[House Report 109-396]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                
 2d Session                                                     109-396
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     
                                     
                                     

                                                 Union Calendar No. 216
 
                        A FAILURE OF INITIATIVE

                               ----------                              

                SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT AND DOCUMENT ANNEX

                                 by the

  SELECT BIPARTISAN COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE PREPARATION FOR AND 
                     RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA

                                     


                                     

  Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/
                               index.html

 March 16, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


                        A FAILURE OF INITIATIVE

                SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT AND DOCUMENT ANNEX



109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                
 2d Session                                                     109-396
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                                 Union Calendar No. 216

                        A FAILURE OF INITIATIVE

                               __________

                SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT AND DOCUMENT ANNEX

                                 by the

  SELECT BIPARTISAN COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE PREPARATION FOR AND 
                     RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA

                                     


                                     

  Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/
                               index.html

 March 16, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed
  SELECT BIPARTISAN COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE PREPARATION FOR AND 
                     RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA
                        TOM DAVIS, (VA) Chairman
                           HAROLD ROGERS (KY)
                         CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (CT)
                           HENRY BONILLA (TX)
                            STEVE BUYER (IN)
                            SUE MYRICK (NC)
                          MAC THORNBERRY (TX)
                            KAY GRANGER (TX)
                   CHARLES W. ``CHIP'' PICKERING (MS)
                           BILL SHUSTER (PA)
                            JEFF MILLER (FL)

   Members who participated at the invitation of the Select Committee

                         CHARLIE MELANCON (LA)
                            GENE TAYLOR (MS)
                       WILLIAM J. JEFFERSON (LA)
                         CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (GA)
                        SHELIA JACKSON-LEE (TX)

                           Staff Designations
David L. Marin, Staff Director       Kim Baronof, Professional Staff
J. Keith Ausbrook, Special Counsel   Risa Salsburg, Professional Staff
Lawrence J. Halloran, Deputy         Susie Schulte, Professional Staff
    Special Counsel                  Shalley Kim, Professional Staff
Robert Borden, Senior Associate      Wimberly Fair, Professional Staff
    Special Counsel                  Chuck Turner, Special Investigator
Daniel Matthews, Senior              Robert White, Press Secretary
    Professional Staff               Drew Crockett, Art Editor
Arthur Wu, Senior Professional       Teresa Austin, Chief Clerk
    Staff                            Amy Laudeman, Deputy Clerk
Thomas E. Hawley, Senior             Robin Butler, Administrative 
    Professional Staff                   Officer/Financial 
Grace A. Washbourne, Senior              Administrator
    Professional Staff               Michael Sazonov, Staff Assistant
Kim Kotlar, Senior Professional      Pat DeQuattro, Coast Guard Fellow
    Staff                            Jay O'Callahan, Research Assistant
Anne Marie Turner, Associate         Michael Arkush, Editorial 
    Special Counsel                      Assistant
Charles M. Phillips, Associate       Margaret Peterlin, Speaker's 
    Special Counsel                      Designee
Steve Castor, Assistant Special 
    Counsel
Brooke Bennett, Assistant Special 
    Counsel


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                  House of Representatives,
                                    Washington, DC, March 16, 2006.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: By direction of the Select Bipartisan 
Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to 
Hurricane Katrina, I submit herewith the committee's 
supplementary report and document annex to the 109th Congress.
                                                 Tom Davis,
                                                          Chairman.

                                 (iii)

                                     
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
FORMER UNDERSECRETARY MICHAEL BROWN'S COMMUNICATIONS WITH WHITE 
  HOUSE OFFICIALS, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT, REFLECTED A DISREGARD 
  FOR THE PROCEDURES OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN...............     1
  I. Introduction.....................................................1
 II. Brown Deliberately Ignored the National Response Plan............2
ADDITIONAL VIEWS SUBMITTED BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BEHALF OF 
  REPRESENTATIVE CHARLIE MELANCON AND REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM 
  JEFFERSON......................................................     7
DOCUMENT ANNEX...................................................    11
                                                 Union Calendar No. 216


109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-396

======================================================================


                        A FAILURE OF INITIATIVE

                                _______
                                

 March 16, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Tom Davis, from the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the 
   Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, submitted the 
                               following

                SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT AND DOCUMENT ANNEX

    On March 16, 2006, the Select Bipartisan Committee to 
Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane 
Katrina approved and adopted a report entitled, ``A Failure of 
Initiative Supplementary Report and Document Annex.'' The 
chairman was directed to transmit a copy to the Speaker of the 
House.



