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Thread: My Take On the Katrina Blame Game

  1. #1
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    My Take On the Katrina Blame Game

    First, it's obvious, that many people did not take this situation seriously enough.

    Mayor Nagin - Biggest fault, lack of full evacuation.

    Was this even possible? Many residents are still refusing to leave New Orleans. Heck, I read of some 200 residents still at the Superdome. They're referred to as the "die hard Saints fans" lol.

    No water, no food, no meds, no toilets, and yet they still stay? Even with the conditions at this date?

    Plus there are still people elsewhere in the city who refuse to leave.

    However, the sick and infirmed absolutelty should have been evacuated. There is simply no excuse for that. The poor as well, and those with no transportation. The flooded buses? Why weren't they put to use?

    We've also seen the gridlock from those evacuating the city, we've heard the stories of the local news telling some it was too late to evacuate. They would simply die on the highway.

    BS, the attempts to remove all the citizens, at least those willing to leave, were inept.

    Maybe the feds could have contributed more for the evac,.....they could have sent in buses as well.

    But this was the mayor's job, and he didn't fair well, nor did the local FEMA aids .

    And why didn't the mayor/local govt. make sure there was adequate supplies of not only water, but formula and diapers, medicine, etc., already in place at the shelters of last resort. (Superdome, NO Convention Center)? Yes, the citizens themselves should have also thought bring these neccessities with them. It's not that hard.

    However, security, as rumored, was thin at the Dome, so some prepared folks, who had actually brought the necessary items with them, found themselves looted? Which brings me to

    Gov. Blanco. - Where was the National Guard. They were under YOUR control. 300 young guardsmen to control your predicted 15,000 evacuees. Yet that number grew to 30,000 fast.

    And why were no guardmen deployed to the NO Convention Center, when it obviously became the second shelter of last resort. Neighboring states offered Blanco their reserves, and she turned them down? There were still plenty of reserves in LA to handle the crisis, at least until the feds could provide support, Blanco was just more interested in playing politics than addressing the situation.

    The NOPD - Wow! There's a facinating blog out there that I encourage anyone to read, if you have the time. [url]http://mgno.com/[/url]

    Scroll back to the beginning. It's amazing to recount this groups tale, and read how the stories evolve. Pricincts sunk, no communication, commandeering autos to help, some deserting, and what not. Perhaps some of the shooting was in confusion? Wild and amazing accounts. It also helps to show how the rumors grow. At least if you read it objectively.

    Fema - absent, just pathetic. Way too much Red Tape. Uggh, to POed to even talk about their contributions to this pathetic mess right now.

    Dept. of Homeland Security - Again I'll ask why they did not order this incident as an "Incident of National Significance" sooner? Once the order was in place, chaos was replaced with order. Which brings me to ...

    Gen. Honore - The one stand out hero. This guy took charge. He broke the red tape, rank and file crap and finally did what was necessary to ascertain this situation did not become even worse.

  2. #2
    All your points are very well taken.

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=Lady Jet]
    Gov. Blanco. - Where was the National Guard. [/QUOTE]

    [IMG]http://biblia.com/911/iraq-map-9g.gif[/IMG]

  4. #4
    It is unfortunate that people use the word "blame" when discussing the government's pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina. We just suffered one of the worst disasters our country has ever faced. No one is looking to blame anyone. What we do want is [B]accountability[/B] for this failure in response. We must hold our government accountable for inadequate level of preparedness for such a disaster. There were gross failures at the local level, at the state level and at the federal level. They must all be held accountable. If it appears that the focus of accountability has fallen on the shoulders of the President its because it should. The federal government is our last defense in such a crisis and it's the failure of the federal government that has people in this country worried. After 9/11 the federal government told us we are more prepared and safer in the event of a large scale disaster in one of our main cities. Had terrorist groups plotted a way to destroy the levees and cause this kind of a disaster instead of by a hurricane, no one would question that the federal government has not improved its level of preparedness to deal with a large scale terror attack. We clearly have a ways to go in terms of planning and preparedness in the event that a major disaster hits our cities, whether it be by nature or by terror. Our federal government needs to address these questions. Unfortunately these recent events have shown how vulnerable we remain even after 9/11. I have heard many Right wingers make the claim that Americans Protesting The Iraqi war is emboldenng and giving comfort to the terrorists. Well my friends , NOTHING will embolden the terrorists more than this display of vulnerability and the lack of accountability by our federal government and the lack of improvement in response to major disaster by our government.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Lady Jet] However, the sick and infirmed absolutelty should have been evacuated. There is simply no excuse for that. The poor as well, and those with no transportation. The flooded buses? Why weren't they put to use?

