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Katrina: Second Draft of History

I said almost a week ago in my first draft of history:

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.

I've heard tons of stuff, most of which, sadly I have not had time to blog. (You would not believe how busy you can be as a refugee) The evidence against Blanco is mounting and damning. Major Garrett of FOXNews confirms something I heard some time ago but had not seen in the MSM.... namely, that the State turned the Red Cross away from the Superdome and refused to let them bring in food, water and other supplies to the people trapped there.

From an interview with Hugh Hewitt as transcribed on Radioblogger

HH: You just broke a pretty big story. I was watching up on the corner television in my studio, and it's headlined that the Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome, Major Garrett. Tell us what you found out.

MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdome, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

HH: Now Major Garrett, on what day did they block the delivery? Do you know specifically?

MG: I am told by the Red Cross, immediately after the storm passed.

HH: Okay, so that would be on Monday afternoon.

MG: That would have been Monday or Tuesday. The exact time, the hour, I don't have. But clearly, they had an evacuee situation at the Superdome, and of course, people gravitated to the convention center on an ad hoc basis. They sort of invented that as another place to go, because they couldn't stand the conditions at the Superdome.

HH: Any doubt in the Red Cross' mind that they were ready to go, but they were blocked?

MG: No. Absolutely none. They are absolutely unequivocal on that point.

HH: And are they eager to get this story out there, because they are chagrined by the coverage that's been emanating from New Orleans?

MG: I think they are. I mean, and look. Every agency that is in the private sector, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Feed The Children, all the ones we typically see are aggrieved by all the crap that's being thrown around about the response to this hurricane, because they work hand and glove with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. When FEMA is tarred and feathered, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are tarred and feathered, because they work on a cooperative basis. They feel they are being sullied by this reaction.

HH: Of course they are. Now Major Garrett, what about the Louisiana governor's office of Homeland Security. Have they responded to this charge by the Red Cross, which is a blockbuster charge?

MG: I have not been able to reach them yet. But, what they have said consistently is, and what they told the Red Cross, we don't want you to come in there, because we have evacuees that we want to get out. And if you come in, they're more likely to stay. So I want your listeners to follow me here. At the very moment that Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans was screaming where's the food, where's the water, it was over the overpass, and state officials were saying you can't come in.

Nagin still gets a hunk of the blame too, but as I said days ago, Blanco will be the one history damns the most. Video of Major Garrett discussing it with Brit Hume can be found at the Political Teen. It is worth the watch.

Other links of note (stealing material Kevin could use in a 10 spot ;-) Michelle Malkin debunks some Katrina myths and my pal Mary Katharine Ham finds an easier way to say 10,000 words.

UPDATE: A debunking of the debunking? You decide.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Katrina: Second Draft of History:

» Sierra Faith linked with Red Cross Delay Blanco Gate

» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill linked with The Debunking of a Meme, by manufacturing fiction,

Comments (13)

You know, the sad thing her... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

You know, the sad thing here is despite the amount of abuse I've heaped on Mayor Ray Nagin for his inexcusable lapses in judgement with regard to neglecting the EOP for SE Louisiana, but this is unconscionable. LEMA answers to the Governor, and IMO this is just another log on the bitch's funeral pyre. Worst case of criminal incompetence ever.

You are correct about the g... (Below threshold)

You are correct about the governor, she will not look too good when this all unfolds. And it doesn't help the situation in NO with a mayor who's in way over his head.

It's beginning to be downri... (Below threshold)

It's beginning to be downright comical now. Blanco and Nagin are both blaming each other because they know someone is going to take the hit on this and they finally realized it's going to be one of them. Makes me wonder how much longer it'll be before they figure out what everybody with more than a few dozen working brain cells already knows, that it's going to be both of them.

I find it extremely distres... (Below threshold)

I find it extremely distressing that Michelle Malkin has not corrected her post about debunking some myths. It is clearly incorrect in one aspect and I did in fact point this out to Michelle a couple of days ago.

My Mother in Law was in the Superdome as a Pediatrician with the City of New Orleans. She met one of the victims of a rape who was a young college student. This contrasts with the complete denial that such an event occured by the NOPD. New Orleans police have been unable to confirm the tale of the raped child, or indeed any of the reports of rapes, in the Superdome and convention centre. This is patently false and that they are using the NOPD as a source shows how out of touch the Guardian is. The NOPD was absolutely unable to control the situation in the Superdome, this isnt hearsay this is straight from the mouth of my Mother in Law who was working there trying to save lives.

So instead of debunking the Katrina Myths we are seeing the development of some myths. The myth that things weren't so bad inside of the Superdome is the worst sort of myth. People did in fact die in the Superdome, Doctors were moved because the conditions got so bad, not once but twice.

The NOPD has a stake in this coverup as they as well as every single local official as well as state official was complicit in the complete breakdown of law and order. My Mother in Law who I debriefed for several hours last night kept repeating that the City had just abandoned them as if they were expendable, and that she was fearing for her life most of the time. The NOPD is putting the shine on and that an English paper buys it doesn't bother me but when Bloggers who should know better start buying into the Meme then we have problems.

It would be nice if the supposedly legendary fact checking of the Blogsphere would at least be a bit skeptical of the local officials that are running that debacle in New Orleans.


Again it is Blanco dragging... (Below threshold)

Again it is Blanco dragging her feet. Others have said that she has shown the same inability to make a decision before Katrina.

This is a known condition but I don't know the name for it.

If you wait 24-hours here and 24-hours there, and you delay important "State of Emergency" declarations by several days, it adds up.

