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Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories

by : Mainstream Media Compilation
Monday September 5, 2005 - 07:39
19 comments
JPEG - 40 kb

Beyond Incompetence

Reading the news after the Katrina Hurricane
and the lack-of-response disaster,
a pattern began to emerge.

links to full articles all located on this page, with links to the source for two reasons:
1. easy to email
2. archived because some sources delete articles


Airboaters stalled by FEMA
500 Florida airboat pilots have volunteered to rescue Hurricane Katrina victims, transport relief workers and ferry supplies. But they aren’t being allowed in. And they’re growing frustrated.

A "floatilla of aid" TURNED BACK from New Orleans
A group of approximately 1,000 citizens pulling 500 boats left the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette this morning (Weds.) and headed to New Orleans with a police escort from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department. The "flotillia" of trucks pulling boats stretched over five miles. This citizen rescue group was organized by La. State Senator, Gautreaux from Vermilion Parish. The group was comprised of experienced boaters, licensed fishermen and hunters, people who have spent their entire adult life and teenage years on the waterways of Louisiana.

Fearing riots, Guard rejects food airdrops
Authorities are avoiding airdropping provisions into New Orleans - the traditional way of supplying disaster victims - out of fear of sparking riots, a state official said.

Homeland Security won’t let Red Cross deliver food
"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans," said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

US won’t let Canada help Katrina victims
Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina.

On BBC: Northern Command was in position, waiting for Presidential orders
We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can’t just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.

Confirmation of BBC report: Navy Ship still unused 6 Days after Katrina!
But today the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven’t been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.

Daley ’shocked’ as feds reject aid
A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.

Virgina Team turned away- others efforts wasted
Twenty-two Loudoun County sheriff’s deputies and six medical personnel who left Thursday for the New Orleans area returned home early yesterday because of poor communication between officials in Louisiana and Virginia that left the team without required approvals.

FEMA prevents water, fuel delivery- cuts communication lines!
On Meet the Press, the president of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, Aaron Broussard, said that FEMA turned away aid and cut their communication lines!

Paperwork from DC late to arrive- prevents National Guard from helping
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state’s National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn’t come from Washington until late Thursday.

Guardsmen ’played cards’ amid New Orleans chaos: police official
A top New Orleans police officer said that National Guard troops sat around playing cards while people died in the stricken city after Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA Chief Brown caught in a LIE.
In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day." Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Who’s Responsible?
Bush reorganized the government specifically to give the Feds more power in an emergency.

Bush’s Criminal Ignorance: "I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the breach of the levees."



Airboaters stalled by FEMA

The pilots stand ready to go help hurricane victims but have not been allowed to do so.

Nancy Imperiale | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted September 2, 2005

As a flooded New Orleans sinks further into despair, up to 500 Florida airboat pilots have volunteered to rescue Hurricane Katrina victims, transport relief workers and ferry supplies.

But they aren’t being allowed in. And they’re growing frustrated.

"We cannot get deployed to save our behinds," said Robert Dummett, state coordinator of the Florida Airboat Association. He said the pilots, who range from commercial airboat operators to weekend pleasure boaters, "are physically sick, watching the New Orleans coverage and knowing that the resources to help these poor people is sitting right in our driveways."

On standby since Monday, the pilots — many from Central Florida
— have spent thousands of their own dollars stocking their boats and swamp buggies with food, water, medical supplies and fuel.

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency will not authorize the airboaters to enter New Orleans. Without that permission, they would be subject to arrest and would not receive security and support services.

The airboat association has complained to several congressmen who have contacted the federal agency on their behalf.

"To me, 500 airboats seems a perfect solution to the chaos and difficulty getting people out of their flooded homes," said U.S. Rep Mark Foley, R-Palm Beach Gardens. "I’d love them to be able to go in and help, and that’s what I’ve conveyed to FEMA."

A FEMA representative said citizen volunteers are not being allowed into New Orleans for one big reason: It’s just not safe.

"I think it’s understandable, particularly given the TV footage that the entire world is seeing, for folks who have a big heart to feel a little bit frustrated and want to help," said Frances Marine, Orlando’s FEMA public-affairs director. "However, it’s so important to be coordinated. Those areas are dangerous right now. There are health hazards and limited ways of getting in and out. . . . Right now, private citizens trying to go into those impacted areas are more hindrance than help."

That explanation doesn’t sit well with one victim of Hurricane Andrew, who e-mailed the airboat association, demanding to know why they weren’t in New Orleans.

"I lost my house with Andrew," said Merle Arostegui, 59, of Perrine. "I was one of those people sitting on what was left of my doorstep. Let me tell you: I could be [a victim] in New Orleans right now, and I am so frustrated.’’

Meanwhile, airboat operators watch and wait.

"It’s probably a 50-50 chance right now that we’ll go," said James E. Brown, a 54-year-old Longwood man who heads a convoy of 14 local airboat pilots. "We’re willing to go, we’re able to go, but it’s all up to FEMA."

However, chaos in the Big Easy is making boaters’ family members nervous.

"The more that is shown on TV of the shootings and looting," Brown said, "the more loved ones are telling us: ’Don’t go. You’re not going.’ "

Nancy Imperiale can be reached at nimperiale@orlandosentinel.com or 407-650-6323.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com...



A "floatilla of aid" TURNED BACK from New Orleans... Explain!

My name is Jason Robideaux, I am an attorney from Lafayette Louisiana and have dealt with all of the various law enforcement agencies in Louisiana during the past 18 years. Although I have had a positive relationship with law enforcement personnel throughout the State for many years, I regretfully have a story to share that will shake your head in disbelief about the La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

A group of approximately 1,000 citizens pulling 500 boats left the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette this morning (Weds.) and headed to New Orleans with a police escort from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department. The "flotillia" of trucks pulling boats stretched over five miles. This citizen rescue group was organized by La. State Senator, Gautreaux from Vermilion Parish. The group was comprised of experienced boaters, licensed fishermen and hunters, people who have spent their entire adult life and teenage years on the waterways of Louisiana.

The State Police waved the flotillia of trucks/boats through the barricades in LaPlace and we sped into New Orleans via I-10 until past the airport and near the Clearview exit. At that time we were stopped by agents of the La. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries. A young DWF agent strolled through the boats and told approximately half of the citizens that their boats were "too large" because the water had "dropped during the night" and that they should turn around and go home.

We were pulling a large (24ft) shallow draft aluminum boat that can safely carry 12 passengers and had ramp access which would allow the elderly and infirm to have easier access to the boat. We politely informed the DWF agent that the local and national media had consistently reported that the water level had "risen" during the night which contradicted his statement to us that the water "was dropping" and no boat over 16ft. in length would be allowed to participate in rescue operations.

We then specifically asked the DWF agent that we (and other citizens in the flotillia) be allowed to go to the hospitals and help evacuate the sick and the doctors and nurses stranded there. We offered to bring these people back to Lafayette, in our own vehicles, in order to ensure that they received proper and prompt medical care.

The DWF agent did not want to hear this and ordered us home. We complied with the DWF agent’s orders, turned around and headed back to Lafayette along with half of the flotillia. However, two of my friends were pulling my other boat, a smaller 15ft alumaweld with a 25 hp. The DWF agents let them through to proceed to the rescue operation launch site.

My two friends were allowed to drive to the launch site where the La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries were launching their rescue operations (via boat). They reported to me that there were over 200 DWF agents just standing around and doing nothing. My friends were kept there for approximately 3 hours. During that time they observed a large number of DWF agents doing nothing. After three hours had passed they were told that they were not needed and should go home. They complied with the DWF’s orders and turned around and went home to Lafayette.

Watching CNN tonight, there was a telephone interview with a Nurse trapped in Charity Hospital in New Orleans. She said that there were over 1,000 people trapped inside of the hospital and that the doctors and nurses had zero medical supplies, no diesel to run the generators and that only three people had been rescued from the hospital since the Hurricane hit!

I can’t come up with one logical reason why the DWF sent this large group of 500 boats/1000 men home when we surely could have rescued most, if not all, of the people trapped in Charity Hospital. Further, we had the means to immediately transport these people to hospitals in Southwest Louisiana.

On Tuesday afternoon, August 30, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee asked for all citizens with boats to come to the aid of Jefferson Parish. A short time later Dwight Landreneau, the head of the La. Depart. of Wildlife and Fisheries, got on television and remarked that his agency had things under control and citizen help was not needed. Apparently, Sheriff Lee did not agree with that assessment and had one of his deputies provide the Lafayette flotillia with an escort into Jefferson Parish.

Sheriff Lee and Senator Gautreaux - 1000 of Louisiana’s citizens responded to your pleas for help. We were prevented from helping by Dwight Landreneau’s agency, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. When I learned that Charity Hospital has not been evacuated and that no one has been there to attempt a rescue, I became angry.

