(note this will be at the top for a few hours, check below for more content)
I don’t have time to explain… but trust me… when the history of this thing is written, Gov Blanco will be near criminally liable.
From a Wapo article I didn’t take time to link. (google is your friend)
Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state’s emergency operations center said Saturday.
The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. “Quite frankly, if they’d been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals,” said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.
A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.
Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.
UPDATE: Thanks to Anachronda, (who btw we still owe money to I think) the Wapo had a correction, she declared the SoE Monday- still fully 3 full days after Bush declared a Federal SoE. (end update)
Nagin is not without his warts… While he did save hundreds of thousands of lives, his abject stupidity should not and will not be ignored. He not only did not understand the strength of this hurricane but he failed to execute a long standing plan properly.
But when all is said and done, Kathleen Blanco killed thousands of people. When she met with Bush and Bush tried getting control of the situation she told him she needed “24 hours to think things through.”
Blanco’s lack of ability to think on her feet was evident in the debates she had during the election… now it cost lives… (More on this with video coming.)
I am too busy to post more right now but watch it play out… Blanco screwed up. (So did Nagin and I haven’t decided on Bush, but we know Blanco blew it.)
AND BTW- I hate to disappoint the race baiters, but this is not racism… It was stupidity, pure and simple.
RE: EddyJ’s discombobulation (September 5, 2005 02:25 AM)
Oh, goody! Act II has begun. Actually, it’s transparently Act I in rerun… but who cares? Good thing I brought popcorn to the seat. It complements the nut on the stage. I wonder if this comedic debacle has an encore?
“This is American and we should be able to get water and food to folks when new crews and others were able to get thru”
Of course, had the poor “victims” not been so lazy and stupid, they could have just followed the news crews back out.
Oh, and nobody has commented on our new, super-secret weapon, the steerable hurricane.
Bush guided that baby right up the pike, didn’t he? Too cool!
Next, Atlanta, then Detroit. By end of the hurricane season, there won’t be enough democrats left to fill a flooded bus!
Well Capitalist you live up to your name. You sound like a true Republican. Calling the victims stupid.. Wow you guys really have stooped to a new low. For once why dont you call them what you really want to call them? Or do you not have the guts even in cyberspace???
No, Americanfirst, I think “stupid” used to describe people who can’t figure out how to get themselves out of trouble by following a road is the right term.
Now, just what term is it that you think I might be wanting to use?
So with your fine knowledge of FEMA how in the hell were they supposed to get out? Oh i know what term you wanted to use….
Anyone who thinks this was not a pretty successful effort is not thinking too clearly. What astounds me is no one has commented how incompetent the so called “reporters” and “journalists” are. I was discusted the other night when Gretta V Sustran was reporting on that young black man who “stole, commandeered, found”, a bus and drove it to the Astrodome in Texas and arrived before all the other busses. THEN she actually appologized for feeling good about reporting on something so noble. I couldn’t believe it.
If President Bush gets the blame for LA, does he get the credit for Mississippi?
How about the incredible response in N.Y. after 9/11?
What about Florida after the hurricanes?
Let’s be real for a moment. The response to disaster in New York, Florida and Mississippi was perfect. The response in LA was horrific.
What’s the difference that we can find in those four places that will help us avoid horrible disaster response in the future? What does New York, Florida and Mississippi have that LA doesn’t? Hmmmm?
I have to disagree. The response in Florida was great because it was an election year and his brother was the Gov. For all 3 Florida hurricanes last year he was there within 72 hours and was passing out ice and water. I took him 5 days to get to Mississippi. This was not a sucessful effort. I was in Ft. Lauderdale when Andrew blew through and Bush I acted just like W is now……
Gee, I dunno, Americanfirst…maybe they could have tried walking…because sitting on their asses sure didn’t work
I’m in the Gulf Coast. Just got my power back on. It took 9 days to get power on after Ivan. I’m lucky this time. Only 6 days. I’ve been surviving on the canned goods and candle light method. Batteries are a good thing!
I’m not believing the unrealistic expectations folks talking about New Orleans are voicing.
Those folks knew well in advance that this was a serious storm. Many chose to stay. Last night I watched Tim Russert talking to some man name Boussard?. He was crying because his friend’s mom drowned. Well, shit! She revealed that his friend kept telling her someone would come, day 1, day 2, day 3. What the hell was happend day -2? THAT’s when his pal should have gotten ma out the nursing home! THAT’s the day Nagin should have loaded those school buses and got folks out. THAT’s the day Nagin should have called for rations to be brought into the Superdome! You can’t haul that many people out a city that size in a day.
