Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina Blame Game...Locals Should Peer Into the Looking Glass

The media are busy turning their eyes toward the federal government and President Bush to place blame for response to the natural disaster in New Orleans. If blame must be considered the culpability of city and state officials in New Orleans and Louisiana should be carefully examined.
If it's accountibility the press wants it isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible, local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin. While streets were flooding and citizens remained trapped the governor and mayor immediately took aim at federal officials instead of examining their own plans.
The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement previously established evacuation plans the state and city had in place. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans exist to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.
The New Orleans contingency plan states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." While pointing fingers towards the Bush Administration the governor and mayor ignored the facts.
Some research will uncover the fact that local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The locals did not implement a corrective action plan.
New Orleans Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation. His office of Emergency Preparedness, not the federal government, is responsible for coordinating with the state government the evacuation and assisting direction of the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be advised by the Governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he issued the order for mandatory evacuation. It is reported that it took a personal call from President Bush to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.
The city of New Orleans has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run. The buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The New Orleans evacuation plan states, "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed. If an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials."
Here is a list of facts:
  • Mayor Nagin ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions.
  • Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans.
  • The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans.
  • Governor Blanco failed to send a timely request for specific aid.
  • The federal government's role is to offer aid upon request.

Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility but held a personal diatribe filled with expletives, demanding the federal government, "get off their asses" while he sat on his. Governor Blanco broke down crying instead of providing adequate leadership.

While the press, black members of Congress, Geraldo Rivera, Maxine Waters, Wolf Blitzer, Aaron Brown, Shepard Smith, Jesse Jackson (who did I miss) are playing the race card, an African-American mayor failed in his duty to protect his citizens. Everyone wants to pass the buck to the White House instead of peering thru the looking glass at themselves.

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Blogger Mike B) said...

Sounds like you've read Aristotle's POLITICS and taken them to heart.

9/06/2005 09:11:00 AM  

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