The "turf-marking" by some minor state agency should never take priority over the lives of citizens!

Signed,

Bewildered and Frustrated,

Jason Robideaux
Attorney At Law

1005 Lafayette Street
Lafayette, La. 70501
(337) 291-9444 office

http://www.thedeadpelican.com/lawyer.htm

there seems to be a theme.... govt refusing aid and people dying


http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=8036


Fearing riots, Guard rejects food airdrops

Officials exploring other options for delivering supplies

By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, September 3, 2005


ARLINGTON, Va. - Authorities are avoiding airdropping provisions into New Orleans - the traditional way of supplying disaster victims - out of fear of sparking riots, a state official said.

While the military has used helicopters to drop provisions to some stranded in New Orleans, authorities have not launched the massive supply airdrops seen in Afghanistan at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Several C-130 Hercules aircraft are stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, but authorities have not ordered them to drop supplies to flood victims, Arkansas Air National Guard officials said.

Airdropping supplies could actually worsen the situation, said Army National Guard Lt. Kevin Cowan, with the state Office of Emergency Preparedness.

“Just like Afghanistan, you drop food, it creates chaos,” Cowan said.

He said authorities are looking for a more controlled way to get badly need food and other supplies to people in the hurricane-ravaged region who need it.

“We’re trying to logistically to plan how to get food the best way,” Cowan said. “But as of right now, airdrops are not part of the plan.”

He said dropping supplies from the air is an option that is still available, but “I don’t think that is high on the priority list.”

Officials at U.S. Northern Command and Task Force Katrina could not be reached in time for publication Friday.

Little Rock Air Force Base is home to about 80 C-130s, but many cannot be flown because of wing cracks, wrote a spokesman for the 314th Air Wing in an e-mail.

On Friday, four C-130s from Little Rock Air Force Base were expected to bring water and MREs to the flood region and to evacuate refugees, wrote Air National Guard Capt. David Faggard.

The Arkansas National Guard is using 10 C-130s and 15 helicopters to bring troops and supplies to the flood region, said a National Guard spokeswoman.

Should authorities order an airdrop, “we are certainly ready if that’s what they need us for,” said Air National Guard Capt. Kristine Munn.

From October to December 2001, the Air Force dropped 2.5 million individual rations in Afghanistan using C-17 Globemaster aircraft based in Ramstein, Germany.

www.stripes.com...
http://tinyurl.com/beux3


Homeland Security won’t let Red Cross deliver food

Saturday, September 03, 2005

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center yesterday, American Red Cross officials said that federal emergency management authorities would not allow them to do the same.

Other relief agencies say the area is so damaged and dangerous that they doubted they could conduct mass feeding there now.

"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans," said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

"Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders."

Calls to the Department of Homeland Security and its subagency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, were not returned yesterday.

Though frustrated, Hosler understood the reasons. The goal is to move people out of an uninhabitable city, and relief operations might keep them there. Security is so bad that she fears feeding stations might get ransacked.

"It’s not about fault and blame right now. The situation is like an hourglass, and we are in the smallest part right now. Everything is trying to get through it," she said. "They’re trying to help people get out."

Obstacles in downtown New Orleans have stymied rescuers who got there. The Salvation Army has two of its officers trapped with more than 200 people — three requiring dialysis — in its own downtown building. They were alerted by a 30-second plea for food and water before the phone went dead.

On Wednesday, The Salvation Army rented three boats for a rescue operation. They knew the situation was desperate, and that their own people were inside, said Maj. Donna Hood, associate director of development for the Army.

"The boats couldn’t get through," she said. Although she doesn’t know the details, she believes huge debris and electrical wires made passage impossible.

"We have 51 emergency canteens on the ground in the other affected areas. But where the need is greatest, in downtown New Orleans, there just is no access. That is the problem every relief group is facing," she said.

"America is obviously going to have to rethink disaster relief," said Jim Burton, director of volunteer mobilization for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Southern Baptists, who work under the Red Cross logo, are one of the largest, best-equipped providers of volunteer disaster relief in the United States. Most hot meals for disaster victims are cooked by Southern Baptist mobile kitchen units. Burton is a veteran of many hurricanes.

"Right now everybody is looking at FEMA and pointing fingers. Frankly, I have to tell you, I’m sympathetic. When in your lifetime have we experienced this? Even though we all do disaster scenario planning, we have to accept the reality that this is an extraordinary event. This is America’s tsunami, that struck and ravaged America’s most disaster-vulnerable city," he said.

Because New Orleans remains under water, it is different from other cities where Katrina struck harder, but where relief efforts are proceeding normally. Agencies place workers and supplies outside disaster areas before storms, to move in quickly. But there are always delays, Burton said, because nothing is deployed until experts survey the damage and decide where to most effectively put relief services.

The Southern Baptists operate more than 30 mobile kitchens that can each produce 5,000 to 25,000 meals daily, as well as mobile showers and communications trucks equipped with ham radios and cell phones. They are supporting refugee centers in Texas and Tennessee, and doing relief in Mississippi and Alabama. They have placed mobile kitchens around New Orleans to feed people as they come out.

Initially they tried to drive a tractor-trailer kitchen into New Orleans from Tennessee. It was stopped by the Mississippi Highway Patrol because the causeway it would have to cross had been destroyed, Burton said.

His agency has planned for missing bridges. The Southern Baptists’ worst-case planning is for reaching Memphis after an earthquake on the New Madrid fault, which in 1812 whiplashed at a stone-crushing 8.1 on the Richter scale. Burton envisions the Mississippi without bridges.

So when state and local Southern Baptists raise money to build a mobile kitchen, he tells them to design it to be hoisted in by helicopter.

After Katrina, he thought he would have to airlift a feeding unit to one isolated town, but a road was cleared, he said. He doubts that dropping a kitchen into the New Orleans’ poisoned waters, filled with raw sewage, dead bodies and possible industrial contaminants, would do any good. It made sense to prepare meals outside the area and truck them in or bring people out.

"The most important thing is to get the people out of that environment," he said.

He expects unusual problems to continue, because victims of Katrina flooding will need emergency food for far longer than the usual week or so. He’s planning on at least two months.

Like the military, relief work requires a supply chain. Because business management favors just-in-time inventory, rather than stockpiling goods in warehouses, there isn’t a huge stock of food to draw on, he said.

"When you go into a local area, it doesn’t take long to wipe out the local food inventories," he said.

The Red Cross serves pre-packaged food, including self-heating "HeaterMeals" and snacks, that require no preparation. Yesterday the Red Cross was running evacuation shelters in 16 states, and on Thursday, the last day for which totals were available, served 170,000 meals and snacks in 24 hours.

While emergency shelters typically empty out days after a hurricane or other natural disaster, in Katrina’s case they are becoming more crowded, Hosler said. People who had evacuated to the homes of relatives or hotels are moving in because they’re out of money or want to be closer to what is left of their homes.

(Ann Rodgers can be reached at arodgers@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1416.)

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05246/565143.stm


US won’t let Canada help Katrina victims

Wed Aug 31st, 2005 at 20:58:29 PDT

"Things that make you want to scream" for $500, Alex...

Okay, first this article:

A specialized urban search and rescue team from Vancouver will be joining the rescue efforts in Louisiana in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

B.C. Solicitor General John Les said the province decided to send Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) after officials in Louisiana asked for help.

"We’re the first non-U.S.-based team to be requested," said Les. "They’re going to be helping as many people as they can."

CTV Vancouver has learned that the team will board a plane Wednesday night heading to Lafayette, Louisiana, where local authorities will direct them to devastated areas.

Sounds great! Except for one problem — this team wasn’t allowed to fly into the US, blocked by Homeland Security from entering. A Canadian reader sends this report:

On tonight’s news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.

Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.

Once the hard-hit region is back on its feet, there better be a full accounting of the preparation and response to this catastrophe.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/8/31/235829/261


On BBC: Northern Command was in position, waiting for Presidential orders

This was on the episode of BBC World News which played on a local (Philadelphia area) PBS station at 6:00 am this morning. I can’t find a stream or transcript online. It’s sitting on my TIVO right now marked do not delete but I have no way to put it onto my hard drive and no place to serve it from anyway. If you do have a recording of it, it starts about 9 minutes in. I’ve done a hand written transcript, the spelling and punctuation are mine. The bolding is also mine to emphasize what I think is the important part. The BBC announcer was interviewing Lieutenant Commander Sean Kelly whom she referred to as Leftenant Commander. This is the entire interview with no missing context.

Announcer: The relief operation is the largest ever conducted in America. It’s being coordinated by the US Northern Command in Colorado. Leftenant Commander Sean Kelly explains how the relief effort is being organized.

