Clinton gets critical

After some initial hesitation, the former president declares that the government failed its citizens when it responded so slowly to Katrina.

By T.g.

Published September 6, 2005 4:57AM (EDT)

Arianna Huffington took Bill Clinton to task Friday for not being sufficiently critical of the federal government's response to Katrina, and there was some piling on in this space over the weekend. But like Mary Landrieu before him, the former president has now acquitted himself. Maybe he was just being respectful or discreet or something before, but Clinton is finally speaking clearly about the federal government's failure to do more for the victims of the hurricane.

"Our government failed those people in the beginning, and I take it now there is no dispute about it," Clinton said in an interview with CNN Monday. "One hundred percent of the people recognize that -- that it was a failure."

The former president said that a bi-partisan "Katrina Commission" should investigate how the government went astray and what decisions -- with respect to both structure and personnel -- should be made in the aftermath. However, Clinton said that it's too early for that work just yet. "We've got the departments on the ground, we've got the military on the ground, we've got a chance to do it right now, and we should do it right," he said. "And then in an appropriate time we should analyze what went wrong and why and what changes should be made."

By T.g.


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