10:35:27 THE CAPITOL, TOO, WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS SARA WARNER TOLD ME TO 10:35:30 TELL YOU, AND THEN I FOUND OUT IT WAS A STAFF MEMBER, OR I 10:35:35 TOLD SENATOR WASH F WARNER. >> TRUST ME, THEY TELL THE 10:35:41 PRESIDENT. >> OK, NOW, LET ME GO TO 10:35:44 SECRETARY CHERTOFF BECAUSE YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CHAIN OF 10:35:47 COMMAND THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO FOLLOW. 10:35:50 DID YOU SPEAK TO SECRETARY CHERTOFF AFTER YOUR CALL WITH 10:35:55 MARTY AND TELL HIM ABOUT THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION IN 10:35:58 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY EVENING? >> I DON'T RECALL SPECIFICALLY 10:36:06 IF I TALKED TO CHERTOFF ON THAT DAY OR NOT. 10:36:09 >> WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE, IF THAT WAS THE CHAIN OF COMMAND? 10:36:16 >> I'M STILL OPERATING THAT I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE. 10:36:19 AND THE WAY I GET THINGS DONE IS I REQUEST IT FROM THE WHITE 10:36:22 HOUSE AND THEY HAPPEN. >> WELL, THEN, DID YOU TELL 10:36:25 ANYONE ELSE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN A HIGH 10:36:30 POSITION, DEPUTY SECRETARY MICHAEL JACKSON, FOR INSTANCE? 10:36:33 >> I THINK MICHAEL AND I MAY HAVE HAD A CONVERSATION. 10:36:35 >> MONDAY EVENING? >> YES. 10:36:37 >> WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALONG THE SAME LINES. 10:36:39 >> EXACTLY. >> AM I RIGHT THAT AT SOME 10:36:42 POINT ON MONDAY EVENING THERE WAS EITHER A PHONE CONFERENCE 10:36:44 CALL OR A VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL THAT YOU WERE ON REPORTING ON 10:36:49 THE SITUATION FROM NEW ORLEANS? >> YES. 10:36:51 >> AND DO YOU KNOW WHETHER ANYBODY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:36:55 HOMELAND SECURITY WAS ON THAT CALL? 10:36:58 >> THEY WERE ON ALL THE CALLS. >> OK. 10:37:00 SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THAT CALL? 10:37:04 >> DON'T REMEMBER. I DON'T RECALL. 10:37:06 >> DO YOU KNOW WHERE HE WAS THAT EVENING? 10:37:08 >> AS I WENT BACK THROUGH MIEL MAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS 10:37:13 -- MY EMAILS I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS EITHER GONE OR GOING TO 10:37:17 VISIT ATLANTA AND TO VISIT THE FLORIDA OFFICES OF C.DC 10:37:20 >> WE'RE GOING TO ASK HIM ABOUT THAT. 10:37:22 BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE NUMBER ONE MAN IN TERMS OF THE 10:37:25 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THIS 10:37:29 DISASTER FOR SOME REASON DID NOT APPRECIATE THAT IT WAS SUCH 10:37:32 A DISASTER, THAT HE GOT ON A PLANE AND WENT TO ATLANTA FOR A 10:37:36 CONFERENCE ON AVIAN FLU. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SUNDAY, 10:37:41 THE DAY BEFORE. AM I RIGHT THAT THERE WAS A 10:37:44 VIDEO TELECONFERENCE ON THAT SUNDAY IN WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH 10:37:50 AN SECRETARY CHERTOFF WERE ON THE CONFERENCE? 10:37:53 >> I RECALL -- I SPECIFICALLY RECALL THE PRESIDENT BEING ON 10:37:57 THE CONFERENCE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SKIFF AT CRAWFORD. 10:38:02 >> RIGHT. >> BUT I DON'T SPECIFICALLY 10:38:05 RECALL SEEING SECRETARY CHERTOFF ON THE SCREEN. 10:38:07 >> OK. AND ON THAT SUNDAY VIDEO 10:38:10 CONFERENCE CALL, AM I RIGHT YOU WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON THEN? 10:38:12 >> THAT'S CORRECT. I LEFT THAT AFTERNOON. 10:38:15 >> BUT YOU DESCRIBED THE CATASTROPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF 10:38:20 THE KIND OF HURRICANE THAT DR. MAX MAYFIELD AND ALL THE OTHER 10:38:25 FORECASTERS WERE PREDICTING THAT DAY. 10:38:33 >> I TOLD THE STAFF -- AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS 10:38:38 OF THAT V.T.C., THEN WE NEED TO GET THEM FOR YOU. 10:38:40 >> NO, I'M GOING TO GIVE 'PHRASE. 10:38:44 YOU DESCRIBED IT AS A CATASTROPHE WITHIN A 10:38:47 CATASTROPHE. >> THAT'S CORRECT. 10:38:49 THIS WAS WHY I WAS SCREAMING AND HOLLERING ABOUT GETTING 10:38:52 MONEY TO DO CATASTROPHIC DISASTER PLANNING. 10:38:55 THIS IS WHY I SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO DO NEW ORLEANS AS THE 10:38:59 FIRST PLACE TO DO THAT. THIS IS WHY I WAS SO FURIOUS 10:39:01 THAT ONCE WE WERE ABLE TO DO HURRICANE PAM THAT I WAS 10:39:05 REBUFFED ON GETTING THE MONEY TO DO THE FOLLOW-UP, THE 10:39:09 FOLLOW-ON. THIS IS WHY I TOLD THE STAFF 10:39:11 DURING THAT VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL -- 10:39:13 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE. 10:39:14 >> THE DAY BEFORE THE HURRICANE STRUCK THAT I EXPECTED THEM TO 10:39:17 CUT EVERY PIECE OF RED TAPE, DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD, THAT IT 10:39:20 WAS BALLS TO THE WALL, THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR ANYBODY SAY 10:39:24 THAT WE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. TO DO EVERYTHING HELP HUMANLY 10:39:27 COULD TO RESPOND TO THIS. BECAUSE I KNEW IN MY GUT, 10:39:30 SENATOR, THIS WAS THE BAD ONE. >> THANKS, MR. BROWN. 10:39:33 TIME'S UP FOR ME. >> SENATOR COLEMAN. 10:39:35 >> THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. AGAIN, LIKE I THINK ALL MY 10:39:39 OTHER COLLEAGUES, MY THANKS TO YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP. 10:39:43 THIS HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARY. I HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF 10:39:48 OBSERVATIONS, AS I LISTEN TO TESTIMONY, MD DAM CHAIR. 10:39:51 WE HEAR A LOT, WE'VE SEEN IN THIS COMMITTEE A LOT OF 10:39:56 DISCUSSION ABOUT STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:39:57 WE'VE HEARD THAT FEDERAL AND LOCAL AND STATE FOLKS ALL 10:40:02 POINTED AT EACH OTHER SAYING, WELL, THEY WERE IN CHARGE, THEY 10:40:04 WERE IN CHARGE. ANY TIME YOU GET A DISASTER 10:40:06 LIKE THIS, A DISASTER, NOT JUST OF KATRINA, BUT THE DISASTER OF 10:40:11 THE RESPONSE, YOU GET THE ANALYSIS THAT WE'RE GETTING 10:40:14 HERE. LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS 10:40:15 OF PAGES OF REVIEW OF INFORMATION. 