    [/QUOTE]

    [IMG]http://rayfelitto3.com/busses.gif[/IMG]

    [QUOTE]Gov. Blanco. - Where was the National Guard. They were under YOUR control. 300 young guardsmen to control your predicted 15,000 evacuees. Yet that number grew to 30,000 fast. [/QUOTE]

    Before hurricane Katrina made landfall, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana appears to have been more focused on securing federal funds for post-hurricane relief than ensuring that necessary troops were deployed to carry search and rescue missions, deliver food and water, and protect the citizens of Louisiana against marauding street thugs.

    President Bush had offered the governor federal aid, including additional troops. He declared Louisiana a disaster area before Katrina arrived. To the dismay of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the governor told the president she wanted 24 hours to decide whether to accept the offer because Mr. Bush, as commander-in-chief, wanted control of the troops. Many of the governor's constituents died because of the delay.

    On her Internet Web site, Mrs. Blanco displays her letter to Mr. Bush dated Aug. 28, in which she requests various forms of federal funding for dealing with the expected aftermath of the storm, and estimates that she will need about $130 million. In the letter, Mrs. Blanco does not request federal troops, nor does she highlight any immediate needs.

    Clearly not enough troops were deployed. On Aug. 30, the day after the storm hit, only 4,700 National Guardsmen were mobilized in the state. Mrs. Blanco could have asked for a more substantial force under established emergency-mutual-assistance compacts, which enables governors of neighboring states to share resources in times of disaster. Of the 300,000 Guard troops in the United States, 6,500 are in Louisiana, and nearly half of those are deployed abroad, most of them in Iraq.

    The delay in requesting the necessary troops is inexplicable and there was no justification for it. In a press conference on Saturday, Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said: "The real issue, particularly in New Orleans, is that no one anticipated the disintegration or the erosion of the civilian police force in New Orleans." New Orleans musters only 1,500 police officers, insufficient for dealing with a storm like Katrina even without any "disintegration."

    Lt. Gen. Blum said the National Guard did not move sooner to secure the Superdome and convention center because commanders were waiting to amass "an overwhelming force." Again, there was an an insufficient number of troops. Since then the Guard has mobilized quickly, and there are now more than 40,000 troops deployed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

    Mrs. Blanco appeared to have been unaware of the prospects of catastrophe in New Orleans and other areas. Those left behind could tell her about it.
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 09-10-2005 at 01:39 PM.

  6. #6

    Pres. Bush thanked for his quick action.

    Interesting...this letter sent on Sunday evening before Katrina hit.

    [QUOTE]Louisiana Senators send a joint letter to the President thanking him for his actions and requesting that he visit the storm ravaged area “as soon as practical.” [/QUOTE]

    [URL=http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2005/09/04/katrina-response-timeline/]Quoted from here[/URL]--a very detailed timeline compiled by Rick Moran.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=bitonti][IMG]http://biblia.com/911/iraq-map-9g.gif[/IMG][/QUOTE]

    That dog ain't gonna hunt, bit. :zzz: There were more than enough NG available, but that sweetheart gov. blanchead didn't ask for them quick enough. Oh, she did ask for some from her 'rat buddy, Richardson of AZ, but not from neighboring states with 'pub govs. Plus she's still hot b/c Ragin supported the 'pub who ran against her for gov.

