Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: "Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."
Well there's your problem right there.
If ever a slip-of-the-tongue defined a government's response to a crisis, this was it.
The seeming definition of our time and our leaders had been their insistence on slashing federal budgets for projects that might’ve saved New Orleans. The seeming characterization of our government that it was on vacation when the city was lost, and could barely tear itself away from commemorating V.J. Day and watching Monty Python's Flying Circus, to at least pretend to get back to work. The seeming identification of these hapless bureaucrats: their pathetic use of the future tense in terms of relief they could’ve brought last Monday and Tuesday — like the President, whose statements have looked like they’re being transmitted to us by some kind of four-day tape-delay.
Viewpoint: Has Katrina saved US media?
By Matt Wells
BBC News, Los Angeles
As President Bush scurries back to the Gulf Coast, it is clear that this is the greatest challenge to politics-as-usual in America since the fall of Richard Nixon in the 1970s.
Then as now, good reporting lies at the heart of what is changing.
But unlike Watergate, "Katrinagate" was public service journalism ruthlessly exposing the truth on a live and continuous basis.
Instead of secretive "Deep Throat" meetings in car-parks, cameras captured the immediate reality of what was happening at the New Orleans Convention Center, making a mockery of the stalling and excuses being put forward by those in power.
Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina.
I just spoke with Dennis Kyne in Covington, LA. Our VFP Peace Tour group kept a shelter going and is working now hand-in-hand with Natl'l Guardsmen just in to town. They're continuing to cook and distribute meals - the propane kitchen on the bus has been the only working equipment in the community. They're continuing to assist with first aide & medical triage. Their generator has been the only operating system. Their satellite link has been one of the only reliable means of communications in the area.
They are no longer able to purchase any of the following in Baton Rouge or communities within reach of the Big Easy and need them desperately:
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 05 September 2005
President Bush has evaded Cindy Sheehan's question, "What was the noble cause that my son died for?" But he provided a partial answer on the day that the New Orleans levees gave way.
The media coverage was scant and fleeting - but we should not allow the nation's Orwellian memory hole to swallow up a revealing statement in Bush's speech at a naval air station near San Diego.
In the August 30 speech, moments after condemning "a brutal campaign of terror in Iraq," the president said: "If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks. They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions." In other words, the US war effort in Iraq must continue because control of Iraqi oil is at stake.
DEMOCRACY NOW! DAILY EMAIL DIGEST
September 5, 2005
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HURRICANE KATRINA: Viewers and listeners who have been
affected by hurricane Katrina can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with
a brief description of their experience and their contact numbers.
= = = = = = = = =
TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW! - Including an Online Exclusive Hour special:
*Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff Refuses To Resign Over Handling Of Hurricane Katrina Relief*
Michael Chertoff appears on Meet the Press and defends the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. [includes rush transcript]
ACORN's Headquarters, in New Olreans, LA, and the homes and neighborhoods of many of its members there, have been devestated by hurricane Katrina. We are working to find and relocate out 9,000 New Orleans member families, provide mortgage counseling, and ORGANIZING to get the victims of Kartina the voice and services they need. Read more at www.acorn.org. Please donate to the ACORN Hurricane Recovery and Rebuilding Fund to help us reopen, rebuild, and serve our communities in this time of need. Read more about how your donation will be used.
All donations to ACORN® are used to better the lives and communities of low- and moderate-income Americans.
Committee on Homeland Security Democrats Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member
For Immediate Release:
September 5, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Porter Gore
House Homeland Security Democrats Question the Coordination of the National
Guard's Response Efforts
WASHINGTON- Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the
House Homeland Security Committee along with Congressman Bill Pascrell
(D-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology, sent a letter today to
Phantoms of Lost Liberty: The U.S. Constitution in Crisis
It is often said that September 11th changed everything. Does this mean the U.S.
Constitution, too? There’s a Constitutional debate raging right now and it is over
how much power the government has in its War on Terror. Are secret arrests
permissible? Torture? Surveillance? Restrictions on speech and protest? Lying
by police and government officials? Is the Constitution even relevant in this
new kind of warfare? Or is it quaint and outmoded? Many people have argued
that Americans now face the greatest Constitutional crisis of our history.
(September 05, 2005 -- 01:17 AM EDT // link // print)
As noted, the Washington Post got burned today by a "senior Bush official" who told them that Gov. Blanco of Louisiana had never declared a state of emergency in the site -- a claim the Post printed as fact. Yet the claim was demonstrably false and by late afternoon the Post had been compelled to print a correction.
This week's Newsweek contains the same false claim -- and though their recital of the anecdote is unsourced, common sense suggests that someone or some operation fed them both the same line, which neither organization checked out before running.