Kelly: US Northern Command is the command that coordinates the military support for our federal and state agencies. They call up and request a capability and we try and provide that capability, whether it’s medical resources, search and rescue helicopters, food, water, transportation, communications; that’s what we provide.

A: So it sounds like you’re providing a bit of everything. I mean, do you know how much you’re actually providing?

K: Right now we’ve got 4,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine and coast guardsmen supporting this. They’ve delivered more than 9 million meals, I can’t remember how many millions of liters of water.

A: 9 million meals? Do you actually have 9 million meals?

K: It’s those "meals ready to eat". The packaged meals that the Army takes out with them out in the field. We have 9 million of ’em ready. I know at least 100,000 went to the Superdome the other night to help the people out there in New Orleans. So they’re staged at various places throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

A: Now I’m sure you’re aware of the criticism that the authorities have been slow to respond to this. When did you get the order to start relief work?

K: NorthCom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready for the storm when it hit Florida because, as you remember, it crossed the bottom part of Florida, and then we were plaining, you know, once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast. So what we did was we activated what we call defense coordinating officers to work with the state to say okay, what do you think you’ll need, and we set up staging bases that could be started. We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it’s search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can’t just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.

A: Now I gather that your engineers are also involved in pumping some of that flood water out of the areas.

K: Yes, our military personnel are helping to reconstruct the levees which frees up the engineers to start pumping out the waters so that hopefully New Orleans can be high and dry soon enough.

So apparently everything was in position, waiting for Bush to do something.

http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=8043



Confirmation of BBC report:

Navy Ship still unused 6 Days after Katrina!

Crew of Navy ship ready to play larger role in relief effort

BY STEPHEN J. HEDGES

Chicago Tribune

ON BOARD THE USS BATAAN - (KRT) - While federal and state emergency planners scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore, underutilized and waiting for a larger role in the effort.

The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch U.S. Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It can also make its own water - up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore.

The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents.

But today the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven’t been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.

"Could we do more?" said Capt. Nora Tyson, commander of the Bataan. "Sure. I’ve got sailors who could be on the beach plucking through garbage or distributing water and food and stuff. But I can’t force myself on people.

"We’re doing everything we can to contribute right now, and we’re ready. If someone says you need to take on people, we’re ready. If they say hospitals on the beach can’t handle it ... if they need to send the overflow out here, we’re ready. We’ve got lots of room."

Navy helicopters from the Bataan and Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida have joined the growing aerial armada of choppers that are lifting hurricane survivors from flooded surroundings and delivering food and water.

More will arrive throughout the weekend when the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and four other Navy ships, including three amphibious assault ships - really mini-aircraft carriers with flat decks for helicopter use - arrive in the Gulf from Norfolk, Va. The USS Comfort, a hospital ship dispatched from Baltimore, is also steaming toward the Gulf coast.

The Bataan, though, was already in the gulf when Katrina crossed Florida and picked up new, devastating energy from the warm gulf waters. The ship, sailing near the Texas coastline, had just finished an exercise in Panama, and was scheduled to arrive back at its Norfolk, Va., home port Friday after six weeks at sea.

Instead, the ship elected to ride out the hurricane in the 12 to 14 foot seas and then fall in behind the storm as it neared the gulf coast. A day after Katrina struck, Navy helicopters arrived from Corpus Christi, Texas, and began survey flights over New Orleans.

The initial belief, Tyson said, was that the city had been spared.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,’ and everything eased up," Tyson aid. "It was `Let’s open up Bourbon Street, have a beer, let’s go party, and understandably so. And then all of a sudden, literally and figuratively, the dam broke, and here we are."

When the city’s levies broke Tuesday, Tyson’s pilots were rescuing stranded residents. Communications became muddled as the rescue and humanitarian supply efforts were literally bogged down by the rising water and sketchy information. Tyson, who would get debriefings from returning pilots, had perhaps one of the best vantage points to see what was unfolding.

"It was like a bad dream that you knew you had to wake up from," she said.

A 135-foot landing craft stored within the Bataan, the LCU-1656, was dispatched to steam up the 90-miles of Mississippi River to New Orleans. It took on a crew of 16, including a doctor, and its deck was stacked with food and water. The ship itself carries enough food and fuel to remain self-sufficient for 10 days.

Moving up through the flotsam of the storm, the crew couldn’t believe the scene on shore.

"We saw a lot of dead animals, dead horses, floating cows, dead alligators," said Rodney Blackshear, LCU-1656’s navigator. "And a lot of dogs that had been pets. But no people."

Near Boothville, La., the storm surge had lifted a construction crane and put it on top of a house. Near Venice, the crew members considered going ashore to examine the damage but mad dogs drove them back.

"I didn’t want any of my guys in there," said Bill Fish, who commands seven of the LCUs based in Norfolk, Va., and who went on the river trip.

"Everything was decimated. It was the storm surge."

Then the Bataan was ordered to move to the waters off Biloxi, Miss., and LCU-1656 was ordered to return. The landing craft was still 40 miles from New Orleans, but it wouldn’t be able to deliver its cargo.

"It was a disappointment," Fish said. "I figured we’d be a big help in New Orleans. We’ve got electricity, and the police could have charged up their radios. We’ve got water, toilets. We’ve got food."

Now sailing within 25 miles of Gulfport, Miss., the Bataan is quickly become a floating warehouse. Supplies from Texas and Florida are ferried out to the ship, and the helicopters distribute them where Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel say they are needed.

The Bataan has also taken on a substantial medical staff. At noon on Friday hulking gray Navy Sea King helicopters ferried 84 doctors, nurses and technicians 60 miles out to the ship from the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

The medical staff had come from Jacksonville, Fla., Naval Hospital, and they covered a wide swath of medical specialties, from surgeons and pediatricians to heart specialists, a psychiatrist and even a physical therapist.

"It’s really a cross section of a major hospital," said Capt. Kevin

Gallagher, a Navy nurse who was part of the group. "We haven’t been told what to expect, but we’re going to find out once we get out there."

Friday evening the Bataan was to edging closer to the Mississippi shoreline; until then, it had stayed well out into the gulf to avoid floating debris.

Closer to shore, it will be able to deploy the landing craft again, as well as Marine hovercraft that can ride up onto shore to deliver supplies.

LCU-1656 cruised 98 miles overnight Thursday with a failed electrical generator and broken starboard propeller to join up again with the Bataan, their mother ship. Repairs were under way Friday and the crew was preparing to set out for the shoreline near Gulfport, Miss., Saturday with a 15,000 water tank lashed to vessel’s deck, as well as pallets of bottled water.

Fish said most of his crew hasn’t slept since Wednesday, but the crew was preparing to go out again as soon as it received orders.

By Friday evening the sizeable medical staff on board the Bataan also hadn’t been given its mission. The staff’s role in the relief effort was not up to the Navy, but to FEMA officials direction the overall effort.

That agency has been criticized sharply for failing to respond quickly enough.

Tyson said the hurricane was an unusual event, one that has left some painful lessons to ponder.

"Can you do things better? Always," Tyson said. "Unfortunately, some of the lessons we’ve learned during this catastrophe we’re learning the hard way. But I think we’re working together well to make things happen."

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/nation/12554907.htm



Daley ’shocked’ as feds reject aid

September 3, 2005

BY STEPHANIE ZIMMERMANN AND SCOTT FORNEK Staff Reporters

A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.

That truck, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested to support an Illinois-based medical team, was en route Friday.

"We are ready to provide more help than they have requested. We are just waiting for their call," said Daley, adding that he was "shocked" that no one seemed to want the help.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he would call for congressional hearings into the federal government’s preparations and response.

"The response was achingly slow, and that, I think, is a view shared by Democrats, Republicans, wealthy and poor, black and white," the freshman senator said. "I have not met anybody who has watched this crisis evolve over the last several days who is not just furious at how poorly prepared we appeared to be."

Response ’baffling’

The South Side Democrat called FEMA’s slow response "baffling."

"I don’t understand how you could have a situation where you’ve got several days’ notice of an enormous hurricane building in the Gulf Coast, you know that New Orleans is 6 feet below sea level. ... The notion that you don’t have good plans in place just does not make sense," Obama said.

Obama said he expects his counterparts in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama will call for congressional hearings, but he is ready if they do not. "It’s heartbreaking and infuriating and, I think, is embarrassing to the American people.’’

Daley said the city offered 36 members of the firefighters’ technical rescue teams, eight emergency medical technicians, search-and-rescue equipment, more than 100 police officers as well as police vehicles and two boats, 29 clinical and 117 non-clinical health workers, a mobile clinic and eight trained personnel, 140 Streets and Sanitation workers and 29 trucks, plus other supplies. City personnel are willing to operate self-sufficiently and would not depend on local authorities for food, water, shelter and other supplies, he said.

Flanked at a Friday press conference by a who’s who from city government, religious organizations and business, the mayor also announced formation of the Chicago Helps Fund for storm victims.