    [QUOTE] More than 4,000 National Guardsmen are mobilizing in Memphis” to help police New Orleans streets.v[/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE]My Way News reports 4725 LA National Guardsmen deployed on Tuesday. [/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE] Pentagon spokesman Di Rita issues statement saying “the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs, with at least 60 percent of the guard available in each state. He said about 6,500 National Guard troops were available in Louisiana, about 7,000 troops in Mississippi, nearly 10,000 in Alabama and about 8,200 in Florida.[/QUOTE]

    [URL=http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2005/09/04/katrina-response-timeline/]From here[/URL]

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=kennyo7]It is unfortunate that people use the word "blame" when discussing the government's pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina. We just suffered one of the worst disasters our country has ever faced. No one is looking to blame anyone. What we do want is [B]accountability[/B] for this failure in response. .[/QUOTE]


    Fair enough, I agree.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=kennyo7]What [B]we do want is accountability for this failure in response[/B]. . "[/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE=Lady Jet]Fair enough, I agree.[/QUOTE]

    He means [B]selective accountability[/B].

  10. #10
    [QUOTE]He means selective accountability.[/QUOTE]

    [B]NO I DONT![/B]

    Everyone must be held accountable. From the local , to the state, to the federal level. But since this is not just a local disaster (a hurricane that wiped out a major US City and caused extensive damage to the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and killed thousands is a NATIONAL disaster) the federal government must take the brunt of the responsibility. Harry Truman said "[B]The Buck Stops at the President's Desk[/B]" not at the local and state official's desk. This administration has made more than its share of errors which have cost lives. Yet whenever the chance arrises for them to take responsibility, they get defensive and pass the buck elsewhere. Why cant the Bush Corporation ever just accept responsibility for their mistakes?

  11. #11
    this is from MSNBC - most will not agree with the conclusions but I found it to be fact-based and a good look at the events of that week. Most of this article is based on what actually occured. The breakdowns were at all levels but only the federal level was equipped to deal with it - and they didn't until it was too late.

    [QUOTE][B]How Bush Blew It[/B]
    Bureaucratic timidity. Bad phone lines. And a failure of imagination. Why the government was so slow to respond to catastrophe.

    By Evan Thomas

    Sept. 13, 2005 - It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United States, or, as he is known in West Wing jargon, POTUS. The bad news on this early morning, Tuesday, Aug. 30, some 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, was that the president would have to cut short his five-week vacation by a couple of days and return to Washington. The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him. Hagin, it was decided, as senior aide on the ground, would do the deed.

    The president did not growl this time. He had already decided to return to Washington and hold a meeting of his top advisers on the following day, Wednesday. This would give them a day to get back from their vacations and their staffs to work up some ideas about what to do in the aftermath of the storm. President Bush knew the storm and its consequences had been bad; but he didn't quite realize how bad.

    The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

    How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.

    President George W. Bush has always trusted his gut. He prides himself in ignoring the distracting chatter, the caterwauling of the media elites, the Washington political buzz machine. He has boasted that he doesn't read the papers. His doggedness is often admirable. It is easy for presidents to overreact to the noise around them.

    But it is not clear what President Bush does read or watch, aside from the occasional biography and an hour or two of ESPN here and there. Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him. Bush can ask tough questions, but it's mostly a one-way street. Most presidents keep a devil's advocate around. Lyndon Johnson had George Ball on Vietnam; President Ronald Reagan and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, grudgingly listened to the arguments of Budget Director Richard Darman, who told them what they didn't wish to hear: that they would have to raise taxes. [B]When Hurricane Katrina struck, it appears there was no one to tell President Bush the plain truth: that the state and local governments had been overwhelmed, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was not up to the job and that the military, the only institution with the resources to cope, couldn't act without a declaration from the president overriding all other authority.[/B]

    The war in Iraq was a failure of intelligence. The government's response to Katrina—like the failure to anticipate that terrorists would fly into buildings on 9/11—was a failure of imagination. On Tuesday, within 24 hours of the storm's arrival, Bush needed to be able to imagine the scenes of disorder and misery that would, two days later, shock him when he watched the evening news. He needed to be able to see that New Orleans would spin into violence and chaos very quickly if the U.S. government did not take charge—and, in effect, send in the cavalry, which in this case probably meant sending in a brigade from a combat outfit, like the 82nd Airborne, based in Fort Bragg, N.C., and prepared to deploy anywhere in the world in 18 hours.

