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Just take a look at this list of stories:

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations

FEMA turns away experienced firefighters

FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks

FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel

FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food

FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans

We know FEMA's budget and operations have been gutted. We know FEMA's currently run by a washed-up hack attorney who couldn't even get a job at Jacoby & Myers. But this is beyond outrageous. I am sure there are plenty more stories like this; I collected these in just ten minutes on Google News and DKos. Looking at this list, it would be hard to blame you if you thought FEMA actively wanted rescue and relief operations to fail.

Of course, that's not the case - but these ranks failures transcend even the corrupt indifference we've grown sadly accustomed to over the past five years. If there's any hope for the recovery efforts, it'll come from guys like Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré and Clinton-era FEMA director James Lee Witt, not criminal incompetents like Michael D. "Brownie" Brown.

P.S. If you know of any more stories like the above, list them in the comments - along with links - and I'll add them to the list.

Update [2005-9-5 17:10:50 by DavidNYC]:

FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid

FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board

FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck

FEMA turns away generators (See entry from 3:32 P.M. by Ben Morris, Slidell mayor)

FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"

That last one sounds like an Onion headline, but, believe it or not, it's straight from FEMA's website. See also this post at Kossack 8051FSW's blog "Constructive Interference" for an even bigger list, including some not on this one. I think at this point, I'll stop updating this list, but feel free to keep adding new stories in the comments below.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:04 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bureaucratic Jackasses (4.00)
    Senator Hollings had it right in 1989.

    In 2005, we can just shorten it to "Jackasses"

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:02:57 PM PDT

    •  It's not just bureaucracy (4.00)
      I know someone who works in a welfare office in Houston (or thereabouts). She and her colleagues are currently pulling 12-to-16-hour days approving aid for Katrina refugees, on top of their normal excessive caseloads. They are government bureaucrats and not very well-paid ones, but they actually want to help people and recognize when it's time to work now, have a turfwar later.

      Something else was going on at FEMA, something worse or deeper than "normal bureaucratic incompetance". Maybe we need a Wiki project to look up the resumes of every single FEMA manager we can find, to figure out what percentage of these people had any kind of emergency managment experience.

      How far down in the structure do the political appointees go? What are the backgrounds of the people running the show? Are they from politics (as distinct from government), business, or what? And what's the pay scale like -- how much does the top level get paid compared to the field workers?

      FEMA's organizational behavior actually reminds me more of a corporation in crisis than of a governmental body or public service (which latter includes the military).

      If I can't dance, it's not my revolution. -- Emma Goldman.

      by DoctorScience on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:18:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes.. (none)
        ... a Wiki project. Bingo.

        "Are you trying to play Darwin, to the lemurs in your head?"

        •  WATCH THE OTHER HAND (4.00)
          These people are trying to dismantle our great nation.  This is not incompetance, this is an attack.  The more damage, the more money we will pour into 'deconstruction'.  They want this entire city condemned so that Halliburton can come in for the spoils.  When this administration does something that looks 'incompetant' they are pulling the fast one.  Follow the money.

          its a non-stop disco betcha its nabisco betcha didn't know

          by kharma on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:13:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wiki Investigation into FEMA (none)
        I would totally be on board with starting a WIKI for that purpose. Anyone know of a good free publicly accessible wiki provider?
      •  Check out all the contractors (none)
        Did maybe they just not show up?  Were they waiting for them?

        How about all the "faith based" organizations?  Did they have contracts and just not show up fast enough?

        THere also seemed to be an incredible account of equipment missing for any evacuation.  No boats, no trucks, no slings sand bags to fix the levees, very few helicopters.  While the Coast Guard seems to be the only group on the ball in this, there were surprisingly few helicopters in the air on the first few days.

        •  Faith based organizations (none)
          don't need any equipment. Man, where is you faith. They held a prayer vigil and went home. Only faith based organization there was the Coast Guard - it takes a lot of faith to believe that things made out of metal can fly.
  •  "Of course that's not the case" (4.00)
    Oh, really?

    At what point do you let Occam's Law tell you: the most believable explanation is that FEMA and the Bush Administration wanted to achieve the results that they clearly fostered?

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:03:50 PM PDT

    •  I'm with you. (4.00)
      I don't think you cut emergency communications lines by mistake.  (Jefferson Parish President Broussard said FEMA cut his lines.)
      •  Broussard -- Makings of a T-shirt (4.00)
        Broussard is a guy to watch.  I thought I would post this again. It bears repeating....

        Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, just south of New Orleans, broke down on NBC's "Meet the Press" when he talked about people who waited for help.

        "They were told like me, every single day, the cavalry's coming, on a federal level. The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming. I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry ..." Broussard said.

        "They've had press conferences -- I'm sick of the press conferences. For God's sakes, shut up and send us somebody."

        "Shut up and do something" ... how perfect.

      •  It's the DHS militarization . . . (4.00)
        that has made FEMA and every other federal agency prize "security" over health and welfare.

        Whether or not this focus consciously ignored resuce and relief ain't the point . . . the effects are the same and people died because of it.

        This is where the rubber of Republican governance hits the road; they fail at keeping people alive. Their all-purpose Darwinism and class-based cronyism need "security" as the top priority because otherwise they're just obvious societal parasites, unable and unwilling to do anything that isn't just a conceptual nod to the larger collective.

        Yes; militarized parasites whose single-minded focus on their own people's safety gets everyone else killed . . . more commonly called "thugs."

    •  Agreed! (4.00)
      Perhaps I'm too cynical, but New Orleans is a very Democratic city. If a disaster of this magnitude had happened in, say, Salt Lake City, I doubt FEMA would be obstructing relief efforts.

      Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

      by wiscmass on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:11:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagreed! (none)
        Do not underestimate the power of incompetence. These guys didn't plan anything. Talking and walking tough comes natural to them, because they believe that making the sale by posturing is the only way to go. Like salesmen without real talents. Haven't you listen to the press conferences on CNN. They run like a smart ass kids oral report. No preparation so they just wingit. Pat each other on the back and praise themselves and those around them. If these guys were for real they wouldn't have to spend ten minutes out of eleven praising themselves and one minute delivering actual information. This was a complete surprise to the brass of FEMA. Any kid who has watched Discovery channel documents of impending doom to NOLA by the way of a hurricane could have given a better situation assesment than these jokers. I'm living in Finland and guys on the street give better analysis of the situation and all the implications than what you get from the WH and FEMA fools on the TV.
        •  Incompetence does not explain... (4.00)
          ...the pro-active efforts to block others from providing aid.

          I've got blisters on my fingers!

          by Elwood Dowd on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:40:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The one thing FEMA got right. (none)
          This was a complete surprise to the brass of FEMA.

          If only the brass of FEMA would have read FEMA's own reports. Indeed, this report looks like the only thing FEMA got right.

          A former official in the Clinton administration, Sydney Blumenthal, has written in Der Spiegel: "In early 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a report stating that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the US, including a terrorist attack on New York City.

          How many people would still be alive had the leaders of FEMA, with appropriate backing from the White House, acted on this report? Imagine how different things could have been. Or maybe just look elsewhere in the world.

          Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died.

          "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

          by machopicasso on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:43:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Off Topic - Speaking of Walking Tough (none)
          Remember, all of the photos and video of Bush prior to the 2004 election with his arms out from his body as if he were ready to quick draw on someone.  I always thought his walk and stances were unnatural and staged but with all of the video footage of him at his ranch during his vacation (and over the last 6 months) including his visits to LA and MS, I have not seen the phony stances.

          Of course, all of his stances are phony.

          NSARE - National Struggle Against Republican Extremism

          by B obby Boucher on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:11:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  See my comment for another take on (none)
          the politics of FEMA and the GOP:

          Is it FEMA? or Karl Rove?

        •  Why did Bush defund the levee project then? (none)
          Clinton had started the project to build up the levees in 1995. Not only did Bush give away wetlands to business that were protecting new Orleans, he defunded the levee project and used the money for his Iraq disaster. I think they got what they wanted in Iraq and they got what theyy wanted in New Orleans. Rove has ordered the Republicans to all say it was the fault of the Democrats and I saw a poll that showed more people blamed the Mayor and Governor than blamed Bush. If you don't think Rove's ploy will work, then explain how Cheney's friends at Enron destroyed California's economyy, so the Democratic governor had to be unprecedentedly taken out mid-term and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I've also seen trolls on other sites writing that the Mayor should go to jail! They want to Halliburtonize New Orleans and make it nice and Christian and white.
    •  Not The Case? (4.00)
      I haven't been on dKos much so I've assumed it's already been repeatedly diaried (God forbid), but everybody knows about FEMA's stand-down order of Monday, August 29, right?

      Thom Hartmann was talking about it on his show today.

      Give Bush a break, he knew 9/11 was coming a lot earlier than he knew Katrina was.

      by Irfo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:23:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Holy Christ! (4.00)
        That is unbelievable! And that's ON THE FUCKING FEMA SITE!!!! What the hell is happening here?!?
      •  Don't Panic (none)
        I read the order. Doesn't look like malice to me. They're saying don't just form a group of buddies, grab some emergency vehicles and head to NO. Check with your boss first.

        Looks to me like FEMA doesn't want emergency services to look like a kid's soccer game where all the little kids go for the ball and leave the field open for an undefended kicker to score a goal.

        Somebody had to stay home to guard the firehouse.

        •  Sorry but that makes no sense (none)
          And the order to stand down is unprecedented in any disaster in U.S. history.

          They didn't let anyone in to help, they didn't help anyone, and they didn't let people out.

          "Don't panic, the Nazis don't hate us! They just want us to get on these trains and go to their camps! Camps are fun, right?"

          No, it's time to panic, and it's time to get angry and it's time to change things.

          •  I'm talking about the order (none)
            All I'm saying is that the order on the other side of the link above didn't say "Stand Down." FEMA didn't post a "Stand Down" order on their website. The order on the website says check with us before sending all your emergency services to NO. The order on the website implies that FEMA doesn't want the entire Chicago Fire Department in NO when the next Chicago fire happens.

            The order on the website is not proof of incompetence.

            The proof of incompetence will have to be found on the ground. There's some dumbshit FEMA flacks on the ground issuing stupid orders without checking with their left hand. There's some ideological FEMA shits trying to privatize emergency response by telling flat boat operators they'll have to pay for their own gas. There's some sandlot FEMA college republicans acting tough and pretending to be big league (remember the Heritage Foundations interns who went to rebuild the Iraqi government).

            The proof of incompetence is Brownie forgeting to pay his cable bill. The proof of incompetence is waiting 5 days to bring in food and water helicopters. The proof of incompetence is in the log of the emergency services coordinator at FEMA's command post.

            •  Not Proof Of Incompetence (none)
              Proof of intent, as far as I'm concerned.  This order allows the administration and its allies to claim that Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D-LA) never made the appropriate arrangements (a claim they're now making) but Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) did.  

              Or, put more baldly, it lets the administration demonstrate that bad things happen to states that vote for Democrats... and people should remember that on election day.  

              Republicans would hate to see anyone get hurt.

              That's honestly the level I believe the Bush administration operates at.  No incompetence involved, at least not this time.

              Give Bush a break, he knew 9/11 was coming a lot earlier than he knew Katrina was.

              by Irfo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:39:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Stand-down plus denial of aid... (4.00)
        [snip] I haven't been on dKos much so I've assumed it's already been repeatedly diaried (God forbid), but everybody knows about FEMA's stand-down order of Monday, August 29, right? [snip]

        This, coupled with years of denying SELA, NOLA, and the rest of the Coastal area necessary funds to shore up failing levees, barrier islands, etc., are the reasons I (and some others) have been calling this either genocide or first-degree murder (FDM).

        For FDM to apply, not only do you have to know that killing is wrong, but you also have to show intent (i.e. prior planning). By repeatedly denying preventative programs, usurpation of wetlands and barrier islands (further endangering an already endangered area), and numerous other actions and non-actions, they fostered an inevitable outcome. Add this with their own refusal of aid, and refusing others to provide aid, and it makes a prima facie case of intent and foreknowledge.

        For genocide to apply, you must knowingly cause the deaths of a significant number of people among a targeted group, either by direct action, or by a series of actions (or non-actions) that literally assures a deadly outcome. If the official death toll is lower than 10,000, I (and others) will have no other option but to believe that these numbers have been tampered with, same as were the votes in 2000 & 2004, but with much deadlier results.

