The calls for an independent Katrina commission are intensifying—especially after President Bush announced, in his televised speech two weeks ago, his plans to launch an internal congressional investigation instead. (That means more Republicans than Democrats will be asking the hard questions, and that politics may well take precedence over rigorous inquiries.) Yesterday, Louisiana minister Dr. C. Weldon Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance sent a letter to president urging an independent investigation—and taking Bush to task for some faith-based political opportunism:
Hard questions need to be asked and honest answers need to be given. The countless victims of the hurricane deserve nothing less from the same people who seem to have let them down. I believe it is an act of morality and religion to keep the government honest and responsible. Therefore, I also urge you and those on the commission to heed the lessons learned so that we do not find ourselves in this position again.
I would also be remiss in my responsibilities as president of The Interfaith Alliance, whose membership is comprised of over 150,000 people from 75 different faith traditions and no tradition, to express concern over the potential manipulation of this American tragedy to garner support for and advance your long-proposed Faith-Based Initiative.
Earlier this week, the Bush administration and FEMA proposed that churches should receive funding for their assistance in relief efforts.
But it's not just people of faith who want an independent Katrina commission. A Gallup poll recently found that 81 percent of respondents wanted to see an independent commission, while only 18 percent said they preferred a congressional investigation. "The public is angry and they want answers," said pollster John Zogby. "The Republicans may have picked a fight they can't win."
| Wednesday, September 28, 2005 4:25 PM