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More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-05-2005, 03:28 PM   #1
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More Katrina rescue frustration

Interview: Meet The Press, Sunday, September 4

MR. RUSSERT: And we are back. Jefferson Parish President Broussard, let me start with you. You just heard the director of Homeland Security's explanation of what has happened this last week. What is your reaction?
MR. AARON 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. I am personally asking our bipartisan congressional delegation here in Louisiana to immediately begin congressional hearings to find out just what happened here. Why did it happen? Who needs to be fired? And believe me, they need to be fired right away, because we still have weeks to go in this tragedy. We have months to go. We have years to go. And whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain-sawed 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. It's so obvious. FEMA needs more congressional funding. It needs more presidential support. It needs to be a Cabinet-level director. It needs to be an independent agency that will be able to fulfill its mission to work in partnership with state and local governments around America. FEMA needs to be empowered to do the things it was created to do. It needs to come somewhere, like New Orleans, with all of its force immediately, without red tape, without bureaucracy, act immediately with common sense and leadership, and save lives. Forget about the property. We can rebuild the property. It's got to be able to come in and save lives.
We need strong leadership at the top of America right now in order to accomplish this and to-- reconstructing FEMA.
MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Broussard, let me ask--I want to ask--should...
MR. BROUSSARD: You know, just some quick examples...
MR. RUSSERT: Hold on. Hold on, sir. Shouldn't the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility? Couldn't they have been much more forceful, much more effective and much more organized in evacuating the area?
MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.
Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer 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. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "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 on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.
But I want to thank Governor Blanco for all she's done and all her leadership. She sent in the National Guard. I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn't foresee, a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it.
MR. RUSSERT: All right.
MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...
MR. RUSSERT: All right.
MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And 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?" [starting to cry] 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.
MR. RUSSERT: Mr. President...
MR. BROUSSARD: [continuing to cry] 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 sakes, shut up and send us somebody.


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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-05-2005, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

I found a link to this and watched the interview itself. It's heartbreaking.


http://www.overspun.com/?p=1549

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-05-2005, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Yes and I'm sure someone will appear and refute all of that.
I say let the whining stop and let the investigation begin, and lets be certain it is all encompassing from the NOLA cops who deserted up to the Prez and a bunch in between.* We also need to look at how the door was opened for this to happen.* I'm not close to being satisfied with the excuse that the Iraq war prevented the fix. Hell, NOLA had this problem way back when Saddam was our buddy and even before.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-05-2005, 10:06 PM   #4
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
I found a link to this and watched the interview itself.* *It's heartbreaking.
It sure is. Pres Broussard is a real man, not like the hollow bales of straw from FEMA and other federal agencies that I see on TV every night.

Ha
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-05-2005, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

You have to admire someone who cuts through all the political BS and says "Heads must roll!" There is so much footsy playing that goes on and no one wants to ruin their political ambitions but when you've experienced the horror this man has you finally, hopefully see that the decisions that are made really affect PEOPLE, living breathing PEOPLE.

Thank my god, your god, no god for people like him.

Judy
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-05-2005, 11:12 PM   #6
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

For those who know how to use Bittorrent there is the longer version available at that link. SG quoted what was said before the shorter segment. After the short segment they switch to Governer Barber of Mississippi who is calm, collected and better groomed. He said "we were ground zero of the worst natural disaster to ever hit the United States" and calmly described how devestating the storm was. He said the hurricane storm center told him Saturday that Katrina was going to be like Camille and seemed to be slightly upset that they weren't shouting this from mountaintops. He said "my experience was very different from Louisiana--I don't know anything about Louisiana--over here we had the Coast Guard in Monday night. They took 1700 people off the roofs of houses..." and continues about how much aid they got. Then (in my opinion) he goes into saying how well things have been done while saying they haven't been done as well as he wants...sounded political and rehearsed...with gold-fringed American and Mississippi flags behind him, of course.

Russert then asks the Governor if he's going to rebuild casinos in the same place! Meanwhile Broussard is shown sitting trying to collect himself and I imagine wondering why he's wasting his time with the interview since he can hear the Governor.

All the raw reporting I've seen or heard is from NOLA. Has anyone seen "raw" reports from Mississipi and whether or not they agree with the Governor's assessment?

If the Governor is right I wonder what went wrong in NOLA. Sure it's easy to say people didn't heed the evacuation warnings, but does that mean they deserve to sit in filth for 5 days before assisted evacuation begins?

On the Interdictor's journal I linked to before he says just about everyone who didn't refuse to leave is gone, but there are a number of people who don't want to leave their homes or shopping carts full of belongings. He says they're turning power on to select buildings including the Superdome and a couple of hotels. In his area armed police and military have been patrolling the streets 24/7 since late Friday/early Saturday but apparently some of them can be as scary as some of the looters. I think a few NOPD have lost their minds.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 05:50 AM   #7
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
I think a few NOPD have lost their minds.
Inability to find an open donut shop?

