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 That the reason why helicopters from Fort Rucker have not been used for rescue and to drop food and water to Katrina survivors is because the Commander of the National Guard has said that he wants no help from the Army until it has been shown that the National Guard can't handle it anymore.  He seems to be the only one who doesn't know that THEY HAVE BEEN SHOWN THAT THEY CAN'T HANDLE IT! How has this kind of insanity fruited on the vine?

I can't even begin to understand this Commander.  When we lived in Colorado Springs and the blizzard of 1996 occurred, the Army out of Fort Carson landed helicopters in the parking lots of Walmart and loaded up baby formula, medicine, food, and diapers and dropped them into very specific locations for very specific people.  The only people who perished in that blizzard were two people in a car outside of town who pulled over on the side of the road.  A house was very close by but they couldn't see it in the blizzard.  

There was a huge blizzard in 1977 also.  I was just a kid then.  It was a horrible blizzard though, killed all the cattle for miles.  They suffocated in the snow. Fort Carson troops drove tanks around some of the streets and rescued people trapped in their cars.  I have seen Army troops called in right in line with National Guard for two natural disasters that can't even begin to compare to this.  I just don't understand!

I have also spoken today on post here with Army pilots really pissed off that when the helicopter was shot at yesterday at the Superdome, they suspended operations.  What I have been told is IT IS A MILITARY HELICOPTER AND YOU ARE PREFORMING A KIND OF MILITARY MISSION AND YOU ARE TAKING FIRE SO WHAT'S THE FUCKING PROBLEM?  I heard this from pilots who have served in Iraq.  They are really upset right now that it is okay to take fire to liberate Iraqis but it isn't okay to take fire attempting to rescue and save people in your own country!

I went on Fort Rucker to take photos of the helicopters just sitting there and was told that it has nothing to do with what they want to do. They have been told to stand down by the National Guard Commander.

Originally posted to Militarytracy on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 02:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't know squat about military (4.00)
    As I headed across the street to pick up an afternoon snack, I noticed two helicopters up just under cloud level headed east. I'm in central Austin. Can't imagine where they were from, but it made me feel a hair better seeing that they were going in the right direction.

    Couldn't make any guess as to what kind they were.

    Just moments later, a fighter jet made a surprisingly low fast arc over the city, coming from the east and then curving north toward Killeen. Not really relevant, but an unusual nowadays (saw it more often back when Bergstrom was military).

    •  jets (none)
      I saw those too.

      the jets freaked me out

      The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"

      by Love and Death on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:09:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  helos (4.00)
      I'm a pilot out in Cali and all of us are ready to go but apparently we won't be used.

      Not to brag, but I think those people would think it was pretty bad ass if the Marines showed up in our ancient Hueys to come pluck them out of there.

      Besides that, how bout we do something for the people who pay our freakin' salaries? (that's how I feel, anyway)

      And what kind of pilot gets frightened away by hearing a gunshot? I can understand why they flew away if all kinds of people are trying to latch onto their aircraft (out of balance = crash), but then they just need to send more, or at least TELL people that more will come... or something, I don't know.

      nerd

  •  Pre-emptive post: posse commitatus (4.00)
    There is a law that forbids using US military forces for law enforcement operations in the States. That law does not prohibit humanitarian operations.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 02:58:21 PM PDT

    •  Now I'm hearing though that they have (4.00)
      called the Army in and FEMA/National Guard are pulling back.  Anybody else hearing this?
      •  Here's one reference... (4.00)
        Here. By a devoted blogger and all-around good guy, blogging from the soup. Scroll down to the entry from 1:28pm. I haven't heard any confirmation, but about 15 minutes ago a CNN cameraman said there was little or no presence of National Guard at the Convention Center (they had retreated), and no other authorities that he had seen. One of the survivors has become kind of the de facto voice of leadership.

        militarytracy, thanks for this diary. With an exploding heart,
        Recommended.

      •  here's the official word, Tracy: (4.00)
        "Military beefing up presence in Gulf region"

        BATON ROUGE -- The Defense Department aims to build a
        military force of more than 30,000 across the South
        and the Gulf of Mexico to help federal emergency
        officials deal with the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

        The group, known as Joint Task Force Katrina, will bring 7,000 active duty soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors from around the United
        States to the Gulf region in the next few days to
        provide equipment and distribute water and food,
        officials said Thursday.

        please see my diary or Times-Picayune breaking news item here.

        •  Ground troops (4.00)
          It kind of scares me.  I mean helicopters are priceless in something like this.  I hope I wake up tomorrow morning and Fort Rucker is flying out of here.
          •  here's what a military guy who posted (4.00)
            on the front-page "Reports from inside New Orleans" thread said:

            "I know for a fact that, Helicopter Maritime Support Wing (Pacific) HSMPAC left San Diego for New Orleans last night, its a 13 hour trip so they should be starting to make evac/aid runs sometime tonight. thats 8 squadrons of H60s including HS2 and HSL47 the squadrons that flew the aid missions in Sumatra after the December Tsunami."

            in my opinion, those ground troops may well be used to keep people OUT of New Orleans in the coming weeks, as well as for refugee control. which is scary, certainly.