    Bush and his advisers in his "war cabinet" have always been action-oriented, "forward leaning," in the favorite phrase of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. They dislike lawyers and sometimes brush aside legalistic (and even sound constitutional) arguments. But this time "Rummy" opposed sending in active-duty troops as cops. Dick Cheney, who was vacationing in Wyoming when the storm hit, characteristically kept his counsel on videoconferences; his private advice is not known.

    Liberals will say they were indifferent to the plight of poor African-Americans. It is true that Katrina laid bare society's massive neglect of its least fortunate. The inner thoughts and motivations of Bush and his top advisers are impossible to know for certain. Though it seems abstract at a time of such suffering, high-minded considerations about the balance of power between state and federal government were clearly at play. It's also possible that after at least four years of more or less constant crisis, Bush and his team are numb.

    The failure of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina worked like a power blackout. Problems cascaded and compounded; each mistake made the next mistake worse. The foe in this battle was a monster; Katrina flattened the Gulf Coast with the strength of a vengeful god. But human beings, beginning with the elected officials of the City of New Orleans, failed to anticipate and react in time.

    Congressional investigations will take months to sort out who is to blame. A reconstruction of the government's response to the storm shows how Bush's leadership style and the bureaucratic culture combined to produce a disaster within a disaster.

    Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, didn't want to evacuate. New Orleanians have a fatalistic streak; their joyful, jazz-blowing street funeral processions are legendary. After many near misses over the years since Hurricane Betsy flooded 20 percent of the city in 1965, longtime residents prefer to stay put. Nagin's eye had long been on commerce, not catastrophe. A former executive at Cox Communications, he had come to office in 2002 to clear out the allegedly corrupt old guard and bring new business to the city, which has not prospered with New South metropolises like Atlanta. During Nagin's mayoral campaign, the promises were about jobs, not stronger floodwalls and levees.

    But on Saturday night, as Katrina bore down on New Orleans, Nagin talked to Max Mayfield, head of the National Hurricane Center. "Max Mayfield has scared me to death," Nagin told City Councilwoman Cynthia Morrell early Sunday morning. "If you're scared, I'm scared," responded Morrell, and the mandatory order went out to evacuate the city—about a day later than for most other cities and counties along the Gulf Coast.

    As Katrina howled outside Monday morning and the windows of the Hyatt Hotel, where the mayor had set up his command post, began popping out, Nagin and his staff lay on the floor. Then came eerie silence. Morrell decided to go look at her district, including nearby Gentilly. Outside, Canal Street was dry. "Phew," Morrell told her driver, "that was close." But then, from the elevated highway, she began seeing neighborhoods under eight to 15 feet of water. "Holy God," she thought to herself. Then she spotted her first dead body.

    At dusk, on the ninth floor of city hall, the mayor and the city council had their first encounter with the federal government. A man in a blue FEMA windbreaker arrived to brief them on his helicopter flyover of the city. He seemed unfamiliar with the city's geography, but he did have a sense of urgency. "Water as far as the eye can see," he said. It was worse than Hurricanes Andrew in 1992 and Camille in 1969. "I need to call Washington," he said. "Do you have a conference-call line?" According to an aide to the mayor, he seemed a little taken aback when the answer was no. Long neglected in the city budget, communications within the New Orleans city government were poor, and eventually almost nonexistent when the batteries on the few old satellite phones died. The FEMA man found a phone, but he had trouble reaching senior officials in Washington. When he finally got someone on the line, the city officials kept hearing him say, "You don't understand, you don't understand."