FORMER UNDERSECRETARY MICHAEL BROWN'S COMMUNICATIONS WITH WHITE 
HOUSE OFFICIALS, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT, REFLECTED A DISREGARD 
FOR THE PROCEDURES OF THE NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN

                            I. Introduction

    The Select Committee's efforts to obtain documents and 
other information from the White House are well-documented in 
the Select Committee's original report. While the Select 
Committee received more than 22,000 pages from the Executive 
Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, 
the White House refused to produce communications among senior 
White House staff and would not permit witnesses to testify or 
be interviewed regarding communications with senior White House 
officials and the President.
    Before the Select Committee on September 27, 2005, Former 
Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary for Emergency 
Preparedness and Response Michael D. Brown told the Select 
Committee he would not respond to certain questions regarding 
his communications with senior White House officials, including 
the President. Brown told the Select Committee, ``I'm being 
advised by counsel that I can't discuss with you my 
conversations with the President's Chief of Staff and the 
President.'' \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Hearing on Hurricane Katrina: The Role of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency Before House Katrina Select Comm., 109th Cong. 79 
(Sept. 27, 2005) (statement of Michael Brown, former Dir., Federal 
Emergency Management Agency) [hereinafter Sept. 27, 2005 Select Comm. 
Hearing].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 10, 2006, however, Brown appeared before the 
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, 
declaring that, as a private citizen, he no longer felt bound 
by the same restrictions that applied to his previous 
testimony.\2\ In that appearance, he testified about specific 
conversations with, among others, White House Chief of Staff 
Andrew Card, Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin, and the 
President.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Hearing on Hurricane Katrina: The Roles of U.S. Dept of 
Homeland Security and FEMA Leadership Before Sen. Homeland Sec. and 
Gov'tl Affairs Comm., 109th Cong. 25-26 (Feb. 10, 2006) (statement of 
Michael Brown) [hereinafter Feb. 10, 2006 Sen. Homeland Sec. Hearing].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Deprived previously of this information, the Select 
Committee served a subpoena on Brown that same day, compelling 
him to appear on Monday, February 13, 2006.\3\ In lieu of his 
appearance on that date, the Select Committee took testimony 
from him in a sworn deposition on Saturday, February 11, 2006. 
In that testimony, he discussed his conversations with 
President Bush and Chief of Staff Card, among others.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Subpeona served on Michael Brown by House Katrina Select Comm. 
Staff in Wash., D.C. (Feb. 10, 2006).
    \4\ See Deposition of Michael Brown by House Katrina Select Comm. 
Staff in Wash., D.C. (Feb. 11, 2006) [hereinafter Brown Dep.].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Brown's communications with the White House generally 
confirm the Select Committee report's findings. They confirm 
the Select Committee's conclusions regarding the use of the 
National Response Plan's (NRP) protocols and procedures and the 
potential for better response if the President had been 
involved in the details of the response at an earlier date.
    But Brown's communications with the White House also raise 
serious questions about when and how the White House becomes 
involved in disaster response under the NRP. Brown testified he 
regularly communicated with senior White House officials and 
asked for their assistance in the response. It is well-
documented that the response at all levels of government was 
inadequate. The record establishes that Brown deliberately 
ignored the procedures, responsibilities, and mechanisms of the 
NRP and called directly on the White House for assistance 
instead.