"I’m calling upon every resident of Chicago to donate what they can afford, whether it’s 50 cents or 50 dollars," the mayor said.

People can make tax-deductible cash or check donations at any of Bank One’s 330 Chicago area branches or by check at Chicago Helps, c/o Bank One, 38891 Eagle Way, Chicago 60678-1388. A phone line to take credit card donations will be set up.

Churches were urged to take up collections this Sunday, and firefighters are planning to collect at major intersections this weekend.

In addition, donations will be taken at this weekend’s Jazz Fest in Grant Park, and $2 of every ticket purchased through Ticketmaster for the Chicago Classic football game at Soldier Field today will go to hurricane relief. The Shedd Aquarium announced it will donate $1 from every ticket sold this holiday weekend to relief efforts and has set up "donation stations" at the aquarium.

Homeless shelters enlisted

By midday Friday, Inner Voice, a private agency that runs 27 homeless shelters for the city, had rounded up space in unused facilities for about 2,000 storm refugees, should they need it, said president Brady Harden.

Ed Shurna, executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, suggested the city tap recently vacated units at Cabrini-Green and Lathrop Homes that were slated for demolition but still have heat and electricity available.

Daley reiterated that students from stricken areas are welcome to enroll in the Chicago Public Schools and in the City Colleges. Cardinal Francis George on Friday asked that Catholic schools in the archdiocese waive tuition for displaced children.

More than 400 students have applied to Loyola University Chicago, most coming from its sister Jesuit school, Loyola University New Orleans. Half had been admitted as of late afternoon Friday. Spokeswoman Maeve Kiley said the school "will honor their tuition that they already paid.’’

University of Illinois campuses in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago have admitted more than 100 students, including two foreign students who had Fulbright scholarships to attend Tulane.

Northeastern said it would waive tuition and fees for Illinois residents who already paid another school, and would grant in-state tuition to out-of-state students. Northwestern plans to let students pay what they would have at their original school and forward the money to that school.

Contributing: Andrew Herrmann, Dave Newbart

http://www.suntimes.com/output/hurricane/cst-nws-daley03.html


Bad Communication Hinders Area’s Aid Efforts

By Michael Laris and Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 3, 2005; Page A23

Officials and groups from the Washington area warned yesterday that some of their attempts to help Hurricane Katrina’s victims are being slowed or stymied by breakdowns in communication and disorganization among local, state and federal agencies.

The shortfalls have come in the crucial early days of the response to the catastrophe along the Gulf Coast. Among the difficulties:

· Twenty-two Loudoun County sheriff’s deputies and six medical personnel who left Thursday for the New Orleans area returned home early yesterday because of poor communication between officials in Louisiana and Virginia that left the team without required approvals. The Loudoun deputies have shelved their mission until the bureaucratic wrangling has been resolved.

"I’m saddened to see that even after 9/11, the system doesn’t work any better than this," Loudoun Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson said. "The impression we’re left with is that nobody knows what they’re doing down there."

· A group of doctors in Prince William County with experience in violence-racked international missions said they told Federal Emergency Management Agency officials Wednesday morning that they were eager to send a team to hard-hit areas. FEMA passed them to the Red Cross, which said it referred them back to federal health officials. The group and its emergency medical trailer remain in Manassas.

· A Fairfax County search and rescue squad has spent much of the week assigned to an area of Mississippi that was not among the regions most devastated by Katrina. As of Thursday evening, they had found no victims.

Simpson said he turned the Loudoun team back because county officials said they could not insure the team without an official invitation and worried that they would not be reimbursed for their efforts. He said he considered sending the group anyway but was told by a Louisiana state trooper to call off his deputies or risk being turned back at the state line.

The apparent inability to efficiently match far-reaching needs with offers of support has upset those most affected by the flooding and unrest.

"There’s been a big foul-up," said Jefferson Parish, La., Sheriff Harry Lee, whose office had urgently requested the help from Loudoun. "It’s the same problem we’ve had since Day One: There’s been an unbelievable lack of coordination, . . . it’s probably due to the almost nonexistent communication."

Although the deployment from Loudoun remains uncertain, Lee said he has been able to work with Louisiana officials to get help from other sheriff’s departments.

Representatives from some Washington area organizations said the bureaucratic confusion is endangering lives.

"There’s a breakdown," said Harold Schaitberger, a former Fairfax County firefighter who was driving yesterday through flood-ravaged areas of Louisiana on a mission for the District-based International Association of Firefighters, for which he is president. "We’ve got firefighters still trapped in New Orleans."

Even though federal officials have established some communication links in the area, firefighters have been left isolated in many cases. "Those communications are not reaching the actual local responders," Schaitberger said.

Others emphasized that some of the problems can be blamed on the sheer scope of the disaster.

"Obviously, there’s a lot of confusion and stuff going on, and we just want to help if we’re going to be of some service," said Gilbert Irwin, founder of Manassas-based Medical Missionaries. "We’re not trying to create any clouds here."

But Irwin said he is eager to take his team to the disaster area and use the experience he’s had in such dangerous areas as Haiti. "What you are seeing down there in New Orleans is what you see on a daily basis in Haiti," he said.

There was confusion yesterday over which federal and Red Cross officials Irwin needed to get approvals from, so he waited.

"I’m pulling a big, heavy trailer, and I’ve got lots of people and whatnot," Irwin said. "We’ll go if the authoritiessay,’Wereallyneed you and we’dlike tohave you here.’ You don’t want to compound the situation."

A spokesman for the Fairfax search and rescue squad, Mark Stone, said team members were not frustrated by their deployment in Mississippi, although the damage "was not as significant as some had thought."

"I think we feel just as much as a team player as anybody getting in those areas, so we can at least say it’s been done," Stone said.

In the case of the Loudoun group, Simpson said he received a request for help from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday night and quickly lined up a crew.

But what followed Thursday, he said, was a maddening whirlwind of phone calls, with one federal department passing him off to another, all in an attempt to get the contingent’s mission authorized.

Simpson said he was routed through military units and a FEMA representative in Denton, Tex., who told him he needed to talk to FEMA in Baton Rouge, La. — but could not provide contact information.

"I felt like I talked to everybody but NASA," he said.

By 9 p.m., with his team still in Leesburg, Simpson said, he still did not have an answer. But the desperate scenes on television — and emotional pleas from his Jefferson Parish sheriff’s contacts — persuaded him to send his team south. He instructed them to go no farther than the Virginia state line, figuring, "Geez, in six hours, we’ve got to have gotten through all this red tape," he said.

Not so. Ultimately, the warning from Louisiana authorities made him bring the group home.

"I said, ’I’m kind of confused. We just saw your governor on TV putting out this request for help, asking anybody and everybody to come down, and now you’re telling me not to come down,’ " Simpson said.

He ordered his deputies, who had reached Harrisonburg, to turn around — but not to unpack.

The Loudoun saga took many bureaucratic twists and turns yesterday. At one point, it looked as though the group was headed to Mississippi, but the team remained grounded.

Last night, after relating the tale in an appearance on CNN, Simpson said his phone was ringing nonstop with calls from federal officials saying they would somehow get his team to Louisiana. Simpson said he is hopeful the journey will restart in the coming days.

washingtonpost.com
http://tinyurl.com/993do


FEMA prevents water, fuel delivery- cuts communication lines!

“One of the Worst Abandonments of Americans on American Soil Ever”

The president of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, Aaron Broussard, just issued an emotional appeal on NBC’s Meet the Press. By the end, he was completely broken down, sobbing uncontrollably:

RUSSERT: You just heard the director of homeland security’s explanation of what has happened this last week. What is your reaction?

BROUSSARD: We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast. But the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. ... Whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chainsawed off and we’ve got to start with some new leadership. It’s not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now.

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:

Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. 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 and said no one is getting near these lines
...

Finally, Broussard told the tragic personal story of a colleague, and broke down:

I want to give you one last story and I’ll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I’m in, Emergency Management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” and he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you.” Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday... and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody’s coming to get us. Nobody’s coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody’s promised. They’ve had press conferences. I’m sick of the press conferences. For god’s sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.


http://thinkprogress.org/2005/09/04/worst-abandonments/

This is a must watch video- Broussard on MtP:
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/04.html#a4783



Paperwork from DC late to arrive- prevents National Guard from helping

Congress Likely to Probe Guard Response

WASHINGTON - Another 10,000 National Guard troops are being sent to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, raising their number to about 40,000, but questions linger about the speed with which troops were deployed.

Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in New Orleans didn’t get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck - a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state’s National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn’t come from Washington until late Thursday.

California troops just began arriving in Louisiana on Friday, three days after flood waters devastated New Orleans and chaos broke out.

