(The following is an accumulation of blogs, articles, news reports and quotes that have been gathered during the past two weeks).
While Katrina was still in the Gulf, two days before it hit the coast, Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center took the unprecedented action of calling Nagin and Blanco personally to plead with them to begin MANDATORY evacuation of New Orleans. They said they’d take it under consideration. This was after the NOAA buoy 240 miles south had recorded 68′ waves before it was destroyed.
President Bush spent Friday afternoon and evening in meetings with his advisors and administrators drafting all of the paperwork required for a state to request federal assistance (and not be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act or having to enact the Insurgency Act).
Friday evening, August 26, the President called Governor Blanco and pleaded with her to sign the request papers so the federal government and the military could legally begin mobilization and call up.
He was told that they didn’t think it necessary for the federal government to be involved yet. After the President’s final call to the governor she held meetings with her staff to discuss the political ramifications of bringing federal forces. It was decided that if they allowed federal assistance it would make it look as if they had failed so it was agreed upon that the feds would not be invited in.
Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Blanco and Nagin requesting they please sign the papers requesting federal assistance, that they declare the state an emergency area, and begin mandatory evacuation.
After a personal plea from the President, Mayor Nagin agreed to order an evacuation, but it would not be a full mandatory evacuation, and the governor still refused to sign the papers requesting and authorizing federal action.
But if you go way back before Katrina even had a name, look at the Orleans Parish Levee Board, which is supposed to manage the safety and maintenance of the Levee . . .that broke causing such devastation, was spread a little thin. They also manage hundreds of acres of parks, dozens of commercial properties, and a pair of marinas, an airfield, and a riverboat casino. The state-appointed Levee Board has spent $2.8 million developing “a proposal to build a 4-mile-long island on Lake Pontchartrain with beaches, camping areas, and possibly hotels, restaurants, and an amusement park.” Cost: $200 million.
None of this money was earmarked to hold the waters back and shore up the levees. Yet Al Sharpton and other democrat apologists immediately blamed the federal government, Bush in particular, for not giving enough money to this part of the country. No Al . . .that was not the problem. You really need to get your facts together before screaming racism every time you see a camera pointed in your direction. Just an aside . . .you would not have even KNOWN about the tragedy of the stranded people at the Super Dome if it hadn’t been for white anchors hanging in their for days to bring the news to the world. Mayor Nagin wasn’t down there with his people, pleading for food and water for them, he was busy on the talk show circuit blaming the President for HIS failures.
And, why was the emergency preparedness plan that was submitted to the federal government for funding and published on the city’s website, never implemented? In fact it may have been bogus for the purpose of gaining additional federal funding as we now learn that the organizations identified in the plan were never contacted or coordinating into any planning – though the document implies that they were.
And, why did Blanco refuse to even sign the multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until Wednesday which further delayed the legal deployment of National Guard from adjoining states?
And why does Nagin keep claiming that the President should have commandeered 500 Greyhound busses when he had, at his disposal, over 500 busses to use, but he never raised a finger to prepare them or activate them.
Associated Press reported Saturday evening, August 27:
“President Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Saturday because of the approach of Hurricane Katrina, and his spokesman urged residents along the coast to heed authorities’ advice to evacuate.”
“We urge residents in the areas that could be impacted to follow the recommendations of local authorities,” White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said that day.
According to a Sunday morning August 28 AP dispatch, “Bush also lit a fire under Governor Blanco while Katrina twirled furiously across the Gulf of Mexico.”
“Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor [Nagin] at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.”
Here’s the story in Blanco’s own words:
“Just before we walked into this room, President Bush called and told me to share with all of you that he is very concerned about the citizens. He is concerned about the impact that this hurricane would have on our people. And he asked me to please ensure that there would be a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans.”
It was reported Monday that “Blanco refused to sign over control of the National Guard to the federal government and turned to a Clinton administration official, former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief James Lee Witt, to help run relief efforts.”
Finally, on thursday, September 1, three days after Katrina struck, Governor Blanco called for 40,000 National Guard troops.
