What does it say about our country when we are so good at the first steps but so bad at the follow through? We can win a war, we lose the peace. We stay strong in the fact of attack then we crumble when we try to rebuild or even just clean up. Of course the people of New Orleans might point out that some times we don't even get the first steps right.
Is Whitman at fault? Probably. Is Guliani at fault? Probably. Obviously I don't know any secret inside information but its clear that there is more than enough blame to go around. I don't know that any of those accused did anything explicitly wrong, but I know without a doubt that none of them did what was right. No one stood up and said we don't know either way if this air is safe or not, so to be one the safe side everyone please leave your respirators on while working at (I hate this term but its the one they were using at the time) The Pile. They may have passed out some masks but by the ensuing epidemic it's quite clear that enough was not done.
Whitman can go ahead and blame the terrorists, we all know that they have the blood of 2993 people (I'm including the 19 terrorists in the planes because those who guided them are still at large) on their hands and that will never wash away. Bin Laden and the others responsible for the attack would take pleasure in knowing that they killed even more and that their attack is still reeking havoc even to this day, but I refuse to give them that satisfaction. I realize that hindsight is twenty twenty its easy to judge other people as wrong when you know the outcome so I don't want to judge to harshly. But I have yet to hear remorse from these folks, if Whitman had broken down and pleaded, "I'm sorry, we thought it was safe, we knew there was some amount of danger but never envisioned it could be this bad, I'm sorry, I wish I could change the past. I wish I had fought harder but I didn't and I can't. There is nothing I can say to change what happened, I can't fix the lives of those suffering and I can't revive those lives lost. I know now that my actions could have prevented this further tragedy but I did not know it then. I am eternally remorseful, please try to forgive me." If that had happened I would say, she fucked up, but she is human, mistakes happen. To Err is Human To Forgive is Divine, but how can you forgive someone who will not admit their mistakes? Its not the failures that make people so angry, its the cover-ups.