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September 12, 2005

What did Chertoff do?

One of the many things I'd like to know is Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's response to the now-notorious Brown memo, written by FEMA director Michael Brown on the Monday afternoon Katrina blasted into Louisiana and Mississippi.

Did Mr. Chertoff send back an answering memo? If so, when? What did it say? "Good job, Brownie," as President Bush did a few days later? Wish whoever leaked the damning Brown memo to the Associated Press would leak the response from Mr. Chertoff.

Whatever his response to the Brown memo, Mr. Chertoff five days later was trying to lay responsibility for the slack federal response on the press. During an interview with Tim Russert, Chertoff said. "Tuesday morning, I opened newspapers and saw headlines that said `New Orleans Dodged The Bullet,' which surprised people." Other federal officials, including Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, picked up and elaboarated upon the theme.

Alert blogger David R. Mark went in search of the "dodged the bullet" headlines. Here's his account of his hunt, which turned into kind of a case study on how misinformation gets spread, deliberately or otherwise.

That aside, would still like to know when Mr. Chertoff read that Brown memo and what he did in response.

Posted by jcb at September 12, 2005 10:54 AM