Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 11h 26m 5s|
What red tape are they talking about?
From the NPR Katrina timeline Transcripts. [SOURCE]
SULLIVAN: On Saturday, the Louisiana Guard calls up 4,000 troops, every
Guardsman in the state. But almost half of its force is out of the state and
out of the country. Three thousand Louisiana Guard troops are in Iraq, along
with most of Louisiana's heavy equipment, including its watercraft, high-water
vehicles and generators. Lieutenant Colonel Schneider says the troops fan out
to staging areas across the state. According to the emergency plan, they're to
wait there until the storm passes. Their job is to distribute supplies and
maintain order. The plan anticipates there might be some looting and violence.
SULLIVAN: That same Saturday, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says
the storm will be so big that state and local governments won't be able to
handle it. She asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency. Later that
day, he does.
The next day, on Sunday, at 9:30 AM, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issues the
first ever mandatory evacuation in the city's history.
Mayor RAY NAGIN (New Orleans): Make sure that you check on your
neighbors. It's very important, particularly the senior citizens, that we check
on them to make sure that they're OK and that they're not too frightened, and
that we assist them before we take off.
ZWERDLING: Meanwhile, next door in Jefferson Parish, Walter Maestri is
sending fire trucks to the streets.
Mr. MAESTRI: And the fire department went through the neighborhoods,
`Alert! Alert! For your information, you live in a low-lying area that is
highly prone to flooding. And it is the recommendation of your parish
government that you immediately evacuate.'
ZWERDLING: The state's deputy director of emergency planning, Jeff
Smith, says almost one million people do leave.
Mr. JEFF SMITH (Deputy Director, Louisiana Department of Homeland
Security and Emergency Planning): Everyone is kind of focusing on response at
this point in time. I don't hear anybody talking about how successful that
evacuation was. It probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and nobody
wants to talk about that.
SULLIVAN: All weekend long, key officials coordinate their disaster
plans in almost constant conference calls. There are staff members for more
than 40 state and federal agencies camped in one room at the state's emergency
planning center in Baton Rouge. FEMA's there. They're supposed to make sure
that the food gets to hurricane survivors. The US Army Corps of Engineers is in
the room. They're in charge of water and structural damage. The National Guard
is at the center. They're supposed to provide the troops and trucks and boats
to forge through the flood. And they're all on the line with local managers
like Walter Maestri to confirm that they'll move in as soon as the hurricane
Mr. MAESTRI: All day Saturday and all day Sunday and all day Monday,
until the winds got so high that the phone lines blew down, we were in constant
contact. Every two to three hours, we were talking.
More than 40 emergency agencies--local, state and federal--were meeting almost
every two hours in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. They were planning
for a storm that could devastate the region. But as soon as Katrina hit, those
plans started to unravel....
[Tuesday] morning, Walter Maestri follows the disaster plan to rush help to
Jefferson Parish. He gets on his shortwave radio, and he calls the emergency
command center in Baton Rouge. He talks with FEMA and the National Guard and
the Army Corps of Engineers.
Mr. WALTER MAESTRI (Emergency Management Center, Jefferson Parish): We
made the request Tuesday morning. We went through the state Office of Emergency
Preparedness. I am requesting the water and ice, the meals, the demax(ph)...
ZWERDLING: The medical--the Mobile Medical Unit?
Mr. MAESTRI: The medical--the Mobile Medical, the DMORT, the mobile
morgue and so forth. They said they would place the orders and that they should
be here within 12 to 36 hours. That's Tuesday morning.
ZWERDLING: And Mayor Nagin says he's confident that help is about to
pour into New Orleans. He says an official at FEMA has just briefed him.
"All weekend long, key officials coordinate their disaster plans in almost
constant conference calls."
75% of the Louisiana National Guard was in Iraq, along with "most" of their
I suppose the "red tape" to which the talking heads that read the memo refer
was the "war" in Iraq, and the inability of the feds to stick to the decisions
made on those conference calls because the feds had other priorities.
And they scream about people playing politics, while they play politics
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 11h 4m 46s|
Transcripts of the Katrina response timeline
Check out these transcripts of an NPR radio show that did an audio version of
the timeline. They are quite stunning.
A special thanks to Duncan Black, the blogger journalist at
Atrios.com for putting these transcripts together, and making them
available on the web.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 21h 38m 48s|
This is too unbelieveable
On August 26, 2005 Kathleen Blanco, Governor of Louisiana
legal declaration of a state of emergency. here
The next day, President Bush declares a Federal Emergency.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 27, 2005
Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana
The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and
ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the
parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005,
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts
which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the
emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for
required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to
save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or
avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles,
Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula,
Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline,
Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse,
Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine,
St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West
Feliciana, and Winn.
Know whats strange.
Missing from that list of affected parishes : Ascension,Jefferson,
Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard,St. Charles, St. James,St. John, St.
Tammany,Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington Parish.
