Folks who are falling over themselves to praise FEMA’s response to Hurricane Sandy ought to look into the agency’s origins and history. It’s not just about Katrina — horrible and criminal as that was.
FEMA was established to exercise powers under martial law conditions, such as suspension of the Constitution, censorship and indefinite detention.Since 9/11 many of FEMA’s powers have been assumed by the Department of Homeland Security (of which it is now part). Many of the repressive powers FEMA was projected to hold have since been implemented and “normalized” under the Bush and Obama administrations’ “war on terror,” and can be seen in such things as the Guantanamo prison camp, the NDAA, the smashing of Occupy encampments in 2011, etc.
The article linked here, published in the well-respected CovertAction Quarterly in 2000, goes over some of this history.