10:40:17 BUT I'M GOING TO BE VERY, VERY BLUNT HERE. 10:40:20 WHAT WE HAD, AND HAVING BEEN A MAYOR AND BEEN INVOLVED IN 10:40:23 SITUATION THAT IS COULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE, THAT WEREN'T SO 10:40:26 TERRIBLE, IN THE END WHEN THINGS GO BAD WE DO THE 10:40:29 ANALYSIS AND WE SEE ALL THE STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES. 10:40:32 BUT WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD LEADERSHIP OFTENTIMES EVEN WITH 10:40:37 STRUCTURAL INADEQUACIES THINGS DON'T GO BAD. 10:40:39 MY SENSE IS WE HAD ALMOST THE PERFECT STORM OF POOR 10:40:42 LEADERSHIP. WE HAD A GOVERNOR WHO WAS 10:40:45 INDECISIVE, MET WITH THE PRESIDENT, MET WITH THE MAYOR 10:40:47 AND DIDN'T MAKE A DECISION. WANTED MORE TIME. 10:40:50 WE HAD A MAYOR, THOUGH WELL-INTENTIONED, IS HOLED UP 10:40:53 IN A HOTEL ROOM WITHOUT COMMUNICATIONS, AGAIN, GOOD 10:40:57 INTENTIONS, KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON ON THE GROUND, BUT NOBODY'S 10:40:59 IN CHARGE. AND MR. BROWN, THE CONCERN THAT 10:41:02 I HAVE IS, YOU KNOW, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE I'M HEARING BALLS 10:41:06 TO THE WALL, BUT I'M LOOKING AT EMAILS AND LACK OF 10:41:12 RESPONSIVENESS. MARTY, ON SENDING AN EMAIL 10:41:15 ABOUT SITUATION PAST CRITICAL -- THIS IS ON WEDNESDAY AT THIS 10:41:18 TIME. HOTEL'S KICKING PEOPLE OUT, 10:41:20 DYING PATIENTS. AND YOUR RESPONSE IS, THANKS 10:41:22 FOR THE UPDATE. ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO 10:41:27 TWEAK?" WE HAVE QUESTIONS ON -- 10:41:28 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU TAKE THAT OUST 10:41:31 CONTEXT. BECAUSE YOU DO THAT ON THE FLY 10:41:33 SAYING, YES, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO TWEAK. 10:41:36 AND WHAT YOU IGNORE IS WHAT'S DONE BEYOND THAT, WHICH IS 10:41:39 CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE, TALKING TO THE OPERATIONS 10:41:42 PEOPLE AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THINGS ARE GETTING DONE. 10:41:44 AND I'M FRANKLY GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF THESE EMAILS BEING 10:41:47 TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT WITH WORDS LIKE "WHAT DO I NEED TO TWEAK," 10:41:51 BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW, IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT I 10:41:53 NEED TO TWEAK. AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE 10:41:55 ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF THAT'S GOING ON, SENATOR. 10:41:57 SO WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DON'T DRAW CONCLUSIONS FROM AN EMAIL. 10:42:01 >> MR. BROWN, I WLD MAINTAIN THAT IN FACT THE CONTEXT OF THE 10:42:05 EMAILS ARE VERY CLEAR, THAT TH SHOW A LACK OF 10:42:08 RESPONSIVENESS, THAT THEY SHOW A DISCONNECT. 10:42:10 THAT'S THE CONTEXT. IN FACT, I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE 10:42:13 INDIVIDUAL ONES. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 10:42:15 CONTEXT OF THE EMAIL DISCUSSION, YOU'RE GETTING 10:42:18 INFORMATION, YOU'RE GETTING INFORMATION ON MONDAY, 11:57, A 10:42:22 MESSAGE SAYING, "NEW ORLEANS REPORTED 20-FOOT WIDE BREACH. 10:42:25 IT'S 11:57." YOUR EMAIL, NOT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:42:29 COMING BACK, I'M TOLD HERE WATER NOT OVER THE BRIDGE. 10:42:33 OBVIOUSLY IT HASN'T HIT THE FAN FOR YOU. 10:42:35 SO I DON'T THINK IT'S OUT OF CONTEXT. 10:42:37 I THINK THE CONTEXT OF THE EMAILS, AND NOT JUST THE 10:42:41 EMAILS, BUT THE THINGS THAT WE AS AMERICANS SAW TO ME IS 10:42:45 SLUT'S STUNNING -- YOU'VE GOT -- ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, YOU'VE 10:42:50 GOT PEOPLE SUFFERING, ALL OF AMERICA KNOWS THAT. 10:42:52 ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WATCH TV, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT CHANNEL YOU 10:42:55 WATCH, AND WE HAVE YOU SAYING AT THAT TIME "WE'VE JUST 10:42:59 LEARNED -- THIS IS A CNN INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER 1. 10:43:02 NOT OUT OF CONTEXT. "AND SO THIS IS THE CATASTROPHE 10:43:08 THAT CONTINUES TO GROW. EVERY PERSON IN THAT CONVENTION 10:43:11 CENTER, WE JUST LEARNED THAT TODAY. 10:43:12 I'VE DIRECTED WE HAVE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES." 10:43:15 I KNEW A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AS AN AMERICAN. 10:43:17 SO LET ME FINISH THE COMMENT. WHAT I HEAR HERE IS YOU SAYING, 10:43:21 WELL, THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEM FALLS WITH THE MITER REPORT, IN 10:43:25 WHICH IT WAS LAID OUT VERY CLEARLY THE STRUCTURAL 10:43:31 INADEQUACIES, AND YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY IS YOU HAD 10:43:33 CONVERSATIONS. YOU PUSHED THAT FORWARD. 10:43:34 CAN YOU SHOW ME WHETHER EITHER IN THE EMAILS OR IN THE RECORD 10:43:38 YOUR VERY CLEAR DIRECTIVES TO GO, QUOTE, BALLS TO THE WALL, 10:43:41 TO CLEAR UP THIS SITUATION, TO FIX IT? 10:43:43 DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT I CAN LOOK AT IN WRITING THAT GIVES 10:43:46 SUBSTANCE TO WHAT YOU'VE TESTIFIED TO TODAY? 10:43:48 >> ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. 10:43:51 I'VE TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE THAT I MISSPOKE ON THAT 10:43:56 DAY REGARDING THAT EMAIL. WE LEARNED ABOUT THE CONVENTION 10:44:00 CENTER ON WEDNESDAY. BECAUSE THE CONVENTION CENTER 10:44:02 WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. IT WAS NOT PLANNED FOR. 10:44:05 IT WAS NOT IN ANYONE'S PLANS, INCLUDING THE CITY AND THE 10:44:08 STATES. AND WHEN WE LEARNED ABOUT IT ON 10:44:10 WEDNESDAY NIGHT WE IMMEDIATELY STARTED DEMANDING THE ARMY AND 10:44:14 RESOURCES TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. AND THERE ARE EMAILS IN THE 10:44:17 PACKAGES THAT YOU HAVE WHERE I'M SCREAMING WHERE'S THE ARMY, 10:44:20 I NEED THE ARMY NOW. WHY HASN'T IT SHOWN UP. 10:44:23 AND BECAUSE I MISSPOKE ABOUT WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT THE 10:44:26 CONVENTION CENTER, AFTER BEING UP FOR 24 HOURS, YOU WANT TO 10:44:29 TAKE THAT OUT OF CONTEXT AND, SENATOR, I'M NOT GOING TO ALLOW 10:44:33 YOU TO DO THAT. >> LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A 10:44:36 CONVERSATION THAT MAYOR NAGIN CAME BEFORE US, THIS COMMITTEE, 10:44:40 AND HE TALKED ABOUT GOING TO THE ZEPHYR STADIUM, AND MAYOR 10:44:46 NAGIN'S STATEMENT IS I WAS SO FLABBERGASTED. 10:44:48 WE'RE IN NEW ORLEANS. WE WERE STRUGGLING. 10:44:50 IT'S TOUCH AND GO RELATING TO SECURITY. 10:44:53 I GOT OFF THE HELICOPTER AND JUST STARTED WALKING AROUND AND 10:44:56 I WAS AWESTRUCK. WE HAD BEEN REQUESTING THE 10:45:01 SUPERDOME BECAUSE WE WERE STANDING AT NIGHT, TO MAKE A 10:45:05 LONG STORY SHORT. THERE WERE POOR CONDITIONS. 10:45:08 WE WANTED PORTABLE TOILETS. THEY HAD THEM ALL OVER THE 10:45:11 PLACE. WERE YOU WITH MAYOR NAGIN AT 10:45:14 THE TIME? >> I DON'T KNOW WHETHER -- I 10:45:16 DON'T KNOW WHETHER I WAS WITH HIM ON THAT PARTICULAR DATE OR 10:45:18 NOT. BUT I KNOW THE AREA HE'S 10:45:20 TALKING ABOUT. >> AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO THIS 10:45:22 COMMITTEE WHY, IF THERE HAD BEEN OBVIOUS DEEP CONCERNS 10:45:26 ABOUT SANITARY FACILITIES, ABOUT LIGHTING, WHY THOSE 10:45:29 FACILITIES, THOSE CONCERNS, HAD NOT BEEN MET? 10:45:31 >> BECAUSE THEY WERE HAVING -- THE UNITED STATES ARMY, THE 10:45:38 NATIONAL GUARD, WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY GETTING THOSE 10:45:42 SUPPLIES INTO THE SUPERDOME. YOU NEED THAT UNDERSTAND THAT 10:45:45 THERE ARE MEDIA REPORTS OF SHOOTING, THERE ARE MEDIA 10:45:48 REPORTS OF LOOTING AND EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON. 10:45:49 AND IF THE ARMY MOVES IN THERE, THE ARMY KILLS PEOPLE. 