            •  What the fuck? (none)
              Why are they bringing in helos from CA when there are plenty in the area chomping at the bit to help?

              They will NOT be able to keep this covered up, there are WAY too many people involved, and they are NOT going to be quiet. They're too mad. WAY too mad.

              •  yes, I think and hope you're right re: (none)
                "the too many people involved" for any cover-up.

                One point to remember: Although what we see on the photos/video is the poor black folks, there are, in fact, plenty of white folks left in New Orleans, too.

                It's just they're in their own homes still, in the more affluent, higher-ground neighborhoods. They're safer, but also hungry, without gasoline and running water, and in need of medical and evac help, that they're not getting.

                One woman I know and her mother finally got some food, after (so a friend who talked to her via cell phone said) they were "allowed" to go into a local store, which was opened and apparently guarded by some local police? or militia-type authorities? and take supplies. This was in the Algiers neighborhood.

                These two aren't GOP, but many of their neighbors are, and we're hearing everybody is furious beyond belief, and they won't be silent, or let Bush and the rest (fuck Bill Clinton) get away with the "nobody could've anticipated this" line.

        •  The Next Few Days???? (4.00)
          What the fuck?!  We need them down there right now!  Why the hell does it take so damned long.....seems to me you load 'em on the copters and planes and you don't stop until you get there.....except maybe to stop in at wally world and confiscate all their water and food!

          This is the most incompetent F*@k up that I have ever seen in my life......God help us all.

      •  Yes (none)
        Something like 10,000 combat troops.  I heard it on the CBS Evening News.

        "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

        by JJB on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:58:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Worth a court martial (4.00)
      if you save the lives of at least a couple of kids. Flying into the Superdome warzone is surely a combination of both.
    •  I have it on good authority (4.00)
      that the Army is used for law enforcement all the time.  A relative stationed in El Paso used to go on  border maneuvers with the DEA all the time, in the mid-1990s.

      "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." --President Eisenhower

      by rhubarb on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:54:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point (4.00)
      Yikes.  Posse commitatus is holding on by bare fingernails now, as it is.  This situation is a blurring of the lines.  If a precedent is set, will this be the end of the posse commitatus doctrine??

      I know, we need military law enforcement in the area at the moment, to save lives.  It's a terrible dilemma.  

      WE NEED OUR NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS AT HOME, Rumsfeld, you jerk, are you listening and watching this debacle unfold??!!  YOU did this.

    •  Um (none)
      Tell that to the Branch Davidians.

      When Jesus returns, religious wingnuttia will have him committed to an asylum. - anonymous

      by Doug in SF on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:19:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unbelievable (4.00)

    I swear, its like a Pandora's box of incompetence and bad judgement. I'm beyond outraged and grief-stricken.

    As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

    by kingubu on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 02:58:23 PM PDT

  •  That is sickening (none)
    MT - I don't have the words to respond to you, to your new information.

    This makes no fucking sense.

    ePluribusMedia Support citizen journalism!

    by kfred on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 02:58:44 PM PDT

  •  Super... (4.00)
    so now hatred for George Bush and Republican policy by our National Guard has led to infighting in the military that is handicapping the relief effort.

    George Bush is a untiter? He can't even keep the military in line.

    U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

    by Lode Runner on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 02:59:00 PM PDT

  •  Was this the Federal or State Commander? (none)

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:02:13 PM PDT

  •  So how do we get the word out? (none)
    This needs to go to the talking heads ASAP.

    Not just the usual blast, it'll get ignored.

    Anyone with personal connections with Olbermann or the like?

    ePluribusMedia Support citizen journalism!

    by kfred on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:03:33 PM PDT

    •  I think Susanhu kind of has his ear (none)
      at times.  I posted this at Booman also.  On Booman a very credible poster has left word though that the Army is being called in now.......tomorrow.  Maybe it's only ground troops, the guys on Rucker didn't know about it yet but stuff like that travels the military information highway like lightening usually.  I don't know if it is just a rumor or what, but if it isn't just a rumor it certainly doesn't jibe with the law about the Army not being able to be used as a police force against its own people.  If the National Guard pulls back and only the Army steps forward I would say that that equals police force.
      •  Can't the governor act? (none)
        What state is Fort Rucker in? Can't we put pressure on the governor to move those NG'S?
        •  Alabama (none)
          Pilots have even been planning it in their head.  I was told today that the choppers could be staged from Mobile if it wasn't in too bad of shape.  If it is then there are plenty of airfields North of New Orleans where the choppers could stage out of and they have enough experienced pilots here that they could keep everything in the air 24 hours/7 days until they aren't needed any more.
          •  The pilots should just seize control and . . . (none)
            defy orders. Get the choppers in the air.

            Do what they've been trained to do.

            Save their fellow citizens.

            http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

            by nyceve on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:57:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think they would all agree (none)
              And then again there's always Leavenworth.
              •  You know what. . . (none)
                there's more of us than Them. And you know who them is. Period.

                http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

                by nyceve on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:15:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Mutiny and revolution (none)
                  We're nowhere near there...yet.
                  •  All Societies (none)
                    are three square meals from revolution. I think NO might qualify real soon.
                  •  I hope you are right, Larry. n/t (none)
                  •  oh yeah, well throw a million refugees into ... (none)
                    an area that was already economically challenged

                    oh yeah, cut off their oil supply too

                    and let's see what happens

                  •  24 more hours (none)
                    If this situation persists for 24 more hours, then we WILL be there.