In fact, when New Orleans’ levees gave way to deadly flooding on Tuesday, Louisiana’s National Guard had received help from troops in only three other states: Ohio, which had nine people in Louisiana then; Oklahoma, 89; and Texas, 625, figures provided by the National Guard show.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Cutler, who leads the Michigan National Guard, said he anticipated a call for police units and started preparing them, but couldn’t go until states in the hurricane zone asked them to come.

"We could have had people on the road Tuesday," Cutler said. "We have to wait and respond to their need."

The Michigan National Guard was asked for military police by Mississippi late Tuesday and by Louisiana officials late Wednesday. The state sent 182 MPs to Mississippi on Friday and had 242 headed to Louisiana on Saturday.

Typically, the authority to use the National Guard in a state role lies with the governor, who tells his or her adjutant general to order individual Guard units to begin duty. Turnaround time varies depending on the number of troops involved, their location and their assigned missions.

One factor that may have further complicated post-Katrina deployment arose when Louisiana discovered it needed Guardsmen to do more law enforcement duty because a large portion of the New Orleans police force was not functioning, according to Lt. Gen. Steven H. Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau at the
Pentagon.

Because the agreement that was already in existence for states to contribute Guard troops to Louisiana did not include a provision on their use in law enforcement, Blum said, Gov. Blanco had to get separate written agreements authorizing Guardsmen to do police-type duty.

Still, Blum said, this took only minutes to execute.

With many states’ Guard units depleted by deployments to
Iraq, Katrina’s aftermath was almost certain from the beginning to require help from faraway states.

Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress are just beginning to ask why one of the National Guard’s most trusted roles - disaster relief - was so uneven, delayed and chaotic this time around.

Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record), R-Neb., said the situation has shown major breakdowns in the nation’s emergency response capabilities. "There must be some accountability in this process after the crisis is addressed," he said.

Democrat Ben Nelson, Nebraska’s other senator, said he now questions National Guard leaders’ earlier assertions that they had enough resources to respond to natural disasters even with the Iraq war.

"I’m going to ask that question again," Nelson said. "Do we have enough (troops), and if we do, why were they not deployed sooner?"

President Bush was asked that question Friday as he toured the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast area and said he disagrees with criticism the military is stretched too thin.

"We’ve got a job to defend this country in the war on terror, and we’ve got a job to bring aid and comfort to the people of the Gulf Coast, and we’ll do both," he said.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., plans to make oversight of the Defense Department, the National Guard and their assistance his top priority when he returns to Washington next week from an overseas trips, spokesman John Ullyot said Friday.

Bush had the legal authority to order the National Guard to the disaster area himself, as he did after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks . But the troops four years ago were deployed for national security protection, and presidents of both parties traditionally defer to governors to deploy their own National Guardsmen and request help from other states when it comes to natural disasters.

In addition to Guard help, the federal government could have activated, but did not, a major air support plan under a pre-existing contract with airlines. The program, called Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, lets the government quickly put private cargo and passenger planes into service.

The CRAF provision has been activated twice, once for the Persian Gulf War and again for the Iraq war.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/katrina_national_guard



Guardsmen ’played cards’ amid New Orleans chaos: police official

NEW ORLEANS, United States (AFP) - A top New Orleans police officer said that National Guard troops sat around playing cards while people died in the stricken city after Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans deputy police commander W.S. Riley launched a bitter attack on the federal response to the disaster though he praised the way the evacuation was eventually handled.

His remarks fuelled controversy over the government’s handling of events during five days when New Orleans succumbed to lawlessness after Katrina swamped the city’s flood defenses.

The National Guard commander, Lieutenant General Steven Blum, said the reservist force was slow to move troops into New Orleans because it did not anticipate the collapse of the city’s police force.

But Riley said that for the first three days after Monday’s storm, which is believed to have killed several thousand people, the police and fire departments and some volunteers had been alone in trying to rescue people.

"We expected a lot more support from the federal government. We expected the government to respond within 24 hours. The first three days we had no assistance," he told AFP in an interview.

Riley went on: "We have been fired on with automatic weapons. We still have some thugs around. My biggest disappointment is with the federal government and the National Guard.

"The guard arrived 48 hours after the hurricane with 40 trucks. They drove their trucks in and went to sleep.

"For 72 hours this police department and the fire department and handful of citizens were alone rescuing people. We have people who died while the National Guard sat and played cards. I understand why we are not winning the war in
Iraq if this is what we have."

Riley said there is "a semblance of organisation now."

"The military is here and they have done an excellent job with the evacuation" of the tens of thousands of people stranded in the city.

The National Guard commander said the city police force was left with only a third of its pre-storm strength.

"The real issue, particularly in New Orleans, is that no one anticipated the disintegration or the erosion of the civilian police force in New Orleans," Blum told reporters in Washington.

"Once that assessment was made ... then the requirement became obvious," he said. "And that’s when we started flowing military police into the theatre."

On Friday, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin denounced the slow federal response as too little, too late, charging that promised troops had not arrived in time.

"Now get off your asses and let’s do something and fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country," the mayor said in remarks aired on CNN.

Blum said that since Thursday some 7,000 National Guard and military police had moved into the city.
President George W. Bush on Saturday ordered an additional 7,000 active duty and reserve ground troops.

Blum said any suggestion that the National Guard had not performed well or was late was a "low blow".

The initial priority of the Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard forces was disaster relief, not law enforcement, because they expected the police to handle that, he said.

The police commander was unable to give a death toll for New Orleans.

"We have bodies all over the city. A federal mortuary team was supposed to come in within 24 hours. We haven’t seen them. It is inhumane. This is just not America."

Riley said he did not even know how many police remained from a normal force of 1,700.

"Many officers lost their homes or their families and there are many we have not heard from. Some officers could not handle the pressure and left. I don’t know if we have 800 or thousands today."

news.yahoo.com...
http://tinyurl.com/dfzmm


FEMA Chief Brown caught in a LIE.

OUR OPINIONS: An open letter to the President
New Orleans Times-Picayune Staff

Dear Mr. President:

We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."

Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

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.

Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."

That’s unbelievable.

There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

When you do, we will be the first to applaud.

www.nola.com....
http://tinyurl.com/8blms


RELATED:

FEMA Chief Brown resigned from his previous job under pressure and lawsuits
(He was the Stewards Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association- he oversaw the judges...) Why did Bush appoint this guy to be head of FEMA, why did Congress approve him?

In January 2005, U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler publically urged President Bush to fire Brown, citing reports that FEMA disbursed $30 million in disaster relief funds for Hurricane Frances to residents of Miami, Florida, a city which was not affected by the hurricane. Brown admitted to $12 million in overpayments, but denied any serious mistakes, blaming a computer glitch. Wexler repeated his call in April to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, citing new reports that FEMA sent inspectors with criminal records of robbery and embezzlement to do damage assessments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_D._Brown#FEMA_controversies


Who’s Responsible?

Bush reorganized the government specifically to give the Feds more power in an emergency.

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort.

http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/theme_home2.jsp


RELATED:

Homeland Security Chief on Meet the Press says he didn’t find out about the levees breaking until he read the papers Tuesday morning, 24 hours later!

http://tinyurl.com/dppxr



Bush’s Criminal Ignorance

"I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the breach of the levees."

On Good Morning America Bush said:

"I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the breach of the levees."

BUllSHit! The simple truth is that the breach of the levees had been a prime concern as Katrina approached. This statement proves beyond doubt that George W. Bush doesn’t know what the **** is happening. This ignorance is worthy of impeachment.

Sure, I could go on and on for a lengthy article, but I’m not. Have you heard the phrase, "Stop the Presses!"

Now is the Time. This ’slip up’ is the reason. STOP THE PRESSES. Bush must be removed- immediately- his criminal ignorance is putting us all in danger.

Video of Bush on GMA:
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/01.html#a4738

The Levees were a prime concern:
http://mediamatters.org/items/200509030001




http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=8038


RELATED:

Bush is responsible for cutting levee funding

But the skimping has worsened since President Bush’s election, particularly after September 11. Federal spending on flood control in south-east Louisiana has been cut by almost half since 2001, from $69 million per year to $36.5 million. Funds for work at Lake Pontchartrain, the source of the flooding, have fallen by nearly two-thirds over three years, from $14.25 million to $5.7 million. As a result, work on New Orleans’ east bank hurricane levees stopped last summer for the first time in 37 years.

http://tinyurl.com/amkv7


source:
http://tinyurl.com/afb7f

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mistreatment of victims enduring deplorable conditions by authorities
Monday September 5 - 18:18 - Posted by a03f279b365b9d54...

report from live blog in New orleans from local life-long resident, personality and icon- ’BigFoot’

but first two other reports, this first I am still tracking down

1-tourists banded together and rented a private bus for $2500 but it was not permitted to rescue them, turned back at checkpoint by national guard.

