Thursday, September 08, 2005

Summary: Bush Administration Negligence in New Orleans

(I've compiled, in one place, evidence from mainstream news sources and credible witnesses showing how bad the federal government's response to the New Orleans disaster really is. This article will be updated daily to include the latest developments.

I focus solely on the response to the flooding, which is separate and apart from the fact that the flood would not have occurred in the first place if the administration hadn't slashed funding for levee repairs in order to fund its adventure in Iraq.

High-level former FEMA officials stated that government disaster officials had an action plan if a major hurricane hit New Orleans, but the plan was not executed when Hurricane Katrina struck

The head of Homeland Security, whose job it was to coordinate the flood rescue efforts, did absolutely nothing for 3 days

According to the Mayor of New Orleans, the government allowed a pumping station to be destroyed and drinking water supplies to be disrupted, even after he explained how both crises could be prevented

The Mayor also stated that helicopters were scheduled to pick up and drop massive 3,000-pound sandbags in the 17th Street Canal breach, but were diverted by the military on rescue missions (saving thousands of people by fixing the levee would have been better than saving a handful of people in the short-run)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deliberately cut the city's emergency communications lines, according to Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard in an interview on Meet the Press

According to a former high-level government official, FEMA withheld aid, cut emergency communication lines, and otherwise blocked an efficient rescue effort

Navy helicopter pilots were REPRIMANDED for saving people, are were instead ordered to watch animals in a kennel; and see this article

According to Fox News' reporters, people were locked in the Superdome and Convention Center and officials prevented them from leaving and simply walking over the bridge to safety, but instead forced them to suffer and even die in inhumane conditions. The reporters also said there was plenty of food and personnel in New Orleans, but people weren't receiving help, for unknown reasons (it is not yet clear whether it was federal or local law enforcement who prevented escape from these death-traps; but it should be remembered that the federal government took control away from the state and local governments, and is thus ultimately responsible)

FEMA chief Michael Brown waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before doing anything

FEMA refused Amtrak's offer to use its trains to evacuate people

FEMA turns away experienced firefighters; and see this article

FEMA urges first responders not to respond

FEMA Made 1,000 Firefighters Take 'Sexual Harrassment' Class While New Orleans Drowned

Highly-trained firefighters prevented from rescue work, and were instead ordered to hand out PR fliers for FEMA

FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board

FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks

FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel

FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food; and see this article

FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans

FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid

FEMA orders Chicago to send only one truck

FEMA turns away generators


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