7 Sep

More Katrina, Update X

                                       

Another nail in the coffin for Gov Blanco. This from Hugh Hewitt:

The Fox News Channel’s Major Garrett was just on my show extending the story he had just reported on Brit Hume’s show: The Red Cross is confirming to Garrett that it had prepositioned water, food, blankets and hygiene products for delivery to the Superdome and the Convention Center in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but were blocked from delivering those supplies by orders of the Louisiana state government, which did not want to attract people to the Superdome and/or Convention Center. Garrett has no paper trail yet, but will follow up on his verbal confirmation from sources at the highest levels of the Red Cross.

Watch the video here (h/t The Political Teen), or read the transcript:

HH: Joined now by Major Garrett, correspondent for the Fox News Channel, as well as author of The Enduring Revolution, a best seller earlier this year. We talked about that. Major Garrett, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

MG: Hugh, always a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

HH: You just broke a pretty big story. I was watching up on the corner television in my studio, and it’s headlined that the Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome, Major Garrett. Tell us what you found out.

MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They’re not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdom, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don’t I see that?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state’s homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

HH: Now Major Garrett, on what day did they block the delivery? Do you know specifically?

MG: I am told by the Red Cross, immediately after the storm passed.

HH: Okay, so that would be on Monday afternoon.

MG: That would have been Monday or Tuesday. The exact time, the hour, I don’t have. But clearly, they had an evacuee situation at the Superdome, and of course, people gravitated to the convention center on an ad hoc basis. They sort of invented that as another place to go, because they couldn’t stand the conditions at the Superdome.

HH: Any doubt in the Red Cross’ mind that they were ready to go, but they were blocked?

MG: No. Absolutely none. They are absolutely unequivocal on that point.

HH: And are they eager to get this story out there, because they are chagrined by the coverage that’s been emanating from New Orleans?

MG: I think they are. I mean, and look. Every agency that is in the private sector, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Feed The Children, all the ones we typically see are aggrieved by all the crap that’s being thrown around about the response to this hurricane, because they work hand and glove with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. When FEMA is tarred and feathered, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are tarred and feathered, because they work on a cooperative basis. They feel they are being sullied by this reaction.

HH: Of course they are. Now Major Garrett, what about the Louisiana governor’s office of Homeland Security. Have they responded to this charge by the Red Cross, which is a blockbuster charge?

MG: I have not been able to reach them yet. But, what they have said consistently is, and what they told the Red Cross, we don’t want you to come in there, because we have evacuees that we want to get out. And if you come in, they’re more likely to stay. So I want your listeners to follow me here. At the very moment that Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans was screaming where’s the food, where’s the water, it was over the overpass, and state officials were saying you can’t come in.

HH: How long would it have taken to deliver those supplies, Major Garrett, into the Superdome and possibly the convention center?

MG: That is a more difficult question to answer than you might think. There were areas, obviously, as you approached the Superdome, that were difficult to get to, because of the flood waters. And as the Red Cross explained it to me, look. We don’t have amphibious vehicles. We have trucks and ambulance type vehicles. In some cases, after the flood waters rose as high as they did, we would have needed, at minimal, the Louisiana National Guard to bring us in, or maybe something bigger and badder, from the Marines or Army-type vehicle. They’re not sure about that. But remember, Hugh, we were transfixed, I know I was. I’m sure you were and your listeners were, by my colleague, Shep Smith, and others on that overpass.

HH: Right.

MG: …saying, wait a minute. We drove here. It didn’t take us anything to drive here.

HH: Right.

MG: Why can’t people just come here?

HH: I also have to conclude from what you’re telling me, Major Garrett, is that had they been allowed to deliver when they wanted to deliver, which is at least a little bit prior to the levee, or at least prior to the waters rising, the supplies would have been pre-positioned, and the relief…you know, the people in the Superdome, and possibly at the convention center, I want to come back to that, would have been spared the worst of their misery.

MG: They would have been spared the lack of food, water and hygiene. I don’t think there’s any doubt that they would not have been spared the indignity of having nor workable bathrooms in short order.

HH: Now Major Garrett, let’s turn to the convention center, because this will be, in the aftermath…did the Red Cross have ready to go into the convention center the supplies that we’re talking about as well?

MG: Sure. They could have gone to any location, provided that the water wasn’t too high, and they got some assistance.

HH: Now, were they utterly dependent upon the Louisiana state officials to okay them?

MG: Yes.

HH: Because you know, they do work with FEMA. But is it your understanding that FEMA and the Red Cross and the other relief agencies must get tht state’s okay to act?

MG: As the Red Cross told me, they said look. We are not state actors. We are not the Army. We are a private organziation. We work in cooperation with both FEMA and the state officials. But the state told us A) it’s not safe, because the water is dangerous. And we’re now learning how toxic the water is. B) there’s a security situation, because they didn’t have a handle on the violence on the ground. And C) and I think this is most importantly, they wanted to evacuate out. They didn’t want people to stay.

