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Thread: This should clear up a few things...

  1. #1
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    This should clear up a few things...

    [url]http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007219[/url]

    Blame Amid the Tragedy
    Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents.

    BY BOB WILLIAMS
    Wednesday, September 7, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

    As the devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues to shock and sadden the nation, the question on many lips is, Who is to blame for the inadequate response?

    As a former state legislator who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, I can fully understand and empathize with the people and public officials over the loss of life and property.

    Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible--local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.

    The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

    The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.

    In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.





    A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected.
    The New Orleans contingency plan is still, as of this writing, on the city's Web site, and states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." But the plan was apparently ignored.

    Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His Office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.

    The city's evacuation plan states: "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas." But even though the city has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run, the mayor did not use them. To compound the problem, the buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The plan also states that "special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed." This was not done.

    The evacuation plan warned that "if an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials." That is precisely what happened because of the mayor's failure.

    Instead of evacuating the people, the mayor ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions. As a result people died, and there was even rape committed, in these facilities. Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans. Now he wants to blame Gov. Blanco and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an emergency the first requirement is for the city's emergency center to be linked to the state emergency operations center. This was not done.





    The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid.
    In addition, unlike the governors of New York, Oklahoma and California in past disasters, Gov. Blanco failed to take charge of the situation and ensure that the state emergency operation facility was in constant contact with Mayor Nagin and FEMA. It is likely that thousands of people died because of the failure of Gov. Blanco to implement the state plan, which mentions the possible need to evacuate up to one million people. The plan clearly gives the governor the authority for declaring an emergency, sending in state resources to the disaster area and requesting necessary federal assistance.

    State legislators and governors nationwide need to update their contingency plans and the operation procedures for state emergency centers. Hurricane Katrina had been forecast for days, but that will not always be the case with a disaster (think of terrorist attacks). It must be made clear that the governor and locally elected officials are in charge of the "first response."

    I am not attempting to excuse some of the delays in FEMA's response. Congress and the president need to take corrective action there, also. However, if citizens expect FEMA to be a first responder to terrorist attacks or other local emergencies (earthquakes, forest fires, volcanoes), they will be disappointed. The federal government's role is to offer aid upon request.

    The Louisiana Legislature should conduct an immediate investigation into the failures of state and local officials to implement the written emergency plans. The tragedy is not over, and real leadership in the state and local government are essential in the months to come. More importantly, the hurricane season is still upon us, and local and state officials must stay focused on the jobs for which they were elected--and not on the deadly game of passing the emergency buck.

    Mr. Williams is president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free market public policy research organization in Olympia, Wash.

  2. #2
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    It won't...they'll continue to blame the President until the first poll comes out that shows their atrategy has once again failed...then this drop this faster then they've dropped Cindy Sheehan...

    and btw: watch for this to develop the next few days:

    Red Cross representatives have stated that LA state homeland security department refused them permission to take food and water to the Superdome because they didn't want to encourage people to go there.
    They wanted to get people out and were afraid that providing support would be a "magnet" attracting more displaced persons.
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 09-07-2005 at 10:34 PM.

  3. #3
    that article is spot on jetswin. thanks for posting it.

  4. #4
    Typical Left Spin, spinning faster and making the reader more dizzy than ever.



    It is a shame that important details are left out in all their bash bush rhetoric



    The Aid originates at the request of local officials. Local officials are the FIRST RESPONDERS.





    Do a little more research , take a look at who was really responsible for the upkeep of the flood control system, who was responsible for the evacuation plan. Take a good look at the DVD the Mayor had handed out last year.



    Typical ignorant ranting Liberals.





    The first responders have to REQUEST what they need as THEY EVALUATE the situation. How can people in Washington DC know what is going on, unless the LOCAL OFFICIALS TELL THEM?



    DUH!

  5. #5
    What gets little attention is that the Democratic State Governor of Louisiana actually ordered a Shoot-To-Kill directive for police and troops entering New Orleans. When is the last time a state governor did that, I wonder?

    Obviously, the targets at the end of the shoot-to-kill guns were African-Americans.

    Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al, have no problem with this?

