WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A 9/11 Commission member says officials on all levels of government in the United States need to quickly learn from the weak response to Hurricane Katrina.
John Lehman, former secretary of the U.S. Navy, said, "The Katrina disaster and the failure of leadership at so many levels ... has had to encourage terrorists," the Christian Science Monitor reported. He added state, local and federal officials all need to act "before it's too late."
Official Washington has gone into full post-disaster mode, with President Bush establishing an internal White house inquiry. Congressional hearings have already started, some officials were removed form positions of responsibility and people are trying to show they are doing something so the next disaster -- perhaps Hurricane Rita barreling toward Texas -- hits.
Key areas investigators are likely to focus on is who should be in charge during emergency operations -- especially how soon should local officials hand off to the federal government -- and the role the active duty military can play in disaster response, the Monitor said.