Read about the inside happenings during Hurricane Katrina that no one else knew or could talk about. Vilified by the national media and public, Michael Brown sets the record straight on what really happened in the worst natural disaster in American history.
The former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA is described by Fox Business' Neil Cavuto as an "equal opportunity basher" in that he describes the mistakes everyone made in this disaster.
The book is an insider's account of what really happened and surviving the personal attacks made on a very public stage.
I don’t remember the exact timing other than it was when the Comfort
was entering the Gulf of Mexico, and heading toward New Orleans, not
Pascagoula. It was late at night. I was in my hotel room, finally able
to get a few hours sleep, secure in the knowledge that the two governors
would have the assistance they requested. That was when my telephone
Trent Lott was on the line, ordering me to send the Comfort to
Pascagoula. “What kind of a FEMA director are you?” I remember Lott
saying. His voice got louder and louder, and I started pacing back and
forth, my voice rising with his. “They need that ship in
The senator was yelling at me, as though he could change reality by
being forceful. I yelled back, determined to do what was right for the
people who needed what the ship would provide. In the back of my mind I
hoped nobody in adjoining rooms could hear me, at the same time not
really caring. I knew the real reason for Lott’s call and it had
nothing to do with any need in Mississippi. Governor Barbour was
empowered to make that call. Governor Barbour was the man responsible
for requesting what was needed in Mississippi and that did not include a
medical ship when their hospitals were fully functional. Lott wanted his
damned photo opportunity and was indifferent to all else.
I specifically asked Lott if he had spoken to Haley Barbour about this,
because Haley and I had reached an agreement—he got the cruise ships,
the hospital ship was going to New Orleans. I had an ulterior motive,
too. I wanted Lott to remember that Haley Barbour was in charge.
Senators might preen and pose and look impressive in Washington, but
when it comes to running a state, being governor trumps a mere U.S.
I guess people don’t routinely say no to a U.S. senator because when
he had run out of anything else to say, he shouted at me, “WHY DON’T
YOU GROW SOME BALLS AND BE A REAL MAN?”
So I did. And I was.
I said goodbye to the senator without giving him his way.
Excerpted from "Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond" by Michael D. Brown. Copyright © 2011 by Michael D. Brown. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Michael D. Brown
Michael Brown served as the first Under Secretary of Homeland Security for President George W. Bush from 2003-2005, Director, Deputy Director and General Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2001-2005. At the White House he served on the Consequence Management Committee, comprised of cabinet deputies, following the attacks of 9/11, and headed the White House transition team for Emergency Preparedness & Response, Department of Homeland Security. He also served on the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee.
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