JG
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 06:33 AM   #8
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick
Yes and I'm sure someone will appear and refute all of that.
I say let the whining stop and let the investigation begin, and lets be certain it is all encompassing from the NOLA cops who deserted up to the Prez and a bunch in between.* We also need to look at how the door was opened for this to happen.* I'm not close to being satisfied with the excuse that the Iraq war prevented the fix. Hell, NOLA had this problem way back when Saddam was our buddy and even before.
Yep, I suggest we launch a full scale inquiry into this, come out with a
5 inch thick report and then mail taxpayer money to every victim
(hey, we did it for the 9/11 victims).

Re. "We need to look at how the door was opened for this to happen."
That's BS! Poop happens. People mess up. People die. It's always
been that way and always will be. Now, there is something you can
truly count on. All of the inquiry, investigation, conversation , debate
and media coverage won't change a thing. Pogo and Al Pacino had it right.

JG
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 08:17 AM   #9
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Inability to find an open donut shop?*

JG
Not funny. Some of those guys have committed suicide. I cannot imagne the trauma they experienced either trying to do their best in the swamp or shirking their duty.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 08:29 AM   #10
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Lots of those policemen were there because of political connections. They had fat-cat jobs, writing traffic tickets and pushing prisoners around. Suddenly, they were faced with a need to "be a real policeman." So, they copped out (forgive the pun). They couldn't handle it. I might have done the same. But, I'm not a cop.

Question: How many cops disappeared during 9/11?
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

First off, this is a major tragedy, but I do not believe the person.

The water has not risen any since the second day. How can someone DROWN who had not drown early in the week?
And if this guy is so close to the people in power, why did he not tell someone that HE knew to go get his mother... it would have been done.

I think this is a made up story.
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The post-hurricane speech Bush won't deliver
Old 09-06-2005, 02:03 PM   #12
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The post-hurricane speech Bush won't deliver

Great "speech" here...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...DG2DEHKND1.DTL

Excerpt:

"So far as I am aware, nobody in the federal government has leveled with you yet about the enormity of the tasks that confront us as a nation. I want to do that now."
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Re: The post-hurricane speech Bush won't deliver
Old 09-06-2005, 03:19 PM   #13
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Re: The post-hurricane speech Bush won't deliver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
Great "speech" here...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...DG2DEHKND1.DTL

Excerpt:

"So far as I am aware, nobody in the federal government has leveled with you yet about the enormity of the tasks that confront us as a nation. I want to do that now."
I always love to see good nonpartisan newspapers. They publish high quality editorials like the one you have linked to.

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 07:59 PM   #14
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

In the middle of all this finger pointing, it is always amusing (to me, at least) to see the inevitable grandstanding by celebreties and pseudo-celebrities. We've seen Reverend Jessie Jackson of course, since he shows up whenever the red light illuminates on a news camera. But the best one so far has been our hero, Geraldo Rivera.

In case you missed it, Geraldo took a film crew into NO and rescued an 81 year old lady and her dog. The piece ended with Geraldo walking along side the fatigued lady, escorting her from the rescue vehicle to a medical station, carrying the lady's dog in his arms. What it doesn't show is Geraldo didn't like the first take, so had the lady go back down to the rescue vehicle and walk back to the medical station with him, still carrying the dog.

Thankfully for the victim, our hero got it on the second take...

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 09:47 PM   #15
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
But the best one so far has been our hero, Geraldo Rivera.

In case you missed it, Geraldo took a film crew into NO and rescued an 81 year old lady and her dog.

Thankfully for the victim, our hero got it on the second take...
Any chance he can solve the "Mystery of Al Capone's Vault" while he's down there?
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-06-2005, 11:59 PM   #16
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

A shame all around, with too many innocents paying the price.

I think those who want to blame all of this on the fed's are going to end up looking pretty guilty ... but I'll wait for the investigation to end, with the unlikely assumption it will be honest and not politicized to the point of uselessness. There appeared to be little or no state / local leadership, for an event that had been predicted for decades.
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 09:25 AM   #17
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

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Originally Posted by Charles
A shame all around, with too many innocents paying the price.

I think those who want to blame all of this on the fed's are going to end up looking pretty guilty ... but I'll wait for the investigation to end, with the unlikely assumption it will be honest and not politicized to the point of uselessness. There appeared to be little or no state / local leadership, for an event that had been predicted for decades.
There's enough blame to go around. My take on it is the local (state and the mayor) were responsible BEFORE the flood. Several hundred school buses and several hundred city transit buses get flooded, when they could have been used to evacuate people. The city's evacuation plan called for these buses to take the infirm and the poor out 24-48 hours before the storm hits. Didn't happen. Once the Mayor directed people (correctly) to the Superdome, Security should have been sent. Enough security to watch over 10-15 thousand people. Didn't happen.

After the flooding, the feds are guilty as hell. The National Guard should have been there within 24 hours. Planes and helicopters dropping food and water. If the reports are accurate about the FEMA director not knowing the people in the Superdome didn't have food or water, he needs to be fired.