2-people being given the run-a-round at the convention center were able to contact relatives who were eagerly willing to come and get them, though were not permitted to enter New Orleans, bueracracy and red tape, causing increased devestation after the storm had long passed.

here is the an on the ground eyewitness account on the convention center survivors, it appears they were taunted, baited and toyed with, intentionally?

The Real News
The following is the result of an interview I just conducted via cell phone with a New Orleans citizen stranded at the Convention Center. I don’t know what you’re hearing in the mainstream media or in the press conferences from the city and state officials, but here is the truth:

"Bigfoot" is a bar manager and DJ on Bourbon Street, and is a local personality and icon in the city. He is a lifelong resident of the city, born and raised. He rode out the storm itself in the Iberville Projects because he knew he would be above any flood waters. Here is his story as told to me moments ago. I took notes while he talked and then I asked some questions:

Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.

It’s been 3 days, and the buses have yet to appear.

Although obviously he has no exact count, he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water, and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.

There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like — all of them in dire straights.

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids.

The people are so desperate that they’re doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single file lines with the eldery in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians.

The buses never stop.

Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area — Saulet Condos — once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole swat teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.

He reports that the conditions are horrendous. Heat, mosquitoes and utter misery. The smell, he says, is "horrific."

He says it’s the slowest mandatory evacuation ever, and he wants to know why they were told to go to the Convention Center area in the first place; furthermore, he reports that many of them with cell phones have contacts willing to come rescue them, but people are not being allowed through to pick them up.

I have "Bigfoot"’s phone number and will gladly give it to any city or state official who would like to tell him how everything is under control.

Addendum: Bigfoot just called to report that "they" (the authorities) are cleaning up the dead bodies at the Convention Center right now.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/in...

is no ’event’ not sacred enough to spin, manage, capitalize, take advantage of, manipulate?

The Second Coming — W. B. Yeats (1921)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?




> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Monday September 5 - 23:09 - Posted by 587dd50408db0603...

Excellent analysis and history recording. I myself was suspicious from the beginning and one thought flashed into my head immediately: ethnical cleansing.

Fallujah in Iraq or New Orleans in America, the treatment of human beings doesn’t differ much.

I also want to point out that the Bush Administration is already cover up the deads that occur in New Orleans - I bet we will never get the disastrous figures!

Stop genocide in Iraq, Afghanistan and in North America.




> Another collectionTwo more cases of FEMA wasting trained professional resources
Tuesday September 6 - 16:09 - Posted by f397876c791e8b18...

Two more cases of FEMA wasting trained professional resources

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/...
S.D. rescue crew said languishing in Houston

SIGNONSANDIEGO NEWS SERVICES

6:48 p.m. September 4, 2005

SAN DIEGO – 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.

Earlier this week, about 100 firefighters, lifeguards trained in swift- water rescues, paramedics, a doctor and a structural engineer from the San Diego area were sent to assist emergency personnel in Louisiana, Luque said.

The lifeguards – who left before the firefighters – were put to work immediately, saving dozens of people from flooded buildings in New Orleans, Luque said.

But the firefighters, doctor and structural engineer from the regional Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 8 were diverted to Houston to await further instructions, he said.

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.
==============
http://www.wwltv.com/sharedcontent/...

Chaos in New Orleans delays California team eager to enter fray

12:12 AM EDT on Tuesday, September 6, 2005

By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News

They have been trimming one another’s hair, lounging on hotel chairs, chatting on cellphones. They’ve been up at dawn, exercising in front of the hotel, trying to stay busy.

What they haven’t been doing is dangling from helicopters over flooded neighborhoods or going into half-collapsed buildings searching for hurricane victims to rescue.

The 83 members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue team from Orange County, Calif., have been told to stay downtown at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion.

Since Friday, they have been sitting tight at the luxury hotel with members of five other teams of specialists from California, Nevada and Washington state – about 500 people all diverted to Dallas on the way to the Gulf Coast.

There they have watched television reports, itching to help the stranded victims of Katrina but ordered by FEMA officials to stay idle.

"It’s been horribly frustrating," said Battalion Chief Marc Hawkins, noting that he understood the reasons the team had been asked to stay put. "Keeping firefighters pent up like this is a chore."

On Sunday, the Orange County team learned where it would finally do the job it was trained to do. By the time the team arrives in Metairie, La., a full week will have passed since it was ordered to leave California.

"We’ve been trying like hell to get out of here," said Battalion Chief Hawkins, one of the Orange County task force leaders.

The reason for the extended holdover? Team members were told that conditions were too chaotic in New Orleans, which has been plagued by violence and reports of gunfire aimed at rescuers, and the National Guard needed more time to restore order. In addition, problems getting supplies to the rescue crews already there, as well as victims, had not been worked out.

FEMA spokeswoman Debbie Wing said teams sometimes take a few days getting to disaster areas because officials need to prepare basic infrastructure to allow them to operate safely.

"There’s a strategic reason for the timing," she said. "They need incident support teams set up. They can’t just go into nothing."

Seven teams similar to the crews benched in Dallas were deployed to the area Aug. 28, she said.

FEMA’s fault?
But the highly trained team members – most of whom in their normal lives are firefighters – cannot help but think that their wasteful detour is another example of FEMA failing to adequately plan for Hurricane Katrina’s devastating aftermath.

"This is the largest natural disaster that anyone in this country has ever faced," Battalion Chief Hawkins said. "FEMA has a lot going on, but draw whatever conclusions you want from all this."

The federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina has been roundly criticized, with the brunt aimed at FEMA. Once a standalone agency known for its swift and sure response to national catastrophes, it is now buried under mounds of bureaucracy as part of the new Department of Homeland Security, which itself was cobbled together after 9-11.

"You can’t send everyone at once," said Scott Brown, another Orange County team leader. "When we have to wait, it’s frustrating. But we don’t want to contribute to the emergency by getting shot or using up provisions that should be going to victims."

Ms. Wing said there are 28 task forces in the country – 18 in the Gulf Coast area and 10 en route. They are activated to respond to natural disasters and other emergency situations. The task forces are made up primarily of firefighters and other emergency response personnel who are trained to respond to large-scale emergencies.

"These teams are working around the clock and they are giving it their all," Ms. Wing said. "Their rescue mission continues."

Latest equipment
The Department of Homeland Security has proven more willing to fund the urban search and rescue teams. Once strung together on a shoestring budget, the teams – all activated to respond to a disaster zone the size of Idaho – now are equipped with millions in the latest gadgetry.

The Orange County group alone has a convoy of 11 trucks, including four 18-wheelers to carry equipment. The team includes two doctors, two structural engineers and four search dogs.

Dallas Fire Rescue has allowed the teams to park some of their equipment on city lots while they are stuck in Dallas.

Sunday night, throngs of team members sat placidly at tables in the hotel lobby chatting. Their official-looking navy blue uniforms stood out in stark contrast amid the throng of AnimèFest convention revelers dressed like cartoon warriors and carrying oversized fake swords.

"There are still large areas that need to be searched," said Mr. Brown, an Orange County team leader. "I don’t think that anybody can say it’s done. People are resilient. They can survive for a long time. That’s why we’re going."

Staff writer Ernesto Londono contributed to this report.

E-mail jtrahan@dallasnews.com

UNDER FIRE
Since the 1970s, Washington has emerged as the insurer of last resort against floods, fires, earthquakes and – after 2001 – terrorist attacks. But the government’s stumbling response to Hurricane Katrina reveals that the federal agency most responsible for making good on Washington’s expanded promise has been hobbled by cutbacks and a bureaucratic downgrading. Here is a closer look at the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, FEMA lost its Cabinet-level status as it was folded into the giant new Department of Homeland Security. In recent years, it has suffered budget cuts, the elimination or reduction of key programs and an exodus of experienced staffers.

The agency’s core budget, which includes disaster preparedness and mitigation, has been cut each year since it was absorbed by the Homeland Security Department in 2003. Depending on what the final numbers end up being for next fiscal year, the cuts will have been between about 2 percent and 18 percent.

The agency’s staff has been reduced by 500 positions to 4,735. Among the results, FEMA has had to cut one of its three emergency management teams, which are charged with overseeing relief efforts in a disaster. Where it once had "red," "white" and "blue" teams, it now has only red and white.

Three out of every four dollars the agency provides in local preparedness and first-responder grants go to terrorism-related activities, even though a recent Government Accountability Office report quotes local officials as saying what they really need is money to prepare for natural disasters and accidents.