Notice where all these not included parishes are located (colored reddish.)
Why would the President NOT INCLUDE these Parishes on the federal list "to
avert the castrophe" that hit them ?
I am so pissed off.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 17h 38m 59s|
The UN for food scandal report
Read the synopsis here. The entire report is 1,000 pages long.
Interesting that despite the bloody red screed of the manufactured right-wing
passion against the UN scandal, Kofi Annan was only reprimanded for his lack
of "oversight." According to the synopsis (link above):
...the report declines to endorse allegations of [Kofi Annan's] personal
involvement in the scandals, and does not consider the evidence of his
knowledge of his son's activities to be conclusive.
Most of the companies who benefited were American companies, who themselves
profitted by reselling the oil. The so-called UN forces that were monitoring
(guarding) the area were actually Americans and American officers, with the
exception of a tiny 4 British commanders.
Jordan was also exempted from the restrictions on Iraq oil sales. Wink, wink.
Consultants from major US Oil companies had offices in Amman,Jordan.
The 661 Committee,created by the Security Council to oversee the Oil For Food
Programme, had an undefined and unclear mandate -- at the insistence of the
United States officials!! Indeed, the U.S. was responsible for some 98% of
the 'holds' placed on contracts in this committee.
How come the companies which made these deals aren't under the same scrutiny?
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 16h 50m 16s|
My letter to MSNBC (that will never be read)
you people really suck.
Since when does the truth supported by irrefutable facts become "an opinion"
(At the very least) all you folks have to do is compare what happened in Florida
September 2004, and what happened during Katrina 2005? There are plenty of
articles and legal documents, so you won't have to worry about those gosh darn
facts you want to call "opinions."
Oh, and did you know that President Bush -- in responding to Governor Blanco's
declaration of an emergency on August 26th -- did not include in his federal
area the parishes of Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson.
Those are the 4 parishes south of the Lake by the way.
And why not fire Brown, and all of the other Public Relations hacks Bush staffed
the agency? How can we expect the same blind mice to see any better during the
recovery process? Would MSNBC keep corporate executives who are incompetent.
Don't answer that. This is why Governor Blanco hired ex-Clinton FEMA head
PRO BONO to oversee the reconstruction process.
Now certainly, those corrupt contractors wouldn't repeat the same mistakes of
last 3 years in Iraq?
And why was the USS Battan that followed the hurricane (which is standard
waiting for the President to give the order to act if indeed President Bush
gave them permission to act. Are we supposed to believe that the Navy commander
disobeyed his President and waited off-shore with lotza helicopters for 3 days
Katrina hit New Orleans?
Opinions? Wake up please. This really is fucking obvious.
But go ahead, spread this corrupt administrations lies. Feel self-satisfied
what you call "opinions" are left out of the news, or dismissed by the
lipstick airheads, puff-daddies, and pompous morons you hire to do the news.
Those of us who count have never forgotten how your brilliant CEO's canned
the highest rated show on your network, for ... ex-nutritional supplement
It is quite obvious that you are more of a propaganda machine than a cable news
network. I suppose you will enjoy the slow encroachment towards dictatorship
fascism, that you helped create.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 16h 13m 29s|
Just vote yes, and stop reading our legislation, damnit
From RawStory [source
Republicans block efforts to amend relief bill, hold vote without providing
copy of bill
by John Byrne
In the wake of what the Wall Street Journal projected may be the most expensive
natural disaster in American history, the Republican Leadership in the House of
Representatives limited floor consideration of the $52 billion Katrina relief
bill proposed by President Bush and voted to reject any Democratic efforts to
amend the bill to include a wider array of relief measures, RAW STORY has
Democrats said no one had even seen a copy of the legislation.
Voting along party lines, Republicans denied a measure that would have allowed
for two hours of discussion and opened up the measure to be amended.
The Republican leadership pushed through a Suspension Rule in the House Rules
Committee that blocked any members from offering amendments to the bill. Rep.
Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the Committee, led
opposition to the rule.
The bill, which enjoys bipartisan support, is expected to pass on the House
Democrats implored Republicans to allow amendments, which would enable
consideration of measures such as which areas and to which agencies relief
dollars were most needed and how to restructure FEMA so that it would be more
Oh now don't worry. No one should be able to read the laws that vote on, and
certainly no opposition representatives get to have any concerns.
These are the boots of the stormtroopers.
STOMP. sTOMP. STOMP.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 15h 43m 32s|
CNN anchor Jack Cafferty speaks
Words speak for themselves.
Somewhere along the way FEMA became a dumping ground for the president's
political cronies with little experience in disaster relief. The agency's first
director was Joe Albaugh. He was president Bush's 2000 campaign chairman.
Albaugh brought in the current failure Michael Brown. His previous work was
with Arabian horses. The number two guy, Brown's top deputy at FEMA, is a
fellow named Patrick Rhode. He worked for the 2000 election campaign. The
number 3 guy at FEMA is Brooks Altshuler. He used to work in the White House.