    Around New Orleans, three levees had overtopped or were broken. The city was doomed. There was no way the water could be stopped. But, incredibly, the seriousness of the situation did not really register, not only in Washington, but at the state emergency command post upriver in Baton Rouge. In a squat, drab cinder-block building in the state capital, full of TV monitors and maps, various state and federal officials tried to make sense of what had happened. "Nobody was saying it wasn't a catastrophe," Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu told news-week. "We were saying, 'Thank you, God,' because the experts were telling the governor it could have been even worse."

    Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, a motherly but steely figure known by the nickname Queen Bee, knew that she needed help. But she wasn't quite sure what. At about 8 p.m., she spoke to Bush. "Mr. President," she said, "we need your help. We need everything you've got."

    Bush, the governor later recalled, was reassuring. But the conversation was all a little vague. Blanco did not specifically ask for a massive intervention by the active-duty military. "She wouldn't know the 82nd Airborne from the Harlem Boys' Choir," said an official in the governor's office, who did not wish to be identified talking about his boss's conversations with the president. There are a number of steps Bush could have taken, short of a full-scale federal takeover, like ordering the military to take over the pitiful and (by now) largely broken emergency communications system throughout the region. But the president, who was in San Diego preparing to give a speech the next day on the war in Iraq, went to bed.


    By the predawn hours, most state and federal officials finally realized that the 17th Street Canal levee had been breached, and that the city was in serious trouble. Bush was told at 5 a.m. Pacific Coast time and immediately decided to cut his vacation short. To his senior advisers, living in the insular presidential bubble, the mere act of lopping off a couple of presidential vacation days counts as a major event. They could see pitfalls in sending Bush to New Orleans immediately. His presence would create a security nightmare and get in the way of the relief effort. [B]Bush blithely proceeded with the rest of his schedule for the day, accepting a gift guitar at one event and pretending to riff like Tom Cruise in "Risky Business."[/B]

    Bush might not have appeared so carefree if he had been able to see the fearful faces on some young police officers—the ones who actually showed up for roll call at the New Orleans Second District police headquarters that morning. The radio was reporting water nine feet deep at the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles streets. The looting and occasional shooting had begun. At 2 o'clock on the morning of the storm, only 82 of 120 cops had obeyed a summons to report for duty. Now the numbers were dwindling; within a day, only 28 or 30 officers would be left to save the stranded and fight the looters, recalled a sad and exhausted Capt. Eddie Hosli, speaking to a NEWSWEEK reporter last week. "One of my lieutenants told me, 'I was looking into the eyes of one of the officers and it was like looking into the eyes of a baby'," Hosli recalled. "It was just terrible." (When the AWOL officers began trickling back to work last week, attracted in part by the promise of five expense-paid days in Las Vegas for all New Orleans cops, Hosli told them, "You've got your own demons to live with. I'm not going to judge you.")

    At emergency headquarters in Baton Rouge, confusion raged. Though more than 100,000 of its residents had no way to get out of the city on their own, New Orleans had no real evacuation plan, save to tell people to go to the Superdome and wait for buses. On Tuesday, the state was rounding up buses; no, FEMA was; no, FEMA's buses would take too long to get there ... and so on. On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Blanco took her second trip to the Superdome and was shocked by the rising tide of desperation there. There didn't seem to be nearly enough buses, boats or helicopters.

    Early Wednesday morning, Blanco tried to call Bush. She was transferred around the White House for a while until she ended up on the phone with Fran Townsend, the president's Homeland Security adviser, who tried to reassure her but did not have many specifics. Hours later, Blanco called back and insisted on speaking to the president. When he came on the line, the governor recalled, "I just asked him for help, 'whatever you have'." She asked for 40,000 troops. "I just pulled a number out of the sky," she later told NEWSWEEK.