’TERRIBLE MISTAKE’
"They’ve taken emergency management away from the emergency managers. These operations are being run by people who are amateurs at what they are doing." – Morrie Goodman, FEMA’s chief spokesman during the Clinton administration, an apparent reference to FEMA director Michael Brown, who had little experience in disaster operations when named to the job two years ago. He took over from his friend and former college roommate Joe Allbaugh – who managed President Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

"It was a terrible mistake to take disaster response and recovery ... and disaster preparedness and mitigation, and put them in Homeland Security." – Richard Krimm, a former senior FEMA official in several administrations

"What’s awe-inspiring here is how many federal officials didn’t issue any orders." – Paul Light, an authority on government operations at New York University

’HECK OF A JOB’
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has acknowledged that Washington was insufficiently prepared for the hurricane that laid waste to New Orleans and surrounding areas. But he defended its performance by arguing that the size of the storm was beyond anything his department could have anticipated and that primary responsibility for handling emergencies rested with state and local, not federal, officials. Under the law, he said, state and local officials must direct initial emergency operations. "The federal government comes in and supports those officials," he said.

Mr. Bush, touring Friday in Mobile, Ala., said the response to Katrina was unsatisfactory. But he praised Mr. Brown, the FEMA director, who was with him. "Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job," the president said.


Online at: http://www.wwltv.com/sharedcontent/...



> Another collection
Tuesday September 6 - 22:05 - Posted by f09d4cc46e4d709f...

Why refuse Fidel Castro’s offer to send 1500 physicians to help New Orleans?



Another collection
Tuesday September 6 - 11:46 - Posted by b0b73a343c16dc10...

Here’s another collection of links (including quotes from the source articles) showing delayed / denied aid: http://rhosgobel.blogspot.com/2005/09/doing-everything-possible-to-help.html




leadership now!
Tuesday September 6 - 12:54 - Posted by 6475ac9818871cdc...


"word to the wise!"

impeach bush and his government.replace it with leadership not lies.

anton alfred newcombe
san francisco 2005




> leadership now!
Tuesday September 6 - 20:01 - Posted by b5af63024621e50a...

I think that we need in this case to do more than merely impeach. We need to impeach and REMOVE FROM OFFICE, both Bush and Cheney, as well as other imcompetants. Also there are questions about the commissions of high crimes and misdemeanors that need to be explored criminally.



> leadership now!
Wednesday September 7 - 05:16 - Posted by 7afef3493e63691d...

I feel sorry for what Mr. Broussard is going through, but he is a fool.

He gives example after example in his TV interview of how FEMA is incompetent, nonresponsive, and counterproductive. He says that "bureaucracy has committed murder here this week." And what is his solution? To shuffle boxes around on a bureaucratic organization chart. "Make it a cabinet-level department! Give it more funding!" Puh-leeze.

Government is the only entity for which people think the appropriate response to failure is to reward it with more money and power.

He is right about people having to be fired. Some — especially the ones who ordered aid turned back — quite possibly ought to be shot, at least in my opinion.

But anyone who expects to be bailed out of a life disaster by the Hand of God (or government) is living in a fantasy land. One of the reasons rescue was so long in coming is that people have centralized the bail-out agency as far from their local control as they could possibly put it. Of course it is nonresponsive!

America was built on the principle that local problems should be addressed by local authorities — not passed off to the Great White Father in Washington. Nowhere in the US Constitution is the federal government empowered to bail citizens out of a natural disaster. FEMA is not just incompetent, it is also entirely unconstitutional, and today we see the reason the constitution was designed that way. Anyone who depended on FEMA to save his life or property was fooling himself.

I feel the same way for Mr. Broussard and his neighbors as I would feel for any other citizen who fell for any other con game. It’s a real shame that they lost everything, but you know, they knew the deal was crooked when they bought into it, and they really should have known better. It’s a shame that some people are incapable of learning a lesson until the consequences happen to THEM personally.

The real solution to this morass is to cut federal government to the bone. Make FEMA a cabinet-level department? Hell no — fire FEMA and close its doors forever! Delegate all its power and money back to the local states and counties, where local people can address local problems with their own local money, instead of sending it to Washington where they skim their salaries off the top and then fail to spend the rest on your problems. Because nobody has more incentive to make neighborhoods, counties, and states safe than the people who have to live IN them. For sure Washington doesn’t — we’ve seen that proven this week.



> leadership now!
Thursday September 8 - 14:42 - Posted by ec7a416eb16a0fba...

MMM...this is the PURPOSE of having government: protecting citizens from that which they cannot protect themselves. Whether it be terrorists, invading Commies, or hurricanes and the resultant damage, there is no other entity that can handle a situation like this. Who else would you suggest is the proper group to manage a crisis of this magnitude? A private corporation?



> Abolish FEMA now! Give power back to local & state authorities!
Sunday September 11 - 05:20 - Posted by 8adf605343e063ed...

Some people have referred to it as the "secret government" of the United States. It is not an elected body, it does not involve itself in public disclosures, and it even has a quasi-secret budget in the billions of dollars. This government organization has more power than the President of the United States or the Congress, it has the power to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant and hold them without trial, it can seize property, food supplies, transportation systems, and can suspend the Constitution.
Not only is it the most powerful entity in the United States, but it was not even created under Constitutional law by the Congress. It was a product of a Presidential Executive Order. No, it is not the U.S. military nor the Central Intelligence Agency, they are subject to Congress. The organization is called FEMA, which stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Originally conceived in the Richard Nixon Administration, it was refined by President Jimmy Carter and given teeth in the Ronald Reagan and George Bush Administrations.

FEMA had one original concept when it was created, to assure the survivability of the United States government in the event of a nuclear attack on this nation. It was also provided with the task of being a federal coordinating body during times of domestic disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. Its awesome powers grow under the tutelage of people like Lt. Col. Oliver North and General Richard Secord, the architects on the Iran-Contra scandal and the looting of America’s savings and loan institutions. FEMA has even been given control of the State Defense Forces, a rag-tag, often considered neo-Nazi, civilian army that will substitute for the National Guard, if the Guard is called to duty overseas.

THE MOST POWERFUL ORGANIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Though it may be the most powerful organization in the United States, few people know it even exists. But it has crept into our private lives. Even mortgage papers contain FEMA’s name in small print if the property in question is near a flood plain. FEMA was deeply involved in the Los Angeles riots and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the black helicopter traffic reported throughout the United States, but mainly in the West, California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado, are flown by FEMA personnel. FEMA has been given responsibility for many new disasters including urban forest fires, home heating emergencies, refugee situations, urban riots, and emergency planning for nuclear and toxic incidents. In the West, it works in conjunction with the Sixth Army.

FEMA was created in a series of Executive Orders. A Presidential Executive Order, whether Constitutional or not, becomes law simply by its publication in the Federal Registry. Congress is by-passed. Executive Order Number 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding. An "emergency czar" was appointed. FEMA has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies, the bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic. Executive Order Number 12656 appointed the National Security Council as the principal body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S. citizens and would restrict the freedom of movement within the United States and grant the government the right to isolate large groups of civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all borders and take control of U.S. air space and all ports of entry.

http://www.meta-religion.com/Secret...

Few Americans—indeed, few Congressional reps—are aware of the existence of Mount Weather, a mysterious underground military base carved deep inside a mountain near the sleepy rural town of Bluemont, Virginia, just 46 miles from Washington DC. Mount Weather—also known as the Western Virginia Office of Controlled Conflict Operations—is buried not just in hard granite, but in secrecy as well.

In March, 1976, The Progressive Magazine published an astonishing article entitled "The Mysterious Mountain." The author, Richard Pollock, based his investigative report on Senate subcommittee hearings and upon "several off-the-record interviews with officials formerly associated with Mount Weather." His report, and a 1991 article in Time Magazine entitled "Doomsday Hideaway", supply a few compelling hints about what is going on underground.

Ted Gup, writing for Time, describes the base as follows:

Mount Weather is a virtually self-contained facility. Aboveground, scattered across manicured lawns, are about a dozen buildings bristling with antennas and microwave relay systems. An on-site sewage-treatment plant, with a 90,000 gal.-a-day capacity, and two tanks holding 250,000 gal. of water could last some 200 people more than a month; underground ponds hold additional water supplies. Not far from the installation’s entry gate are a control tower and a helicopter pad. The mountain’s real secrets are not visible at ground level.

The mountain’s "real secrets" are protected by warning signs, 10 foot-high chain link fences, razor wire, and armed guards. Curious motorists and hikers on the Appalachian trail are relieved of their sketching pads and cameras and sent on their way. Security is tight.

http://www.meta-religion.com/Secret...



> leadership now!
Sunday September 11 - 06:35 - Posted by 8ddc444ca69aed05...

clinton lies about a blow job and the damned republicans wanted to impeach him. bush lies about weapons of mass distruction and iraqi connections to 9-11 and it’s ok? he’s just gotten more and more for the rich and businesses ever since stealing office and it’s not gonna get any better until we get him and the rest of the skull and bones society out of government.

woody in tucson



> The lengths people will go to prove a point...
Tuesday September 13 - 11:27 - Posted by 9907965e136b01a0...