10:45:53 AND SO THEY HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT MOVING THOSE 10:45:55 THINGS IN THERE. BY THE SAME TOKEN, YOU HAD 10:45:59 CIVILIANS WHO COMBAN TO MOVE THINGS IN THERE AND CONE GET 10:46:02 THEM THERE. SO, YES, THERE WERE THINGS 10:46:05 STOCKPILED AND AS THAT SUPPLY CHAIN CONTINUED TO PILE UP, 10:46:09 ZEPHYR FIELD WAS FULL OF A LOT OF STUFF AND THOSE THINGS WERE 10:46:12 CONTINUING TO GO ON THE OTHER END TO GET INTO THE CITY. 10:46:16 FOR YOU TO TAKE A SNAPSHOT OF THE PLAYER GOING THERE FOR A 10:46:19 FEW MINUTES AND HIM SCREAMING IN HIS TYPICAL WAY ABOUT I WANT 10:46:23 ALL OF THIS STUFF IN THE CITY IS TAKING IT OUT OF CONTEXT, 10:46:26 SENATOR. >> WHEN DID YOU ORDER THAT FOOD 10:46:28 AND WATER BE DELIVERED INTO THE CONVENTION CENTER? 10:46:30 >> THE DAY THAT WE LEARNED ABOUT IT, THAT WEDNESDAY. 10:46:33 WE IMMEDIATELY ORDERED THAT STUFF TO BE MOVED. 10:46:36 WHETHER IT WAS OR NOT -- WHETHER IT WAS ACTUALLY DONE OR 10:46:39 NOT IS THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING. 10:46:41 AND IF IT WASN'T, YOU NEED TO BE ASKING WHY. 10:46:44 BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE THE CAPACITY WITHIN FEMA OURSELVES 10:46:48 TO DO THAT, AND WE NEEDED THE FIFTH ARMY OR THE FIRST ARMY TO 10:46:51 MOVE THAT STUFF IN THERE. PLUS, I WOULD ALSO REMIND YOU 10:46:55 THAT THERE'S NO -- >> MR. BROWN, JUST ON THAT 10:46:59 POINT ALONE, AND THAT'S WHAT MY NOTES INDICATE. 10:47:04 RECORDS HAD BEEN PRODUCED TO THE COMMITTEE INDICATE THAT 10:47:05 FEMA DID NOT ORDER, DID NOT ORDER FOOD AND WATER FOR THE 10:47:09 CONVENTION CENTER UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. 10:47:13 >> I CAN TELL YOU UNEQUIVOCALLY, SENATOR, UNDER 10:47:16 OATH, THAT THE MINUTE THAT I LEARNED THAT THERE WERE PEOPLE 10:47:20 IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, I TURNED TO BILLOW KEY, MY 10:47:23 INDIVIDUAL, MY OPERATIONS PERSON ON THE GROUND AND SAID 10:47:26 GET M.R.E.'S, GET STUFF MOVING IN THERE. 10:47:29 >> DID YOU EVER FOLLOW UP TO FIND OUT WHETHER THAT HAPPENED? 10:47:32 >> SENATOR, I CONTINUED TO DO OPERATIONS AS BEST I COULD ALL 10:47:36 ALONG THROUGHOUT THAT TIME AND I WOULD CONTINUALLY ASK 10:47:40 QUESTIONS, ARE THINGS HAPPENING, ARE THINGS 10:47:41 HAPPENING, ARE THINGS HAPPENING. 10:47:42 >> THE RECORD IS VERY CLEAR AS TO WHEN THE ORDER WAS GIVEN. 10:47:45 IT WAS GIVEN ON FRIDAY. AND MY CONCERN IS THIS, MR. 10:47:51 BROWN -- AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. 10:47:54 I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED 10:47:57 ABOUT THE FUNCTION OF DHS AND THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA. 10:48:01 BUT AS I LISTEN TO YOUR TESTIMONY, YOU'RE NOT PREPARED 10:48:03 TO KIND OF PUT A MIRROR IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE AND 10:48:07 RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN INADEQUACIES AND SAY I MADE SOME BIG 10:48:11 MISTAKES, I DIDN'T GET THINGS DONE. 10:48:14 AND INSTEAD, YOU'RE SAYING THE PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL, I KNEW 10:48:16 IT UP FRONT, I REALLY TRIED TO CHANGE IT. 10:48:18 THE RECORD, THE ENTIRETY OF THE RECORD, DOESN'T REFLECT THAT. 10:48:21 AND PERHAPS YOU MAY GET A MORE SYMPATHETIC HEARING IF YOU HAD 10:48:24 A WILLINGNESS TO KIND OF CONFESS YOUR OWN SINS IN THIS. 10:48:30 YOUR TESTIMONY HERE IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO COMMUNICATE TO 10:48:33 THE PRESIDENT AS TO WHAT HE UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:35 I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. 10:48:37 I'M NOT SURE YOU GOT IT. I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU THE 10:48:39 RECORD, NOT THE EMAILS, BUT THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT YOU DIDN'T 10:48:42 GET IT OR YOU DIDN'T, IN WRITING OR SOME WAY, MAKE 10:48:45 COMMANDS THAT WOULD MOVE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE UNTIL 10:48:48 WAY AFTER IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. 10:48:50 >> SENATOR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO 10:48:55 SAY? I HAVE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES 10:48:59 PUBLICLY, I'VE ADMITTED TO MISTAKES IN HEARINGS. 10:49:02 WHAT MORE, SENATOR COLEMAN, DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:04 >> WELL, I THINK -- >> WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:07 I'M ASKING YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? 10:49:09 >> WHAT I HEARD TODAY AND WHAT I HEARD FROM YOUR TESTIMONY AND 10:49:11 COMING IN AND TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE STRUCTURAL THINGS THAT, 10:49:15 THE DYEAS CAST. THAT WAS YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY. 10:49:19 AND I HAVE MY OWN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTEGRATION OF FEMA 10:49:22 AND DHS BUT I HEARD TODAY THAT THE DIE 10:49:27 WAS CAST. >> IT WAS. 10:49:28 >> I'M SAYING THAT THE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 10:49:30 YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP. 10:49:32 EVEN WITH STRUCTURAL INFIRMITIES, STRONG LEADERSHIP 10:49:37 CAN OVERCOME THAT AND CLEARLY THAT WASN'T THE CASE HERE. 10:49:38 >> WELL, SENATOR, THAT'S VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY SITTING 10:49:43 BEHIND THAT DESK AND NOT BEING THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT 10:49:45 DISASTER WATCHING THAT HUMAN SUFFERING AND WATCHING THOSE 10:49:48 PEOPLE DYING AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH THOSE STRUCTURAL 10:49:55 DYSFUNCTION NATIONALITIES EVEN WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, AND I 10:49:58 RESENT YOU SITTING HERE SAYING I LACKED THE LEADERSHIP TO DO 10:50:00 THAST I WAS DOWN THERE PUSHING EVERYTHING THAT I COULD. 10:50:02 I'VE ADMITTED TO THOSE MISTAKES. 10:50:04 AND IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE FROM ME PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND 10:50:07 YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO ADMIT TO. 10:50:10 >> A LITTLE MORE CANDOR WOULD SUFFICE. 10:50:12 >> WHAT MORE CANDOR -- ASK ME THE QUESTION, SENATOR. 10:50:15 ASK ME THE QUESTION. >> THANK YOU. 10:50:17 BUT I THINK MY TIME IS UP. THANK YOU. 10:50:20 MADAM CHAIR. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM 10:50:24 CHAIRMAN. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I 10:50:30 ADMIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND COMMEND YOU AND YOUR RANKING 10:50:37 MEMBER FOR YOUR LEADERSHIPS ON PURSUING THESE HEARINGS FOR THE 10:50:45 SAKE OF THE SECURITY AND SAFETY OF OUR COUNTRY. 10:50:54 I AGREE WITH YOU, MADAM CHAIRMAN, AND WITH THE RANKING 10:50:57 MEMBER THAT IT IS UNFAIR TO LAY BLAME ON THE GROSS 10:51:05 MISMANAGEMENT OF THE DISASTER ON ONE OR TWO PEOPLE. 10:51:09 AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. BROWN SHOULD BE THE SCAPEGOAT 10:51:17 FOR ALL THAT WENT WRONG. >> THANK YOU, SENATOR. 10:51:19 >> HOWEVER, YOU AND MR. RHODE -- LET ME PUT IT YOU AND MR. 10:51:23 RHODE WERE IN CHARGE OF FEMA. AND I CAN RECALL HARRY TRUMAN'S 10:51:31 STATEMENT THAT THE BUCK STOPS HERE. 10:51:34 AND SO YOU'RE IT AND THE HEARING IS ON YOU. 10:51:41 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE IN LOUISIANA AND THROUGHOUT THE 10:51:46 GULF COAST REINFORCES THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED 10:51:51 LEADERS IN SENIOR POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF 10:51:54 HOMELAND SECURITY. THAT IS WHY I INTRODUCED 10:51:59 LEGISLATION LAST FALL TO REQUIRE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL 10:52:06 QUALIFICATIONS FOR MOST SENATE-CONFIRMED POSITIONS AT 10:52:09 DHS, NOR SHOULD WE FORGET THAT UNTIL 2003 FEMA WAS AN 10:52:19 INDEPENDENT CABINET-LEVEL AGENCY. 10:52:21 ONE OF MY REASONS FOR VOTING AGAINST GRADING DHS WAS THAT 10:52:28 FEMA WOULD NO LONGER OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY. 10:52:33 FEMA'S ACTIVITIES AND BUDGET ARE CONTROLLED BY THE SECRETARY 10:52:38 OF THE DEPARTMENT. WE CANNOT FORGET THE PROBLEMS 10:52:44 OF FEMA, THAT THEY ARE THE PROBLEMS OF DHS AND THE 10:52:51 ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. 10:52:59 MR. BROWN, MY QUESTION RELATES TO A SAME YOU MADE DURING YOUR 10:53:06 INTERVIEW WITH THE COMMITTEE. WHEN ASKED ABOUT WHETHER YOU 10:53:09 WERE KEEPING SECRETARY CHERTOFF APPRISED OF THE SITUATION IN 10:53:15 NEW ORLEANS ON MONDAY, THE DAY THE STORM HIT, YOU STATED THAT 10:53:20 YOU, AND I QUOTE, DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAD 10:53:23 ANY OPERATIONAL MANDATE AT THAT POINT, AND THAT IF THE 10:53:32 SECRETARY WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT SOMETHING, HE CAN EITHER 10:53:34 CALL ME DIRECTLY OR REACH OUT TO HSOC TO GET THAT 10:53:44 INFORMATION, END QUOTE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WASN'T IT 10:53:48 YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS UNDERSECRETARY TO KEEP 10:53:51 SECRETARY CHERTOFF INFORMED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS OF AN ONGOING 10:53:56 CRISIS THAT INVOLVED MULTIPLE COMMONWEALTHS OF HIS AGENCY -- 10:54:03 MULTIPLE COMPONENTS OF HIS AGENCY. 10:54:07 WHAT'S YOUR COMMENT ON THAT? >> YES, SENATOR, IT IS MY 10:54:09 RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP HIM INFORMED AND WE HAVE STRUCTURES 10:54:12 IN PLACE BY WHICH TO DO THAT. THE HSOC AND HIS 10:54:16 REPRESENTATIVES ARE INVOLVED ON THE VTCS, AND HE AND I 10:54:19 EXCHANGED PHONE CALLS AND TALKED AT TIMES TO DO THAT. 10:54:22 BUT WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING OPERATIONS, THE PRIMARY 10:54:26 RESPONSIBILITY HAS TO BE TO RUN OPERATIONS, AND THEN YOU FEED 10:54:30 INFORMATION AS YOU SHOULD THROUGH THE CHANNELS, THROUGH 10:54:33 THE VTCS, THROUGH THE EMAILS, THROUGH THE SITUATIONAL 10:54:37 REPORTS THAT GET TO HIM. AND THEN IF HE HAS QUESTIONS 10:54:41 ABOUT ANY OF THOSE REPORTS THAT COME TO HIM, HE CAN CALL ME, OR 10:54:44 IF THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE REPORTS THAT I THINK IS OF 10:54:47 PARTICULAR INTEREST TO HIM, THEN I WOULD CALL AND TELL HIM. 10:54:53 >> MR. BROWN, IN YOUR INTERVIEW YOU REFERRED TO THE SO-CALLED 10:54:58 TAX, SO-CALLED TAX THAT FEMA WAS FORCED TO PAY. 10:55:12 YOU SAID THAT THE TAX FUNDED THE SHARED COMPONENTS OF 10:55:16 DHS, SUCH AS THE SECTTARY OF STATE'S OFFICE AND THE I.T. 10:55:21 SYSTEM. YOU TOLD COMMITTEE 10:55:23 INVESTIGATORS THAT FEMA'S MEDICATION FUNDING SUFFED A 10:55:32 PROPORTIONATE REDUCTION BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO TAKE MONEY 10:55:35 OUT OF OTHER AREAS, SUCH AS THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE FUND. 10:55:38 YOU MAY RECALL THAT THE ADMINISTRATION TRIED TO REDUCE 10:55:43 FEMA'S MITIGATION FUNDING PRIOR TO THE CREATION OF DHS 10:55:50 THE PRESIDENT'S FY-02 BUDGET PROPOSED ELIMINATING THE 10:55:56 PREDISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM WHICH LATER WAS SAVED BY 10:55:59 CONGRESS. THE ADMINISTRATION RESPONDED BY 10:56:02 SEEKING TO ELIMINATE ALL POST-DISASTER MITIGATION 10:56:08 FUNDING IN FY-03. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS IS IT 10:56:16 POSSIBLE THAT THE REASON THEY TOOK SUCH A HARD HIT WHEN 10:56:19 DHS COLLECTED ITS TAX IS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS ARE -- 10:56:26 AREN'T VALUED BY THE ADMINISTRATION? 10:56:28 >> IT'S NICE TO APPEAR BEFORE A COMMITTEE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN 10:56:31 AND NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY TALKING POINTS OR SAPS THAT SAY 10:56:37 WHAT YOU CAN OR CANNOT SAY, BUT YES, THAT IS PART OF THE 10:56:43 PROBLEM. THE BELIEF THAT MITIGATION 10:56:45 PROGRAMS DON'T HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT RATIO, SO WE HAVE TO 10:56:49 ELIMINATE THEM. WHEN INDEED, I DO BELIEVE THERE 10:56:51 IS A GOOD SIDE TO IT, THAT THE ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES THAT 10:56:55 PREDISASTER MITIGATION FUNDS COULD BE USED. 10:56:57 SO THERE'S A BALANCE TO BE STRUCK. 10:57:00 TRY TO DO BOTH PREAND POST-DISASTER. 10:57:02 BUFF I DO THINK THE MITIGATION TO A CERTAIN EXTENT WAS GIVEN 10:57:05 THE BACK SEAT. >> MR. BROWN, IN A RESPONSE TO 10:57:14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE PUBLIC DEFENDER THIS COMMITTEE IN JUNE 10:57:19 2002 TO BE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FEMA, YOU STATED, AND I QUOTE, 10:57:23 MITIGATION WILL CONTINUE TO BE A PRIMARY FOCUS FOR THE AGENCY, 10:57:26 UNQUOTE. AS UNDERSECRETARY, DID YOU 10:57:32 CONSIDER INFORMING CONGRESS THAT MITIGATION PROGRAMS WERE 10:57:38 NOT BEING PRIORITIZED AND WERE IN FACT RECEIVING LESS 10:57:43 REFUNDING THAN YOU THOUGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE UNDER DHS? 10:57:46 >> I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS IN 10:57:50 DC, THAT A AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR CAN HAVE HIS 10:57:55 PRIORITIES AND O.M.B. CAN HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES AND NEVER 10:58:02 SHALL THE TWO MEET. AND DESPITE MY PERSONAL BELIEF 10:58:05 THAT MITIGATION IS GOOD AND WE NEED MORE MIT COMBATION FUNDING 10:58:08 IN THIS COUNTRY, OMGTAKES A DIFFERENT TACT, THAT THEY DON'T 10:58:14 HAVE A GOOD COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS, WHICH YOU CAN ARGUE 10:58:17 ALL DAY LONG. I BELIEVE THAT IT DOES. 10:58:19 SO SUBSEQUENTLY, MITIGATION GETS CUT. 10:58:20 I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT SHOULD. BUT BY THE SAME TOKEN, SENATOR, 10:58:24 I THINK YOU WOULD NOT RESPECT ME IF I CAME TO YOU IN YOUR 10:58:28 OFFICE AND SAT DOWN AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I KNOW THE PRESIDENT 10:58:31 HAS PROPOSED THIS, BUT, YOU KNOW, HERE'S MY PERSONAL 10:58:34 BELIEF. NOW, YES, SOMETIMES I WOULD TRY 10:58:36 TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT MY REAL BELIEF 10:58:39 WAS IN HOPES THAT THEY COULD MAYBE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 10:58:42 BUT I WOULD NEVER TRY -- I WOULD NEVER BE THAT -- WOULD 10:58:46 NOT WANT THAT BE -- WANT TO BE THAT DISLOYAL. 