President Bush dispatched four Navy ships to the region,
asked Congress to return from vacation and approve an initial $10.5 billion in federal assistance to the region (which he signed Friday), and recruited his father and President Bill Clinton to raise private and corporate money to aid Katrina’s survivors.
Mayor Nagin, failed to move to higher ground and deploy at least 255 school buses. Rather than easily evacuate 12,750 New Orleanians per journey last week, these buses sat in formation on a soaked parking lot where AP photographer Phil Coale found them last Thursday, September 1.
While his citizens sat hungry, thirsty at the Super Dome, and ignored by their mayor, Ray Nagin, he ordered that 400 tourists from outside of his state and outside of our country be evacuated from the downtown hotels, and were sent to the front of line to be evacuated from the city.
Also, Nagin announced Monday that he would dip into the city’s rapidly dwindling coffers to fly exhausted New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers to Las Vegas for five-days of rest and relaxation â€” even as city residents sleep on cots in sports arenas, and local attics.
And who is to blame for the snipers and blatant Crimes? Bush, the Mayor, the governor . . . or people who preyed on their fellow citizens during a crisis?
Snipers fired at doctors and nurses who tried to evacuate patients from Charity Hospital. Terrified of bullets, medical personnel kept the infirm in sweltering rooms where some died.
A flotilla of private boats prepared to rescue stranded hurricane survivors. The boat owners turned back and went home when they were shot at. Those dying on their rooftops had to wait longer, perhaps fatally, thanks to their own murderous neighbors.
“Spoke to my uncle this morning (Thurs) in Riverbend near Carrolton and St. Charles. He and several (elderly) residents are holed up there and the security situation is getting desperate. Heat is extreme, and there are roving gangs of looters with guns. The looters have also
commandeered a backhoe and are ramming homesâ€¦ While Leake Avenue and River Road are dry, they are afraid to leave as they fear they will be shot, carjacked etc.”
Michael Shellie of Oregon told the New York Post about looters who broke into his New Orleans hotel: “They threw everything out the windows just for the fun of watching it crash â€” televisions, vending machines, beds. And they robbed the manager at gunpoint, so he fled.”
Rather than applaud as 14 contractors crossed the Danziger Bridge to fix the 17th Street Levee that faltered and submerged their city, a well-armed band of hoodlums instead opened fire on these engineers. NOPD.
The Democrats immediately began the blame game, starting with Senator Robert Kennedy who said that God was punishing Haley Barbour for not encouraging president Bush to sign the Kyoto Agreement. And that if the agreement had been signed, the hurricane would not have happened. Yes, it was a literate hurricane, incredibly savvy of political nuances and would have started its trek toward the coast, been presented with a copy and stopped in its tracks saying, “Oh, I apologize, I didn’t realize you had signed the Kyoto Agreement, and that even though Haley Barbour was against it, and is now the governor of Mississippi, I will retreat, subside and not inflict the damage I had intended to inflict.” Where do they get these guys who call themselves leaders?
I can understand Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore repeating the talking points they are spoon fed by the Democrat party, and know that their livelihood depends on disseminating hyperbole and racial accusations. But an elected official? Since Robert is blaming God for Haley’s actions, would he blame God for wiping out New Orleans because 100,000 gays had planned their annual Southern Decadence march the weekend that Katrina hit, promising greater debauchery than ever before? No because that would be politically incorrect for a loving God to kill people for a moral reason, but it’s not for a political reason. That makes a lot of sense Senator Kennedy.
But if anyone is really to blame it is the gurus of the welfare mentality who have kept these poor people trapped on the government plantation, dependent upon the masters of the plantation to tell them where to go, what to do, where to get food . . . or to wait, and starve in the hot sun. Why is it that only people on government assistance trusted the government, listened to them and sat for days waiting for help, while others who have zero trust in the government got the heck out of Dodge?
Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Democrat party has created such a dependency class that fully grown adults are clueless as to how to take care of themselves when a disaster hits the plantation. This shame of a failed system is what was exposed in this disaster and that is why the Mayor, the Governor and the other democrat leaders have to scream and blame ANYONE else for not only their failure in helping their citizens, but for relegating these poor citizens to a life of total and complete dependency, void of motivation and initiative. That is a hidden crime across the country that needs to be revealed.