It is really sad when a TV interview is fabricated and posted on a website for the sole purpose of getting each and every one of you that believed this was real to yell out "conspiracy, conspiracy!" I won’t say Bush is great, and we need more of him in office. That would be a lie. But I would never lie to prove someone else is wrong. Fortunately, unlike, it would seem, any of you, I live in Baton Rouge, LA, and there is no such thing as Parish President. That’s first and foremost. On top of that there is no official in Jefferson Parish named Aaron Broussard, yes I checked—the name was suspicious and too conveniently french to possibly be real. Notice, there is no station branding. What channel is this on? Some local station just happened to do a satellite interview with a Parish official that no one else witness on television except online and through this site, linked by that David Icke? Hah! Even if no one else believes me. I wont be fooled, not by Bush and definitely not by some two bit conspiracy theorists/con-artists looking to make a buck.



> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Tuesday September 6 - 15:13 - Posted by c2cf6a2bb7906499...

Utterly unbelievable! Impeach Bush & Co.! Enough incompetence already!




> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Wednesday September 7 - 01:18 - Posted by 8577ed95ef3005cb...

Come on America, this is your wake up call. This is the real face of your enemy: your government! This is first hand proof that your government does not care about you. It is all a power/money grabbing exercise. September 11, Afganistan, Iraq and now Katrina. What else do you want? How many more have to die for you to wake up?

IMPEACH THEM NOW! NOW! NOT NEXT WEEK! NOW!

All government officials at the top should be dealt with. They should be judged, remove from power immediately and put in jail where they belong. I could not believe my eyes when I saw Bush and Rumsfeld and others trying to play down the events, putting weak arguments trying to blame someone else. Rumsfeld even denied that the National Guard were late to arrive!

What a big difference from the arrogance with which they went to invade Iraq. They can afford to send your youth to fight an unjust war on the other side of the world but they can not look after your own people, on your own country? Come on, how many bombs, bullets, missiles tanks, vehicles, etc. have they deployed in Iraq? How much money did they cost? Someone made millions out of it (I wonder how they got the contracts). But when the need arises at home, where were they? Where was the money for the levees? For storm defenses?

Reading all these articles about how the authorities who were supposed to be in charge of the situation, of the rescue efforts, did not function properly, just makes me sick. How easy is to play dumb and say we did not expect Katrina to be this bad. The same excuse as September 11. We didn’t know. We are the victims. The whole world hate us because of our democracy. Don’t buy those lies any more. Enough is enough!

The power shoud be with the people! Not a political party! Not a bunch of cronies! They should all be sacked! Do something about it. Now is the time. You have the power. Complain to congress. Make a lot of noise! Complain and complain and complain.

IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!
IMPEACH THEM NOW!




> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Wednesday September 7 - 23:19 - Posted by aa1263d1887c9cda...

There is most certainly a pattern emerging; One of Weather Control.

WEATHER WEAPONS
The technology for weather control has advanced greatly since the 1950s when the US military first proposed a range of methods to alter the various facets of the weather.
The secretive technology that is used today is very advanced and is put to various nefarious uses that do not serve the greater needs of mankind.
The following links leave no doubt as to the existence and purpose of weather weapons.
Liberty Exposure

http://www.alphalink.com.au/ noelmc...

109th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 517

To establish the Weather Modification Operations and Research Board, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 3, 2005
Mrs. HUTCHISON introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL
To establish the Weather Modification Operations and Research Board, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

http://www.theorator.com/bills109/s...



> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Wednesday September 7 - 23:27 - Posted by aa1263d1887c9cda...

I agree
Something has to be done to stop these people.

Do a search for Weather Wars on the net.



> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Thursday September 8 - 03:23 - Posted by cdb8836a1b3c9372...

The lack of response to Katrina with relief exists at the STATE and LOCAL levels. That is, the City of New Orleans and the state on Louisana NOT the Federal Government. The Federal Government CANNOT do ANYTHING in the way of relief efforts WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED CONSENT OF THE STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. The mayor of New Orleans should have taken buses and evacuated those people who could not get out due to lack of transportation.

There was no call for help from the federal government UNTIL the looting of the stores and the shooting upon the helicopters and those trying to help close the breaks in the levees. What took the State and Local officals so long to ask for help from Federal Government.

Here is a excerpt from the State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan check it out for yourself) (http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/plan...)

Here are some of the items in this operations plan:


The Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plan is intended to provide a framework within which the parishes can coordinate their actions with State government in order to deal with a catastrophic hurricane."

"Local transportation resources should be marshaled and public transportation plans implemented as needed. Announce the location of staging areas for people who need transportation. Public transportation will concentrate on moving people from the staging areas to safety in host parishes with priority given to people with special needs."


It also says that the Governor will "Mobilize State transportation resources to aid in the evacuation of people who have mobility and/or health problems. Deploy to support risk area parishes."


Now why wasn’t this plan followed?????
Where was the transportation that should have been Marshaled????
When did the GOVERNOR aid in the evacuation of the people with mobility/health problems?????

From the bible, it seem most approprate in this case...


Matthew 7

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye


There is plenty of blame to go around it’s time to stop with the finger pointing and get on with the helping of the victims.



> Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories
Thursday September 8 - 04:58 - Posted by 587dd50408db0603...

Some here will try to make excuses for FEMA, but the truth is that the levees in New Orleans was the responsibility of the federal government, they have voted consistently to underfund the projects that would have made all of the carnage preventable. After the fact billlions will now have to be spent anyway many more billions than would have been required in a prevention measure. Everyone of us will get the bill for the fact that we have allowed our federal government to short change our safety by squandering our resources on their oil adventures in Iraq and elsewhere.

Americans are responsible for this ultimately. They should have known better than to allow a power hungry warmonger oil baron to occupy the highest office in our country. It was predictable and to be expected that they would divert the money away from the security of the citizens in order to line their own pockets and reward their corporate friends with our tax money.

We give more money to Israel each year than would have been enough to prevent this disaster. I guess the citizens of Israel and their new homes and good lifestyle are more important than the lives of the citizens in the United States.

Our country was lost when Bush came into office and we will never get it back, we are all refugees now.






Launch of the ABUJNA Abu Jihad Palestinian News Agency
Saturday 19 - 02:39
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moderated
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AMERICA: THE MOST CORRUPT DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY
Friday 4 - 03:44
by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Current Philippine Government And Military Using ongoing Extra-Judicial
Wednesday 2 - 01:29
by Brian McAfee
letter of april to Obama.
Tuesday 1 - 19:19
by kakine
Western hypocrisy re Crimea-Russia re-union versus Israeli Occupation & genocide
Tuesday 1 - 05:12
by Dr Gideon Polya
Rafael Louzán and Hermelino Alonso: opening the doors for drugs
Monday 31 - 11:24
Tens of Thousands First Nations Children Died in Canada’s Residential Schools
Sunday 30 - 10:59
by Johnny Canuck
UKRAINIANS SOON TO SCREAM : " I M F ’ D "
Sunday 30 - 04:15
by SON OF A BUSH
Japan Stops Treating Radioactive Water
Friday 28 - 22:34
by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner
Casablanca-Morocco: Stop union-busting at Total Call.
Wednesday 26 - 19:30
by U.M.T.
Confirming the Tony Benn commemoration
Wednesday 26 - 10:48
by Stop the War Coalition
Time to grab guns and kill damn Russians – Tymoshenko in leaked tape
Tuesday 25 - 11:37
We should find better heroes than Meir Har-Zion
Monday 24 - 11:15
by Yossi Sarid
OBAMA IS A PEACH : VERY IMPEACHABLE
Saturday 22 - 19:35
by SON OF A BUSH
Ukraine - Who Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
Saturday 22 - 04:37
by Johnny Canuck
American Republic Manifestum Treatise is free to download
Friday 21 - 19:26
by Willam Morgan
1 comment
Michelle Bachelet Returns To Her Old Job, Being President Of Chile
Wednesday 19 - 23:27
by Brian McAfee
Counterproductive Reactive Saudi Policies
Tuesday 18 - 11:38
by Nicola Nasser
Europe’s Anti-Fascists, wake up! The Brown Plague is back!
Friday 14 - 18:52
by g.
1 comment
Review:“Utopia” by John Pilger exposes Apartheid Australia’s Aboriginal Genocide
Friday 14 - 06:11
by Dr Gideon Polya

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DAZIBAO
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
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Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
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International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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MAY GOD DAMN WALL STREET, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE SUPREME COURT
Monday 13 February
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
3 comments
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. In my article The Greatest Threat to America, I stated that the five so-called “conservative” members of the United States Supreme Court—Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy—“have destroyed American democracy and its fundamental freedoms more ruthlessly and effectively than any terrorist group in the world” (Pravda.Ru 01/27/2010). They accomplished this in the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal (...)
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