And of course, both local and federal officials did not rectify a levee and a pump problem that everybody knew about. Decades knowing it could happen passed and no one acted.

New Orleans will probably be rebuilt, (should it?) but if it becomes DisneyLand plastic, the hell with it. If/when I go back, I'm heading for Johnny White's Sports Bar. It's never closed. You gotta love their attitude.

One thing I think needs to be looked at is what about a real terrorist attack? Is the government capable to responding to a large-scale nuclear attack or dirty bomb? If NOLa is any example. . . No!
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 09:42 AM   #18
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/sto...p-293598c.html

Don't blame only feds

Crime rate, inept pols leveled New Orleans before the storm


Let's take a break from the joy of Bush bashing to reveal the dirty little secret of New Orleans: Its local government deserves an F for its planning and response to Katrina. And one other thing: The New Orleans police force would be a joke if it weren't a disgrace.

Yes, I know it's impolitic to say such things while the suffering in the Big Easy is fresh and many cops risked their lives to save others. But now is the time to blow the whistle on the story line being repeated by rote across America: That the federal government ignored New Orleans because most of its residents are black and poor.

That narrative has all the accuracy of a historic novel: it takes two undisputed facts - the feds were slow and New Orleans is largely black and poor - and weaves in pure fiction to make the desired link.

The charge of racism-inspired foot-dragging isn't just nonsense. It's pernicious nonsense, as in destructive and malicious. You know that's a fact because loony Howard Dean, the Democratic Party boss, is now peddling it. He's joined by Jesse Jackson, who said the squalor in New Orleans "looks like the hull of a slave ship." Oh, please.

If even a smidgen of the racism charges are true, President Bush should be shot. But before we give him his blindfold, let's look at New Orleans before Katrina.

Start with crime. That looters ran unchecked after the hurricane isn't surprising when you consider that criminals have had the run of the city for years.

It is a perennial contender for Murder Capital. The 264 homicides last year were a drop of only 11 from 2003 - and the first decline in five years.

New Orleans, with fewer than 500,000 people, had almost half the murders of New York, which had 570 homicides last year in a city of more than 8 million. Put another way, if New York had New Orleans' murder rate, we would have more than 4,200 murders a year.

That the New Orleans police are hardly the Finest was proven by a shocking report yesterday: Nearly a third of New Orleans cops - some 500 of the 1,600 - are now unaccounted for. The department says some quit, but it doesn't know where most of them are.

The top cop, Eddie Compass, has responded by offering all officers paid vacations to Las Vegas and Atlanta. Yes, that's right - he is pulling all cops off the street, even while bodies lie in the open. Never in New York.

Then there's Mayor Ray Nagin, a Democrat, who has blamed everybody but himself. Maybe he has forgotten his plans for dealing with Katrina.

Last July, his office prepared DVDs warning that, if the city ever had to be evacuated, residents were on their own. According toa July 24 article in The Times-Picayune (spotted by the Web's Drudge Report), "Mayor Ray Nagin, local Red Cross Executive Director Kay Wilkins and City Council President Oliver Thomas drive home the word that the city does not have the resources to move out of harm's way an estimated 134,000 people without transportation."

"You're responsible for your safety, and you should be responsible for the person next to you," one official said of the message.

And how's this for preparation? Cops were told not to work on the day Katrina hit, one officer told The New York Times, but "to come in the next day, to save money on their budget."

By all means, let's investigate what went wrong in New Orleans. Let's start in City Hall.

Originally published on September 7, 2005

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 09:55 AM   #19
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
There's enough blame to go around. My take on it is the local (state and the mayor) were responsible BEFORE the flood. Several hundred school buses and several hundred city transit buses get flooded, when they could have been used to evacuate people. The city's evacuation plan called for these buses to take the infirm and the poor out 24-48 hours before the storm hits. Didn't happen. Once the Mayor directed people (correctly) to the Superdome, Security should have been sent. Enough security to watch over 10-15 thousand people. Didn't happen.

After the flooding, the feds are guilty as hell. The National Guard should have been there within 24 hours. Planes and helicopters dropping food and water. If the reports are accurate about the FEMA director not knowing the people in the Superdome didn't have food or water, he needs to be fired.

And of course, both local and federal officials did not rectify a levee and a pump problem that everybody knew about. Decades knowing it could happen passed and no one acted.
Eagle43 pretty much nailed it in my opinon. All (local, state, & fed) should look in the mirror when they are trying to find someone to fault for the pathetic response to this disaster. But that won't happen and we are already in the midst of a three ring circus to point the finger of blame at "them" (Republicans, Democrats, FEMA, LA governor, NO mayor, NO police, etc.).

Unfortunately this particular circus will be far from the "Greatest Show On Earth!" :P

REW

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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration
Old 09-07-2005, 10:04 AM   #20
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Re: More Katrina rescue frustration

But there are plenty of clowns...
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