       II. Brown Deliberately Ignored the National Response Plan

    Brown's communications with the White House and his sworn 
statements to the Select Committee and others reflect his 
deliberate decision to ignore the NRP. The NRP was required to 
be promulgated under the Homeland Security Act and was 
established at the direction of the President under Homeland 
Security Presidential Directive 5 ``to align Federal 
coordination structures, capabilities, and resources into a 
unified, all-discipline, and all-hazards approach to domestic 
incident management.'' \5\ It was designed to ``serve[] to 
unify and enhance the incident management capabilities and 
resources of individual agencies and organizations acting under 
their own authorities in response to a wide array of potential 
threats and hazards.'' \6\ Thirty-two Departments and Agencies 
of the federal government adopted it.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Dep't of Homeland Sec., National Response Plan (Dec. 2004) at i 
[hereinafter NRP].
    \6\ Id.
    \7\ Id. at v-viii.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The NRP was completed in 2004 and provided new tools for 
dealing with disasters, including catastrophic disasters. These 
tools include the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) 
and its constituent entity the National Response Coordinating 
Center, the Regional Response Coordinating Center, the 
Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG), the Catastrophic 
Incident Annex,\8\ and the designation of the Secretary of 
Homeland Security as the person responsible for execution of 
``overall coordination of federal incident management 
activities'' \9\ in a disaster.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ Id. at ix-x.
    \9\ Id.  at 15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Brown's own testimony establishes that he ignored or 
circumvented the procedures under the NRP for managing the 
disaster. Brown's testimony demonstrates that he deliberately 
chose to disregard key provisions of the plan, communicating 
with White House officials to secure resources. His 
circumvention of the NRP contributed to depriving the nation of 
an opportunity to determine whether the NRP worked. While it is 
clear that the federal, state, and local response was 
inadequate, it is not clear that the NRP itself would not have 
worked, or worked better, if it had been executed by those 
responsible for doing so, including Brown.
    Brown chose to operate as he had in previous disasters--
prior to the adoption of the NRP. Responding to questions from 
Select Committee Chairman Tom Davis, Brown testified that he 
relied on his ``previous experience with lots of disasters'' to 
``relay [his needs] to Hagin or Card, and it would get done. . 
. .'' \10\ He reported that if he ``needed, for example, DOD to 
do something in particular, then either [Deputy Secretary] 
Gordon England, or Secretary [Donald] Rumsfeld or Assistant 
Secretary Paul McHale would call me and confirm that, yeah, we 
just got a call from Andy, and . . . we are going to get that 
done for you.'' \11\ He testified that he had ``literally 
dozens'' of conversations or e-mails with senior White House 
staff, including the President, the Vice President, Card, 
Hagin, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and Karl 
Rove.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\ Brown Dep. at 16.
    \11\ Id.
    \12\ Id.  at 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Brown virtually boasted that he deliberately avoided 
communicating with the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael 
Chertoff. When asked in the Senate by Senator Lieberman whether 
he had talked to Chertoff on Monday, August 29, and why he 
``would . . . not have if that was the chain of command,'' he 
responded: ``Because I'm still operating that I need to get 
things done, and the way I get things done is I request them 
from the White House . . . .'' \13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\ Feb. 10, 2005 Sen. Homeland Sec. Hearing at 44.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    He further testified in the Senate that calling Chertoff 
for support ``would have wasted my time. . . .'' \14\ Brown 
claimed that ``DHS was an additional bureaucracy that was going 
to slow me down even more. And the way I got around that was 
dealing directly with the White House.'' \15\ Senator Bennett 
observed, ``[I]f I were Secretary Chertoff and I had a Deputy 
Secretary who would prefer to call the White House rather than 
talk to me, I would find that very disturbing.'' \16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ Id.  at 65-66.
    \15\ Id. at 69.
    \16\ Id. at 66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the same time as he was eager to call the White House 
for assistance, Brown tried to cut off communications with the 
Secretary. He told another FEMA official: ``I did tell 
[Secretary Chertoff] privately that the phone calls were 
killing me, and he said he understood. He assures me he is not 
trying to interfere, but they are literally driving me crazy.'' 
\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\ E-mail from Michael Brown to Brooks Altschuler, Dep. Chief of 
Staff, FEMA (Sept. 1, 2005, 21:31).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    He also admitted that Card directed him to use the proper 
procedures. He testified that Card responded to a request:

        Mike, we are going to have to follow the protocol. We 
        are going to have to follow the chain of command on 
        this one. And I took that to mean that the way we have 
        played ball for the past couple of years, we are not 
        going to play ball that way, and now we are going to 
        play ball by ``if you really need something, you need 
        to go to Chertoff or back though HSOC or whatever you 
        are going to do and do those requests that way.'' \18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\ Brown Dep. at 17.