Got friends who left NO to come here. Over beers they tell me Mayor Nagin didn’t want folks to leave. Didn’t want the responsibility or liability. They say folk didn’t want to leave because last big storm they got to live out the storm in a high end hotel courtesy of the city.
The fault here, in my humble opinion, lies with the long term corruption in the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. How many years between Camille and Katrina? 40? You reckon a stronger levee system might have helped? I read it costs 2.5 million to build. They probably spend that on Mardi Gras. We can hold back the Columbia River but we can’t keep Lake Ponchatrain out New Orleans twice a century?
And while the media are all livid over New Orleans and tossing race baits out, does anyone know how the folks in Waveland, Pass Christian, Biloxi, Hattisburg, Gulf Port, Bayou la Baitre, Grand Bay and Dauphin Island are fairing?????
I didn’t think so. Media doesn’t care about poor white folk. It doesn’t fit their politcal agenda.
I’d be walking if I were stuck in NO without a car. But there are many folk who can’t walk. THAT’s who Nagin et al should have been locating and moving out days before. It really is his fault and it really is criminal.
The news crews were mostly already there, and the ones that came in later were traveling light. Are you really so dim-witted you don’t know the difference logistically between moving two people and a camera and food and water for 100,000 people. No wonder you geniuses think Haliburton is over-paid. And everybody who stayed didn’t do so because they had no option. Many had cars and chose to ride it out because leaving was a pain in the ass, many could have gotten rides and didn’t bother, just like they didn’t bother to take a fuggin’ bottle of water with them to the shelter. Do you really think if a poor family with a couple of kids walked out by the interstate and stuck out their thumb NOBODY would give them a ride? People have to take care of themselves first. The government can’t do everything for you.
Michelle Malkin’s THE NEW ORLEANS P.D. MELTDOWN is a must read. From the post you will find a transcript of a DOD National Guard briefing by Lt. GEN. BLUM:
From the transcript of the Department of Defense Briefing we find this:
Q: One quick follow-up. Is it fair to say, using the convention center as an example, that one reason it took until Friday to get aid in is the National Guard needed time to build up a response team with military police to ensure law and order because the New Orleans Police Department had degraded so much?
GEN. BLUM: That is not only fair, it is accurate. You’ve concisely stated exactly what was needed, and I told you why. We took the time to build the right force. The outcome was superb. No lives hurt, nobody injured. It was done almost invisibly.
It appears that the military assessed the situation and thought more harm would be done by responding with a small and inappropriate contingency.
Is there any doubt of the field day the liberal MSM would have had if a small, inexperienced, unqualified group of National Guardsmen showed up, killed lawless civilians, possibly some innocents as well, while defending themselves in a attempt to assist with NO Convention Center and Superdome, no matter how altruistic their intentions might have been?
Looks to me like a conscious ‘triage’ decision was made for the greater good in light of the situation.
That’s what experienced leaders like Gen. Blum are paid to do. Make the tough joices that on the surface look wrong but in the end save more lives than they risk.
“People have to take care of themselves first. The government can’t do everything for you”
Well done Moe, you finally hit the nail on the head!
these “libs” (what a misnomer, BTW) are always looking for the fed to bail them out of everything!
Eddy, your are a fool, or can you really be that stupid!
This whole race issue is disgusting, the way the major networks handled this tragedy is disgusting,
I don’t think I can ever watch the “so called” news again!
Of course some people are going to panic and not provide properly for themselves in an emergency, also, some will be very stubborn about leaving all they have behind, and still some others will just refuse to believe the situation is THAT serious, after all, wasn’t it just last year that they faced a similar situation and safely weathered that storm?
Now, this said, how is the government supposed to step in like “BIg Brother” , magically figure out who these folks are, and rescue them?
It’s the local authorities who should have been prepared, and able to act quickly, even if it had turned out not to be such a disaster, better to be safe then sorry!
I can only hope that this painful lesson will be worthy of sacrifices made by too many people because of this incompetency!
It’s bizzare watching folks who have no idea of the logistical complexity of providing aid in an area where damn near everything’s wiped out = INCLUDING damn near every means of getting aid INTO the area.
Airports: Flooded and unusable.
Only 4 days to start getting the aid in? That’s a damn miracle in my book. My hat’s off to the logistics planners on this – and a pint of blood and $150 to the Red Cross, to boot.
Hey, EddyJ – just because Domino’s can get you your pizza in 30 minutes doesn’t mean FEMA can get thousands of tons of food and water into an area in 4 days when there’s no way to transport the stuff on the ground, and noplace to land it by air.
As far as by sea – it’d take time to get the supplies to the docks, the ships loaded, sail them up the Mississippi, and then HOPE that you can find both a working dock and transportation facilities to distribute the stuff once you get it there.
Logistics is a vastly underrated component of any operation, be it civil disaster relief or military.
