Category Archives: Homeland Security
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino assured reporters that the ‘staged’ news conference organized on Tuesday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would not happen again, and said the White House would never employ such tactics at its own press briefings.
Isn’t the White House supposed to exercise oversight on FEMA Dana??? They are right? That’s what I always thought?
“It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we — we certainly don’t condone it,” said Perino.
According to a report published in the Washington Post, FEMA had instructed its own public relations staff to pose as reporters because no legitimate members of the media arrived in time for a hastily arranged briefing about the California wildfires – at least that’s the official story.
The deputy director of FEMA gave the reasoning.
“We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute,” a FEMA deputy director of public affairs told the Post. “We pulled questions from those we had been getting from reporters earlier in the day.”
Perino said FEMA alone was responsible for the decision to go ahead with the event.
“FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California,” she said. “It’s not something I would have condoned. And they, I’m sure, will not do it again.”
FEMA Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson, who fielded questions from the stand-in “reporters,” issued a statement today admitting an “error in judgment.”
“Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received,” he said. “We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent.”
Hey Harvey…just a heads up for you guys…most competently runs government agencies simply issue a press release. You know – just let folks know what’s up? Did you really think that having fake reporters present was going to make things more convincing? What was the point? Were you guys trying to reinforce to the American people that FEMA is basically not capable of handling anything. If so you succeeded…again.
Among the questions Johnson answered from FEMA employees was a question about the agency’s performance during the fires:
Here’s the complete list of questions asked during the fake briefing available at MSNBC’s First Read. Given the fact that no one can be sure that the answers weren’t also fake, we took the liberty of translating…
QUESTION 1: What type of commodities are you pledging to California?
“So I think we’re well ahead of the requirement and we’ll be able to make sure that all the shelters that are stood up are, in fact, all sustained and have sufficient materials and quantities of commodities to make sure they meet the demand of the people who might seek shelter.”
Translation: More moldy formaldehyde trailers at once for the homeless serfs! Just rinse that Arkansas farm mud off of them and we’re good to go!
QUESTION 2: Sir, there are a number of reports that people weren’t heeding evacuation orders and that was hindering emergency responders. Can you speak a little to that, please?
“So I think you’re seeing more compliance and more conformance with expected norms of travel.”
Translation: Wildfire and the imminent threat of roasting to death in your bathtub tends to breed compliance. Fact is, we never assisted in evacuation at all.
QUESTION 3: Can you address a little bit what it means to have the president issue an emergency declaration, as opposed to a major disaster declaration? What does that mean for FEMA?
“As an emergency declaration, it allows us to provide — to open up the Stafford Act and to provide the full range of protective measures and all the things that they need now in order to address the fire, If the governor had asked for a major declaration, that would have talked about individual assistance and public assistance at greater levels. And at this point, the governor has not asked for that.”
Translation: All the shit we didn’t do for black Louisiana victims, we decided to do for white California victims. We learned from our mistakes.
QUESTION 4: Sir, we understand the secretary and the administrator of FEMA are on their way out there. What is their objective? And is there anyone else traveling with them?
“..all the key leaders who are directing this effort and demonstrating a partnership through their effort will be out there at San Diego this afternoon. So I think it’s a good demonstration of support, recognizing that our role is not to usurp the state but to support the state. And they’ll demonstrate that by their presence.”
Translation: Arnold knows we suck and threatened to break Chertoff’s arms if we pulled a Katrina, so we backed off.
[Off-camera voice asks for another question)
QUESTION 5: Are you happy with FEMA’s response, so far?
“I’m very happy with FEMA’s response so far. This is a FEMA and a federal government that’s leaning forward, not waiting to react. And you have to be pretty pleased to see that.”
Translation: Well, we couldn’t f%#k things up any worse than Katrina now could we?
[Staff voice off camera: Last question.]
QUESTION: What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?
“I think what you’re really seeing here is the benefit of experience, the benefit of good leadership and the benefit of good partnership; none of which were present in Katrina.