Queenfish has held back State National Guard resources, and blocked other first responders; leaving the NOPD and Fire as the only first responders onsite...drowning.

There were dozens of deaths at and around the Superdome, at least some of which could have been prevented by the National Guard for security and food and water from the Red Cross. At least the crisis that resulted in suicide would have been mitigated.

If I stopped an ambulance on the way to a heart attack victim, I would be brought up on charges of negligent homicide, or something.

I have been receiving vario... (Below threshold)

I have been receiving various reports from different sites that put much of the blame back in La., and not solely in Washington.
I hope the corruption in La. will be cleaned up, along with the aftermath of Katrina.

Jay, Kevin, Paul et al:... (Below threshold)

Jay, Kevin, Paul et al:

Here's an interesting link from the CDC on training for how to declare an emergency that both the Governor of LA and Mayor of NO apparently should have but didn't read or participate in.


So far I can't even get into FEMA bashing.

All I see is the country being divided emotionally without any sense of logic or truth. Kinda like the Vietnam era without the love-ins or draft-card burnings. We should know who is doing all the emotional screaming and finger pointing (yelling "Fire" in the crowded theater). While the lefties are marching to Washington, the Right is flying/driving/hitching to the Gulf to volunteer to help. Kinda says a lot about priorities, huh?

Thank you very much for the... (Below threshold)

Thank you very much for the link Paul! Very kind of you.

Pierre Legrand
Baton Rouge La

The NYT article is quite in... (Below threshold)

The NYT article is quite interesting. I predict certain claims in it, from "senior officials" will be debunked and corrected, just as the WaPo article was a few days ago. Look what it says:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 - As New Orleans descended into chaos last week and Louisiana's governor asked for 40,000 soldiers, President Bush's senior advisers debated whether the president should speed the arrival of active-duty troops by seizing control of the hurricane relief mission from the governor.

For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and the Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort. Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's control.

The debate began after officials realized that Hurricane Katrina had exposed a critical flaw in the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to the administration's senior domestic security officials, the plan failed to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated.

"the plan failed to recognize... incapacitated"?????

Go read the National Response Plan, or what was said when it was revealed in December 2004!!!

It was designed specifically to handle post-terrorist situations when the locals might all be radioactive toast!

I can't believe they are trying to sell this load of crap.

The NRP was the plan designed by DHS to cope with anything including a nuclear strike. Anonymous officials are claiming something very strange here.

But if you read the article, you see it's a variation on "she didn't say pretty please".

It doesn't indicate any coordination by FEMA with state officials, AT ALL.

More of the same.

WOW, I read more of that NY... (Below threshold)

WOW, I read more of that NYT article. READ IT.

Basically the article acknowledges that Blanco was pleading for help in every way, but "Decision makers in Washington felt certain that Governor Blanco would have resisted active-duty combat forces entering her state but not under her command."

OH REALLY?!?!? And so where were the calls from Bush or Chertoff to Blanco to work it out??? Where is the evidence to support their "feeling certain"?

Remember, FEMA is supposed to be on the ground in there, working WITH state and local officials to coordinate the effort -- AND THAT DID NOT HAPPEN.

Instead, Washington decision makers decided to hide behind a bureacratic wall of safe inaction, and not only not do anything, but not tell Blanco they intended to do nothing while she kept pleading.


I heard FEMA told Blanco to... (Below threshold)

I heard FEMA told Blanco to declare a disaster area. And what about the public buses that could have been used to evacuate the Super Dome but now sit at the bottom of the newly reconfigured Lake Ponchartrain? The Mayor and the Gov should be in the can.

"While the lefties are marc... (Below threshold)

"While the lefties are marching to Washington, the Right is flying/driving/hitching to the Gulf to volunteer to help. Kinda says a lot about priorities, huh?"

I've seen variations of this sentiment expressed several times, and I call bullshit. Please tell me how you have determined the political affiliations of the thousands of volunteers streaming in to the area to help? And I think it's laughable to read a zillion posts saying how Blanco the bitch should be in jail, then excoriating the left for placing blame. Face it, everybody (including unnamed senior administration officials) is placing blame. I think it's a little too early to speak with such certainty about who's to blame, and it's too early to let anyone off the hook. Just as an example, I've read that Nagin was concerned about calling for a complete evacuation because of the potential liability to the city if the hurricane was less than expected. Shouldn't the mayor be concerned about taking actions that expose his city to massive liability? Why is this less of a concern than the White House worrying about how Blanco would react if they sent in troops? Oh I forgot, the left wing blogs would have been up in arms. Yeah, I'm sure that's a big part of the White House's decision making process. Every legalism the White House can float is taken as gospel, but the mayor should just commandeer private property or do whatever he feels like, and answer questions later. With all of Bush's supposed leadership skills, isn't it reasonable to ask why he didn't take action first and answer questions later? Who would be blaming him now if he had acted sooner than he did?

And I think it's reasonable to ask if the mayor's office of a city of less than half a million people should be expected to be as sophisticated in dealing with natural disasters as the federal government. Cities that size, especially poverty stricken ones, just don't have the resources that even major cities do.

Our finatic political corre... (Below threshold)
Ken Smith:

Our finatic political correctness affords a measure of protection for both the Mayor and Governor. Both will be "cut some slack". She because she is female, he because he is black.
(Witness Jesse Jackson defence of Nagin)

Condennation will be more tempered than it would
be if she were male and he were white. We still tread lightly in these areas for fear of criticism
we are not mature enough to withstand.






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