                    I for one will not stand for this. Not in my country god damnit. If they don't get their shit together - if every possible survivor isn't out of that city in 24 hours, then there will be hell to pay.

                    The nation gave its collective attention to New Orleans on the same day that gas prices jumped 80cents a gallon or more by dinner time. And since then, it has been horrified by what it has seen. By tommorrow morning there will not be a single American who is unaware of the catastrophic failure of leadership that is occuring in New Orleans as we speak.

                    Just one more day of reporters on CNN, on MSNBC, and even on Fox News begging to know "where is the national gaurd? where is the help?" and we will be at a revolutionary point by labour day.

                    The federal government's best hope is to fix this damned problem by mid-day tommorrow. If it gets towards 2pm and the city is still reeling in chaos, then they will be desperately running out of time. If it persists until the 6pm evening news, then people will be in the streets nationwide by nightfall. And if we go to bed again for another night filled with fear and uncertainty, only to wake up in the morning and find the effort still floundering - then this will be a very dangerous labour day weekend.

                    If I were the Homeland Security Department, I would be taking this situation VERY SERIOUSLY.

            •  We don't do that in this country. (4.00)
              The military does not defy civilian authority. This is a tradition and a legality that keeps military coups from taking place. No matter how destructive a given natural disaster, or how inept the current administration is, it is an extremely bad idea to begin dismantling the safeguards that have been put in place to insure that, over the long haul, this country remains a democracy.
      •  army (4.00)
        I had a call from my next door neighbor about 30 minutes ago.  His daughter and son-in-law are police officers --one on SWAT team- on the ground in the city.  He had a phone call from his daughter who said that the situation is out of control and the police officers have been told that the NG is standing down and the army has been activated.  He told me the army unit, but I've lost that information amidst all the horror.

        Take it for what it's worth--aanecdotal.

        •  Thank You for helping to clarify what is going on (none)
          Sad that we have to pick it out of personal conversations that people have their military loved ones and friends.  It is our military.  We did pay for it!  You would think that maybe they could or would tell us.  It isn't as if the bad guys probably have TV or something.  They aren't likely to give away their position or anything.
          •  So disgustingly sad ... (4.00)
            I'm on a little spit of land jutting into the Atlantic Ocean in fucking Maryland

            This is beyond unforgivable--can't even imagine a penalty these fucktards should pay, and I've got a great imagination.

            I alternate between tears and cold fury.  (The cold fury did help when I called the White House and all my Congressional representatives to let them know how stupendously they have failed not just the people of the Gulf coast, but every single one of us.)

          •  Marines may be there already (4.00)
            Survival of New Orleans blog

            These guys run an ISP in NOLA and have been reporting on events near them in the downtown area. They've even had cops shacknig up with them.

            1:28 pm    
            The word is that in Jefferson Parish and Orleans, FEMA has "bugged out." They haven't brought supplies in.

            THE REAL MILITARY IS NOW FLOWING IN. National Guard is being replaced before our eyes. Watch the feed.

            Word is that the Marines are at 1515 Poydras where our OC4s are. I think we're coming back online in force shortly.

            "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

            by subtropolis on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:34:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  showing off (3.50)
    The guard commander on the ground probably is suffering from a mix of misplaced pride and an unwillingness to break from the party line that the guard is perfectly healthy,in spite of evidence that suggests thateveryone is stretched to the limit. Hes probably worried that revealing any shortcomings will lead to a shorter career.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:29:56 PM PDT

  •  Dubya doesn't mind... (4.00)
    sending troops to get killed in Iraq to protect us from -- what was it? WMD's? But to save Americans that are dying in New Orleans? Not if he has to put them in harm's way.
  •  What the military IS doing (4.00)
    USNORTHCOM is providing military support to FEMA for the relief efforts. You can find details on their website, here.

    NORTHCOM will be using Maxwell AFB in AL, Fort Polk and Barksdale AFB in LA, and one facility in MS to stage their relief efforts. Why no one has thought to use the Army helos at Rucker is beyond me. They are sending helos from III Corps at Fort Hood (which is a hell of a lot further away). It may be that they are turning to operational units first, rather than the training units at Fort Rucker.

    Just a thought.

    - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
    - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

    by Hoya90 on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:34:00 PM PDT

    •  Unreal (none)
      A poster at Booman saw helos in the air over Austin
      today headed in that direction, I guess that explains it.  Doesn't make any sense though.  Fort Rucker could have been there four days ago doing rescues and dropping food before people were so desperate.
      •  Not Ft. Hood (none)
        Ft. Hood is 80 miles north of Austin; San Antonio is south. If the choppers were heading East, they would not have been coming from either place.

        However, TNG is stationed in Austin; could be going someplace in East Texas on aid mission.