        This was, most definitely, a crime against humanity (both genocide and FDM are crimes against humanity, but thee former is on a much larger scale).  

        Everyone who acted to obstruct aid efforts or withheld action in order to facilitate obstruction of aid efforts, while NOLA and the Coastal areas flooded, must be held accountable. The Hague is the only logical place to do it, since it is patently stupid to allow the current regime to decide if it, itself, is guilty of crimes against humanity.  That is tantamount to asking Charles Manson if he is guilty of murder, him saying 'but of course I am not guilty,' and then telling him to go on his merry way, since he must surely be innocent.

        That is not the ways such things are decided. Further, I posit that if the USA does not submit to the proper jurisdiction (UN, in this case), then the USA deserves to be a pariah nation for the rest of time. Yes, getting those responsible to trial would be horrifying and painful for our country. But if we don't do this, we deserve the same sort of condemnation the Germans endured for the atrocities committed by the Nazi's.

        And yes, there is a parallel. While the NOLA death count pales beside the concentration camp death count, the intent of the actions is the same.

        And yes, I do mean every word I say. I have never been so enraged by my government. I have never been so ashamed of my government. And I  have never been so determined that everyone responsible be held accountable. I don't want Brown's head on a platter. I want the whole damn bunch of them, from Bush down, in prison forever .

        I Support the Separation of Church and Hate...
        Rev Denise Michel

        by rev denise michel on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:54:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (none)
          remember the quote from one of the victims saying, "It's like we're being punished!"

          And now the public will be told over and over that it's the Democrats' fault.

          •  Blame and Punishment... (none)
            [snip] Yes (none / 0)

            remember the quote from one of the victims saying, "It's like we're being punished!"
            And now the public will be told over and over that it's the Democrats' fault. [snip]

            Oh yes, the Slime Machine is already hard at work -- and it only took them two days to come up with a comprehensive plan for damage control at the White House. I've already seen one site where they are showing the pic of the 100+ buses that were flooded, saying Nagin could have used them to evacuate, if he were actually competent. Um, hello, Nagin needed fuel to run those buses, and he didn't have any. He is not God (although he is probably a miracle-worker, for saving as many as he did, and for staying with citizens who were abandoned by the fed gov't), he couldn't make those buses run without fuel, and lots of it.

            I bet he will have nightmares for the rest of his life, knowing the buses were there, and knowing he couldn't get the fuel to fill them so he could save his citizens.

            As for Blanco, she did request help, on the 26th, and was told she'd only get it if she handed over control to the White House. She refused, and so, no aid was allowed to go. But if she had ceded control, they'd have put her on trial for being unfit to govern, dereliction of duty, and God only knows what else. She was damned if she did and damned if she didn't. Besides, even if she had ceded control, there were no guarantees that aid would have gotten there in time anyway (and I posit that it still would have turned out exactly the way it did).

            Whatever victim said that, s/he was absolutely correct. They were punished, and they continue to be punished. For example, a Red Cross rep told me it was official policy to not allow any victims to go into private homes. She said they have to process through Kelly USA, and they have to stay there. [emphasis mine]...

            Um, if they can't leave KUSA, how are they going to rebuild their lives, and who is going to help them? Or are they to remain permanently disenfranchised?

            She didn't have an answer for me. My, what a big surprise... {END snark, for now}...

            I Support the Separation of Church and Hate...
            Rev Denise Michel

            by rev denise michel on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 05:49:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  My exact thoughts (4.00)
      as I read this!  How could this much "imcompetency" occur without a plan for it to occur?  (Not sure this makes sense but what does these days?)

      Lives of those who may be "less fortunate" are not valued in this administration and are dispensable/replaceable. We see this same example in who is having to serve in our armed forces; work our menial jobs that pay minimum wage; gather our harvests in our fields......the list goes on.

      •  The only possible reason (none)
        albeit a seemingly idiotic one, in my mind is this...

        What is procedures were written with Terrorism in mind and this was the dry run...'

        Follow me here..

        If a dirty bomb went off in a city, the procedures would be put in place to ensure only evacuations occur.  

        Maybe some genius thought "Starving" people out of the disaster zone was somehow rationale...

        Does this make sense?  If this isn't the case, then this is darn near mass murder, plain and simple.

        Cutting of all communication?  Something doesn't add up.

        •  It's A Land Grab (none)
          The more modest property owners in New Orleans who die, the better the chance of rich people getting their land.  Add color and mix.

          Give Bush a break, he knew 9/11 was coming a lot earlier than he knew Katrina was.

          by Irfo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:16:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Also denied access to civilian floatilla (4.00)
    A civilian floatilla from Lafayette - some 500 boats - was denied access to the city on Thursday morning. Boats loaded with water, food, and ready to take people to the drier downtown area.

    They came to bring help and assistance before the National Guard got there. FEMA turned them away.

  •  WWL (4.00)
    I've been listening to WWL (, the combined New Orleans radio station. Yesterday, there was a caller who said they'd had dozens of boats camped out for two days (Thursday-Thursday) waiting for authorization to do rescues. Eventually, they were told to just leave.

    Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

    by darrelplant on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:05:27 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for This (none)
    I haven't heard much about the refusals of aid, and I was hoping someone would put a list of stories together.


  •  Federal vs. State Dept. of Homeland Sec. (none)
    I wonder to what extent it's local and to what extent it's Federal management problem.  If you note the Red Cross FAQ says, "state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans".

    I'm willing to think that FEMA really screwed up--related largely to incompetence--, but how incompetent is the local office?

    •  There was a thread on that yesterday. (4.00)
      Somebody made some phone calls to offices, and determined that federal Homeland Security was responsible.
    •  I don't have that answer (none)
      but I will say that the state offices of Homeland Security and any local offices receive their funding through appropriations for main Homeland Security.  It has long been a criticism, since the founding of DHS, that the prioritizing of HS funds at the state and local level was completely hosed - Some major cities were receiving the same appropriation as East Asscrack, Idaho (no offense to Idaho intended).  Cities have complained at not enough funding where small towns have been buying bullet proof vests for their K-9 animals to spend the funds (I'm not making that up).

      The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution. Katrina Relief Diary-$14K+ and counting

      by RenaRF on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  state department of homeland security??? (none)
      The Department of Homeland Security is a federal agency whose head (currently Michael Chertoff) is a member of the President's Cabinet. There is no independent "state-level" control or management of Homeland Security.

      Suppose the post offices in your state decided to stop delivering mail on Fridays. Would you consider this a "local" rather than a "federal" management problem?

      I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

      by homeland observer on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:33:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FEMA (none)
    Sad, but true, but everyone would have been better off in FEMA didn't even exist.  More hinderance than help, without FEMA and their bereaucratic paralysis, ordinary citizens would have done the job much more efficently.  Nevermind Brown, the whole operation should be canned.

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:05:46 PM PDT

    •  Wrong. (4.00)
      Just flat out wrong.

      FEMA has worked very effectively in the past. This is a Republican talking point -- "You can't rely on the federal government!"

      But we can and must rely on the federal government for things like disaster relief. The problems arise when political hacks who failed at running horse shows are given responsibility for the safety of the nation.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:28:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (none)
        I think this disaster speaks to the entire organization structure of FEMA, not soley a function of the "horse shows" head.  What we have seen is institutional failure right through FEMA.  Brown didn't personally turn down the 300 boat floatilla that was ready to go straight away, it was other FEMA personnel.  All FEMA personnel did a exercise that dealt with this exact crisis, yet when it came time to practically implement they were caught flat.  Brown deserves the major blame, but to simply see him as the only culprit is dangerous.  One thing this disaster has shown is that red tape and bureaucratic channels have led to paralysis.  

        FEMA has done great work with the Florida hurricanes, but this disaster is an entirely different animal and has sadly revealed the inherent flaws with the entire organization.  Maybe suggesting canning it is harsh, but surely it needs massive overhaul to offset the bureaucratic nightmare that has led to unnecessary deaths.  If that translates into a GOP talking point, so be it.

        Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

        by Stevo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:37:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Err, (none)
          does anyone know what that exercise for Hurricane Pam looked like?

          Maybe the exercise included things like turning away help and cutting communication lines. Maybe these counter-intuitive tasks were given some bizzare justification to stick them into the minds of the FEMA personnel.

          Maybe NO went off just as planned?

          Crazy, I know...

      •  It's politics (none)
        See my comment downthread, and especially this article about last year's strategy for hurricane relief in Florida. It's a 180 degree flip flop from the current Rove/Bartlett damage control plan, which may imply complicity from August 26 onward.
    •  NO NO NO!!!! (4.00)
      That's just what the neocons want. FEMA was a respected powerhouse under Witt. The criminals WANT to privatize it. What better way to achieve that than showing it as a incompetent org. We need FEMA but we need it in the hands of competent responsible people.
      •  Clarify (none)
        That may well be true in the big picture.  But, given what we have seen in this instance, I think we actually would have had quicker responses if not for the bureaucracy.  FEMA obstructed every private initiative, many first responders and refused other agencies like the Red Cross.  Maybe we don't need to trash it, but FEMA has clearly been a hinderance during this tragedy.

        Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

        by Stevo on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:30:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FEMA, RC, etc... (none)
          [snip] FEMA obstructed every private initiative, many first responders and refused other agencies like the Red Cross. [snip]

          This may be true, but the Red Cross has done a lot of obstructing on its own. Their charter says that FEMA and the fed gov't specifically cannot hinder RC efforts in a disater area. Their sitting on the sidelines, saying their hands are ties is utter BS. So is their official policy that no victims will be allowed to go to private shelters (i.e. personal homes of volunteers who've stepped up to offer their own homes as shelter). And putting Operation Blessing on the list of authorized charitable organizations is like telling the foxes to guard the henhouse.

          Ultimate authority for FEMA action is directly with DHS. DHS was callig the shots in re FEMA & RC. Or not calling the shots, in this case.

          I Support the Separation of Church and Hate...
          Rev Denise Michel

          by rev denise michel on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:03:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (4.00)
      FEMA was effective when it was run by someone (Witt) who had actual expertise in emergency management, and when it was not under the Homeland Security umbrella.

      And don't forget that even last year FEMA was johnny-on-the-spot when hurricanes hit Florida. They were even accused of giving out too much cash to those affected by the storms.

      Of course, that was in an important electoral state a few weeks before the election. But I'm sure that had nothing to with it. <snark>

      These criminals poison everything they touch.

    •  That's exactly what they want. (none)
      By deliberately screwing it up, they're hoping people won't be looking to them for help in the futue.  They don't see this as a role for the federal government and they will go to any extent to get rid of FEMA.  They have already demonstrated in Iraq how their ideology is all that matters to them and they are willing to sacrifice anybody who gets in their way. We can't ever let them get away with that.
      •  FEMA has been completely politicized. (none)
        It's possible the GOP is planning to pin the blame on FEMA as they did with CIA and 9/11, in pursuit of a greater agenda, which is to turn Louisiana dark Red, and further humiliate Democratic leadership/governance, as part of their overall plan to retain a permanent majority and the presidency. Remember, everything is politics with the GOP. Party over country. Party over life and limb. I really think it's just another one of Karl Rove's games to tighten the GOP grip on power, regardless of the toll.
  •  This has to come out. (none)
    I'm emailing this to my senators.

    Our president does not seem to believe in science or scientific studies... A Leader has VISION, which Bush does not, we are leaderless....! Gore/Clark 2008

    by mattes on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:05:54 PM PDT

  •  I want to see (4.00)
    these stories in the media soon.  Before the state and local authorities are covered with blame.
  •  But WHY would they turn help away (4.00)
    I believe they did turn help away ....

    but what's their f**king rationale, what's their motive?

    I just don't get their modus operandi  (unlike the President)  </snark>

  •  You all know I am very hard on the DLC (none)
    I would like to thank Senator Hillary Clinton for going public today and asking for a 9/11 type "Katrina Commission" to investigate this tragedy. I would like to acknowledge this effort.
    Thank you again. AUSTIN

    Progressives - stay UNDECIDED on 2008

    by AustinSF on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:07:16 PM PDT

  •  Faith based disaster relief (4.00)
    as Digby so aptly put it.