His job was planning presidential trips. FEMA's long term recovery director is
a guy named Scott Morris. He produced television and radio commercials for the
Bush campaign. The federal agency charged with handling national emergencies is
staffed at the very top by a bunch of political hacks with virtually no
experience that qualifies them to respond to something like Katrina. But I
Where are the qualifications of these people? None of these guys is qualified
based on the stuff I'm reading, to head up an emergency management agency. One
of these guys worked with Arabian horses, The rest are all off the campaign
trial. Planned presidential trips. Produced TV commercials. Don't you need
somebody at the top running the organization who has some semblance of an idea
of what the hell is required when there's an emergency?
It's true. This administration is heartless and corrupt.
|Wednesday, 7 September 2005 at 19h 41m 26s|
Privatize those contracts into political patronage revenue streams
From Wayne Madsen, [source]
And why is FEMA so incompetent? It was turned into a political patronage agency
by Bush for Bush's campaign lickspittles. This from a disaster recovery
specialist with inside contacts at FEMA:
Mike Brown was Joe Allbaugh's college roommate. (Allbaugh was Bush's first FEMA
director). Allbaugh is now a consultant who makes tons of money for greasing
the skids for companies to get business with the federal government in Iraq and
with FEMA. Note to Federal law enforcement. You might want to investigate the
relationship between Allbaugh and IEM, Dewberry, and URS -- the companies that
took $500,000 to develop a "Catastrophic Hurricane Disaster Plan for New
Orleans & Southeast Louisiana," a plan they never delivered and a project for
they fraudulently included James Lee Witt Associates as one of their team
partners. The sleazy revolving door spewing out money spins very fast with the
Mike Brown had absolutely no experience in disaster management. When Allbaugh
became director in January, 2001, he politically cleansed FEMA of anyone who
was associated with outgoing director James Lee Witt, who had done an excellent
during the Clinton administration. Allbaugh was charged with cleaning out of
FEMA because of the neocon desire to rid the Federal bureaucracy of FEMA and
replace it with charitable giving as a means of disaster relief.
So Allbaugh's first priority was to gut FEMA. This became an even greater
priority after the Democrats (especially Joe Lieberman) forced Bush to create a
Department of Homeland Security. FEMA was rolled into DHS. Allbaugh was
caught by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) using the FEMA Boeing 737
aircraft for private purposes, including numerous personal trips to Florida and
political trips around the country. The Republican National Committee
reimbursed FEMA for the political junkets, but the embarrassing trips hit the
pages of the New York Times and Allbaugh chose at that time to leave and set up
his own consulting business. He left without any pressure from the White House.
In early 2001, the International Arabian Horse Association fired current FEMA
director Mike Brown as its executive secretary after a non-productive period of
employment. Admittedly, Mike Brown had spent a large part of 2000 campaigning
for Bush rather than doing his job, but the bottom line for the horse
association was that Brown neglected his duties and day to day responsibilities.
Brown was lucky. His old college roommate, Allbaugh, appointed Brown as his
number 2 within days of his firing by the horse association. This cozy
relationship was noted throughout the Allbaugh period. Upon Allbaugh's
departure, Brown was designated by Bush to succeed him as FEMA director. He is
called "Brownie" by Bush.
"Brownie" has few supporters in FEMA. In fact, the general commentary is that
he lacks basic organizational and management skills and he is a bullshit
artist, not a leader.
|Wednesday, 7 September 2005 at 16h 39m 53s|
Yes, he really is a clueless phony
When Bush comes to down with his cameras and his canned glorious speeches, all
else must come to an absolute halt.
When he flies in to Gulfport and New Orleans International Airport so he can
get some camera time for 30 minutes, all of the air traffic has to halt while
the Prez is in the area. Stopping the helicopters while the Prez cracks jokes
and praises his incompetent appointees.
When he was in San Diego on Tuesday while the floodwaters filled up New
Orleans, he visits a Naval Medical Center ...
Hundreds of patient visits were cancelled as a result, she said. Patients and
staff at the Naval Medical Center voiced concern over the shut-down of non-
critical patient care services for a photo op that never even materialized.
None were willing to go on record by name for fear of retaliation, such as loss
of jobs or revocation of healthcare privileges.
One hospital volunteer expressed shock and disappointment at the apparent
disregard for patient welfare.
"I think it's disgusting. People who are getting chemotherapy or radiation are
on a very set schedule. They are not supposed to miss a session or put it off
by even a day, because it's based on the life cycle of a cancer cell," the
volunteer said, adding that some patients had waited weeks for
appointments. "Some had to postpone for quite a while, because the radiation
and chemo rooms were full on other days," she added. "They closed everything
down just so he [Bush] could have his photo op in the lobby with the corpsmen."
|Wednesday, 7 September 2005 at 15h 32m 41s|
A Katrina response timeline
Follow the link here.
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