10:58:51 >> MR. BROWN, MARTY, THE FEMA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AND ONE 10:58:58 THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED BY OTHER SENATORS WAS
United States Senate 1500 -1600
The Senate works on H.R. 3673, the Emergency Supplemental Disaster Relief Act, for Hurricane Katrina Relief Funds and HR. 2862, the Commerce, Science, and Justice Department appropriations bill. 15:00:11.5 lives back together again, which is, of course, a pressing challenge, seek employment and chart out a future for themselves. this amendment, recognizing the overwhelming need for stable 15:00:30.6 housing, proposes an emergency housing voucher program of $3.5 billion, which would provide temporary rental assistance to more than 350,000 displaced families. 15:00:45.8 it eliminates -- or i should say, more accurately, suspends for a limit period of time many of the requirements and the restrictions that ordinarily apply to the housing voucher 15:01:01.6 program. for example, knit person or family displaced as a result of hurricane katrina would be eligible to receive this much-needed assistance. they could get a temporary housing voucher. this is without regard to their 15:01:16.5 income situation. i mean, it recognizes that the storm hit rich and poor alike, and this is an effort to give them some immediate short-term help so they can move out of the situation in which they find 15:01:30.2 themes selves. -- --in which they find themselves. the vouchers would quickly and efficiently move families across the country into the communities 15:01:42.9 in which they've relocated. so it will give them an opportunity with the voucher that would come to them to find housing for themselves and their families. they could move out of the shelters. they could move out of temporary 15:02:01.4 facilities. they could cease to live with relatives, friends, or indeed strangers. the rental assistance will be flexible, it will be easy to use, it would have payments 15:02:13.8 sufficient that they can find suitable housing. the funds provided could be used anywhere in the country by those who had been impacted by the hurricane. the situation was created by the hurricane -- to pay for rent, 15:02:28.9 security deposits, relocation expenses, and moving expenses back to the affected areas at the appropriate time.n so when the time comes, they could return to their homes if that was the choice. 15:02:45.1 the assistance would be available for initial period of six months. it's limited. a further six months is available, an extension, unless the secretary of the u.s. department of housing and urban development finds that the 15:03:01.1 assistance is no longer needed. but the maximum extent of these temporary housing vouchers would be -- the maximum -- would be one year. it would be six months with a possibility of an extension. the emergency program would be administered by h.u.d., which 15:03:21.2 could operate the vouchers directly or provide the vouchers to local housing agencies, state and local governments or other entities so long as the vouchers get out quickly to those in need we have a complicated problem 15:03:36.4 here because the public housing authorities are, of course, locally based. and the ones where the people have been displaced are in effect out of business. there is no housing there, by definition, since people have 15:03:51.0 had to evacuate and leave. these people now have been moved to different parts of the country. we need to be able to get these vouchers to them and get them to them quickly. we know people want to return to their neighborhoods, but it will probably be months before that 15:04:07.8 is at all possible. now ordinaryily, fema provides trailers and other housing after a disaster. that's how ordinarily it works. but the magnitude and scope of 15:04:23.3 this disaster is unprecedented. fema has never had to deal with something of this magnitude, and it was the judgment in putting this amendment together that h.u.d. had an expertise with respect to these rental 15:04:45.2 vouchers. the emergency is a new dimension for h.u.d., but we thought that they have a trained staff and could take over this responsibility and move it forward quickly. 15:04:56.8 i might note that the secretary of housing and urban development, secretary jackson, earlier in his career has had very extensive experience directing public housing authorities in washington, d.c., 15:05:11.2 st. louis, missouri; and in dallas, texas. so he's had a lot of experience, actually, on the ground with respect to housing, and we think that he could marshal the department and its staff to respond in this situation. 15:05:31.3 this only begins to deal with the problem. i don't begin to assert that this represents a total or comprehensive solution to the housing challenge. but enables us to get underway. any family displaced by the 15:05:48.9 hurricane would be eligible to receive a temporary voucher to pay for renting safe and decent housing, to pay for rent, security, utility deposits, relocation expenses. and then eventually, we hope, moving expenses back to their 15:06:04.9 permanent homes. these vouchers could be used anywhere across the country. it would not require a certification of income initially in order to get the voucher, and the families would be relieved of paying the rent, 15:06:22.4 their portion of the rent which is required under the regular voucher program, until family members return to work. once they return to work, the tenants would have to pay rental payments just as they do in the 15:06:35.2 regular housing voucher program. so we're trying to cover all the bases here. 15:06:41.7 we're trying to be very sensitive to