    If I am confirmed, I will pay special attention to volunteers and non-governmental organizations responding to disasters. Fire fighters are frequently the first to respond to a disaster. Faith-based groups like the Salvation Army play critical roles in disaster relief, as does the American Red Cross. And the individual actions of neighbors helping neighbors by donating time, food, and clothing should never be underestimated. These are the people who make a vital difference, without any expectation of thanks or recognition.

        Joseph Allbaugh, George W. Bush's campaign manager at his confirmation hearing to be head of FEMA, February 13, 2001

    The government's job is to give money and recognition to charity organizations, not to actually do anything except encourage people to start a telephone prayer tree or squeeze their eyes shut tight and wish with everything they have not to die. After all, everybody wants the government out of their lives.

    This is clearly the philosophy of FEMA under George W. Bush, his campaign manager and his campaign manager's roommate "Brownie." In other words, put your head between your legs and kiss you ass good-bye suckers. We aren't in the business of federal disaster relief.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:07:22 PM PDT

    •  So, when non-fed help arrives, FEMA blocks it? (none)
      That ain't even logical or rational
      •  Rationality... (4.00)
        ..that left the building during the evacuation.

        Bushco held back nearly all the military unit that could have helped for 4 Days. Why not have FEMA hold back private invidividuals.

        To make matters worse the Coast Guard was quietly screamin for boats.

      •  Federal Control (none)
        I believe they were trying to take control of the state and withheld the military for four days to make the point that the state would get no help unless Blanco relinquished control.  This administration has the maturity of a three year old, and when Georgie doesn't get his way or is crossed - there will be hell to pay!!!

        Besides, federal control = diminished death counts, razing of buildings without oversight and no-bid contracts to rebuild NO going to Halliburton (among others).  Hell, Halliburton already scored one contract for clean-up on 9/1 - no bid to be sure.

  •  FEMA also forgot (4.00)
    to watch the Weather Channel...
  •  Incompetents like Bush, (4.00)
    Brown, and Chernoff are always afraid of making a mistake. It has to do with selfishness. They care more for how others look at them so much that it disables their initiative. Thier drive is not to do a good job but to look like they are doing a good job. It would help if they a clue of what to do, of course.

    The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq

    by Jlukes on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:09:09 PM PDT

    •  But, if you don't admit an obvious mistake, (4.00)
      that just makes you look all the worse.
      •  Incompetents can never admit (none)
        mistakes. They always defend what they do and when something goes wrong they always blame someone or something else.

        No one thought that they would fly airplanes into buildings

        No one thought the levees would break

        The reason we waited 6 days was the state and local governments did not ask

        And of course it is the Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals,
        Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, Liberals,

        The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq

        by Jlukes on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:18:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This isn't incompetence... (none)'s criminal negligence.

      The legal definition:
      "Failure to exercise the degree of care considered reasonable under the circumstances, resulting in an unintended injury to another party."

      You or I would have already been charged and jailed by now. And we would also be facing lawsuits as far as the eye can see.

  •  Looks like its time to abolish FEMA (4.00)
    Also failing from lack of leadership and funding:

    Social Security
    Public Schools
    Ad Infinitum

    But let's just focus the discussion on the "THAT" they are failing...not why.

    Gee. Could they be so machiavellian as to appoint underlings who would "F" things up so bad that the entire "socialist" infrastructure of the Federal Government would need to be either discontinued and/or privitized.

    No. That's ridiculous. I mean, what kind of people would actually try to set up the collapse of every progressive policy decision and law over the past 200 years? You'd have to a fucking Federalist Ludite to think that way.

    No. It could not be. Nothing to see here citizens. Move along.

  •  A little bit about the structure of DHS (4.00)
    The Department of Homeland Security, as we all know, was formed after 9/11.  Major bureaus of three major existing agencies and one independent agency formed its primary core.

    • US Department of the treasury lost the Customs Service and the Secret Service to DHS.
    • US Department of Justice lost Immigration and Naturalization and the Border Patrol to DHS.
    • Transportation lost the Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard to DHS.
    • FEMA was picked up (formerly an independent agency) and moved under DHS.
    • Other agencies lost smaller components of offices within bureaus to DHS.

    DHS also formed its own science directorate (S&T) and an intelligence analysis and infrastructure protecftion (IAIP) directorate.  There are, also, a host of administrative functions wrapped around DHS.

    I can't underscore more strongly the differences in culture between these organizations that existed somewhere else prior to DHS.  Initially, the budget request and appropriations process was pure chaos - it's gotten better, but it's still dysfunctional.

    As a result, FEMA used to submit its budget request directly to the President, with FEMA-oriented priorities spelled out and rank ordered.  NOW FEMA formulates its budget and earmarks items for terrorist vs. non-terrorist items.  Instead of submitting this budget to the President, it goes up to the Secretary of Homeland Security who prioritizes FEMA's requests along with Customs and Border Protection's requests and Immigration Service's requests and the intelligence arm's request and the Coast Guard's request.  See what I'm getting at?  FEMA was effectively DE-PRIORITIZED when it was folded into DHS, losing mission funding and focus.

    I don't know how anyone could have thought that this would make disaster response better.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution. Katrina Relief Diary-$14K+ and counting

    by RenaRF on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:11:01 PM PDT

    •  Reminds me of a corporate merger (4.00)
      As I said upthread, the incompetance of FEMA's response has something of a corporate feel to me. Now I see why: it's specifically like what happens in an ill-considered corporate merger (see: AOL/Time Warner). Actual work goes down the tubes, and the little guys get screwed.

      Is it time to break up DHS, do you think?

      If I can't dance, it's not my revolution. -- Emma Goldman.

      by DoctorScience on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:27:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Welcome to the world of the MBA President (4.00)
        Moron Being Arrogant
      •  It was quite the (4.00)
        cluster fuck from the beginning (pardon my french).

        HOWEVER.  Let me state for the record that the rank and file folks who work for each of the directorates work their asses off - more so than before they were DHS to accommodate the turmoil - and take their jobs seriously.  I remember last hurricane season talking to friends that I have at FEMA who pulled rotating 17-hour days seven days a wekk for nearly six week because they personally took their mission seriously and were doing what needed to be done during that active time.

        It's a shame that the working members of FEMA are stained by this debacle because the incompetence shown in the crony leadership is not indicative of the people who are there and have been there every day.

        Know what I'm sayin'?

        The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution. Katrina Relief Diary-$14K+ and counting

        by RenaRF on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:48:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does the DHS science directorate include... (none)
      ...watching the Weather Channel?
  •  Is the motive is information control? (none)
    Consider the political consequences of having first-hand witnesses to the incredible failure that has already occurred. Not just a few reporters from the "liberal" MSM, but citizens who obviously have no axe to grind, including folks with various kinds of professional expertise.

    I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

    by homeland observer on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:12:40 PM PDT

  •  Just emailed this to (none)
    Obama & Reid

    Our president does not seem to believe in science or scientific studies... A Leader has VISION, which Bush does not, we are leaderless....! Gore/Clark 2008

    by mattes on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:15:06 PM PDT

  •  The Times -Picayune (none)
    Open Letter to the President lays it all out:

    Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It's accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

    How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

    Despite the city's multiple points of entry, our nation's bureaucrats spent days after last week's hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city's stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

  •  Another FEMA fuckup (none)
    Wouldn't accept help from the USS Bataan stationed in the Gulf.

    Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

    by pontificator on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:17:44 PM PDT

  •  My Guess (none)
    I predict this FEMA incompetence will result in it being rolled into the DHS.  Planned?

    DailyKos: Keeping Tabs on the Democracy.

    by winstnsmth on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:17:55 PM PDT

  •  Google maps of the disaster (none)

    It looks like this is before the water came all the way up.

    You can zoom in, pan around, and switch to before and after satellite views.

    The stuff in the upper right area is truly scary.

  •  Don't forget... (none)
    ... Broussard on MTP said that FEMA cut, cut, CUT communication lines on the Sherrif.


    •  here's the money quote: (none)
      Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines."


  •  Bring back James Lee Witt (none)
    He apparently ran FEMA very well under Clinton.  Maybe when we get a real president again, he can be brought back to run FEMA.  
    •  Gov. Blanco just hired James Witt (none)
      to be her "voice" and have "her seat at the table with federal authorities" -- as I recall, the announcement re: Witt's hiring came right about a day before we got the news that the feds were trying to take political control of New Orleans.
      •  Hiring of Witt also includes his whole team.... (none)
        for the long term through rebuilding, of which I'm sure you'll see some familiar faces. ;-)

        In Jan 2009 it will be the "Wes Wing"

        by Best in Show on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:50:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, isn't that interesting (none)
          shall we give a hint as to who one of those "familiar faces" -- Witt's vice-chairman --might be?

          Somebody who's running for President, eh? (And not Hilary Clinton).

          good to see from the photos that "the team" ain't all white guys, either. thanks.

          •  Keep in mind - this has nothing to do with (none)
            "politics.  34 years in the military does not make a man wealthy. Clark still "works for a living." This has been one of his civilian jobs since the spring of 2004

            In Jan 2009 it will be the "Wes Wing"

            by Best in Show on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:11:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, surely Clark's political reputation (none)
              and connections are what, along with his military experience and reputation, makes him valuable to Witt's team, so that certainly is "politics."

              as is Blanco's hiring of Witt -- it's no doubt pragmatic to hire a smart guy with experience and a good track record, but the "politics" of his being Clinton's FEMA director, and having been a strong critic of Bush's "downgrading" of FEMA, certainly is part of the picture.

              thanks for letting me clarify -- I didn't mean to suggest that Witt had suddenly hired Clark because of the politics of the current situation.

              •  I usually hate politics in situations like this (none)
                but I hope like hell that Witt and Clark and company are saavy enough to start gathering info about how badly Bush and Associates fucked this up and putting it front and center for the public to see.
          •  For those. like me, who are too dense to (none)
            immediately look at the link in the comment above Jennifer Poole's comment, it's Wes Clark.
  •  Brown setting himself up? (none)
    It's beginning to look like this is almost orchestrated incompetence, allowing someone, in this case the hapless Brown, to become the scapegoat.
  •  Are you kidding? (4.00)
    " it would be hard to blame you if you thought FEMA actively wanted rescue and relief operations to fail.

    Of course, that's not the case -"

    Yes. That's EXACTLY the case!

    If FEMA is shown to be inept, it will be much easier to convince the public that it should be rolled and dissipated into DHS. Here is a government agency that has had a high degree of effectiveness (in the past) and a very high approval rating from the public. Of course, BushCo hates it. It was created by democrats and mostly helps poor people.

    You've already heard the trial balloon meme floated that somehow, rescue and disaster relief are "entiltlement programs." It won't be long until they have taken their own incompetance and criminality and turned it into the very reasons why it should be destroyed.

    I will KEEP saying it until I turn blue!!

    Until we hold the media accountable, NOTHING WILL CHANGE!!

  •  This is from the wwltv messageboard (none)
    My town's volunteer fire dept. sent 7 men (one is my husband) this morning at 4 am to help. They had set this up Thursday evening/Friday and were told to meet at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales at 7am where they would be given instructions where specifically to go next. They had been told Friday night on the phone that they would probably be doing search/rescue. They were ready. They went with a mobile unit equipped to the gills. I just heard from another wife that got a phone call that they did NOT do anything today that they had gone down there prepared to do. They expressed extreme frustration at "a definite lack of organization and leadership among whoever was supposed to be in charge." Now they have returned to Gonzales to sleep in their mobile unit and try again tomorrow. LOADS of qualified, equipped people who are in a position to help are not being allowed to help because of a lack of organization and leadership. It is so frustrating I wanna throw up.

    This was posted by someone named RedRover.

    After surfing the net for hours and pilfering others' clever ideas for monikers, my DOG AND CAT have jointly issued the four decrees below.  They've commanded me to proclaim these edicts to the human race via this blog.  BY ORDER OF MY DOG AND CAT, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, ALL BLOGGERS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING:

    The city of New Orleans shall hereby be referred to as LAKE GEORGE.  With a nod to Herbert Hoover, all Katrina relocation centers shall be referred to as BUSHVILLES.  FEMA chief Michael Brown, an underachieving Republican crony whose main pre-BushCo career accomplishment involved getting fired from the International Arabian Horse Association, shall hereby be known as BRONCO BROWN, MISMASTER OF DISASTER.  Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff will be known as MANIPULATIVE MIKE, MISMASTER OF DISASTER.