    •  Hoya (none)
      After talking to my boys here, they are pretty sure that those helos have flying FEMA and evacing hospitals only.  They have not been helping with the search and rescue on the ground.
      •  FEMA is the main problem (none)
        If I understand the chain of command correctly, USNORTHCOM has operational control of all the assigned forces that will help. However, they take their marching orders from FEMA on where to send people and what to do.

        There's really no excuse for them not turning to Fort Rucker. The folks that do the planning for NORTHCOM on this are Joint Task Force - Civil Support and they're all based at Fort Monroe, VA - home to TRADOC which owns the schoolhouses like Rucker. They should have been making an inventory of all military assets in the region when the storm hit and preparing to move it all out as soon as the request came in.

        - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
        - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

        by Hoya90 on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:07:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SHOULD have (none)
          They SHOULD HAVE had the list ready, should have been on the phone to the commanders, getting things ready, ON FRIDAY. Just in case.

          Because no matter what you do, or how much you try, there will always be some people left behind. Some of them are cops, doctors, paramedics, sick people, etc. Some of them are just stubborn.

          But since when was stubbornness a death sentence? Or doing your job?

  •  Off the subject a bit, but (none)
    why are people firing at helicopters?  I don't mean to be obtuse; I just don't understand.
    •  Who knows? (none)
        The reports havent been credibly confirmed as far as I know. They are interviewing a doctor at a hospital that NG were evacuating who were supposedly attacked by snipers and withdrew. Both reports are being dwelled upon at length and neither seem plausible. The doctor cannot confirm whether they took fire or not. More troubling, if true, our troops are apparently not allowed to function under fire.
    •  Who knows? (none)
      Three is clearly maddness and anarchy on the streeets along with despeartion - on crazy person shouldn't cause operations to cease.
      •  Taking fire (none)

        A few weeks after the Los Angeles riots, a building caught fire in downtown Gary, Indiana.  Firemen came to put it out, when some thug took a potshot at one of them.  The firefighters did not turn tail; they put out the fire even though the shooter could have shot again.  

        I know Los Angeles firefighters (and the occasional citizen) were putting out fires even with the streets in a state of anarchy during their riots, and as dire as the situation is in New Orleans, we don't see the downtown on fire.

        It is hard to believe that soldiers are less brave than firefighters.  Perhaps the soldier had orders to leave, perhaps not.  And Sen. Landrieu said that the shooting was not the reason that evacuations slowed down (what, pray tell, was?)  

        By the way, the shooter was denounced, arrested, convicted and sentenced.  

    •  No idea (none)
      It's batshit insane and utterly devoid of empathy for those that are depending on airlifts for their survival.

      I'll tell you what, though, it does bring up some good questions about how the military is supposed to respond to it. Ordinarily when people take pot shots at our helos in combat, those helos either return fire or they have support birds cover them with live fire. They can't really do that here. Frankly, I don't think I'm in the mood to see strafing runs precede airlifts out of NOLA.

      •  Control should have been established immediately (4.00)
        Not five days afterwards.  If the government was on the ball with this, things would never have deteriorated this far.

        "Plenty of rich folks want to fight. Give them the guns." -Woody Guthrie

        by The Party Plague on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:53:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No kidding (4.00)
          People are starving, no water, after five days people are going to be crazy....I would be crazy!
        •  You mean in Baghdad? (4.00)
          Oh, you mean in New Orleans.  Sorry, just had a bit of flash back there.  Your post read so familiar...Had deja-vu all over again...
        •  That's a given (none)
          But we're not speaking about the ideal.

          I think we are, each of us, trying to figure out just how we expect the NG or regular Army to deal with the imperfect conditions that exists right now in NOLA.
          Personally, I'd rather see them defer to the idea that there's a significant difference in deciphering rules of engagement for combat operations in a foreign country as opposed to providing aid to a traumatized public amid their own countrymen. I think they're playing it safe so that they're not in the awkward position of having to open fire on fellow Americans. As miserable as this situation is, I think that's about the only thing that could make this tragedy infinitely worse.

          •  oh, no doubt. (4.00)
            Shoulda-woulda-coulda's arent going to save the thousands facing a life threatening environment right now.

            But what makes me angry is how we could be so unprepared in this post 9/11 world.  And although I know placing blame is counterproductive right now-there is no way the president should have had such a piss poor lethargic reaction to this.  After cutting the funding to improve the levees, he then takes time to strum his guitar while the city is flooding.  Then after a few days he calls a press conference in the Rose Garden and then goes back to worrying about the estate tax.  Because, heaven forbid little George has to worry or break a sweat over anything.  

            Unfortunately, as the time runs out in this terrible situation, for many people, help was too little too late.

            "Plenty of rich folks want to fight. Give them the guns." -Woody Guthrie

            by The Party Plague on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:16:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hear you (none)
              This whole thing is becoming such a damnable misery.

              I've got one of those notoriously hot Irish tempers, so I've had to exercise tremendous self-discipline in the aftermath of Katrina.
              I despise this administration, it's bootlicking Republican contingent on The Hill and their Democratic appeasers so much, though. If the English language has a word to describe the kind of disappointment and rage I'm trying to keep a lid on right now, I'm not aware of it.