the problem. we're trying to look at the problem through the eyes of those who have been struck by the hurricane in terms of how they see it. these people are now there. all kinds of, really kind of make-shift housing is being 15:06:56.7 found for them. but that, even on a temporary basis, doesn't represent an appropriate response. and so we want to move them a little farther down the path towards having a normal, more normal living situation. we ease up a little bit about 15:07:15.2 the amount of rent they can pay. we allow it to go a bit above the median instead of having to be below the median, because we know that finding rental -- finding rental units will be a 15:07:32.8 difficult, difficult job. as i said, this is -- gives authorities to h.u.d. they don't know have to directly administer the program, so they can reach out to these former residents of 15:07:46.3 the gulf coast who are now scattered out across the country. they can work with the housing agency, state and local governments and other entities. as i noted, it has a limited time provision. so it would enable us to in 15:08:08.3 effect provide all of these people who have been, had to leave their home, an opportunity to put some stability into their lives so they could then go on 15:08:21.5 and deal with the other problems that are confronting them, the problems of getting their kids back in school, the problems of employment, the problems of meeting all of the other pressures that have come before us. 15:08:36.2 but we've moved these people out. some are being held in shelters. others are being dispersed. what's the next step for them? and we think this represents the next step. it's a targeted approach. the authorities it gives are temporary. 15:08:53.5 the limitations and restrictions it eases or removes are done on a temporary basis, so it is not permanent in its eventual impact but it does provide for the next 6 to 12 months a degree of 15:09:15.6 stability and a degree of permanence which i think is very important in enabling the people who have been struck by this tragedy to help put their lives back together again. and i very much hope when propt 15:09:32.0 time comes -- when the appropriate time comes my colleagues will support this proposal. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the 15:09:44.5 clerk will call the roll. quorum call: ms. mikulski: mr. president? 15:11:39.9 the presiding officer: 15:11:42.2 the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: i ask the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: thank you very much, mr. president. i wish to comment on the amendment that has just been offered by the senior senator from maryland, the ranking member from housing, on the housing voucher program. 15:11:56.9 i want very much to support his amendment because i think it's absolutely crucial that we do this. number one, there are people that are living under kind of three basic circumstances. they're either in shelters, which is really emergency 15:12:14.6 housing. and god bless all of the communities, red cross, the people of texas, everywhere that have provided shelter housing. but shelter housing is an emergency situation, and people 15:12:29.5 do need to move to stable housing. then there are those people who did evacuate. they might be of modest means. they might be of other middle-class means. but they have been living in like hotels and motels along the 15:12:45.4 way. they have been living off of their credit cards. they're now out of money. they're out of gas. they wonder what to do next. they need to be able to move into housing. and also, in order to be able to get a job, you need an address. 15:13:00.6 in order to get a benefit, you need an address. and then there are the third group of people that have been embraced by churches. they're living maybe with strangers or even living with relatives. 15:13:14.5 but for many people, their relatives are also on a tight, shoestring or on a pocketbook. so you see, we've had generosity of spirit, generosity of heart, and even generosity of wallet. but that is so limited until 15:13:33.0 people can move into other type of housing. in this case, as someone who once was the appropriator for h.u.d., we knew that so-called housing vouchers were known as section 8, and they were for 15:13:47.9 either the poor or the elderly. here, because of what's happened, everybody's poor and stretched to the limit with no income in this situation. so they need help. and i believe that this program 15:14:04.4 offers both the reimbursement -- the voucher, but also enough constraints so that it is -- it's not a lavish giveaway program. the point that i also want to make is that housing is really 15:14:21.6 limited. and even temporary housing. my colleague, senator sarbanes, has spoken about fema and its trailers. we know about fema and its trailers because we were hit by 15:14:35.3 hurricane isabel. we were grateful. we were absolutely grateful. but when i heard the fema trailers were coming to the eastern shore or to miller's island, i thought they were trailers, almost a version of a manufactured home. when i went to see them and to 15:14:50.8 meet with the people in them, they were campers. so when we hear that the trailers are coming, these aren't trailers the way you see in a trailer park. these are the kind of campers you see for an overnight, and they're very limited and they 15:15:07.3 are also very expensive to heat or to air condition. but thank god when they come. mr. chairman, yesterday i spoke to one of the leading private-sector people who has a substantial number -- 15:15:21.0 corporation has a substantial number of employees in both louisiana and mississippi. they tried to rent trailers and rent r.v.'s to take down for their employees, that they were 15:15:37.9 going to get ahold of them and lease them for almost rent-free to their employees so that the employees would have a place to work, they would know where those employees were and begin to put them back to work.? well, guess what? 15:15:55.0 they couldn't find any. at practically every trailer and every r.v. in america son its way down to the gulf. they've already been purchased or leased or whatever. well, we think that's great because there's something heading threw 15:16:11.4 there, but this is a private sector corporation with deep pockets that was trying to jump in to help. so we have a sense of the magnitude of the crisis. so these vouchers will add an r to what we need when we talk about 15:16:26.7 emergency management response. i won't talk about the reformed fema today. we had a reformed fema that went over to a department called homeland security. 