    The Pentagon was not sitting idly. By Tuesday morning (and even before the storm) the military was moving supplies, ships, boats, helicopters and troops toward the Gulf Coast. But, ironically, the scale of the effort slowed it. TV viewers had difficulty understanding why TV crews seemed to move in and out of New Orleans while the military was nowhere to be seen. But a TV crew is five people in an RV. Before the military can send in convoys of trucks, it has to clear broken and flooded highways. The military took over the shattered New Orleans airport for emergency airlifts, but special teams of Air Force operators had to be sent in to make it ready. By the week after the storm, the military had mobilized some 70,000 troops and hundreds of helicopters—but it took at least two days and usually four and five to get them into the disaster area. Looters and well-armed gangs, like TV crews, moved faster.

    In the inner councils of the Bush administration, there was some talk of gingerly pushing aside the overwhelmed "first responders," the state and local emergency forces, and sending in active-duty troops. But under an 1868 law, federal troops are not allowed to get involved in local law enforcement. The president, it's true, could have invoked the Insurrections Act, the so-called Riot Act. But Rumsfeld's aides say the secretary of Defense was leery of sending in 19-year-old soldiers trained to shoot people in combat to play policemen in an American city, and he believed that National Guardsmen trained as MPs were on the way.


    The one federal agency that is supposed to handle disasters—FEMA—was dysfunctional. On Wednesday morning, Senator Landrieu was standing outside the chaotic Superdome and asked to borrow a FEMA official's phone to call her office in Washington. "It didn't work," she told news-week. "I thought to myself, 'This isn't going to be pretty'." Once a kind of petty-cash drawer for congressmen to quickly hand out aid after floods and storms, FEMA had improved in the 1990s in the Clinton administration. But it became a victim of the Iron Law of Unintended Consequences. After 9/11 raised the profile of disaster response, FEMA was folded into the sprawling Department of Homeland Security and effectively weakened. FEMA's boss, Bush's close friend Joe Allbaugh, quit when he lost his cabinet seat. (Now a consultant, Allbaugh was down on the Gulf Coast last week looking for contracts for his private clients.) Allbaugh replaced himself with his college buddy Mike Brown, whose last private-sector job ([B]omitted from his official resume[/B]) had been supervising horse-show judges for the International Arabian Horse Association. After praising Brown ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of job"), Bush last week removed him from honchoing the Katrina relief operation. He was replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen. The Coast Guard was one agency that performed well, rescuing thousands.

    Bad news rarely flows up in bureaucracies. [B]For most of those first few days, Bush was hearing what a good job the Feds were doing. [/B] Bush likes "metrics," numbers to measure performance, so the bureaucrats gave him reassuring statistics. At a press availability on Wednesday, Bush duly rattled them off: there were 400 trucks transporting 5.4 million meals and 13.4 million liters of water along with 3.4 million pounds of ice. [B]Yet it was obvious to anyone watching TV that New Orleans had turned into a Third World hellhole.[/B]

    The denial and the frustration finally collided aboard Air Force One on Friday. As the president's plane sat on the tarmac at New Orleans airport, a confrontation occurred that was described by one participant as "as blunt as you can get without the Secret Service getting involved." Governor Blanco was there, along with various congressmen and senators and Mayor Nagin (who took advantage of the opportunity to take a shower aboard the plane). One by one, the lawmakers listed their grievances as Bush listened. Rep. Bobby Jindal, whose district encompasses New Orleans, told of a sheriff who had called FEMA for assistance. According to Jindal, the sheriff was told to e-mail his request, "and the guy was sitting in a district underwater and with no electricity," Jindal said, incredulously. "How does that make any sense?" Jindal later told NEWSWEEK that "almost everybody" around the conference table had a similar story about how the federal response "just wasn't working." [B]With each tale, "the president just shook his head, as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing," says Jindal, a conservative Republican and Bush appointee who lost a close race to Blanco. Repeatedly, the president turned to his aides and said, "Fix it."[/B]

    According to Sen. David Vitter, a Republican ally of Bush's, the meeting came to a head when Mayor Nagin blew up during a fraught discussion of "who's in charge?" Nagin slammed his hand down on the table and told Bush, "We just need to cut through this and do what it takes to have a more-controlled command structure. If that means federalizing it, let's do it."