            •  Exactly (none)
              the shooter/s are, for want of a better term, terrorists lets say. They are using their meagre firepower to effectively kill hundreds of their fellow citizens by depriving them of help in dire situations.

              So, how does law enforcement and the NG respond to a couple of solo terrorists?

              In Iraq they open fire with 50 cal and take them out, along with anyone too near to get out of the way. Killing maybe another 5 people.

              In Amerjica they bug out and hand the field to the terrorist, killing god knows how many more people.

              Yup, goooood strategy there.

    •  In a lot of cases (none)
      apparently people were firing to get the attention of the copters to save them, not firing AT them.  From what I gathered from MSNBC, the copters sent to the convention center and such werent so much as fired on as the personell on board freaked out and got scared when they saw that people there had guns and refused to go in.  I guess now they wont go there without the national guard or something.

      "Plenty of rich folks want to fight. Give them the guns." -Woody Guthrie

      by The Party Plague on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:48:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We don't know (4.00)
      that the fire was aimed at the helicopter. The latest version I read is that the helicopter pilot tried to help evacuate at the hospital and was met by 100 people who were going to try to claw and scrape their way on, and some of them had guns drawn. Even if there was fire, it may have been to help jockey for position.

      The snipers at the hospital are the one's I don't understand, unless they were trying to draw attention to themselves to get help first. Again, we don't know what people have lived through down there, and there's quite a bit of insane gunplay that goes on in the poorer districts of New Orleans on a good day to just chalk it up to plain human bizzareness.

      •  I read a blog with msg from a doctor (none)
        at a hospital in NO that they were calling for help because they were barricaded in with patients and a "large, well-armed" gang was beating on doors of room where they were trying to get to roof because they wanted to be taken out first.

        Sounds like this could well have been the group.

        "I came to see that news is what people want to keep hidden, and everything else is publicity". ...Bill Moyers, 5/15/05

        by revsue on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:29:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I heard early today (none)
      that the priority for the helicopers was control of the looting before the rescue efforts. It was on several stations.

      We are a leaderless country...

      by mattes on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:49:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's my theory: (none)
      The attacks on the hospital and helicopters might have been carried out by disoriented mentally ill homeless people.  Normally, these folks wouldn't be able to get guns, but with the looting, it would have been possible and if the current situation wouldn't feed paranoid delusions, I don't know what would.
  •  If only (4.00)
    They have been told to stand down by the National Guard Commander.

    If only our system of government allowed for sort of top-level executive officer--like the CEO of a corporation, say, but in the government: someone who could provide leadership in times like these; someone to direct preparations for an impending disaster and coordinate response afterward. You know what I mean?

    Someone who could make sure that state governments, the National Guard, the Army, etc. were all on the same (correct) page in times of crisis. So that precious resources--like these helicopters--were sent where they were most needed, instead of sitting idly in a hangar.

    •  Like a President? (none)
      I'm assuming you were waiting for that ...

      "Help us to save free conscience from the paw -- Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw." --John Milton

      by ohiolibrarian on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:06:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's What (none)
      FEMA is supposed to do, but now that it reports to "Homeland Security", It can't. James Lee Witt (under Clinton) has been replaced by a republican operative who knows nothing about disaster preparedness, and it shows. FEMA has been dismantled, and it shows. Nobody knows who is in charge, and it shows. A classic failure of command.
  •  Organization (4.00)
    This is the command chain of the Army National Guard.

    Jackals, weasels, polecats, and donkeys. Boobus Americanus.

    by Thaxter on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 03:41:38 PM PDT

  •  That commander has no leadership skills. (4.00)
    If this were a big company and he made excuses like that, he would be fired. I've seen people fired on The Apprentice for less than that.

    It seems like Bush has had a consistent pattern of promoting people for loyalty rather than competence. That would explain his boneheaded appointment of Bolton, for instance.

  •  There arev tons of food and medicine (4.00)
    Sitting on airstrips in Canada and Feance and Germany and Japan nad the Netherlands and a lot of other countries ready to take off and deliver these items.

    THe arestrips in the effected areas are all cleared and opened.

    But the State Department will not respond to the requests of these nations to deleiver.

    ALso Europe is prepared to open its strategic oil reserves and send it to help Americans.

    Still no responsefrom the State Department.

    •  Well (4.00)
      that puts Condi's little shoe buying adventure in Ferragamo's in Manhattan in an entirely different light. WTF is she doing? Insanity. Anarchy. At least she was publicly shamed in the store by a customer. AAAAAHHHHH!
    •  That's probably because Condi (none)
      is was in NYC last night.  She was sitting in the orchestra section, enjoying "Spam-a-lot."

      Maybe she spoke with them at intermission.  Wonder if she got the T-shirt?

    •  Why doesn't the mayor tell them yes, please help? (none)
      Apparantly the federal gov believes there is no need for a FEMA and that disasters should be handled by local officials.  If I were the mayor of NO I would call Germany and EVERYWHERE asking for help because W doesn't care to help.
      •  Local vs Fed (none)
        I believe the local goverment HAS BEEN asking for help everywhere. If you notice when there have been reports of denial that help is needed, it has been specified that the FEDERAL government is the one denying.  When I read the news about the Canadian team not allowed in to help, they were saying they were asked by local government yet denied by the Feds.  

