Thursday, September 08, 2005


Governor Blanco... worse and worse

After the revelations that Louisiana's Governor Blanco refused to send her 7,000 available National Guardsmen into New Orleans, told the President she needed twenty-four hours "to make a decision" about accepting outside (federal) assistance, and delayed FEMA and other federal relief efforts by refusing to request or consent to "outsiders" getting involved, we now have Major Garrett ay Fox News breaking the story that the Louisiana state authorities actually prohibited the Red Cross from bringing in tons of relief supplies to the Superdome.


Well, the
Red Cross website says it's the awful truth:

Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

The Red Cross shares the nation’s anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.

The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.

As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.

So the truth is, while the mayor of New Orleans was screaming about not having any relief supplies, relief supplies that could have been delivered weren't, because state officials thought it would make people want to stay and the state wanted them to leave.

The state, of course, failed to provide any means for them to leave. So there they sat, suffering, perhaps even dying, because Governor Blanco is an idiot.

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