    A debate over "federalizing" the National Guard had been rattling in Washington for the previous three days. Normally, the Guard is under the control of the state governor, but the Feds can take over—if the governor asks them to. Nagin suggested that Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the Pentagon's on-scene commander, be put in charge. According to Senator Vitter, Bush turned to Governor Blanco and said, "Well, what do you think of that, Governor?" Blanco told Bush, "I'd rather talk to you about that privately." To which Nagin responded, "Well, why don't you do that now?"

    The meeting broke up. Bush and Blanco disappeared to talk. More than a week later, there was still no agreement. Blanco didn't want to give up her authority, and Bush didn't press. Jindal suggested that Bush appoint Colin Powell as a kind of relief czar, and Bush replied, "I'll take that into consideration." Bush does not like to fire people. He told Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to go down to Louisiana and sort out the various problems. A day later FEMA's Brown was on his way back to Washington.

    Late last week, Bush was, by some accounts, down and angry. But another Bush aide described the atmosphere inside the White House as "strangely surreal and almost detached." At one meeting described by this insider, officials were oddly self-congratulatory, perhaps in an effort to buck each other up. Life inside a bunker can be strange, especially in defeat.

    With T. Trent Gegax, Arian Campo-Flores, Andrew Murr, Susannah Meadows, Jonathan Darman and Catharine Skipp in the gulf coast region, and Richard Wolffe, Holly Bailey, Mark Hosenball, Tamara Lipper, John Barry, Daniel Klaidman, Michael Isikoff, Michael Hirsh, Eve Conant, Martha Brant, Patricia Wingert, Eleanor Clift and Steve Tuttle in Washington[/QUOTE]

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=asuusa]That dog ain't gonna hunt, bit. [/QUOTE]

    i disagree - even though they had some actual NG troops available the national guard's best equiptment, their boats and other essential gear are with the troops in Bagdhad. Make no mistake if there were more NG in this country the loss of life would have been alleviated.

    I do apprecitate that you are quoting a site called rightwingnuthouse.com.

  13. #13
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    This from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette...most libs will never acknowledge it as it is full of facts from those with experience and does not meet their main objective- Blame Bush:

    [QUOTE] [B]Jack Kelly: No shame- The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed

    Sunday, September 11, 2005[/B]

    It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.


    "Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.

    But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.

    [B]Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

    "The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."[/B]

    For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

    [B]Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.[/B]

    So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.

    I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:

    More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun pumping water out of New Orleans.

    Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000 refugees.

    Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:

    "We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.

    "The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.

    "You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.

    "No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."

    "You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military appear somewhere," van Steenwyk said.

    Guardsmen need to receive mobilization orders; report to their armories; draw equipment; receive orders and convoy to the disaster area. Guardsmen driving down from Pennsylvania or Navy ships sailing from Norfolk can't be on the scene immediately.

    Relief efforts must be planned. Other than prepositioning supplies near the area likely to be afflicted (which was done quite efficiently), this cannot be done until the hurricane has struck and a damage assessment can be made. There must be a route reconnaissance to determine if roads are open, and bridges along the way can bear the weight of heavily laden trucks.

    And federal troops and Guardsmen from other states cannot be sent to a disaster area until their presence has been requested by the governors of the afflicted states.

    Exhibit A on the bill of indictment of federal sluggishness is that it took four days before most people were evacuated from the Louisiana Superdome.

    The levee broke Tuesday morning. Buses had to be rounded up and driven from Houston to New Orleans across debris-strewn roads. The first ones arrived Wednesday evening. That seems pretty fast to me.

    A better question -- which few journalists ask -- is why weren't the roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to take people out of the city before Katrina struck?[/QUOTE]

    [url]http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05254/568876.stm[/url]

  14. #14
    [QUOTE]A better question -- which few journalists ask -- is why weren't the roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to take people out of the city before Katrina struck? [/QUOTE]

    this is a good question but the followup is imagine the city decided to try and use these buses who is going to drive them? without qualified drivers they are useless resources.