    Brown operated under the old procedures, despite his own 
recognition of changes to the NRP and at FEMA. In both his 
September 27, 2005 appearance before the Select Committee and 
his February 11, 2006 deposition, he complained about FEMA 
budget cuts and reorganization at DHS.\19\ In response to 
Chairman Davis's question about whether the NRP had changed 
since the 2004 hurricane season in Florida, Brown replied: ``It 
had. It had.'' \20\ Brown was also asked: ``[It] looks [as if] 
you may have spent a couple of years fighting a system that you 
didn't like, and then when the disaster came, it came [time] to 
use that system you chose not to use it. How would you address 
that?'' \21\ He responded:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ See Sept. 27, 2005 Select Comm. Hearing at 114, 115-117 
(statements of Michael Brown); Brown Dep. at 41, 43, 85. See also Sept. 
27, 2005 Select Comm. Hearing at 77, 99, 114, 139-140 (statements of 
Michael Brown).
    \20\Brown Dep. at 17. 
    \21\ Id.  at 94.

        I would say that is generally true because the system 
        that is in place works, whether it is catastrophic or 
        not. The system that is in place worked.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Id.

    But that was emphatically not the system in place for 
Hurricane Katrina, and Brown deliberately ignored it. He 
admitted that he never advised the Secretary to designate 
Hurricane Katrina as an Incident of National Significance \23\ 
and never even discussed with Chertoff activating the NRP's 
Catastrophic Incident Annex.\24\ He testified that he would 
have ``fought the activation of the IIMG as hard as [he] 
could.'' \25\ He testified that, if he had gone through the 
HSOC or the Secretary, it would have ``added two new phone 
calls and two new layers to get things done.'' \26\ Similarly, 
he objected to the designation of the Principal Federal 
Official for an Incident of National Significance because ``it 
adds an additional layer of bureaucracy.'' \27\ He testified: 
``[T]hat's why I am such an opponent of the PFO designation . . 
. .'' \28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\ Brown Dep. at 48-49.
    \24\ Id. at 93.
    \25\ Id. at 95.
    \26\ Id. at 48.
    \27\ Id. at 49.
    \28\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yet when asked if these were the ``mechanisms'' for 
managing disasters under the NRP and for pushing resources into 
the field, he responded: ``Right.'' \29\ When confronted with 
that fact that he ``choose [sic] not to use them,'' again, his 
unambiguous response was ``Right.'' \30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\ Id. at 94-95.
    \30\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the same time, while he plainly perceived the structures 
of the NRP to be bureaucratic, he admitted that he had no 
reason to think that those structures could not and would not 
respond to his needs. When asked if he had ``any reason to 
think that you couldn't get [the logistics mission] assignment 
accomplished through regular channels,'' he testified: ``No. I 
really didn't.'' \31\ Thus, there did not appear to be any need 
to communicate with the White House to obtain the assistance 
that he sought.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\ Id. at 92. Even when Brown had the opportunity to seek 
assistance from the White House, he did not. When Andy Card asked Brown 
directly on Monday, August 29--the evening following landfall--if there 
were ``[a]nything you want me to do?'' Brown did not ask for anything, 
saying only that ``[h]ousing, transportation and environment could be 
long term issues.'' (E-mail from Michael Brown to Andy Card, Chief of 
Staff, White House (Aug. 29. 2005; 22:00) in response to E-mail from 
Andy Card to Michael Brown (Aug. 29, 2005; 21:51:07).) Moreover, in the 
August 28 video teleconference in which the President appeared, Brown 
did not request anything. (Daily Video Teleconference [``VTC''] amongst 
key officials dated Aug. 28, 2005, Transcript at 14-15). Later in the 
same conference call, Brown asked Louisiana State Coordinating Officer 
Jeff Smith if he had ``any unmet needs, anything that we're not getting 
to you that you need . . .;'' Smith replied simply ``Mike, no.'' (Id. 
at 18.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, Brown also appears to have represented to 
Secretary Chertoff that he could live with the changes at FEMA, 
when in fact he could not. According to Secretary Chertoff's 
testimony, Chertoff and Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson met 
with Brown and specifically asked him if he was ``going to have 
a problem functioning as the head of FEMA'' with the changes at 
FEMA that Brown had opposed.\32\ Chertoff testified that they 
told Brown it was ``perfectly creditable to say, I can't go 
along with this. I want to leave. If you are going to stay, 
though, we need to have your full commitment. He told us he had 
felt he had gotten a fair hearing and would give this his full 
commitment.'' \33\ Brown's refusal to follow the NRP seems 
contrary to that representation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\ Hearing on Hurricane Katrina: The Homeland Sec. Dept's 
Preparation and Response Before Sen. Homeland Sec. and Gov'tl Affairs 
Comm., 109th Cong. 24 (Feb. 15, 2006) (statement of Michael Chertoff, 
Sec., Dept Homeland Sec.).
    \33\ Id. at 24-25.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is not clear that following the NRP's procedures would 
have dramatically altered the government's response to 
Hurricane Katrina. It is clear, however, that it was Brown's 
responsibility to use those procedures. It is equally clear, by 
his own admission, Brown failed to follow them. He thought he 
could just ignore the NRP and do it the way he did it in 
Florida in 2004. That way involved direct communication with 
the White House to get resources, circumventing the Secretary 
of Homeland Security and the interagency processes and 
mechanisms designed to speed relief to disaster victims.
    The nation will never know whether its response would have 
been better if the NRP had been followed. We only know the 
actual response, where the NRP was not followed, was woefully 
inadequate.