    Dick "Heart Attack" Cheney, the cyborg who supported the gross underfunding of New Orlean's flood control efforts, and then refused to leave his Wyoming vacation once the deluge began, shall hereby be known as DICK BANS DIKE.  In tribute to Condi Rice's thousand-dollar shoe buying spree in New York City during the peak of the crisis, she will hereby be known as IMELDA RICE, STILETTO QUEEN, or NO SHOES, NO SERVICE, at your discretion.

    3) BUSHIES
    Reflecting a failed presidency and his colossal dereliction of duty this past week, the act of reflexively defending George W. Bush shall hereby be referred to as BUSH FLUFFING.  Those who engage in same shall be deemed BUSH FLUFFERS.  Should Bush hallucinate about "mandates" or "political capital," these will be known as FLUFFY BUSH MOMENTS.  

    Rather than focusing on Katrina relief, congressional Republicans will soon fixate on eliminating the Estate Tax, a levy paid only by the wealthiest 1% of estates last year.  This GOP giveaway to the rich shall be referred to as THE PARIS HILTON TAX CUT.  

    I will promptly relay any forthcoming edicts issued by my pets.  Failure to comply may result in your furniture being scratched or peed on.  BUSH LIKES NICKNAMES, SO LET'S MAKE THESE STICK BY REPEATING THEM IN FUTURE POSTS!  My dog and cat thank you.

  •  probably should add "US battleship waits (none)
    helplessly offshore for orders from the President" -- see Armando's front-page item.

    p.s.: I can't find any U.S. media coverage so far of Lt. Kelly's incendiary statement, but do note that such U.S. stories there are that mention the battleship spell the ship's name "USS Baton", not "Bataan".

  •   Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré (none)
    Huh?  Five day late Honore'?  Hero?  C'mon.

    Which minority group would Jesus hate?

    by NorCalJim on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:26:12 PM PDT

    •  I wouldn't start slaming Honore Now (none)
      We don't know when he got his orders. At least he is there now and he is what the Mayor has been screaming for. Blame Bush, blame FEMA, Blame the Governor even the Mayor..but let's not Blame the man who is there now in the streets trying to make a difference and saving lives as I type this comment.

      *"Katrina casts her vote for President CLARK in '08 & Senator HACKETT in '06*

      by Chamonix on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is this the same guy (none)
        who wasted  precious time assembling a 200 truck convoy instead of dispatching 'when ready.'  It wasn't a fucking invasion across the desert.  It was a commercial delivery.  Do you know anything about logistics?  You move the fucking material, you don't delay for a ceremonial dog and pony show so you can show off riding at the head of the cavalry to the rescue.  

        Which minority group would Jesus hate?

        by NorCalJim on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:37:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ***Star Gen Honore - Cussin' & Orderin' (4.00)
        Is from Louisiana by birth, got the asses movin' and as the troops rolled in by open trucks gave them hell when a M16 was held up in view of the residents. "Soldier put the M16 down and out of sight, you are here to help the people of New Orleans," three star General Honore cussed and gave each truckload of soldiers hell for the wrong attitude in the approach of fellow Americans near the Convention Center on Saturday.

        (CNN) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin calls Lt. Gen. Honore a 'John Wayne dude' who can "get some stuff done."

        "He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving," Nagin said in an interview Thursday night with a local radio station. (See the Nagin video -- 12:09 )

        Lt. Gen. Russel Honore barks at troops as a convoy arrives Friday in dowtown New Orleans.    

        The three-star general directed the deployment of an estimated 1,000 National Guard troops from a New Orleans street corner Friday, making it clear that it was a humanitarian relief operation. Getting food and water to the people at the city's convention center was a difficult process, Honore said. "If you ever have 20,000 people come to supper, you know what I'm talking about. If it's easy, it would have been done already."

        Honore recognizes that storm victims have waited days for relief, and his troops are trying to get them out of the city and into a more comfortable environment. "Our number one task is to deal with the concentration of people in New Orleans, as well as those that are isolated. And we're going to get after it," he said. (Watch video report of the general sent to the rescue -- 10:02)

        "By-and-large, these are families that are just waiting to get out of here. They are frustrated, I would be too. I get frustrated at the cash register counter when the paper runs out."

        Hundreds of are carrying weapons in the city. But the way they carried those guns was a concern to the general.

        Lt. Gen. Honore ordered all National Guard and active duty troops he encountered to point their weapons down, said CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr, who was with the general. Honore repeatedly went up to military vehicles, National Guardsmen standing sentry and even to New Orleans police officers, telling them to please point their weapons down and reminding them that they were not in Iraq.

        Honore commands the 1st Army, based at Fort Gillem in Forest Park, Georgia, outside Atlanta. The general is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana, which is northwest of Baton Rouge. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in vocational agriculture from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge in 1971. Honore was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the infantry upon graduation. He also has a master's degree in human resources from Troy State University.

        KSLA News12 - Inside NOLA Superdome
        ● evacuees at the Superdome
        ● shelter at Hirsch Coliseum
        ● prescription help for all.
        VIDEO News - Unedited Report from Inside New Orleans:

        ▼ ▼ ▼ HAVE YOU READ MY DIARY YET? ▼ ▼ ▼
    •  Honore (none)
      Well, I'm just mentioning him based on Mayor Nagin's praise of the guy. Mighta been premature - but no matter what, Honore's gotta be a damn sight better than Brownie.
      •  Bull Dog or Lap Dog (none)
        Bull Dog - He's down there with his troops. He understands it's a humanitarian mission and not an occupation ("Point those rifles down. This isn't Iraq.") He looks like someone who gets things done.

        Lap Dog - Big ol' convoy timed to arrive just before Bush flies into town. He just harrumphs when asked why he wasn't there earlier. I'm still waiting for a good answer on why food and water couldn't have been air-dropped into the convention center before day 6. Where the hell where the helicopters?

  •  This litany of shame (none)
    further absolves the local leadership and is yet more proof the federal response was both slow and misguided. Mike Brown and Michael Chertoff should be fired yesterday, and an active criminal investigation underway today.
    And Demand that they call for the FIRING OF FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN and his Asshole Deputy PATRICK RHODE NOW, Mr. Rhode is quoted as saying "Probably one of the most Efficient and effective responses in the Country's History". We don't have time to have these Assholes continuing to kill people in NO, and block any help the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana might need. Email, Call, write letters NOW. I did...did you?

    *"Katrina casts her vote for President CLARK in '08 & Senator HACKETT in '06*

    by Chamonix on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:26:24 PM PDT

  •  FEMA (4.00)
    My husband's cousin works for FEMA and was sent to Mississippi a day or so before the hurricane, and is still there.  According to her, FEMA isn't even providing food for it's own workers.  They are fending for themselves, which means little food or grabbing a candy bar from a vending machine...if they can find one.
  •  Hillary (none)
    She has called for Congress to take FEMA back out of Homeland Security and put it back where it was!  I don't know - too late.  It is still "Buddy Boy Brown" running the show and he is incompetent.
  •  I find myself wondering (none)
    if this is another way for the supply-sider, private-enterprise-in-every-sphere-at-any-cost GOoPers running our government now to make their case for more privatization of our public services.

    If it can be shown that businesses like Wally World, etc. can be quicker to respond, there's one more justification for their extravagant tax cuts.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

    by Erik the Red on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:28:13 PM PDT

  •  May I make a suggestion? (none)
    Clearly 'Brownie' is an incompetent fuck-up, appointed solely through cronyism and ideology.  If his background had ever been properly investigated pre-appointment, he would never be where he is.

    We've seen how much of a mess this can cause.  Vividly.

    Bush's record of appointing people to key positions has been proved to be execrable.

    Anyone see the parallels with Roberts?

    Here's this guy we don't know much about.  Without much experience.  About whom we're not being given background to make a decision.

    It was worrying enough when he was just going to be a judge on SCOTUS.  But now he's been put forward for the top legal job in the hand.

    Surely 'Brownie' gives us EVERY reason to demand EVERY scrutiny be placed on this nominee.  And Bush's capacity to appoint ANYONE needs, no demands to be questioned at every turn...

  •  An American Disgrase (none)
    Truely a disgrace and the BushCult nuts will NEVER hold this President accountable.  The buck stops EVERYWHERE BUT THE PRESIDENT'S DESK!!!

    Shame on you republican partisan hacks... SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

    •  Hey, get with the plan. (none)
      The chimp has never made any mistakes. I heard him say so during the debates last year.

      Repeat after me: Its all the Clintons' fault.

      What would Blackbeard do?

      by Agent of Fortune on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's the best way (none)
      to deal with Bush's core supporters? Do we keep
      trying to convince them in a civilized, rational way? (This is hard because they are not very civilized towards us). Or do we shame them, because they have allowed our country to become a bowl of FUBAR? For example, "Hey Bush supporter,
      thanks to you I now have another worry, my social security check. Thanks a million." This is the the tactic they used on us, trying to demonize us. In the future people might be ashamed to bring up ideas that resembled Bush's.
      Just as shame was brought to bear on racist ideas.
      On the other hand the civilized approach might end the cycle of revolution and reaction (i.e. the 60's revolution, and Nixon's law and order reaction. I think we are still living throgh this.) Maybe its time, to paraphrase Gunther
      Grass, for the revolution to end and the republic
      to begin. I don't know.

      "Are you trying to play Darwin, to the lemurs in your head?"

  •  I'm worried about Canada's aid. (4.00)
    We got asked by the Coast Guard and the US military to send these 3 destroyers and a coast guard cutter to the Gulf with relief supplies and engeinnering personnel specialists among the crew.

    Will FEMA allow us into US waters?

  •  My contribution to the discussion. (none)
    Let me know if it's not welcome.

    Hurricanes are a national security issue. The Bush administration just showed us how it will deal with the next 9/11, global warming, declining oil production, and epidemic outbreaks.
    Bush cut funds for the levees in New Orleans to pay for war against a country with no ties to 9/11, no ties to Osama Bin Laden, and no WMD. He gutted FEMA and staffed it, like his other appointments, with people whose only qualification is loyalty to the Republican party over and above loyalty to American people and our Constitution.
    The Result is 1800 dead troops, 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and God knows how many thousands dead in New Orleans. In Iraq $12 billion has been given to Cheney's firm through no-bid contracts, $9 billion has been lost (just gone, no one knows where), and 10,000 human beings have been detained without trial. Detention without trial is a fundamental violation and a threat to democracy. So is torture: Sean Baker, innocent American tortured by mistake; Maher Arar, innocent Canadian tortured by mistake; Manadel Al Jamadi, hung from the ceiling and beaten to death. Was he a terrorist? We'll never know because the Bush administration abandoned the Constitutionally mandated requirement for due process.
    The Bush administration is not protecting the American people, not upholding their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution, and they are looting the federal treasury.
    The Declaration of Independence tells us that government derives its "just Powers from the consent of the governed." It's time for Americans to withdraw our consent, using the tools bequeathed to us by the Constitution, and hold accountable what will certainly be recorded as the most corrupt administration in U.S. history. Please lend your voice in any way you can. Letters to editors and elected officials are a good start.
  •  One more example. (none)
    The top of the WWLTV blog has the following:

    3:32 P.M. Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."

    Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

    by SadEagle on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:42:03 PM PDT

    •  can someone (none)
      explain these REGULATIONS???

      I don't get the logic of them. Come on, they MUST have a reason! What is it?

      "Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life." Cindy Sheehan

      by Dunbar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:44:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can take a guess. (none)
        I imagine there are regulations saying that they shouldn't let Joe Good-Heart put himself under a risk by trying to help out, and that everything should be done under a coordinated command structure, etc. Those sort of things are reasonable under the following assumption: FEMA is actually doing its job, and the various agencies it's coordinating are actually doing everything fine.

        Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

        by SadEagle on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:00:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Much of the reason (none)
        is that they want the flooded areas evacuated. They want people to leave the area, so they are refusing to let aid reach the affected areas, as it would only encourage people to stay in place. Secretary Chertoff has said as much:

        "We are not going to be able to have people sitting in houses in the city of New Orleans for weeks and months while we de-water and clean this city with the hope that we're going to continue to supply them with food and water."