        What I'm drawing out of this is that the Mayor of New Orleans and the Gov. of Louisiana are begging for ANY possible help.  The President and the people he selected to be part of his cabinet are the ones saying, "NO!"

        Reminds me of Putin and the submarine...too proud to ask for help so people haved died/are dying as a result.

      •  That's actually what's happening (none)
        The Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team from Vancouver, British Columbia left for Louisiana late last night. In response to an inquiry I made earlier today, I had an e-mail from a government official stating, "This deployment was arranged directly between the Governor of Louisiana and the Premier of British Columbia."

        But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

        by sagesource on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:40:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Condi finishes shopping (4.00)
      •  If ever some black women really get hold of Condi (4.00)
        ...they are going to beat shyt out of her in a big whuppin.

        An untypical Negro...since 1954.

        by blksista on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:20:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The word still is (none)
        NO REPONSE FROM STATE DEPARTMENT.

        There have been several tons of food and Medicine sitting on the ground in British Columbia for two days while Condi has been squeezing her size nines into some rather expensive leather.

      •  Lessons (4.00)
        To come in contact with this Repugnant administration, either go get yourself some $1,000 shoes or learn to ride a bike!

        but never go out camping!

        Cindy Sheehan

        ~~~

      •  Read the entire article (none)
        COndi's actual statement is vague, and there have already been rejections by FEMA of offers by Putin to send teams to help in rescue operations.

        And it still includes Bushs rather obtuse, thanks but no thanks speech.

      •  Oh boy, (4.00)
        "You know," he said, "we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed. And there's no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."

        Sounds disconcertingly like a Natl. Guard commander saying, "No, don't send the regular Army in. We can handle it fine."

        N.O. is so fucked.

        Israeli Prime Minister
        Ariel Sharon sent a letter to
        President Bush offering hundreds of doctors, nurses, technicians and other experts in trauma, natural disasters and public health.

        "We also offer field hospitals, medical kits and equipment for temporary housing, reinforcement for hospitals, or any assistance that you may require," Sharon wrote.

        He said the teams and equipment could be ready in 24 hours.

        Let me get this straight, Isreal could have already had hundreds, hundreds of personnel up, packed, and on a fucking plane in a day. As in, they would have already been on the ground in city for two if not three. Isreal, people. What's their total population again? FEMA can't seem to put together a couple of hundred busses in a week. Our military CnC seems to be too preoccupied cocksword-fighting to be even vaguely effectual.
        Sure, George, your guys are takin' care of business just fine. After they pump the water out, are you going to napalm the whole damn town just to make sure the job's done right?

        Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -Isaac Asimov

        by justme on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 05:53:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ready to be airlifted (none)
      After they get the people out of N.O., can we request these countries to come back and airlift the rest of us out as well?

      I'll go pack.

  •  Are the Bushes letting them die to save money or ? (none)
    I don't get it.  We have soldiers being blown up every day in Iraq and we haven't pulled the troops out!  Is this OK with all the red voters?  Will this admin be held accountable for anything?  Why aren't they doing anything to help?
  •  drugs (none)
    Has this clown had a drug test lately? A vision and hearing test?

    There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.--John Adams

    by tvb on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:13:30 PM PDT

  •  How are they failing to get food to the Superdome? (4.00)
    What I don't get is how in the world they are failing to get food and water to the Superdome. Don't they know the media is there?

    And given that buses can leave from there, clearly it's possible to get trucks in, so let's not hear any bullshit about how copters aren't available or whatever.

    Gross incompetence is the only conceivable explanation.

  •  Thank you MilitaryTracy (none)
    I saw your earlier diary just before it scrolled off.

    Big thanks for following up and finding out why the copters weren't being used.

  •  N.O. Ill Prepared for Hurricane Aftermath (4.00)
    Due to 9/11, all major cities and States should have ready a Disaster Scenario which structures command, communications, relief and security effort. All indications are, none of these were present in one of the major Gulf coast cities: New Orleans and nearby home of an essential US port and harbor with oil terminals: Gulfport Mississippi.

    Who needs terrorists, when the US cities in case of a natural phenomena, cannot hold up its own breaches. In addition, the absence of thousands of NG men and women has made a minor disaster into a devastating, all encompassing disorder of National consequence and economic disruption. Once again: on the Republican watch of Bush | Cheney and its lack of leadership and unity in American society. A nation divided is a nation heading for one failure to the next. Read the following report from CNN news desk today, and watch the video --  

    Mayor blasts failure to patch levee breaches

    NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- A day after Hurricane Katrina dealt a devastating blow to the Big Easy, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Tuesday night blasted what he called a lack of coordination in relief efforts for setting behind the city's recovery.

    "There is way too many fricking ... cooks in the kitchen," Nagin said in a phone interview with WAPT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, fuming over what he said were scuttled plans to plug a 200-yard breach near the 17th Street Canal, allowing Lake Pontchartrain to spill into the central business district.