Monday's Times, not surprisingly, confirms that the White House damage control operation is being run by Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett.
Add it up.
And who will report this out?
-- Josh Marshall
Why the American dream is one of the biggest lies
Muriel Gray argues that the lessons of hurricane Katrina and its terrible aftermath are not about disaster management but about exposing the falsehoods at the very heart of modern America
SINCE broadcasters precede any post watershed material that might shock, offend or disturb with a stern warning about content, it seems odd that this service is not extended to the news. Mind you, what would the reassuring voice of the female continuity announcer say? How about: “Viewers are cautioned that the following programme contains images that may cause them to despise the entire human race and look forward to its inevitable self destruction.
September 04, 2005
For the 'Excuse President,' the best defense is a good offense
Posted 2:46 pm |The Carpetbagger Report
At the end of the day, the Bush gang only knows how to run one play: shun responsibility and blame someone else. It's about the only thing the administration seems to do well.
Initially, the blame for the crisis in New Orleans was placed on the local citizens who didn't have the resources to leave. Then, the blame shifted half-heartedly to the media, as evidenced by Trent Lott's claim the other day that the federal government has responded well to the disaster, but people are being misled by reporters who only want to focus on the negative.
Is your Congress Member Co-Sponsoring?
If not, Call Them on Tuesday!!
By David Swanson
On September 15, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and other congress members will be holding hearings on Capitol Hill on the issue of creating an exit strategy for Iraq. This event will be nine days before what organizers are hoping will be the biggest ever march against the war in Washington. Many of the same groups organizing the march on Sept. 24th have decided to hold a smaller rally in front of the White House on the 15th to support the action in Congress and the demand to get U.S. soldiers out of Iraq.
This has resulted in confusion for at least some small number of people. Here is an attempt to clarify.
Help Needed - PLEASE Call Your Representative's Office TUESDAY Re: HRes
375 the Downing Street Minutes
A few months ago, Rep. Barbara Lee introduced a Resolution of Inquiry
[H.Res. 375 Re: the Downing Street Minutes] to investigate Bush
Administration deceit and wrongdoing leading up to the Iraq War. The
After Downing Street Coalition - http://www.afterdowningstreet.org - is
working with Rep. Lee's office and others to gain Congressional
cosponsors for this Resolution. Unfortunately we are running out of
time. The showdown vote is drawing near. You can help us win! We need
your help. Especially if your Representative is a member of the
Silent Powell's no hero on Iraq
From New York Daily News
You know who has been anything but a hero in the lost war in Iraq?
After watching the excellent CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong" with David Ensor a few weeks back - it's about the President's commission on the intelligence failures leading up to the Iraqi war - it turns out it wasn't failure at all.
Instead, the case for invasion was a roaring success of warmongering spin, lies, cherrypicking and deception.
Cindy Sheehan is leading a movement and thinking pretty damn clearly about it -- as becomes clear to anyone who meets her, as the authors of this sort of conspiracy commentary clearly have not. In this sort of piece, Cindy's arguments are not refuted, but dismissed as the ravings of someone who's too upset to think straight. So the fact that her son died in the war is turned into a reason why she cannot talk about it, cannot point out the evidence that the war was launched on the basis of lies.
Published on Sunday, September 4, 2005 by the Toronto Sun
By Eric Margolis
The most important news from Iraq last week was not the much ballyhooed constitutional pact by Shias and Kurds, nor the tragic stampede deaths of nearly 1,000 pilgrims in Baghdad.
The U.S. Air Force's senior officer, Gen. John Jumper, stated U.S. warplanes would remain in Iraq to fight resistance forces and protect the American-installed regime "more or less indefinitely." Jumper's bombshell went largely unnoticed due to Hurricane Katrina.
Gen. Jumper let the cat out of the bag. While President George Bush hints at eventual troop withdrawals, the Pentagon is busy building four major, permanent air bases in Iraq that will require heavy infantry protection.
September 4, 2005 - 5:49AM
Venezuela has uncovered plans for a US-led invasion and is preparing to defend the country against invading forces if necessary, President Hugo Chavez said in a report carried by the state-run news agency.
The Bolivarian News Agency reported that Chavez made the comments during an interview with CNN. It was unclear when the interview was to be aired.
"If it occurs to the United States to invade our country - Fidel Castro said it and I agree - a war will start here to last 100 years," Chavez was quoted as saying. "Not only this country would be burned up, but a good part of this continent; they shouldn't make any mistake about it, we are preparing to repel an invasion."
