Michael Chertoff must go

What Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, said yesterday:

Chertoff, fielding questions from reporters, said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans.

“That ‘perfect storm’ of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody’s foresight,” Chertoff said.

He called the disaster “breathtaking in its surprise.”

Michael Chertoff should be fired for incompetence. Now.

The fact that a Cat 5 hurricane could hit New Orleans is obvious. The fact that much of New Orleans is below sea level and vulnerable to a major levee break is obvious. That a Cat 5 hurricane hitting the New Orleans levee system could cause that major levee break is an obvious inference, and one that many people had made well before Katrina hit.

But Michael Chertoff? The man responsible for federal disaster planning and response? Michael Chertoff is surprised, and says that no one could have foreseen such a thing.

The job of directing Homeland Security is too important to be left in the hands of someone so ignorant about his area of responsibility.

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