HH: Now off the record, will the Red Cross tell you what they think of Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin?

MG: No.

HH: Will they tell you what they think about FEMA director Brown?

MG: No.

HH: Will they tell you any…will they give any advice of how to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

MG: Well, there is something, Hugh, that I think we have to be honest with ourselves about. New Orleans is a situation, because of its geography, utterly unique in America. We don’t build cities in bowls, except there. This complicated the Red Cross efforts, and the FEMA efforts, from the start. In the mid-90’s, the Red Cross opened a shelter in South Carolina that was eventually flooded. And there was a big controversy about that. After that, the Red Cross made a policy decision that it would never shelter, or seek to shelter, any evacuee from any hurricane, anywhere where flooding was likely to occur. High ground is where they were going to be, and where they were going to go. Well, that basically rules out all of New Orleans.

HH: Sure. Does the Red Cross, though, assist in evacuation, Major Garrett?

MG: Not under the state plan in Louisiana. And not very many other places, either, because again, the Red Cross is a responding private charity. It is not an evacuation charity. It does not assume, as you can well imagine, Hugh, the inevitable liability that would come with being in charge of evacuating.

HH: How senior are your sources at the Red Cross, Major Garrett?

MG: They’re right next to Marty Evans, the president.

HH: So you have no doubt in your mind that they have…

MG: Oh, none. None. And I want to give credit to Bill O’Reilly, because he had Marty Evans on the O’Reilly Factor last night. And this is the first time Marty Evans said it. She said it on the O’Reilly Factor last night in a very sort of brief intro to her longer comments about dealing with the housing and other needs of the evacuees now. She said look. We were ready. We couldn’t go in. They wouldn’t let us in, and the interview continued. I developed it more fully today.

HH: And the ‘they’ are the Louisiana state officials?

MG: Right.

HH: Now any in the ‘they’…is the New Orleans’ mayor’s staff involved as well? Or the New Orleans police department?

MG: Not that I’m aware of, because the decision was made and communicated to the Red Cross by the state department of Homeland Security and the state National Guard. Both of which report to the governor.

HH: Do they have any paper records of this communication?

MG: I did not ask that. It’s a good question. I’ll follow up with them.

HH: I sure would love to know that. And if you get it, send it to me. We’ll put it up on the blog. Major Garrett, great story. Please keep us posted. Look forward to talking to you a lot in the next couple of weeks on this story. Thanks for breaking away from the Fox News Channel this afternoon.

The big quote from the above?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state’s homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

The Red Cross confirms the above here.

The Louisiana Dept. Of Homeland Security falls under the command of none other then Gov. Blanco, that same Govenor who whined and cryed about the slow response from Bush. Isn’t this the place they TOLD people to go ride out the storm? Then they blocked the needed supplies from getting in! This will only get worse people, the Govenor and the Mayor will be going down in a ball of flames, much to the dismay of the “I hate Bushitler” crowd.

Ed Morrissey states the obvious:

It’s also worth noting that the Red Cross gets more access to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay than the people still stuck inside New Orleans.

Once again, we have more evidence that the problems in getting relief to Louisianans stuck inside the New Orleans basin directly relate to decisions made at the state and local level, not federal — and that the people in charge of the overall effort have been and continue to be Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco. The meme blaming Bush for Hurricane Katrina continues to fall apart, even without wide coverage of the facts by the Exempt Media.

And Chris Regan has an interesting thought about what Bush did do wrong:

President Bush failed now in one way. He failed to ascertain that he was dealing with a governor who was a clear and present danger to the people of Louisiana. That’s a tough nut to crack in a crisis, so I don’t blame him. Taking military control over Louisiana to save Blanco’s subjects from her sociopathic leadership style would have been helpful to some individuals for sure, but the problem is that such a move may have done more serious long-term damage than the Democrats have already done to the United States in this crisis. Can you say “military dictator?” Can you say “ethnic cleansing?” Oh yeah. Those charges would have come right from Hillary herself. Hmm…now that I think about it, maybe there was a political method to Blanco’s madness.

Check out Getting Nothing But Static From The MSM, Moonbat Central, Uncorrelated, North American Patriot, Weapons Of Mass Discussion, Opinipundit, The Right Place, Ramblings Journal, & The Blue State Conservative for more.

Previous:

More Katrina, Update IX
A Few Points About Katrina
The Give Me More Generation
More Katrina, Update VIII
More Katrina, Update VII
More Katrina, Update VI
More Katrina, Update V
More Katrina, Update IV
More Katrina, Update III
More Katrina, Update II
More Katrina, Update
More Katrina
Who’s Responsible In New Orleans?
Katrina

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.
This entry was posted in Katrina. Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, September 7th, 2005 at 8:30 pm
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