        However, Chertoff is missing a big opportunity here. The French Quarter, the psychologically important symbolic heart of New Orleans, still remains high and dry. Some Quarter residents refuse to abandon their homes or businesses, and I think they should be encouraged to stay in order to boost the morale of all those hundreds of thousands of displaced New Orleanians now scattered to the four winds. A beacon of hope, if you will...

        •  Sorry, but Chertoff's assertion is bullshit. (none)
          You don't let thousands of people go hungry and thirsty, a large number of them dying in the process, while you wait four and five fucking days to send them relief.


          •  The assertion may be bullshit, (none)
            but that is the logic Chertoff is using in refusing to provide aid to the people of New Orleans. He's trying to starve them out. Personally, I've been looking at the U.N. Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. I believe that the U.S. is signatory to these guidelines. I am not satisfied that Chertoff and Bush have been following international law with respect to the treatment of displaced persons out of New Orleans. In particular, consider these sections of the Guiding Principles:

            Principle 7

            1. Prior to any decision requiring the displacement of persons, the authorities concerned shall ensure that all feasible alternatives are explored in order to avoid displacement altogether. Where no alternatives exist, all measures shall be taken to minimize displacement and its adverse effects.

            2. The authorities undertaking such displacement shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to the displaced persons, that such displacements are effected in satisfactory conditions of safety, nutrition, health and hygiene, and that members of the same family are not separated.


            Principle 18

            1. All internally displaced persons have the right to an adequate standard of living.

            2. At the minimum, regardless of the circumstances, and without discrimination, competent authorities shall provide internally displaced persons with and ensure safe access to:

            (a) Essential food and potable water;

            (b) Basic shelter and housing;

            (c) Appropriate clothing; and

            (d) Essential medical services and sanitation.

        •  Evac with the rest (none)
          There is a growing disease threat.  Sewage, Bodies, All the water is contaminated.  Evac then let'em back in a coupe of weeks.  It is going to be a hellhole down there.  
  •  Stand Down Order from FEMA (none)
    dated September 2nd:

    "It is critical that fire and emergency departments across the country remain in their jurisdictions until such time as the affected states request assistance," said U.S. Fire Administrator R. David Paulison. "State and local mutual aid agreements are in place as is the Emergency Management Assistance Compact and those mechanisms will be used to request and task resources needed in the affected areas."

    Blanco requested assistance long before the 2nd, didn't she?

    BTW, her website today has Bush front and center and is "thankful" to him. I gather Bush's blackmail worked.

    "Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life." Cindy Sheehan

    by Dunbar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:42:45 PM PDT

  •  They're managing the crisis... (none) as to create maximum death and destruction. It won't be long until the wingers declare it a stunning success.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:45:53 PM PDT

  •  I'm tacking these stories (none)
    at my blog Constructive Interference .  I've got a few examples not on DavidNYCs list.  I'd be happy to track any other examples anyone has.  Please add a comment to let me know of other examples.

    This seems to me an important point because the administration is trying to paint a picture in which the local government did nothing while it waited for FEMA to show up, which takes time (according to the administration)  Not only is the time delay for FEMA arguable, but more directly the objection to FEMAs performance is not that they failed to show up on time, but that FEMA was there and in control starting Monday and screwing things up from the get go.  They took charge and promptly failed to deliver needed supplies but got in the way of the local effort to aid and evacuate the survivors.  I want to have as much of this kind of FEMA failure well documented and available to the Kos community.

  •  Brownie's law firm ad: (none)
    If you have a horse--you have a lawyer!

    If you have an emergency---you're pretty much fucked.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

    by vawolf on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:51:03 PM PDT

  •  a little good news... (none)
    this story is on aol at least, listing the ways FEMA turned away help, as well as a nice box with quotes from the Time-Picayune, Landrieu, and Bush's idiotic "heckuva job, Brownie."

    The story seem to be getting out to mainstream America.

  •  Delay by DHS | FEMA Resulted In Anarchy (none)
    New Orleans Police With Own Families Barricaded In Station

    ... with snipers on rooftop for protection against sporadic arms fire targeted at the police.

    Some police districts, upto 60% of force has left!

    Reported by Jim Spellman of CNN, who is on the scene at police HQ in New Orleans French Quarter.

    No response to emergency calls for the sick, injured or dying. There is hardly any communication possible, just some walkie talkies are operating.

    Shame FEMA : shame DHS : shame Bush | Cheney administration!

    Where have all the $$$ billions of US taxpayers gone?
    Where are the basic services for the people starving and dying!
    Where is the call on UN logistic support, honed for these emergency relief aid operations - heh JB!

    The Bush/Cheney Assault on Science (1)   Hmm ... EPA

    Disasters George Bush Wrought :: Analysis and Katrina Update

    ▼ ▼ ▼ HAVE YOU READ MY DIARY YET? ▼ ▼ ▼

  •  Wasn't it Bushco who was pushing (none)
    more direct citizen-based and NGO response to social problems? Remember how "faith based initiatives" consisting of churches and ordinary citizen groups was going to solve the problems? Remember how the GOP wanted the corrupting influence of the evil federal government out of the care and relief business?

    What would Blackbeard do?

    by Agent of Fortune on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:57:13 PM PDT

  •  Add this one, too: (4.00)
    From the the Times-Picayune's excellent coverage.  They won't even let them recover the land records that shows who owns what.

    Efforts to save documents stymied
    3:25 p.m., Monday

    By Greg Thomas
    Real estate writer

    Specialists working for the New Orleans Notorial Archives have been stymied in trying to return downtown to rescue some of the most historic documents in the city's history, from original land grants to slave sale records and title records.

    Federal troops have refused to let them through checkpoints into the city.

    The Notorial Archives hired Munters Corp., a Swedish document salvage firm that freezes and then freeze-dries records to slowly remove moisture from them. But Munters' refrigerated trucks were turned away by uniformed troops as they tried to enter the city, said Stephen Bruno, custodian of the archives.

    The trucks were headed to the Civil District Courthouse on Poydras Street, where many of the city's real estate documents are housed, and to the former Amoco building at 1340 Poydras St., which houses historic documents such as a letter from Jean Lafitte to Washington demanding for his expenditures during the Battle of New Orleans.
    Eddy Pokluda, head of national sales for Munters in Dallas, said the company tried to get one person in to make an assessment of the damage but was turned away, even though days earlier they had coordinated with New Orleans police to have an escort into the city.

    "I don't think people realize the importance of these records. It's imperative we get in there and see if these can be saved,'' Pokluda said.

    "These records are a historic treasure trove (that) would go to the Vatican or Smithsonian and be under armed guards and in vaults," Bruno said. "This is extremely frustrating.''

    "Of course, the most important thing is the people and the bodies, but now we're really concerned about the records,'' he said.

    Most governments have digitized their real estate records, and Bruno was just about to hire a firm to transfer many of the documents in the archive to the computer.

    But at the Notorial Archives, most abstractors still do hand searches of the 12 million stored documents.

    "We're still in the horse and buggy days," Bruno said.

    Bruno was quick to point out that homeowners shouldn't worry about others making claim to their properties. Further, "there won't be any (real estate) transactions until this problem is solved. Sure, a lot of people are going to want to sell and a lot of speculators are going to want to buy." But without access to the records by abstractors, "It isn't going to happen,'' Bruno said.

    GWB: "9/11 was the worst disaster in U.S. history."

    God: "Disaster? You want to see a real disaster, George? Meet Katrina."

    by DC Pol Sci on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 01:59:08 PM PDT

  •  DavidNYC and everyone - THANKS (none)
    What a strong case against FEMA's current leadership... thanks everyone.  We've been needing a centralized collection of this subject for several days now.

    Well done!  And no doubt it will continue to grow, sad to say...

  •  More afraid OF people than FOR people (none)
    That is why security was prised above all else.

    I understand that mentality, when I first moved to CT we bought a house in a poor mixed neighborhood. You don't know how often I was asked by middleclass people, "how can you live THERE?"

    SOCIAL SECURITY: Invented by Democrats yesterday, Protected by Democrats today

    by mollyd on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:03:42 PM PDT

  •  Is it FEMA, or is it Rove? (none)
    I think the whole fiasco of delayed Federal response was a typical Rovian political strategy. I've found articles by the South Florida Sun- Sentinel about the indiscriminate hand-outs by FEMA after last year's four hurricanes, and this gem below from a WaPo article:

    "Homeland Security sources said after the hurricanes that Brown and his allies promoted him as a successor to Tom Ridge as Homeland Security secretary because of their contention that he helped deliver Florida to President Bush  by efficiently responding to the Florida hurricanes.

    FEMA spokesman Natalie Rule said yesterday that there is "no truth" to the assertion that Brown angled to be secretary by citing his hurricane record. She denied that political considerations played a role in FEMA's Florida actions."

     Other articles:

    Hurricane Politics in Florida -- and Everywhere Else
    The media has so far only given a passing glance to the major report issued this week by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security about misuse of FEMA money in the wake of Florida's 2004 hurricanes.
    Institute for Southern Studies, May 20. 2005

     The above article contains further links, including one to a scholarly article whose authors are quoted: "Did the federal government play politics in its response to the 2004 hurricanes in Florida? We should only be surprised if this were not the case."  Their scholarly work tracks declaration of disasters with presidential campaigns: Discretion Without Accountability: Politics, Flood Damage, and Climate

    From another Sun-Sentinel article about the 2004 hurricanes:

    State records show Bush re-election concerns played part in FEMA aid

    "The Republican National Convention was winding down, and President Bush had only a slight lead in the polls against Democrat John Kerry. Winning Florida was key to the president's re-election. FEMA should pay careful attention to how it is portrayed by the public, Garcelon wrote in the memo, conveying "the team effort theme at every opportunity" alongside state and local officials, the insurance and construction industries, and relief agencies such as the Red Cross.

    "What FEMA cannot afford to do is back itself into a corner by feeling it has to be the sole explainer and defender for everything that goes wrong," he wrote. "Further, this is not what the President would want. Plenty is going to go wrong, and his Department of Homeland Security does not want to assume responsibility for all of it."

    Garcelon, a former FEMA employee, recommended that "top-level people from FEMA and the White House need to develop a communication strategy and an agreed-upon set of themes and communications objectives."

    "Communication consultants from the President's re-election campaign should be brought in," he wrote. "Above all, everybody's got to understand that no amount of flogging DHS/ FEMA will insure that the recovery will go perfectly. This is going to be a huge mess. The public needs to be prepared for it."
    "The very first points [of Garcelon's memo] have to do with shirking blame and calling in the president's re-election experts," McLaughlin said. " It only serves to underscore why we have to investigate how FEMA spent the hurricane money because there are just too many questions."

     So, I think it would not be far-fetched to surmise a strategy of delay to disgrace/blame the Louisiana Democratic leadership for the tragic suffering and loss of life; then Bush and the Feds come to the rescue. The stories of FEMA people on site turning back boaters; failing to deliver food; preventing the Coast Guard from delivering fuel; not permitting the Wal-Mart water trucks to deliver; telling the navy hospital ship to go to Mississippi, etc, show that 'the troops' did indeed rush to the rescue early in the week, but stood around waiting for Bush's most opportune moment.  And apparently one report of a gunshot fired at a helicopter was shown by the FAA to be false. This was used anyway as an excuse to halt rescues. Civil disturbance is a ground for federalization of control. Couple this with rumors of a behind-the-scenes struggle between Governor Blanco and the DHS/WH for Federal control......

    Now this cynical dollop of whipped cream:

    New Orleans 2008

    "No single step would go further to dramatize the GOP's commitment to rebuilding New Orleans than announcing now that the party's 2008 convention will be held in the recovering city. Such a move would signal the party's confidence in the Big Easy's renewal, and put it at the forefront of what should be similar commitments from private actors to do their part to help New Orleans come back.Critics will call it a transparent attempt to burnish the party's image after the Bush administration "failed" with the initial relief effort. The gesture would, however, reflect the genuine sentiment of Republicans who, like all Americans, want to help a city facing such a bleak future. We heard similar complaints -- easily brushed off -- about the Republicans' coming to New York for last year's convention."

    •  More on FEMA and politics (none)
      In my comment here.

      Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

      by jorndorff on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:23:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live in South Florida, (none)
      and live in the area where the eye of Katrina passed over. First comment: although it was called a CAT 1, the damage in some places exceeds damage from Andrew and other storms. Old oak trees have cracked (not from lightning, either), sidewalks upturned, and the number of trees down is incredible. Many homes flooded, and I personally know numerous people who sustained losses to their property.