    An earlier breach occurred along the Industrial Canal in the city's Lower 9th Ward.  Watch the video featuring Nagin's complaints about delayed sandbagging -- 0:56


    A satellite image taken on August 31 shows the city of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katarina. Submerged streets are seen as dark areas towards the top of the picture. Survivors were evacuating the shattered city on September 1 as authorities confronted growing lawlessness and desperation.
    Digital Globe/Reuters

    The National Weather Service reported a breach along the Industrial Canal levee at Tennessee Street, in southeast New Orleans, on Monday. Local reports later said the levee was overtopped, not breached, but the Corps of Engineers reported it Tuesday afternoon as having been breached.

    But Nagin said a repair attempt was supposed to have been made Tuesday. According to the mayor, Black Hawk helicopters were scheduled to pick up and drop massive 3,000-pound sandbags in the 17th Street Canal breach, but were diverted on rescue missions.

    Nagin said neglecting to fix the problem has set the city behind by at least a month. "I had laid out like an eight-week to ten-week timeline where we could get the city back in semblance of order. It's probably been pushed back another four weeks as a result of this."

    "That four weeks is going to stop all commerce in the city of New Orleans. It also impacts the nation, because no domestic oil production will happen in southeast Louisiana." Nagin expects relief efforts in the city to improve as New Orleans, the National Guard and FEMA combine their command centers for better communication, follow up and accountability.

    Law of the Jungle in Convention Center NO
    .
    A vacationing MP from Spanish parliament, succeeded to get a phone call out to a friend in Spain. CCNi reported the information thru this friend, the law of the jungle rules in the convention center and immediate surroundings. There is complete lack of presence of any authority. The Spanish MP is trying to get the attention of the Spanish government in an attempt to be evacuated out of a desolate and life endangering situation.

    ~~~

  •  President turning down foreign support... (none)
    The President has also turned down military resources from Canada, Russia, Jamaica....

    No doubt because they know as soon as the first foreign support arrives, the questions will be asked why our "National" Guard is in Iraq?

    That's politics for anyone wondering if now is the time for politics...and it sickens me to my stomach...

  •  I've been wondering where all..... (none)
    the helecopters are.  Since they are not in New Orleans, I figured they must all be in Iraq.  That people are dying for lack of food , water, and medical attention over some military turf war is beyond belief.  Suppose the Commander-in- Chief is too busy to replace this General, Huh??

    When the middle class is gone, who will support the Republicans in the manner to which they have grown accustomed?

    by keepinon on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 04:47:18 PM PDT

  •  Tour of NOLA (none)
    I think our troops would gladly make a deal with the Army that if they would return to Iraq to make up for the time they miss, they can be sent to Lousiana for a rescue operation.  That would be great for morale, to give our guys a break and a chance to help their countrymen in a real way.  They should fly the white flag through the streets of NOLA and scoop up all the survivors for relocation to camps that they will build.  I saw the plywood shelters after the tsunami, they are spare but beat the shit out of sleeping in a stadium, 20,000 to a room.  

    It might not help Iraq, or give our soldiers rest, but for once they'd actually be improving the lives of their countrymen.  I'm sure they would prefer to have that option, if only their commander would give it to them.

  •  Disgusting. (none)
    The only thing that cheers me is the image I have embedded in my brain of what the Italians did to Mussolini, hanging from his feet, dead, with his mistress and cohorts, killed, then killed again and again. I see Bush instead of Mussolini and it does me no end of good..

    A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

    by Little Red Hen on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 05:25:20 PM PDT

  •  Gee Here is all the neat stuff Fort Rucker AL (none)
    can do

    if Bush bothers to give them the go-ahead.

  •  Ft. Rucker Connection, I have. (none)

     </yodavoice>

     Am checking.  If I hear any more "skinny" on this, will post.  Maybe tomorrow.

     BenGoshi
    ________________

    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 05:40:01 PM PDT

  •  The Canadians. (4.00)
    An earlier story said that Canadian rescue teams weren't allowed into the United States for any foreseeable reason.  The Canadians believed that the denial of entry was caused by "mass confusion at the federal level."  I honestly think the federal government was asleep at the wheel on this one.  Bush was on vacation, Cheney couldn't give a rat's ass and probably had more "important" and fiendish things to do in poorly lit caverns.  August is a time when politicians go on vacation, and this time they left no one behind to look out for icebergs.  I never believed the greatest country in the world would have to endure such egregious incompetence in their elected officials.  Right now, there are probably hundreds of peope screaming at each other in any given cabinet-level bureaucracy.  I hope they pay, I hope we can organize a massive protest in DC.
    •  From the sounds of it (4.00)
      Bush is practically refusing help: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country's going to rise up and take care of it."

      "You know," he said, "we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed. And there's no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."

      No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

      by tryptamine on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Asleep at the wheel is generous (none)
      They weren't even at the wheel. The dog was driving.
    •  We bypassed Bush (none)
      The Vancouver Heavy Urban Rescue Team left late yesterday after arrangements were made directly between the Premier of British Columbia and the Governor of Louisiana. If they had waited for Shrub they'd have never made it anywhere.

      But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

      by sagesource on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:13:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this part (4.00)
    " They are really upset right now that it is okay to take fire to liberate Iraqis but it isn't okay to take fire attempting to rescue and save people in your own country!"

    yeah, exactly!  

