Thursday, September 08, 2005
Not just the Red Cross: Louisiana's fatally incompetent governor, Kathleen Blanco, not only barred the Red Cross from providing food, water and other basic necessities to evacuees at the Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center last week as conditions there quickly deteriorated, but also the Salvation Army. Why? Because she didn't want people to get too comfy.
The Salvation Army basically said look. We...first of all, both agencies also want to let people know that they've served the needs of thousands of people who got out, and who got out just a little bit to high ground, north of New Orleans. But they couldn't get in to meet those needs. They asked to get in. They were prepared with their...the Salvation Army has these ever-familiar portable kitchen canteens, is what they call them. They can actually make food, produce food on spot, and distribute it there. People line up. We've seen that at hurricanes and other natural disasters. They were ready. Not allowed in. At first, it was this idea that we don't want to create a magnet at the evacuation site. Secondarily, it became an issue of well, there's lots of water, and we can't assure your safety, so on and so forth. Here's another key point, Hugh. I was very specific with the American Red Cross, president and CEO Marty Evans, and said wait. Tell me clearly. Were you prepared to go in before the levees broke? Before water became an issue of any kind? She said absolutely. Were you denied access before the levees broke? She said we were denied access from minute one. [emphasis added]
People suffered and some may have died because of this idiocy. The fingerpointing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and President Bush is baseless and naked partisan opportunism. The most serious mistakes that continue to be revealed are not at the federal level, but at the local and state levels.
On a related note: Why this story hasn't been on the front page of every major newspaper in America and leading the network newscasts befuddles me. Is it incompetence? The herd mentality? Or maybe it wouldn't look good for Democrats if the truth came out?