      Second comment: it was a big deal here (there were protestors spotted here and there) that the governor requested federal dollars, was told he would receive them, then the aid was said to be revoked--or had never been awarded. The outcry was terrible.

      Third comment: obviously FEMA handed out too much money last year, a big chunk mind you did not end up in deceitful citizens' hands, but in the hands of the orange growers associations. FEMA should not have handed out money left and right in MIAMI for storms that barely touched us, if at all. The worst last year, in all honesty, was being told, again, to lock ourselves, our children, etc. in the house, for an indefinite period. Yet FEMA did hand out the money, and was defrauded in some cases.

      So when did this government agency become able to (claim to) be punitive, as in "too bad for you, because some lied last year, NONE of you get any money this year, for an actual storm" even when there are documented families suffering.

      This is a terrible situation, and is directly related to all the other FEMA comments. My comments should in no way be interpreted, either, as suggesting that S. FL. was in worse (or equal) shape as LA and MS; I thought I would just add what I have witnessed.

      •  I'm aware of the facts you state in your (none)
        comment. I read a Miami Herald article of 9/1/05 about the very issue you describe. It is not an election year this year, thus Florida's votes are not needed right now. Although Louisiana went for Bush in 2004, the Governor, Mayor of New Orleans, and one Senator (Landrieu) are Democrats. Looking at the election results map linked above, you see that New Orleans went for Kerry. Karl Rove is a political animal with a ruthless plan to turn the entire country Republican, permanently. He saw in Katrina a tool to be used as part of that plan, no matter the cost. Another benefit may redound to Cheney and his oil infrastructure cohorts, if there are condemnations that serve the purpose of freeing up land for more refineries, etc., now that federal reconstruction relief can be made to come with strings attached. It all sounds far-fetched, but only if you care about the human beings involved, which they don't, as they've already demonstrated.
  •  I hope Sen Reid is aware of this..... (none)

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:07:22 PM PDT

  •  FEMA told NV police to "stand down" (none)
    100 police officers from NV were packed and ready to go to the gulf region yesterday, but FEMA told them to "stand down," because FEMA "did not have a mission for them yet."
  •  Another example of FEMA hampering relief efforts (none)
    This time in Florida. After Katrina passed through, citizens in South Florida were denied lodging and repair assistance because 'the damage wasn't there.'

    See this Miami Herald article from September 1.

    Florida Democrats and Republicans alike wrote to FEMA and Bush urging them to change their ruling.

    ''I've reached the conclusion now that FEMA is essentially a political organization,'' said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat who claimed the agency was more generous last year because the storms preceded an election. ``They had a standard that was basically fluid from storm to storm. And there are people in Broward and Miami-Dade who are going to be hurting badly.''


    Carper said FEMA has been using a more conservative standard since it came under heavy criticism for giving money to Miami residents who were not near any of four storms that hit Florida last year.

    :hits head against wall:

    So because of their blunders last year in handing out aid to people who were nowhere close to  being damaged, they are now refusing to give aid to those who were hit. Makes alllot of sense.

    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

    by jorndorff on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:13:16 PM PDT

  •  Clinton just said (none)
    100% percent of the people know the federal government failed the people of New Orleans and FEMA needs to be reorganized.

    And then the President's father said the President can't worry about every editorial in the NYT.  Maybe someone should send him editorials in the Times-Picuayne or the Washington Times...

    The entire family is tone deaf and incompetent.

    BTW-He also call Kanye West's comments vicious...Kanye better watch himself now the former CIA director has him in his sights...

    •  He also stated (none)
      that if anyone wanted to criticize George Jr. to Barbara they could, but they'd need a "flack-jacket."

      And you wonder where Junior inherited his complete inability to act and talk appropriately?

      The whole family is really quite clueless.

      They treat everything like its a little game or something. Amazing.

      "Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life." Cindy Sheehan

      by Dunbar on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WOW (none)
    I found a resource FEMA did use.  They actually did something. Holy shit they did something. Oh, my god.  I just saw a pig fly by my window, holy shit.

    Anyway, they did actually use the Air Patrol for Damage Assessment Flights, which is good, by these guys do train for search and rescue.

    CAP Press Realeases

  •  Wow--Congressman from Mississippi (none)
    ..just blasted FEMA on NPR.  Sorry about not catching the name, but he said that the local FEMA guy had blocked aid, made boneheaded decisions, and forced the military to deliver food by air at great cost because FEMA wouldn't let the trucks through.

    Strong prejudices in an ill-formed mind are hazardous to government, and when combined with a position of power, even more so.--Barbara Tuchman

    by lahke on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:21:00 PM PDT

    •  And next up (none)
      NPR is saying that Michael Brown will be profiled in the next half hour.  Will be interesting....

      Strong prejudices in an ill-formed mind are hazardous to government, and when combined with a position of power, even more so.--Barbara Tuchman

      by lahke on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:29:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And for you trolls (none)
    It was not my wife.
  •  ANOTHER example... (none)
    [Diary] FEMA drains small-town N.C. medical resources

    At the request of the Federal Government, local officials in the Research Triangle Park region of central North Carolina brought together more than 250 emergency medical workers, over 50 ambulances and other medical support assets and put 22 local hospitals on alert to receive multiple planeloads of Gulf coast evacuees starting at 9am on Saturday, September 3, 2005.

    Those valuable emergency workers, pulled away from their regular duties of serving the emergency needs of the Raleigh-Durham area, sat idle for nearly 6 hours before being dismissed by local officials, who were unable to obtain a straight answer from Federal officials, when no planes arrived.

    According to the Durham Herald-Sun:

    Wake's emergency management staff... said the lengthy delay taxed the resources of the many small-town ambulance services that contributed trucks to the effort.

    None of this is news to central North Carolina, of course, as local journalists noted FEMA's decay (and Mike Brown's nepotism) nearly a year ago.

    For more information, follow this link: [Diary] FEMA drains small-town N.C. medical resources

    A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

    by mustang dvs on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:24:20 PM PDT

    •  And ANOTHER... (Loudon County, Virginia) (none)
      From my comments in another diary:

      Sheriff Stephen Simpson of Loudon County, Virginia stated on CNN on Friday, that 22 deputies and volunteers from his department were already on their way to New Orleans, at the request of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff, but were forced to turn around on Thursday when the were refused entry by the Louisiana State Police and the Federal Government.

      The 29 officers and volunteers were prepared to shelter and feed themselves, in addition to providing additional manpower, specialized disaster response training and water rescue craft.

      Unfortunately for the people of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, due to the breakdown of federal and local communications, 29 highly-trained, highly-motivated law enforcement volunteers are unable to lend a helping hand.

      Excerpts from the local article:

      ..."I was so angry [Thursday]," Simpson said this evening. "I was foaming at the mouth yesterday. We've been tied up in this bureaucratic red tape for 12 hours now and people are dying. We need to be getting down there and helping people and we can't get someone to answer the phone and answer a simple damn question and give me the authorization I need..."

      ...The chain of events started Wednesday night when Simpson said he got a message from the National Sheriff's Association that the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, near New Orleans, sent out a request for more law enforcement assistance. Simpson responded and within hours he had 22 deputies volunteer for the first of what was going to be three trips to Harvey, Louisiana.

      The group was supposed to leave at noon Thursday, but Simpson said the unit didn't get out of Loudoun until 9 p.m. after several hours of delays for paperwork. The group reached Harrisonburg shortly after midnight when they were told to return to Loudoun. The team returned to Loudoun at about 2 a.m.

      Simpson said he got a call from the Louisiana State Police telling him not to send anyone because the state didn't have a place to house the deputies or a place to park their vehicles. But Simpson said those logistics had already been worked out and that he was confused by the state police directive...

      A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

      by mustang dvs on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:35:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  good luck ever holding FEMA to account (none)
    Four Gannett newspapers in Florida requested a detailed accounting of where the 2004 FEMA funds went, as there were numerous accounts of fradulent claims in counties with no damage, and many more of legitimate claims resulting in no payment.  FEMA refused the FOIA request, citing everything from "privacy concerns" for grant recipients to, absurdly, national security issues.  The four papers filed suit in federal court in March of this year, but there has been no progress towards releasing the data.

    Don't expect anything less for this disaster.

  •  Slidell, LA Mayor (none)

    3:32 P.M. Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."

  •  And their spin on this will be... (none)
    "That's why we don't want big doesn't work!"


    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:41:20 PM PDT

  •  Kill All the Lawyers. (4.00)
    OK, I'm a lawyer, but from what I'm hearing it sounds like Shakespeare was right.  One of the stories making the rounds was that FEMA was paralyzed for days because the lawyers couldn't resolve the legal question of liability for troops on the ground.  This does not let Brown or Chertoff off the hook at all.  They are the bosses.  In a case like this you can't let the lawyers pick nits when people are drowning.  A leader with any common sense would give the lawyers five minutes in a room to work out whatever their issues are and then fire them unless the job is done.

    The Bush White House: Where being right gets you fired and being wrong gets you the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    by Tod on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 02:41:40 PM PDT

  •  FEMA claiming that Navy Ship came to N.O. recuse? (none)

    During the briefing I believe that I heard the Lt. General say that he had this ship recusing people in N.Orleans.

    Captain of the ship says he was ordered away from N.Orleans. This is very damning to the recuse spin being briefed today.,1,4144825.story

    •  Actually, it was Adm. Keating who said that... (none)
      Admiral Timothy Keating, Commander U.S. Northern Command, stated unequivocally on CNN that the USS Bataan (LHD-5) was on-station on Tuesday, rescuing people from New Orleans.

      Unfortunately, that is not true, and that fact has been documented.

      Adm. Keating also stated, today, that NORTHCOM had troops already in motion on Friday, August 26.  This directly contradicts his previous statements that, although his command was ready to begin active-duty deployments on Thursday, no such orders were forthcoming from the National Command Authorities until after Hurricane Katrina had struck New Orleans and the Gulf coast.

      A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

      by mustang dvs on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:07:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heard at the barber shop (none)
    Posted on my blog Saturday:

    I got my hair cut today. In the barber shop was a woman whose husband is part of some search and rescue team down in the Biloxi area. He was activated Sunday and arrived Monday. So far, according to his wife, he and his team have done nothing but sit around the base, waiting for an opportunity to help. Thursday, they were finally ordered to some storm-ravaged town that had seen zero assistance. As they pulled into town, the folks were lined up on the street, hollering and cheering. Before the rescue crew even turned off the engines, FEMA ordered them out of the town to some point two hours away.


    The woman said her 6'7" husband was in tears when he told her the story.  And they didn't help anyone in the second location either.

  •  FEMA demands money back from disaster victims (none)
    Here's the one that really got to me... listen to this NPR report from a couple of weeks ago. FEMA is coming after victims of the 2004 Florida hurricanes to get its money back because they made mistakes in handing out assistance checks in the first place. Talk about adding insult to injury.
    •  old news in these parts, friend (none)
      Our local paper did a stroy about this two months ago: FEMA wants its money back

      Just a sampling:

      The agency wants repayments of $100 or less from 97 Florida households, right down to a person in Citrus County who got a notice of a $5.46 overpayment.

      Sandra Witz, a single mom whose Punta Gorda home was pummeled by Hurricane Charley, is on the hook for $719.69.

      "I don't understand their reasoning," Witz said. "Every dime I got, every penny, every nickel, has gone back into my house."

      There's nothing left. Even if she got the money by mistake -- she doesn't believe she did -- she can't afford to pay them back, she said.

      FEMA also called in a marker on Cynthia Lakins, who is living in one of the travel trailers set up for hurricane victims in Charlotte County.

      She was told she would have to move out by May 26. They gave her a 15-day extension and then another for 30 more days when they found she hadn't moved.

      "I don't know what they expect me to do," said Lakins, who can't find a place to live on her $153-per-week take-home pay. "At any moment they can come by and say your time's up again."

      I do object to a couple of sentences in the piece.  Specifically, there is absolutely no one around here who thinks there's anything "heroic" about FEMA.

      •  cruel irony (none)
        Now that I reread that piece, the line about FEMA "cal[ling] in a marker" is cruelly ironic, yet apt.  When you have a cabal out to turn the whole country into a giant casino, with very house-friendly odds, everyone ends up having to put a marker down.