In the middle of this mess, I must revise my previous assessment of “incompetency”.
I keep forgetting that thousands of people were successfully rescued and aid is still getting there.Logistics sure do get underestimated. Not to mention the incredible generosity of the american people who seem to have ever deepening pockets when it comes to donating $$ for these relief efforts! Kudos to the military,Red Cross and other relief orgs., and God bless to all who helped make a difference, you know who you are…
Also, it is always so easy to, how do they say, “monday morning football” is that right?
I quite agree, having said something like this on my own blog yesterday. Fact is, I see a massive wave of lawsuits against any government official that MOVES after this. But the ones against the Feds won’t stick. The Governor and local officials, for all the hype of those going after Bush right now, are the ones going to be fried here.
In fact, in spite of all the yowling, at the very worst point in all this, with the dead estimated in the tens of thousands, does the public blame Bush? ABC News says 44% yes, 55% no. Bush-bashers now will call the majority idiots, further alienating them.
This all comes down to a simple question.
What was the plan? Everyone knew a category 4 or 5 hurricane would not only cause massive damage, but could also cause the levees to overflow or break, causing the flooding of New Orleans.
So if everyone knew, what was the plan? Obviously local police and state national guard would not be able to handle this alone, so what was the plan to coordinate with other state national guards and with the U.S. government, including the military.
A plan lays out who will do what with which resources. If there was not plan, every single politician in Louisiana and every official connected with disaster planning in the U.S. government should resign in shame.
So far, it looks like the plan was “see if the locals can handle it, when they fail, make them sign over complete control to the military and then we’ll start pulling some resources together”. If that was the plan, they should be ashamed of themselves and they are responsible for the needless deaths of thousands of people.
If you are going to be a leader, you have to have plans in place, and contingency plans for when your plans fail. If you are just running this thing by the seat of your pants you are not a leader, you are a hazard to public safety.
An emailer pointed out to me that my comment above should read:
“Looks to me like a conscious ‘triage’ decision was made for the greater good in light of the situation.
Make the tough choices [instead of joices…not sure how I typed that out ] that on the surface look wrong but in the end save more lives than they risk.”
I apologize for the mangling… 🙂
So if everyone knew, what was the plan?
Go here and you will be able to read the plan.
The Federal government assists the local government. The Locals are always in coltrol. Most everyone bashing the Feds, it seems to me, are lazy – both physically and intellectualy. They won’t take the time to learn anything about what transpired, who was responsible for what part of what, what the law says the Feds and Locals can and can not do and what preparations were put in place by what agencies.
A post up above listed 4 sites that have comprehensive analysis, complete with facts and links, that you could go to and learn some facts about what actually transpired and who did what.
So if you have an argument that consists of whining about the FEMA response, go find some action they did or did not do. Simply stating that they are incompetent, without facts to back up that assertion, is not an argument.
The simple fact is Governor Blanco refused to give up her authority over police and national guard troops. Another simple fact is things are under control now WITHOUT Blanco having to give up her authority as Bush so desperately wanted.
Another simple fact is things are under control now WITHOUT Blanco having to give up her authority as Bush so desperately wanted.
Operable word being “now”. Perhaps if she had acceded to his request earlier, things might or might not have gone smoother. We’ll never know. I do think that the whole scenarior will be replayed during Cong hearings.
The following post reviews details directly from Louisiana’s Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness site discussing Louisiana’s first responder responsibilites:
The Federal/State of Louisiana emergency response agreement
Post contains diagrams and specific text passages from the federal plan, published on Louisiana’s site.
After reviewing the information, you should also conclude that the President’s and federal response should actually be applauded instead of derided.
I have read the plans. Any person who spends 20 minutes thinking about the realities of evacuating a city the size of New Orleans would figure out that it requires local, state, and federal COOPERATION. There is no way a local government can evacuate and secure a city with only 1500 police officers and then after the storm immediately perform both security and rescue operations with that number of people.
There is only one person what can make SURE that the local, state and federal agencies/departments are working together. That person is the President of the United States. Unfortunately for the poor people of New Orleans, the President was on vacation, the FEMA director was overwhelmed, and the head of DHS seems to have been getting his briefings from reading the newspaper. Too bad he didn’t watch Fox News or he would have learned much earlier what the hell was going on.
Obviously once the military kicked into gear, they got the Superdome and Convention center cleared out in two days. If the President had been on the job and had been acting as a leader, he could have broken through the red tape in 10 minutes on the second day and those people would not have suffered and died the way they did.
The military were waiting for a mission and the President was playing golf while American citizens were dying from lack of food and water in a major American city.
President Bush let us down. I’m sorry I voted for him (twice). I would have never believed his administration would be so incompetent.