“So, I think, as a nation, people should sit up and take notice that you have the worst wildfire season in history in California and look at how well the state and local governments are performing, look at how well we’re working together between state and federal partners.”
Translation: We learned a lot from Katrina. We learned that people need to eat and drink after 10 days, we learned that 50,000 people can’t share 10 bathrooms at the Superdome, we learned that Barbara Bush is out of touch and asked her not to hang around Qualcomm, and we learned not to park trailers in 12 inches of mud. Thank you.
Makes you proud to be an American doesn’t it?
A few months back I wrote a piece on the grossly unjust arrest and conviction of U.S. Border patrol Agents Compean and Ramos. We try to track and update past posts from time to time, so here is some new information.
These two former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for shooting a drug-smuggling degenerate suspect, and have filed for an appeal on September 25th to overturn their convictions. They claimed they were charged with a nonexistent crime and convicted after the jury was given improper instructions by the trial judge. These facts are pretty well documented on this and other blogs.
Houston defense lawyer J. Mark Brewer said two counts of a grand jury indictment against former agents Ramos and Compean charged them under a federal statute with the discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, but the statute does not define a crime and contains only a sentencing factor to be addressed after conviction. Mr. Brewer said in a 20-page motion that the “improperly-crafted indictment” misfocused the agents, counsel and jury on a nonexistent crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm, because the agents were authorized to possess, carry and use a firearm in the normal course of their job. He said that in order to charge a crime under the government’s 10-year mandatory sentence statute, an indictment “must allege that a defendant either has used or carried a firearm…during and in relation to any crime of violence or has possessed a firearm in furtherance of such a crime.” He said the prosecution “misstated” the crime defined by federal statute. Mr. Brewer went on to say that the district court “erroneously told the jury the federal statute made it a crime for anyone to discharge a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.”
A ruling in the case is expected next month.
“This is an outrageous case of prosecutorial abuse,” said Paul Kamenar, senior executive counsel for the Washington Legal Foundation, a watchdog group among eight organizations and persons who have filed briefs in support of the agents. “Instead of prosecuting the drug smuggler, the Justice Department filed a dozen felony charges against two agents trying to do their job.”
The pending appeal is being heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and seeks to overturn 11- and 12-year prison terms, respectively, for Ramos and Compean.
These two men defending our border from criminals continue to languish in prison through beatings at the hands of illegals in prison, through solitary confinement, and through separation from family. My question continues to be this – if you can’t use a sidearm in the line of duty, even to defend yourself, then why are they issued to agents. You may as well have them carry plastic swords or something! There is demonstrative evidence in this case that these two agents at most were in danger of being shot by a drug smuggler, and at the very least attempted to stop him from fleeing using techniques learned in training. These techniques involve ‘non-lethal’ shots to the legs or feet. All of the testimony points to these conclusions, however prosecutor Johnny Sutton, through tunnel-visioned and abusive tactics, railroaded these two men into conviction for political and career related reasons. His acts are unconscionable, as is the in-action by the Bush administration regarding a potential pardon in this unfair ruling.
If Ramos and Compean are allowed to rot in a jail cell to full term, we as a nation will have sent a clear message to Mexican scumbag drug runners who pump drugs into our kids – challenge the U.S. Border Patrol because in the end, our legal system is incompetent, unjustly opportunistic, selffish, and ultimately…eats it’s own.
This action by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton and the reciprocal inaction by George Bush, is damaging the fundamental ability of our Border patrol to do it’s job efficiently and keep these types of undesirables at bay. I urge anyone reading this to visit the links below and sign one or all of the petitions to free these two innocent agents. A link to prosecutor Sutton’s contact information is listed as well. This action was wrong on every level and must be reversed. Only through numbers will the voices of reason be heard.
Free Compean and Ramos now!
Contact information for the United States Attorney’s Office – Western District of Texas