        And everyone is a mark.

  •  a few other things: (none)
    here is the audio of slidell's mayor saying:

    is faced with some of the most incredible, incredible stupid, ignorant regulations by FEMA. They have turned generators away from us. They´ve turned fuel away from us because they determine, or the driver determined, that it wasn´t the correct spot to put it. The generators ... oh, the site hadn´t been inspected yet.

    ...And I am really pissed off and I´m getting tired of this. They need to start doing things that make sense and quit all this horse shit that doesn´t mean a damn thing to anybody except some bureaucrat in Washington."

    and don't forget broussard's statement that FEMA had cut their emergency phone line.  he said the sheriff fixed it and posted guard so it wouldn't get fucked with.

    that was 6 cops/soldiers what have you who couldn't be of help because the communication lines needed guarding.


  •  FEMA (none)
    Oh! Disaster . . .
    What can one do?
    It can happen anywhere
    To me, but mostly you!

    Oh! But FEMA's got some
    Itty bitty tricks,
    So you are unprepared
    And we can get our kicks!

    Funny floods and tornadoes!
    Or a shit your undies 'quake!
    Don't even try to be ready!
    For it's complete heartbreak!

    Disaster unpreparadness
    Is our responsibility!
    And blaming you's important
    To our agency!

    Children helping people
    Is what we say!
    FEMA's like your blanky-
    Soiled- each and every way!

    Hey! When disaster strikes?
    We're just like you!
    Prepared all the time
    To shit our underoos!

  •  Northern Command waiting (none)
    The Carpet Bagger has a summary of the story about the Northern Command getting ready to go even before the storm, and then wainting for days. There's a BBC quote of the Lt. Commander in charge directly quetioning the President.

    Northern Command isn't happy

    This is not directly FEMA, but my guess is that the President's responsibility to give the go-ahead to the Northern Command would be delegated to FEMA (or at the very least the President should have been prompted by FEMA to do it).

  •  jesus !@#$%& christ (none)
    how much gas has been wasted moving all of this crap about uselessly?!?

    what the fucking fuck!?!

  •  Remember Bush's Goal is to Destroy Government (none)
    Please remember, sad as it is, that Bush's and the GOP's plan is to strave the government of funds, remove all competent personnel, install incompetent friends, and destory the operational capabilities of every government agency.

    They are suceeding with astounding success.

    All so they can privatize the functions now provided by government for the benefit of their corporate friend at he expense of the America public. Americans do not count with these criminals.

    Start the grand jurys and indict the president and every criminal in his administration.

    Do it today!

    The dead in 9/11, Iraq, and Gulf deserve nothing less.

    Time to clean house.

    •  I believe the operative phrase was 'Drown'... (none)
      I can't remember who exactly within the administration said it, but the statement was something like:

      "We don't want to dismantle the government, just shrink it so that it's manageably smaller... small enough to drown it in the bathtub."

      A voice of objective reason in the partisan din of the U.S. National Security community.

      by mustang dvs on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:12:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WHY????????? (w/another link for your collection) (none)
    Can someone offer a reasonable explaination as to WHY they are doing this??? It make no sense! WHY would they cut all emergency communications lines for a parish?

    WHY would they refuse supplies and manpower and assistance? It makes NO sense!!! If FEMA has no money and is understaffed, why on earth would they not welcome all the help they could get?

    It almost looks like they're spending their manpower and time sabotaging the rescue efforts...! WTF???

  •  It's intentional (none)
    That s, it's intentional in the sense that the Bush administration, the Republican leadership, their financial backers and most fervid supporters, as was pointed out in Paul Krugman's most recent article, don't believe that the government should do anything to help people: that is, people other than themselves.

    Avedon Carol has pointed out that there may have been some very real reasons why these people were left to die, it's so that the powers that be can simply steal their land and rebuild New Orleans in their own corporate, sterile image.  Maybe we'll have Mickey Mouse as grandmaster of Mardis Gras, who knows?

    Ronald Reagan was only half right:  It's Republican governments that are the problem.

    Cup O' Joe - Blog Of The Working Man!

  •  Sounds a little mad... (none)
    3:32 P.M. Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."

    And the Deborah Farrett(sp) spouting Administration talking points regarding the 1, 2 punch on CNN now...

    Ahh...looks like DHS brought a fresh batch of Kool-Aid with them to Baton Rouge and the CNN reporters are drinking...

    Apparently should she doesn't have time to watch her  own stations reports or read their website...

    But Rove knows the media game...


    Media demostrates falsehood through reporting,

    lie again,

    Media says the adminstration is sticking to their

    lie again,

    public sends in lettters to ombudsman saying this is a lie,

    ombudsman reports this is an old story that has already been reported on and the public is not a dumb as you think blah blah blah...,

    lie again,

    media only shows sound byte...

    wash, soak, repeat...

    simple as pie...


  •  I heard it on CNN ... (none)
    ..about an hour ago:

    Instead of starting the claims process in the shelters, FEMA is requiring victims to call an 800 number, and when they do, FEMA gets their name and address and promises to send a claim form to their home ....

    •  call to 800 number not required here (none)
      My wife spent the day in the Nashville Red Cross shelter working. It's a small shelter, about 75 people. They have FEMA forms there, and she is helping them fill the forms out, thus avoiding the 800 number red tape.

      What we have found is that individual initiative among volunteers can make an enormous difference, at least out here in Nashville.

      Think globally, act locally.  Do it now.

  •  Help for Leesburg Va couldn't get conformation! (none)
    LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - A group of Loudoun County sheriff's deputies heading to Louisiana to help maintain order among hurricane refugees had to turn around at the Virginia border when they couldn't get confirmation from emergency management officials, the Loudoun County sheriff said.

    After attempting for 12 hours to reach officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center, the deputies were told to head home. The group of 22 officers and six emergency medical technicians was expected to arrive back in Leesburg by 2 a.m. Friday, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

    "How many people have to die in the interim while they try to make this happen?" Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson told WRC-TV.

  •  FEMA cut communication lines (none)
    Broussard then discussed the difficulties local authorities had with FEMA, including one case where they actually posted armed guards to keep FEMA from cutting their communications lines:

  •  FAUX NEWS POLL (none)
    The demons at Faux News are having a poll on the handling of Katrina.  You know what to do...,2933,168286,00.html#poll
  •  FEMA making horse rescue efforts difficult (none)
    OK. I know this is minor compared to the gargantuan FEMA f*ups, but this is an example of the detailed level of relief interference that FEMA is capable of delivering, while it is simultaneously incapable of providing relief.

    A friend wrote this concerning the efforts of some Central Texans who have room to help with horse rescue efforts:

    Triple S Feeds in Dripping Springs, on Hwy 290 West, just past the high school, is taking donations for hay, halters, buckets and lead ropes. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, FEMA is requiring all equipment to be brand new, so if you decide to bring a bucket, it has to be a new one.

    Now people trying to help are having to raise money to buy new equipment in order to do so. Thanks, FEMA.

  •  FEMA FAILURE (none)
    Why does David NYC think i's not the case that FEMA's lack of action does not mean it wants its efforts to fail?  Of course, Bush who is boss of FEMA and everything else in the USA wants it to fail.  It's less expensive if more poor, Black people die and the Fed. can spend as little money as possible on them.  They regard the poor as failures.  They want to get rid of all federal social programs healthwise or otherwise.  This information has been available all along.

    Why go on about it?  Face the fact that the U.S. is a totalitarian state in the power of corporations with a dictatorship--an oligarchy, fascist state.  Remember forms of government in school?

    Once the Supreme Court is stacked democracy does not exist here anymore.  It's a mere relic now.

    Why suddenly is the corporate media getting antzy at last?  Because even those corps, plus others,  may want a better distribution of power.  That's our only hope.

    The Neocons and White House thugs want people like us to talk and argue within their parameters, just like their cowardly followers, so it confines discussion to certain areas.

    We need to get out of their imposed parameters, and go for our own.

  •  Here's Another One (none)
    From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

    S.D. rescue crew said languishing in Houston

    Authorities say they are speeding up relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina, but 80 San Diego firefighters and paramedics sent to the Gulf Coast are languishing in Houston, a fire official said Sunday.

    "We're there, we're ready, it's up to (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to decide where we're needed," said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire Department.


    As of early this afternoon, 80 urban search and rescue members from San Diego were still in Houston, awaiting further instructions, Luque said.

    The task force brought only enough food for up to two weeks, he said.

  •  Trib's Bataan report understates the ineptitude (none)
    Upthread there's some discussion about the USS Bataan, and there's mention of a generally excellent article ("Navy ship nearby underused";link). Unfortunately, the article has a couple of important factual errors which have the effect of understating the ineptitude.

    Hedges writes: "When the city's levees broke Tuesday, Tyson's pilots were rescuing stranded residents." He's suggesting these two events were simultaneous. In reality, they were separated by roughly 48 hours.


    It has been widely reported that levees broke on Tuesday. However, this appears to be only when Chertoff finally noticed. The fact is that numerous reports indicate multiple levees were breached on Monday. The National Weather Service reported a levee breach Monday at 8:14 am. Copious supporting citations can be found here and here.


    As far as when "Tyson's pilots" began "rescuing stranded residents," this appeared to not happen until Wednesday, after daylight. I make this claim based on a report on the Bataan's own web site (link). According to this report, "crews flew off Tuesday night" but "it got too dark and it was too risky to land anywhere." Therefore, "we just flew Tuesday night to survey the area."

    According to this report, Bataan-based crews airlifted no survivors until Wednesday, after daylight. In other words, the claim that "Tyson's pilots were rescuing stranded residents" on Tuesday appears to be incorrect.

    This is relevant to a false claim made by Keating, also mentioned upthread.

  •  Doctors from North Carolina not being allowed in (none)
    One hundred doctors from North Carolina are waiting with a mobile medical hospital (developed with millions of dollars through Homeland Security) 70 miles north of New Orleans; they've been trying for days to get into New Orleans and they aren't being allowed in:

    By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, The Associated Press

    BATON ROUGE, LA. -- Volunteer physicians are pouring in to care for the sick, but red tape is keeping hundreds of others from caring for Hurricane Katrina survivors even as health officials worry about potential outbreaks.
    >Among the doctors stymied from helping out are 100 surgeons and paramedics in a state-of-the-art mobile hospital marooned in rural Mississippi.
    >"We have tried so hard to do the right thing. It took us 30 hours to get here," said one of the frustrated surgeons, Dr. Preston "Chip" Rich of UNC-Chapel Hill. That government officials can't straighten out the mess and get them assigned to a relief effort now that they're just a few miles away "is just mind-boggling," he said in a phone interview.
    >While the North Carolina doctors waited Sunday, the first predictable signs of disease from contaminated water emerged Saturday: A Mississippi shelter was closed after 20 residents got sick with dysentery, probably from drinking contaminated water.
    >Next door in Mississippi, the North Carolina mobile hospital waiting to help also offered state-of-the-art medical care. It was developed with millions of tax dollars through the Office of Homeland Security after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. With capacity for 113 beds, it is designed to handle disasters and mass casualties.
    >Equipment includes ultrasound, digital radiology, satellite Internet and a full pharmacy, enabling doctors to perform most types of surgery in the field, including open-chest and abdominal operations.
    >It travels in a convoy that includes two 53-foot trailers, which Sunday afternoon were parked on a gravel lot 70 miles north of New Orleans because Louisiana officials for several days would not let them deploy to the flooded city, Rich said.
    >Yet plans to use the facility and its 100 health professionals were hatched days before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, doctors in the caravan said.
    >Other doctors also complained that their offers of help were turned away.
    >Dr. Jeffrey Guy, a trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University who has been in contact with the mobile hospital doctors, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, "There are entire hospitals that are contacting me, saying, 'We need to take on patients,' but they can't get through the bureaucracy."

    Doctors from Georgia also given the runaround, as reported in today's NYTimes.

  •  State of the Art Hospital Facility Stopped by FEMA (none)
    Heard about this on my local NPR station, WUNC. In the article it does not mention FEMA specifically but the radio report did. As of this writing they are still waiting...

    Among the doctors stymied from helping out are 100 surgeons and paramedics in a state-of-the-art mobile hospital, developed with millions of tax dollars for just such emergencies, marooned in rural Mississippi.

