NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, September 16, 2005

More leadership needed

Sue Minick, wants answers about the "Debacle after Katrina," September 16, 2005
What is going on? This is America. Tell me why our government and our leader, Bush, did not help the people from the Katrina and flood disaster for days after it happened. These people did not have any food or medical supply for days.
Our government response was bound up in laws designed to protect states rights. The Governor has to ask for federal help, which she did not do until days after New Orleans flooded. That law needs to be changed, if the citizens want instant federal rescue action. Red Cross food and water was waiting with in hours of the hurricane passing. The LA emergency response organizations, unfortunately called LA Homeland Security, would not let the Red Cross and the Salvation Army enter the city and service those in the Superdome.

It is clear that FEMA was slow to respond, too much paper work put in place, layer after layer over the years. Volunteers cannot server until full trained. That means doctors have to have first aid training course. Fire fighters and policemen must have sensitivity training, to insure woman and gays are treated equally. Yes, it sounds stupid when people are dying and need help, but bureaucrats are trained to follow the rules. It is job protection. We see it locally in County and City government.

The President has taken responsibility for the slow FEMA response, now it is time for LA Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin, to step up take responsibility for leaving thousands in the city when bus and plans inplace to remove poor citizens. They need to explain why one third of New Orleans police force abandoned their posts, why a city below sea level allowed hospitals to put emergency generators in the basement, why the police emergency communication center was in the city hall basement? Why were cell tower emergency generators sited below sea level. Why did levee boards spend money on casinos, airports and fiber optics, and not on strengthening the levees. There is a lot of responsibility to go around.

The President described his plan for resuscitation and recovery of New Orleans, and we will a pay the bill for the lack of leadership at all levels of government. We need to take a serious look at local responders to see if we have some foolish rules pushed by well meaning liberals that would delay actions to save lives.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Sherry said...

In that same vein...this rumor needs squelching
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Snopes on the web, "Urban Legends"---says:

Claim: New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco refused President Bush's pleas to declare an emergency in Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina struck.

Status: False.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I think the BOTTOM LINE in the argument regarding Bush's responsibilities falls with WHAT NATIONAL SECURITY (on his or whoever's watch)really means. Obviously, FEMA, restructured UNDER Homeland Security, was a joke. How was Katrina different than any other "attack" and where was the national defense? I doubt a mayor or governor is going to have to BEG, (but then, I could be wrong as I consider jets hitting tall buildings), for help if it's missiles or an attack from other than God being waged---and WITH SO MUCH advance warning---jeez, how often do you get that? And, it's getting a little tiresome--listening to "state's got to take care of itself" argument for WHY Federal wasn't there on a level that FEDERAL was called for. When it's a DISASTER of this magnitude, HOMELAND SECURITY had better be earning it's money. Another thing, debate is boiling over into the supposedly "irresponsible" way the supposed levee money was spent, ie: casinos, fountains, etc. I guess FIRST we'd need the PROOF that the FEDERAL AID FOR LEVEES existed, then the PROOF that it had UNKNOWINGLY (by the banker) been "mis-spent", then WOULDN'T WE HAVE TO ASK, "where are the government watchdogs", (the aren't also in name only, are they?) that we IMAGINE are in place to prevent this kind of graft. If we're going to "start from today and move forward", how are we supposed to PREVENT JUST SUCH SCENARIOS AS KATRINA without acknowleging ALL THAT WENT WRONG? And A LOT THAT WENT WRONG can be heaped at the feet of the corrupt in government---IN ALL OF GOVERNMENT! Yes, leadership is needed---but I don't think we're going to see it anytime soon. Bush "taking responsibility" NOW, is lost on anyone recognizing it's necessity. What ELSE is he going to do with the deck stacked so lop-sidedly against HIM, (his administration)?

Fri Sep 16, 11:17:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Finally, Russ, your commentary makes sense. There is enough responsibility to go around. But notice how nobody you've told this to has said "Bush is the only responsible actor". They merely isolated parts where he screwed up. Here are some Katrina resources I've found:

http://uspolitics.about.com/library/bl_katrina_timeline.htm

From this, we see that on the 27th Bianco asks Bush to declare an emergency and Bush does so.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/non_aviation/read.main/929825/

And this one:

http://thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline/

It shows Bush handling Medicare hours after the levee has breached, the U.S.S. Bataan doing nothing on the 30th, and Bush coordinating a task force TWO DAYS after the levee has burst. Worst, when Bush did visit on the 2nd of September, he took vitally needed resources for photo opportunities, and the blame game to attack local officials began... in the midst of the hurricane on the 2nd. In other words, Russ, Bush did everything you despise: nothing, pass the buck, the blame game...

Fri Sep 16, 11:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Russ Steele said...

Sherry:

I did not say they refused the help, they failed to ask for it. When asked on CNN when she asked for federal help, Bog Blanco, could not remember. She was overheard off camara, telling her PR person, maybe we should ask?

The law is specific, States must ask for Federal assistance. Period!

Fri Sep 16, 07:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

And if a major humanitarian catastrophe is occuring, shouldn't the federal government err on the side of responsibility? But in fact, they DID ask for help, repeatedly Russ, as a momentary glance at the timelines would show you, even the neutral About.com one.

Sat Sep 17, 09:06:00 AM PDT  

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