    ADDITIONAL VIEWS SUBMITTED BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BEHALF OF 
  REPRESENTATIVE CHARLIE MELANCON AND REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM JEFFERSON

    Michael Brown appeared before the Select Committee on 
February 11, 2006. His testimony, while self-serving, provided 
a window into how he, Secretary Chertoff, and the White House 
responded to Hurricane Katrina. His testimony raises questions 
about the competence of the response at the highest levels of 
government.
    The majority supplemental views emphasize Mr. Brown's 
insubordination and failure to follow the National Response 
Plan. We agree that Mr. Brown's testimony demonstrates serious 
deficiencies in his job performance. But his testimony also 
raises questions about the roles of Secretary Chertoff and 
White House officials that remain unanswered to this day.
    Mr. Brown testified that he recognized that FEMA was 
overwhelmed and needed assistance from other departments, 
especially DOD. He said he tried to get this assistance by 
working the process from the bottom up, by sending requests 
through the FEMA mission assignment process, and from the top 
down, by requesting White House assistance. Neither seemed to 
work.
    In previous disasters, Mr. Brown had been able to rely on 
the White House to break through red tape. But this time, 
operating with a new Secretary of Homeland Security and under 
the newly created National Response Plan, he said that the 
White House was less responsive to his requests. Mr. Brown 
appeared to have no clear method for getting what he needed 
from other agencies. Mr. Brown said that when he informed White 
House officials of the problems he was having, nobody at the 
White House took any initiative to break through bureaucratic 
obstacles.
    Even after the publication of lengthy reports by this 
Committee and by the White House, we still know very little 
about what top White House officials knew and what actions they 
took to respond to Hurricane Katrina.