  15. #15
    Ah CBTNY, your response is so typical o f this administration. Take no responsibility, hold everyone else accountable and if that fails bash on the Dems (even though they hold no power). Your articl is a nice little spin for the right. Too bad it has a lot of misinformation.


    [QUOTE]But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.[/QUOTE]

    The problem here is that Gov. Blanco asked Bush to declare a federal state of emergency in LA 2 days prior to the storm hitting land. In essence it was 5 days before National Guard presence was there. Even before the Hurricane struck there was the reality that a major disaster was coming yet Bush , as usual, ignored it. The articl then goes on to compare this tragedy to recent hurricanes in Florida. Please! There is no comparison. The magnitude of the storm coupled with the potential for disaster by the levees breaking makes this a much more complex and devastating problem. To say that [B]the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented.[/B]is a no brainer. We havent dealt with a natural disaster of this magnitude in years. I would hope that the volume of support was unprecedented.

    Look it would be easy for me to point all the blame to Bush. Even while the whole world knew of the potential disaster that was looming 2 days before the hurricane Bush was busy discussing immigration with Mike Chertoff, speaking about Iraq at a Naval Base, playing air guitar with some country music redneck, and celebrated the birthday of the senator he trashed and accused of having an illegitimate black child. But i wont bash him for that.

    I will bash you for being so damn defensive and not willing to accept Bush's fair sharre of responsibility in this mess.

  16. #16
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    like I said...the article, full of facts from those experienced, doesn't fit the rats agenda...

  17. #17
    Like I said... Never let the pres be accountable. The buck stops everywhere but the Ws desk..... Protect George W Bush at all costs.

    BTW a national guardsman hardly rates as an expert.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=kennyo7]Like I said... Never let the pres be accountable. The buck stops everywhere but the Ws desk..... Protect George W Bush at all costs.

    BTW a national guardsman hardly rates as an expert.[/QUOTE]

    I know...not nearly as much as you are...

  19. #19
    most people in this country aren't like the people in this forum - they don't regularly follow the news - it takes a big event like a Katrina for people to sit up and actually take notice.

    I will not blame Bush for Katrina, and I will not totally blame him for the response. He is partly to blame but there is plenty of that to go around.

    What this is really about is Katrina is the event that made people realize the quality of their President. In my eyes Bush has been screwing up for a while and recent developments simply are not surprising.

    To alot of people though this is the event that will define his second term, perhaps his legacy. No it's not fair but it's the way it is.

    when he went on TV the first time and rattled off a bunch of numbers about the size of the relief effort and then praised people for the great job they were doing it directly contradicted the images on TV which were pure horror.

    People occasionally get woken up by a big event, when look up see what's going on and instantly assign blame to the Prez, whether it's warrented and deserved or not. They see what they see and the blame usually goes to the top.

    This is the event that Rove hoped would never happen on Bush's watch - it's a political disaster and that would have been the case if Clinton or Kerry or whoever else was in charge. In some sense it's unlucky. In other sense it's the chickens coming home to roost.

    Bush has surrounded himself with YES men that couldn't convey failure in his government until it was too late for many.

    as of yesterday's AP/Ipsos poll Bush's approval rating is 38% the lowest since the poll has started.
    Last edited by bitonti; 09-12-2005 at 12:42 PM.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=bitonti]this is a good question but the followup is imagine the city decided to try and use these buses who is going to drive them? without qualified drivers they are useless resources.[/QUOTE]
    You think that's an adequate answer?

    Why wasnt there a plan in effect that was devised in advance of the storm to have thos buses manned and driven to designated points to pick up and ecavuate people?

    Why did ragin nagin make a big deal out of whining about needing greyhound buses when he had hundreds of buses at his disposal that he failed to mobilize?

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