15:16:41.0 i believe when it did that, it lost its focus. but we had three r's that we practiced -- readiness, response and recovery. now i'm going to add a fourth r, reinforcement. we have to reimburse these communities that 15:16:56.3 are taking in people. just look at texas alone, other communities. i know your community has been quite generous, mr. president, and again we salute you. you know, we could end up in compassion fatigue, and we need to 15:17:13.0 have a government safety net, so i think this housing voucher will do a lot. you know what else i think it will do? i think it will do a lot for mental health. i think if you have your own kitchen, your own stove, your own address and your children can go 15:17:29.7 to school not out of a shelter, though god bless the shelters, i think it will do a lot to begin to restore peoples' sense of stability that they have. so i think that this is a very good idea. it is temporary. it is time limited, both 15:17:47.6 in terms of the flexibility of the rigs and so on. i think this will go a long way to really using the private marketplace and the private sector and also be able to 15:18:03.4 reimburse other nonprofits that are also finding housing and so on. so i salute my colleague and the leadership for doing this and look forward to supporting it. mr. president, i yield 15:18:16.9 the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. a senator: mr. president, i want to take some time out to review the situation that we've seen in front of us for the last week. 15:18:38.0 mr. lautenberg: it was a terrible week for our country, and one simply had to listen to the eloquent remarks given by the senator from louisiana, 15:18:55.4 senator landrieu. she described in very moving words and tone what kinds of things that she personally 15:19:08.1 witnessed and that went on in the state of louisiana particularly and new orleans. and we all have to learn from that experience that we've got to be ready for any eventualal 15:19:28.2 -- eventuality. the american people watched in horror and disbelief as this incredible tragedy played out on live television in louisiana, 15:19:42.4 mississippi and alabama, and for most of us, it was from the safety of our homes or businesses that we watched with horror fellow americans suffer unbelievable loss 15:20:00.1 and pain. and the worst part is that as we watched this tragedy envelop thousands displaced from 15:20:12.4 homes and family without a significant response, why did they suffer so long before appropriate action was put into place, and that is because the federal 15:20:28.2 government was not prepared. now, how could the administration not have been prepared for this? we had advanced warning that a major disaster was looming. we see this picture. it tells you what is 15:20:45.9 happening on sunday, august 28. the swell of the winds and the feriocity of the action is almost enough 15:20:58.2 to frighten you just looking at the picture. august 28th, sunday. katrina became a massive hurricane, a category five. it was in the gulf of mexico headed right for a large american city, a 15:21:16.4 city with tradition and history that all of us related to. actually, however, this city sat below sea level, new orleans. now, the mayor of new orleans on that sunday, 15:21:35.4 mayor ray nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city. so this wasn't news, 15:21:42.2 friends, no, no. this was obvious. you were going to get a punch in the face like you've never had before and your opponent was standing full fist in front of you. massive flooding was predicted before the 15:21:57.2 storm hit. at 6:00 a.m. monday morning, hurricane katrina and its storm surge hit greater new orleans and the mississippi coast. about 80% of the city's 15:22:12.4 residents were able to flee. others, especially the elderly, the infirmed, the poor, were left behind. also on monday, the 17th street levee in 15:22:30.5 new orleans broke and water flooded the city. one only needs to ask our junior senator from mississippi about the 15:22:45.1 wave of water that destroyed his house. he's told me that it was 26 feet high -- 26 feet high. that's two stories, more than two stories. levees gave way. flood waters quickly 15:23:00.8 overtook homes. residents scrambled for their lives, seeking refuge on rooftops, and we all saw the pictures of -- the vivid pictures of the heroic coast guard rescue, putting 15:23:16.7 people in baskets or hanging on to them around their necks to get them out of the way of the oncoming flood. more than 30 elderly residents of a nursing home died in that 15:23:33.3 rapidly rising tide. on monday, august 29 -- now remember, the first picture was sunday, that was the warning bell that we saw going off -- on monday, august 29, many in new orleans were 15:23:50.9 evacuating their homes, afloat in rushing water, trying to keep themselves and their families from drowning. here's a photo taken about midday that monday. 15:24:05.3 and i'd appreciate it if those who see this would keep this time in mind -- monday, that terrible image. look at it. people standing in water up to their waists. 15:24:21.6 some look like they were up to their necks. obviously holding children at the same time, holding bundles on their heads to keep them dry. by tuesday we saw conditions deteriorate at the louisiana 15:24:38.6 superdome where people had already sought refuge. they suddenly needed to move again. reporters at the scene told grim stories of no food, no air conditioning, no usable water, overflowing 15:24:54.9 toilets in the superdome. and tens of thousands of human beings were stranded in these inhumane conditions. now, while media members were spread across new orleans, the federal 15:25:12.0 government seemed to have no presence whatsoever. i remember personally watching jean meserve reporting on cnn, almost blown over by the frosty of the winds, tears in 15:25:27.7 her eyes and a quivering voice. she was crying as she gave her report about the horror that she was witnessing. she was barely able, again, to holderest in position -- to hold 15:25:46.4 herself in position. these people, desperate people, trudged up highways and overpasses. i'm sure they assumed that help would soon come. even though they waited in plain sight on an elevated highway, no 15:26:00.3 help arrived. so they baked in the heat, and they looked desperately toward the sky for any hint of help, but there was little sign from the federal government, little sign of help, other than the 15:26:15.3 courageous coast guard rescue teams pulling people off of rooftops. on tuesday, as this devastation was being unleashed on new orleans, where was 15:26:31.6 president bush? he flew to california, in the opposite 15:26:41.0 direction of the crisis, as tens of thousands of americans were fighting their lives -- fighting for their lives, many of them dying. the president was in california. 