  6. #6
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    Rather then start a whole new thread 'd post this here...in a nutshell the rats in La. realize only the radical libs are going to run with the ball and blame GWB, the majority of the country realize the disaster started with them and they are starting to point the fingers at each other:

    [B]Who's to Blame for Delayed Response to Katrina? [/B]

    In New Orleans, those in peril and those in power have pointed the finger squarely at the federal government for the delayed relief effort.

    But experts say when natural disasters strike, it is the primary responsibility of state and local governments not the federal government to respond.

    New Orleans' own comprehensive emergency plan raises the specter of "having large numbers of people stranded" and promises "the city will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas."

    "Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves," the plan states.

    When Hurricane Katrina hit, however, that plan was not followed completely.

    Instead of sending city buses to evacuate those who could not make it out on their own, people in New Orleans were told to go to the Superdome and the Convention Center, where no one provided sufficient sustenance or security.

    [B]'Lives Would Have Been Saved' [/B]

    New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said "80 percent" of the city was evacuated before the storm hit, but Bob Williams says that's not good enough.

    Williams dealt with emergency response issues as a state representative in Washington when his district was forced to deal with the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

    "If the plan were implemented, lives would have been saved," Williams said.

    There's no question the federal government plays a major role in disaster relief. But federal officials say in order to get involved, they must first be asked to do so by state officials.

    As one FEMA official told ABC News, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco failed to submit a request for help in a timely manner.

    [B]Shortly before Katrina hit, she sent President Bush a request asking for shelter and provisions, but didn't specifically ask for help with evacuations. One aide to the governor told ABC News today Blanco thought city officials were taking care of the evacuation. Nonetheless, some experts argue that the federal government should have been more proactive. [/B]

    "If the city and the state are stumbling or in over their head, then it's FEMA's [Federal Emergency Management Agency's] responsibility to show some leadership," said Jerry Hauer, director of public health preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Both the president and Congress have vowed to investigate questions of blame. It may already be safe to conclude that there will be plenty of it to go around.

    ABC News' Dan Harris filed this report for "World News Tonight."

    [url]http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/HurricaneKatrina/story?id=1102467&page=1&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312[/url]

  7. #7
    so let me get this straight

    because the Governor and Mayor are morons that excuses everyone else?

    From the very beginning we all know the local and state players were morons - the point here is that institutions like FEMA and Homeland Security are supposed to be superior and ready to supplement the moronic local and state gov'ts.

    Blaming local gov't and state gov't for Katrina relief failures is morally the same thing as blaming Jennie Englund and her buddies for Abu Gharib - Yes it is true those are the people who failed but isn't it at some point a failure of the insitution as a whole? We don't trust privates to make good decisions we don't trust mayors to be in charge of national level disasters - but we will throw these people under the bus to spare others.

    Blaming the mayor and the governor is throwing the guilty lowest common denominator under the bus while saving the elite guilty who are really in charge.

    It's like duh we all know the mayor and governor are incompetant why do you think they are in charge of a decreptit second city and the second poorest state in the union respectively? if these people were so dang great they would be on capital hill not shooting the breeze in the big easy. Being mayor of new orleans is probably an easier gig to get than city council in NYC.

    People like Guiliani are the exception not the rule - and in many ways being mayor of NY is a seriously powerful position, one that is pressure packed and requires alot from the person who holds the office. We can't see a guy like Guiliani who goes above and beyond, the man is basically a hero - and hold the rest of the country's pee-ons to the same impossibly high standard.

    the 9-11 disaster was lucky to have heros like Guiliani in the wake - but that's not the norm - normally governors and mayors are ridiculously incompetant and corrupt politicians.

    Not to mention the fact that the US gov't has been choking states and munipalities from a funding perspective for years. At a certain point it becomes almost an empty job. What sort of person is going to be in charge of a bankrupted state and a bankrupted city? Probably a bankrupted person.
    Last edited by bitonti; 09-08-2005 at 11:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]

    and btw: watch for this to develop the next few days:

    Red Cross representatives have stated that LA state homeland security department refused them permission to take food and water to the Superdome because they didn't want to encourage people to go there.
    They wanted to get people out and were afraid that providing support would be a "magnet" attracting more displaced persons.[/QUOTE]

    [B]The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city. [/B]

    [url]http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html[/url]

    Will howard dean now come out and say the dims denied food and supplies to the minorities in NO??

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