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Chertoff dropped the ball

I am a Harry Truman fan. I understand "the buck stops" at the chief executive's desk. But I question the competence of Mr. Chertoff, not Bush, who assumed the prestigious and high-paying job of heading Homeland Security and was caught woefully unprepared for a national disaster.

I refer to an interview early in the week on KUER, where he chided the reporter who asked him about the Convention Center disaster for listening to "rumors." The interviewer's answer was that this was not rumor but a report from a front-line eye-witness with extensive reporting experience. Chertoff's answer dripped with arrogance and hubris: There was no probem if people went to the designated centers, and things were being handled as well as possible.

Of course within a few minutes he had been proven a complete fool. If he had been ordering helicopters instead of shoring up his own (faulty) position, he woud have been a true leader.

Paula H.Hill

Saratoga Springs