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Katrina Just a Test Run?

09.02.2005 04:43 | DISPATCHES

From the Dossier of an Ex-Patriot.

Bet the administration was as ill-prepared for the media backlash from Hurricane Katrina as it was for the hurricane itself.

My colleague Mike Manville has provided a comprehensive overview of the media's reaction to the administration's shortcomings in his dispatch "The Failure of FEMA." Even the New York Times has been running lacerating editorials and Paul Krugman concluded today (September 2) that there was a "stunning lack of both preparation and urgency in the federal government's response."

As if that weren't enough, a recent joint Harvard School of Public Health and University of Pittsburgh study found that officials in twenty-six states were in the dark about how to handle a bioterror attack.

Then, when a reporter on cable TV news compared the aftermath of the hurricane to Hiroshima, his hyperbole, under the conditions, could be forgiven. In fact, it was welcomed if only because it brought to light the central question of our times:

If prevention of and preparation for natural disasters and a bioterror attack are underfunded, how are we supposed to avert or deal with a nuclear attack?
(Graham Allison, author of Nuclear Terrorism, assessed the administration's preventive measures in his article, "The Gravest Danger," American Prospect, March 3, 2005.)


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