Oh. My. God.
So the mayor is saying that President Bush PERSONALLY delayed aid for 24 hours because he wanted to force the Governor to sign an unneccessary piece of paper?!
I don’t believe President Bush would do that. I just don’t believe it.
I can’t stop thinking about this. There is one possible reason I can imagine President Bush getting caught up in 24 hours of red tape instead of cutting through it.
It’s possible the President was getting bad advice. In particular, bad advice from his military adivisors. Bush himself is not schooled in the specific legal relationships between state and federal entities. It’s possible his people told him that they HAD to have this agreement from the Governor and he only found out later
It wouldn’t be the first time his military advisors let him down in the planning area, as we all know.
A stronger President would have cut through this in a minute. Unfortunately President Bush seems to be so committed to a fully delegated government that he can’t seem to take back the reins when he needs to.
Delegation is fine when you can trust your people.
Yeah…I’m really effing pissed that the President wasn’t down there with millions of electric fans diverting the hurricane. Goll-dern tax cuts for the rich prevented any chance of that….
I believe we’re seeing just how deeply the Left actually misunderstands the United States’ Constitution.
Jack … you cannot possibly be this ignorant. The President did not appoint the Governor of Louisiana. And as such he did not delegate any power to her. That delegation was done by the people of Louisiana when they elected her.
Bush therefore had absolutely no power to override her authority, anymore than he could force her to cut state taxes or appoint someone he picks to sit on the LA Supreme Court. She HAD to give it up or else his hands are tied. The officers in the LA National Guard could disobey his orders.
This is quite simple. What you call red tape is the reason why this nation is a free nation.
Martin, I am intimately familiar with the Constitution. And with the number of times in history that Presidents taken a bold action even though it technically violated the law. (Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, etc.).
The problem for the President is that his macho bluff (or whatever the hell that was) didn’t work. History will show that the Governor of LA did the right thing. She did NOT cede control of the LA National Guard to the President.
Yet somehow, even though she did not cede control, the Superdome and Convention Center got cleared out. How, with COOPERATION between the Guard, the Navy, the 82 Airborne and others. That’s what
Personally I think the reason we finally saw the rescue of those people is that Geraldo and Shep Smith were crying and begging live on Fox News. Now that is some bad PR. Just the fact that they were able to broadcast live from there for 4 days — while administration officials first denied the problem and then said they couldn’t get in — is an embarassment to the Administration.
No, I don’t think Bush and the Administration were responsible for the hurricane or the flood. They were responsible for the response to the hurrican and the flood.
If they can’t handle an event like this, with all the foreknowlege they had, how are they going to handle a dirty bomb in downtown Phoenix or a chemical explosion in Manhattan or a major earthquake in San Francisco?
I’m not interested in the politics of this. I’m interested in the results. I believe it is immoral to ask for a position of leadership and then refuse to lead, especially when so many lives are at stake.
Shouldn’t post when I’m tired. Let’s try this paragraph again…
Yet somehow, even though she did not cede control, the Superdome and Convention Center got cleared out. How? With COOPERATION between the Guard, the Navy, the 82 Airborne and others. That’s what should have happened in the first place.
” Once the situation is stable and re-building has begun, the left will demand a “Katrina Comission” to white wash the record…just like 9/11.”
History revision in action here. The 9/11 Commission was a whitewash job, yes; but for the administration. They glossed over any hint that Bush should have known and taken action on specific warnings by his staff regarding impending terrorist acts.
We lefties *will* demand an independent investigation, yes; but we won’t stand for any whitewash.
B Moe, FEMA was turning away help, in small and large lots. If they couldn’t handle the situation, why did they set themselves up as the field authority? They certainly did take charge in the authority sphere. Check the Red Cross website; they were told they could not take food and water into NO, because FEMA did not want to encourage people to stay in the city.
Problem was, no one was being allowed to leave. Walking doesn’t do it, if police on the bridges out are shooting over your heads to turn you back from their largely unflooded city and parish.
Capitalist, whether or not it was race-based (and the blacks at subject most certainly think it was), the fact is that no one was allowed to walk out of NO. FEMA seems to have had the motivation to force them to do so. At least that was the reason they gave the Red Cross, for not allowing them in to distribute food and water.
But Gretna and Jefferson Parish police blocked the bridges that led out from the Superdome and the Convention Center, pointing their weapons and firing shotguns over the heads of any approaching the bridge.
Maybe they would have let a right-wing Bush supporter through, but i kinda don’t think you would have wanted to chance it, either. Welcome (back) to the Superdome.
And, oh yeah, they were actually *locked* into the Convention Center.
For Lightning Joe
Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?
Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
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.
State NOT fed.