15:26:54.8 it was an important moment. he gave a speech commemorating v.j. day. i remember v.j. very clearly. i was on a ship going from europe, where i served during the war, back to america to go on 15:27:13.6 to japan. it was an important moment, but was it important enough for the president to leave his post, to leave his command when people were 15:27:31.8 trying to stay alive? this is a picture taken on tuesday, august 30, 2005. it was 2:56 eastern time -- pacific? 15:27:53.9 eastern time. i'm sorry, eastern time. which made it about two hours different in central time, new orleans. 15:28:09.0 the president was enjoying the day. he was strumming a guitar. and i don't deny him the pleasures of office, but people were drowning! they were trying to save 15:28:26.4 their live, save their home, save their kids at the same time. the president was not in touch with the country. it was one of the worst failures of leadership in our nation's history. it was like an army 15:28:45.4 preparing for battle only to find out that the top general has gone awol. millions of americans ask: how could this happen in the 21st century in america? 15:29:00.2 our hearts were broken, all of us, anybody who saw it. i remember conversations with family and friends and how horrified they were to see people struggling, to hear tales of children being swept from parents' 15:29:17.7 arms, of the woman who sat with her husband as he pleaded for needed medication. and he died in her presence. 15:29:35.3 senator landrieu told us the story about the man who was sent to protect the mayor of new orleans he stayed with the mayor three days, and when he 15:29:49.6 went to his home, he found out that his wife and child or children had died. and he was so overcome that he took a pistol out and he blew his head 15:30:05.3 off. he committed suicide. how terrible the whole thing was. what many people don't understand is that the incompetence of the 15:30:22.7 leadership in their country seemed to be almost an indifference. what many americans concluded is -- last week was that the bush administration cannot 15:30:37.6 protect us. when faced with the real crisis, the white house displayed a lack of involvement.n a failure of leadership. 15:30:52.8 and to make matters worse, our president refuses to accept responsibility. president truman, who sat at this very desk, his name is written here, he said, "the buck 15:31:11.8 stops here." but that's not what we saw in the white house those terrible days. now the president has an idea about how to determine what went 15:31:26.3 wrong. he wants to begin an investigation headed by himself, an investigation of self is not 15:31:41.5 the best way to get the facts. the hurricane that struck new orleans on august 29 was a force of nature, but the damage and the disaster that followed was 15:31:58.0 compounded by a failure of leadership. and since the president and the president's team have already 15:32:13.6 mishandled much of this tragedy, i urge my colleagues to roll up our sleeves and follow the lead of senator landrieu. she with senator vitter, senator 15:32:29.4 lott, senator cochran, as we craft a plan for recovery for these devastated communities, we have a moral obligation to rebuild not just these 15:32:45.9 businesses and landmarks but homes and communities, schools in every community regardless of class or color. one of our republican colleagues said something last weekend. he said that -- in talking about 15:33:08.1 the people who were suffering so much in the gulf area, he said, "you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put 15:33:25.5 people at risk" -- this is a quote, mr. president -- "people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings." he further said that there's a need to look at tougher 15:33:41.0 penalties on those who decide to risk -- to risk it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving. mr. president, to administer 15:33:56.8 more punishment to these people who didn't heed the warning, who didn't want to leave their homes, who didn't want to leave their familiar territory, who didn't want to leave a relative, perhaps, to put more punishment on them, to suggest that losing 15:34:12.4 a child and losing a home or losing mementos or losing that sift isn't enough, we should punish them further? a senator suggested that. what an outrage. yeah, he yielded later on. he said, oh, he might have been misunderstood. 15:34:26.8 read the words, then you don't have to figure out what was -- what was said. mr. president, we have to learn from this terrible tragedy. the country certainly is alert to the risks that we face from 15:34:44.9 terror from human initiated attack. from the state of new jersey, we lost 700 people. from new york, almost 2,000. 15:35:01.3 and we learned a lot. we learned that we have to protect ourselves. but it appears that the number dead in louisiana and mississippi is going to exceed 15:35:20.1 the number, as terrible as it was, of 9/11. and so we have to prepare ourselves in some way to deal with that problem, just as ardently, just as thoroughly as we do for -- to fight terrorism. 15:35:41.6 we need to pass legislation as soon as possible and we -- i hope that we will not be delayed 15:35:53.4 from doing that by any kind of recrimination from those who would like to pass the buck elsewhere, away from the place 15:36:09.6 that the responsibility belongs. we need to tell the gulf coast community that we believe in them, that the road to recovery is being built and that we will then proceed to examine the 15:36:24.4 history of what got us there. but people understood in many quarters that the levees were weak and the question arises 15:36:38.9 about what we did to shore them up. and i hope that examination will take place in the immediate future. we salute those people who endured the most unimaginable 15:37:03.4 kind of tragedy, have loved ones swept away by flood waters, to have a whole background of 15:37:13.7 memories taken away. and lots of places -- in lots of places, it wasn't just the housing but it was the memorabilia, it was the trinkets of childhood, childbearing, 15:37:30.8 raising kids and see it disappear. we have to be stronger. we have to be more leaderly. we cannot be awol when trouble 15:37:44.8 strikes on a bipartisan basis to, as they say, do the right thing. with that, i yield the floor. 15:38:04.3 note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: 15:53:23.3 quorum call.