    "The bell was rung, the e-mails were sent off. ...We all got off work and deployed," said one of the frustrated surgeons, Dr. Preston "Chip" Rich of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    "We have tried so hard to do the right thing. It took us 30 hours to get here," he said. That government officials can't straighten out the mess and get them assigned to a relief effort now that they're just a few miles away "is just mind-boggling," he said.

  •  If FEMA had been TRYING to kill people (none)
    they scarcely could have done a better job -- even if they were competent at doing so.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:54:10 PM PDT

  •  My sister lives in Florida, (none)
    and says hurricane season there is like blizzard season in the north, yet every time Miami gets a splinter FEMA is dropping millions on Miami.  Now I would never be cynical enough to think that Beloved leader would try to get his little brother elected next president by dropping tons of tax payer dollars in Florida, and certainley it would please poppy and (shudder)bulldog babs, but seriously-we've already had to deal with the incompetant one-must we suffer the eviler one?  BTW props to Kathleen Blanco for hiring James Lee Witt, the lady must mean business-she went for some serious know how.
  •  FEMA stands for (none)
    FEMA stands for

    Failing Every Mission Attempted

    Carolyn Adams-Price

  •  Just Call it the WAR ON RELIEF (nt) (none)
  •  FEMA denies aid to lesbian and gay survivors (none)
    I am told this was reported on CNN, can anyone confirm it? It was said that FEMA was using state marriage amendments to deny aid to lesbian and gay hurricane survivors. As in, sorry you are not a family, so we can't help you find your loved ones.
  •  Will this be refused as well?... (none)
    Subject: Tell Bush & Congress: Accept Cuba's offer to send doctors to the hurricane victims!
    Date: 4 Sep 2005 10:59:53 -0700

    Urgent Alert - Take Action Now!
    Please circulate widely

    Tell Bush & Congress:
    ACCEPT CUBA'S OFFER TO SEND DOCTORS TO THE HURRICANE VICTIMS! has set up an easy-to-use way to send Bush and Congress a message. Use the link below to tell them: "Accept Cuba's offer to send doctors to the hurricane victims!"

    On the evening of September 2, Cuban President Fidel Castro reiterated Cuba's offer (first made on August 30) to send doctors and medical equipment to provide desperately-needed assistance to those who have become the victims of both Hurricane Katrina and of the Bush administration's meager and dilatory response.

    Specifically, Cuba is offering to send 1,100 medical doctors with 26.4 tons of medications and diagnosis kits at no expense to the U.S. (they will even bring their own food and water). There is now a dire need for medical attention in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and in other Southern states. The Cuban doctors, nurses and professional healthcare staff are world renowned for their medical expertise and their ability to provide assistance even in the most difficult conditions, and have traveled throughout the Americas and the world providing care to those in need. The people of Cuba, even with far less resources than the United States, have survived extreme hurricanes and flooding because the government mobilizes to put people first, evacuating hundreds of thousands and providing necessary food, water and medical care immediately.

    These doctors and the medicine and equipment stand ready to fly to Houston and can arrive within hours as soon as they get permission - permission that thus far has not been given by the U.S. government. In their public statements about countries that have offered assistance, the Bush administration has not even acknowledged this offer from Cuba.

    Bush's racist and cavalier conduct towards the dying and suffering in New Orleans has been criminal. For him to withhold this medical support from people in need is cruel and outrageous. He will let even more people die needlessly just to support his right-wing political agenda against Cuba.

    You can send a letter to Congress and Bush today demanding that the U.S. allow the Cuban doctors to enter the country and begin assisting in the relief efforts! has set up an easy-to-use mechanism to facilitate sending a quick email to George W. Bush and the Congressional Representative in your District and Senators in your state with your demand. We have provided a sample letter, but you can customize your message to get your point across. Please take a moment now to send a message to Bush and Congress by clicking here:

    *   *   *   *   *

    CUBAN PRESIDENT FIDEL CASTRO REITERATES MEDICAL CARE OFFER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE in his remarks during the TV round table, September 2, 2005, 6:00 pm:

    "Our country is ready to send, in the small hours of morning, 100 clinicians and specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine, who at dawn tomorrow, Saturday, could be in Houston International Airport, Texas, the closest to the region struck by the tragedy, in order to be transferred by air, sea or river to the isolated shelters, facilities and neighborhoods in the city of New Orleans, where the population and families are that require emergency medical care or first aid.

    "These Cuban personnel would be carrying backpacks with 24 kilograms of medications, known to be essential in such situations to save lives, as well as basic diagnosis kits. They would be prepared to work alone or in groups of two or more, depending on the circumstances, for as long as necessary.

    "Likewise, Cuba is ready to send via Houston, or any other airport of your choosing, 500 additional specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine, with the same equipment, who could be at their destination point at noon or in the afternoon of tomorrow, Saturday, September 3.

    "A third group of 500 specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine could be arriving in the morning of Sunday, September 4. Thus, the 1100 said medical doctors, with the resources described tantamount to 26.4 tons of medications and diagnosis kits, would be caring for the neediest persons in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

    "These medical doctors have the necessary international experience and elementary knowledge of the English language that would allow them to communicate with the

    "We stand ready waiting for the US authorities' response."

    *   *   *   *   *

    SEPTEMBER 7, 2005

    Jobs/Income & Housing
    for All Displaced Families
    Real Relief - Yes! Racism - No!

    Protests in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles & more! For details, click here:

    *   *   *   *   *


    Please circulate widely.
    Ask your friends and family to send a letter too!

  •  How's this for an answer...? (none)

    Does that account for the known facts?

  •  Another case of Fema preventing help (none)

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Tue Sep 06, 2005 at 05:52:38 AM PDT

  •  Why can't FEMA be trying to destroy New Orleans? (none)
    Looking at this list, it would be hard to blame you if you thought FEMA actively wanted rescue and relief operations to fail.

    Of course, that's not the case

    To me, this is like saying:

    2 + 2 equals 5.  Of course.

    I like facts.  I use them to support my worldview.  If certain facts don't jive with my worldview, then I change my worldview accordingly.  Of course, none of us is privy to perfect information, but that does not excuse us from our personal responsibility in attempting to achieve the closest we can possibly get to 'perfect information', and it sure as heck doesn't excuse us from being honest with ourselves and the rest of society when those facts are placed before us.

    In short, if reality suggests that Bushco is letting or causing people to suffer and die, then that is the case - no matter how many times Bushco comes out and states the opposite to the tv cameras.

    If the truth is that Bushco is not helping cleanup after Katrina, then that truth stands - whether it agrees with our worldview or not.  If the truth is that Bushco is preventing the cleanup after Katrina, then that truth also stands.  Even if Buscho were actually trying to help the people devastated by Katrina, then that truth would stand as well - however far-fectched it may seem.  We have a responsibility to the truth.  We cannot just waive it away with an 'of course' whenever it doesn't match our worldview.

    I've seen enough evidence thus far to suggest one of two things - either Bushco is just not helping to clean up after Katrina, or he's actually preventing or slowing down the cleanup process.  I'm keeping my mind open to the possibility that Bushco is just disastrously incompetent, but that would only be true if you had no idea of Bushco's real intentions.  The U.S. government acts in the best interests of the U.S. government.  The U.S. government is made up of human beings - fallible human beings - sometimes, or usually, vile and corrupt, probably evil, human beings.  They are going to act in their own best interests - always - sometimes for short-term gain - sometimes for long-term gain, but always in their own best interests.  As soon as you start believing this, you'll start to be able to comprehend why Bushco is acting the way is has been with Katrina.

    I'm not sure why many people here at dKos say things like, "Of course, that's not the case".  Is it for want of avoiding the 'hate America' label?  For wanting to look like a military tough-guy - a la "I'm no pacifict" Kos?  Or is it truely just too much to imagine that the U.S. government is going to do what is in the best interests of the U.S. government, even if that means doing things that some Americans wouldn't consider to be very honorable?

    We have to realize that the U.S. government is not stricly accountable to the U.S. civilian population.  It does not do the popular will of the people in many/most cases.  If it did, then the 70+% of American who wanted national health care would have it.  But our 'democracy' is hardly representative, so let's start calling things as we see them - whether they're pretty or not - whether they match our idealized version of 'American values' or not.

    I've been making the case for a while now that Rumsfeld has actually been trying to 'lose' Iraq.  This sounds a bit shocking if you hide behind the 'patriotism/nationalism/racism' flag, but once you read the history of U.S. government policy as it actually has been, as opposed to that presented in your high school history textbooks, you start believing the seemingly impossible.  

    Who would have thought, for instance, that the U.S. would have actually been supplying Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons to mass murder portions of his population, or Iran's population?  It sounds absurd when you first hear it - but then you see Rummy shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, and you're just kind of taken aback, and you think, 'this is not what my history textbook said.'  You feel uncomfortable, ill, you look for any reason you can to avoid believing your own eyes - some flip completely and go on to become what is known as a modern-day Republican, but others just avoid thinking about 'uncomfortable facts'.  Every time you're confronted with yet another case of the U.S. government acting in its own interests, you feign shock, look for some flimsy explanation, and move on again - avoiding the truth and reality at all costs.  One day, though, you may decide enough is enough - and you don't want to support U.S. policy anymore if it means harming people, and you don't mind so much being called 'the hate America crowd' for criticizing the immoral policies of the American government - you expect it from the fascist critics, but you decide to fight for freedom and justice - even if, and especially if, it is at odds with the goals, publicaly stated or otherwise, of the U.S. government.

    This Hussein chapter is but one of tens of thousands/millions of U.S. foreign policy decisions over the years - by both Democrats and Republicans alike - that have gone against what many of us like to think of as 'American values'.  The true picture of American values if much different than we've been led to believe.   The more facts you know, the easier it is to uncloud your mind from the nationalistic rhetoric that keeps you from believing what you are seeing with your own eyes.  

    In this particular case, in the aftermath that is Katrina, the U.S. government is actively preventing the cleanup/restoration of the Katrina-devastated region, and with that, contributing to the disease and deaths of thousands of U.S. civilians.  It's right there.  It's happening right in front of your face.  You've seen it with your own eyes.  The political rhetoric from Bushco doesn't match what you're seeing with your own eyes.  Bushco is lying.  The U.S. government is lying to you.  Again.  It's not the first time.  He's not the first President.  He's not the first Republican.  And there've been plenty of Democrats who've lied, too.  

    So, what do you do?  Feign shock, buy the flimsy excuses wholesale, and forget about 'uncomfortable facts' once again?  Or do you decide to make a stand - to believe in yourself - and fight for justice for the oppressed?

    The past indicates that the U.S. government has aerially bombed U.S. civilians, murdered U.S. civilian political leaders, and subjected tens of thousands of U.S. civilians to harmful, even deadly, biotoxins.  Would it be a stretch, after knowing all this, to believe that the U.S. government was once again playing an active role in the killing of its own civilians?  No, of course not.

    Take Rumsfeld in Iraq - by 'losing' Iraq for America, he's really gaining control of it for the Republican elites of America.  Other friends across the pond will benefit as well.  Only with the near-total breakdown of civil society will Republicans bazillionaires be able to gobble up Iraq's national resources - oil, for one - for pennies on the dollar.  So, how do you achieve that if you're Rumsfeld?  You allow the near-total breakdown of civil society.  Let it teeter on the brink for a few years, until you achieve maximum profit potential - then you tell Republican elites that time to purchase is now, and you allow the political situation to turn around.

    Similarly, in New Orleans, businesses will be sold off to the highest Republican bidders.  But for maximum profit potential to occur, we need a near-total breakdown in civil society - just like in Iraq.  When the businesses in the region are near worthless, Republicans will be able to buy them up  - and then the federal response will finally come - after New Orleans has been stripped financially - and with that, stripped of its Democratic stronghold value.

    How many of us know the great efforts of the U.S. government to prolong the so-called cold war?  It's all documented - just read Noam Chomsky's 'Deterring Democracy' for a little taste.  U.S. government documents are quoted at length.  You can find many of these official government documents online yourself, at the National Security Archive.  

    It's time to stop kidding yourself - Read Chomsky.

  •  FEMA and other agencies in action (none)
    Here's my little summary (it is not exclusively about FEMA, but a chunk of it is). Follow the links inside for more detail.

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