              Mr. Brown's Testimony about the White House

    Mr. Brown testified that he had ``innumerable'' 
conversations with White House officials, including the 
President, the Vice President, Andrew Card, Joe Hagin, National 
Security Adviser Steven Hadley, Lee Ann McBride, Karl Rove, and 
Domestic Policy Adviser Claude Allen. He said that he had 
probably spoken to Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend, but 
that he did not have regular contact with her.
    Mr. Brown stated that he did not know how many 
conversations he had with the President. He said that the 
President would occasionally join in on his calls with Joe 
Hagin. Mr. Brown stated: ``From my point of view, at that time, 
the President was clearly engaged.''
    Mr. Brown stated that although FEMA did not have Cabinet-
level status under this Administration, he had been able to 
work well with the White House in previous disasters. In 
previous disasters, ``if I needed anything specific, I would 
relay that to Hagin or Card and it would get done.''
    Things worked differently during this Hurricane Katrina. 
This time, the White House became ``bureaucratic'' and provided 
less assistance. During one phone call, Andrew Card told him 
that requests need to go through the ``chain of command.'' He 
understood Mr. Card to be telling him, ``if you really need 
something, you need to go to Chertoff or back through HSOC or 
whatever you are going to do and do those requests that way.''
    Informed that White House Deputy Homeland Security Adviser 
Ken Rapuano had told the Committee that when he left the White 
House at 10 p.m. on Monday, August 29, conflicting reports were 
still coming in about the severity of the impact on New 
Orleans, Mr. Brown testified that these statements were 
``disingenuous.''
    He argued that the White House should have had clear 
information about the severity by that time and should have 
known that the levees had breached. He noted specifically that 
White House Homeland Security Council staff, including Ken 
Rapuano, Bethany Nichols, and Joel Bagnal, were on the regular 
video teleconferences that provided situational information.
    He pointed to a teleconference held the evening of August 
29 to discuss Marty Bahamonde's report on the grim condition of 
New Orleans, and noted: ``So either they all went home or they 
were all asleep during the SVTS, but there was a conference 
call that evening to discuss exactly what Marty had reported.''
    Mr. Brown would not respond to a question about whether he 
thought it was irresponsible for Mr. Rapuano, the most senior 
official in the White House at the time, to go home at 10 p.m. 
without clear situational awareness, but noted that he would 
have acted differently.

             Mr. Brown's Testimony about Secretary Chertoff

    Mr. Brown told the Committee that Secretary Chertoff was 
not involved in the response immediately. Once he became 
involved however, Mr. Chertoff called frequently regarding 
``the most minute details of operation.'' According to Mr. 
Brown, ``the micromanagement was amazing,'' to the point where 
Mr. Brown stated that he ``couldn't get my job done.'' He also 
said that Mr. Chertoff's involvement ``exacerbated'' problems.
    Mr. Brown expressed dismay at the ``whole leadership 
issue,'' stating that ``the problem I had was, I wasn't 
perceived as the leader down there because I was undermined. 
Who was the face of Katrina?'' He continued:

        In Florida, who's in charge of Florida? By God, I'm in 
        charge. Now, in Louisiana and Mississippi, we've got 
        this whole dance going around. Is Chertoff in charge? 
        Is Mr. Brown in charge? The President? Who's in charge 
        here?

        Well, in my opinion, the President's always in charge, 
        and when it comes these disasters whatever the cause of 
        the disasters is, the Under Secretary of Homeland 
        Security, the Director of FEMA, he's in charge. But you 
        can't be the leader and you can't do that when you're 
        being undermined and micromanaged.

    Mr. Brown told the Committee that he was ``specifically 
constrained by Secretary Chertoff and told to stay in Baton 
Rouge.'' On Wednesday, August 31, as he was on a plane flying 
back from Biloxi and a meeting with Governor Barbour, ``I 
received a phone call in which I got my rear end chewed out by 
Michael Chertoff for having been in Mississippi.'' He said that 
in that call, ``I was instructed not to leave Baton Rouge.'' He 
also said: ``I knew that this FEMA Director could not operate 
under those conditions because you can't run a disaster sitting 
in an office. . . . I can't sit in a stupid office and try to 
run a disaster that covers 90,000 square miles and run it like 
a blasted bureaucrat.'' Mr. Brown stated that this call was the 
``tipping point because I knew, okay, this is a different 
game.''

                               Conclusion

    The Committee's meeting with Mr. Brown was a valuable 
addition to the investigative record. His failure to work 
within the system did not reflect well on Mr. Brown, as the 
majority views note. But his statements also raise serious 
questions about the performance of the White House and 
Secretary Chertoff that should be further examined.


                             DOCUMENT ANNEX

                              ----------