    I don't want to minimize the danger, or how hard it is to face... I'm not facing it... but exactly... if you have to take fire (or shoot back) to land an save babies and old ladies... we have to do it!  It has to be done.

    It's one of the reasons we need the military AND national guard... it may be too much for local police who are also dispossessed of their homes.

  •  FEMA's excuse (4.00)
    From CNN's current top story:

    The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, said his agency was attempting to work "under conditions of urban warfare."

    This is his justification for why they cannot do more in NO.

    To me, this looks like a complete lie, and an excuse.  I watched NBC's amazing live broadcast from the streets of New Orleans and outside the superdome and there was no sign of this "urban warfare."  Nor was there any sign of FEMA.

    I emailed CNN to tell them that Brown's statement is highly suspect.  Why are they reporting it as news?  They also put it in their headline!

  •  Thanks for bringing this up (none)
    I was discussing this very thing today with some ex-military people I work with.  Ft. Rucker, Alabama has a helicopter training school. I'm sure there must be more then a few to send.  

    Not only that, what about Ft. Polk (a base in Louisiana)??  Why didn't they bus a few thousand refugees up there?  The base is huge, and I'm sure the units there could have set up tents and facilities for the people.  Hell, that is what army TRAINS to do there (at the Joint Readiness Training Center).  They prepare units for places like Iraq. Part of the training is peacekeeping and dealing with civilians.  The irony and stupidity is  just...beyond comprehension.

    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government - Edward Abbey

  •  I live right outside the gates of Fort Rucker (none)
    and I work with some wives of soldiers stationed there.  I haven't heard anything about them getting involved in the relief.  In fact one of the wives I spoke to is a rabid right-winger and she blames the whole bad situation on the Louisiana governor for not sending in the National Guard sooner, and Bill Clinton for "ruining the military".
  •  Bring in trucks full of Meals Ready to Eat (none)
    and dump them on dry streets out of sight.

    Then tell people MREs have been dumped on certain streets.

    When all the able bodied people have run off to grab them, bring in a truck with MREs for the disabled.

    Guard, stock, and then open up the Hospital dispensary downtown and let people get refills.

    Military pharmacists can do the dispensing.

    Bring in military doctors to provide medical services.

     

  •  Got that? Black people don't care (none)
    nothin' bout nobody.  Got that?  I saw that on tv.

    I SAW THAT THE OTHER DAY ON JERRY SPRINGER, but no one would listen.

    "yes dear...conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 06:41:12 PM PDT

  •  I worked for the Nat. Guard Assoc. (none)
    and when I was there in the late 90's it was an atmosphere of open warfare between the Army and the guard. Now is no time to play those games, but it apparently is. Pissing contests are always stupid
  •  Message to my sister at West Point (none)
    I was wondering if there was any way you could find out whether the army has been told to stand down from the Katrina rescue mission by the Commander of the National Guard?  I was wondering about this today and why they would halt the rescue operations if citizens were firing on them.  I remember that unarmed students were fired on back in the 70s, so why wouldn't they just shoot back rather than halt rescue operations and let the suffering and hell for thousands of people just get worse?  I mean I'm not a big fan of people being shot at in the street, but if they were shooting at cops the cops would shoot back rather than run away, so this is all very confusing.
  •  tracy you know what else is fucked up? the USAF (none)
    I don't know if you saw this, it's been blgged in a couple places, but Keesler AFB, the people of Biloxi are digging out - and they looked up, and what do they see but the airmen there playing basketball.

    The newspaper went WTF? and the PTB at Keesler said, I shit you not, that they would be wasted "picking up debris off beaches" and that wasn't what the air force did.

    Now, thing is, one of my relatives was stationed at Keesler in August of '69. He remembers, and I found independent Army corps of Engineers documentation which I posted on my blog, all the Airmen being sent out to help clear fallen trees and pick up dead bodies and dig out the town as well as the base.

    In between, Keesler fixed itself all up nice and strong, and now while Biloxi looks like it's been bombed repeatedly, they can play basketball and do jumping jacks!?!? Their CO brags on their webpage about how good their relationship is with the town.

    So why are they this time claiming to be too good to do what they did thirty-some years ago?

    I am so ashamed of being an air force brat these days, with all the dishonor and the lying and the lying about the lying - and now we know what happens to the rot that was at the Academy when it gets its commissions and goes out into the world.

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 07:27:16 PM PDT

  •  tinfoil hat time (none)
    Call me crazy, but would this be about Bush not wanting to admit that our National Guard shouldn't be in Iraq and that we "have enough Nat'l Guard here" to handle the situation?

    Pentagon hack Larry Di Rita said something to that effect the other day. That there were adequate Nat'l Guard numbers available.

    Is this some kind of political pissing contest that is costing people their lives? Those who are responsible not wanting to be held accountable?

    •  Bingo.... (none)
      we have a winner!!  Let's not remind people how unprepared and vulnerable the war in Iraq has left this country, 'K.  And for God's sake, can't someone go embed those reporters.  How dare they report the facts from the field and not the facts we've been trying to spin.  

      Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it only changes form.

      by SME in Seattle on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:10:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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