Week of chaos leaves administration reeling
By Todd S. Purdum / New York Times News Service
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo
President Bush waves after delivering his weekly radio address from the Rose Garden of the White House Saturday in Washington. In a rare live radio address, Bush, seeking to stem criticism that a slow federal response has contributed to needless misery, said he is ordering additional active duty forces to the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast region.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo
WASHINGTON -- Perhaps not since Richard M. Nixon faced Vietnam-era tumult abroad and at home has an American president had to meet quite the combination of foreign war, domestic tribulations and political division that President Bush now confronts, from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf Coast to Capitol Hill.
"This is a storm of enormous magnitude," Bush told relief workers at the disaster operations center of the Red Cross here on Sunday morning. He was referring to Hurricane Katrina, of course, but his words could also apply to the enduring insurgency in Iraq and the looming battles over the first double vacancy on the Supreme Court since Nixon nominated William H. Rehnquist to the Supreme Court 34 years ago.
9/5/2005 11:48:00 AM GMT
The claims of bringing stability to Iraq are just absurd
By: Kevin Zeese
Just as President Bush claimed in the build-up to war that the U.S. was threatened by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's connection to Osama bin Laden and 9/11 plotters– we are now being told a new falsehood – U.S. troops are in Iraq to stabilize the country. Even the slightest scratching of the reality surface shows the absurdity of this wartime propaganda.
Last Update: Friday, September 2, 2005. 11:29am (AEST)
Italy continues troop withdrawal from Iraq
Defence Minister Antonio Martino says Italy will continue to reduce the number of its troops deployed to southern Iraq with new departures expected soon.
Mr Martino says "There has already been a first withdrawal of 300 men and it is expected that very soon we will proceed with a new reduction" in forces.
The Defence Minister did not give a precise date nor the size of the next troop withdrawal but adds that "the recomposition of the Italian contingent has already begun".
In June 2003 the Italian Government sent some 3,000 soldiers to Iraq.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
--The two week old baby had not had any milk for almost 5 days when this picture was taken.--
We let citizens down, admits President
Bring Them Home Now Tour Report #1
by Crawford Peace House [Subscribe]
Sun Sep 4th, 2005 at 19:44:55 PDT
This report comes from Lisa Fithian who is part of the tour that left Crawford on Wednesday:
Dear Allies and Organizers,
The Bring Them Home Now Tour is on its fifth day of the journey from Camp Casey, Crawford, TX to Washington DC. Here is a quick summary of the events on each route as of Sept 3...
New Orleans=Iraq=Worst President Ever
by jetfan [Subscribe]
Sun Sep 4th, 2005 at 19:12:13 PDT
The Pat Buchanan isolationists just got a 145 mph wind at their sails by the name of Katrina. A slew of paleoconservatives and Republican moderates who probably voted for Bush, gave him the benefit of doubt, but never were strong supporters of his Iraq gambit will be dusting off their "we need to take care of people here at home" rationale and joining the already majority anti-war movement.
Expect to see the bottom fall out of Iraq support. Expect even new lows for the next Bush approval polls.
Special Prosecutor to Investigate Criminal Negligence
Submitted by Mary Jeswald (not verified) on Sun, 2005-09-04 19:10.
(Editor's note: This letter was posted on an earlier thread.)
Here is the letter that I am sending to my congressional representatives:
Dear Senators Santorum and Specter and Representative Hart:
After watching the Weather Channel repeatedly warn of the approach of Hurricane Katrina, I was shocked after the storm hit to read in the news that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson on Sunday, August 28, 2005 had called Louisiana Governor Blanco to offer to send National Guard troops from New Mexico to assist the State of Louisiana. On Thursday, September 1, 2005, permission from Washington was finally given.
Presidential visit to disaster area was faked media hype
President of Jefferson Parish, Aaron Broussard, says he still doesn't have the resources needed to save the lives in his Parish.
At the end of this interview on Meet the Press, Broussard tells a heart wrenching story of a co-worker's mother that was trapped in a nursing home. She called four days in a row for help but help never came. Broussard breaks into tears as he explains that the cavalry never came and she died by drowning.
Folks, people are still trapped. People still don't have food and water. President Bush has staged some photo-ops to make it look like the Calvary had arrived and everything was under control.
Sponsor The Veterans For Peace Bus in Covington, LA
[VFP Road Trips Bus, Fresh From Camp Casey, Has Set Up Aid Station In Covington LA To Disaster Relief To Those In Need]
The Pine View Middle School
1115 West 28th Street Covington, LA. [You Can Mail Supplies Via UPS to this Address; care of VFP]
We are using the school to support Veterans For Peace hurricane relief efforts from Covington, LA.
This petition is to the US government to open closed military bases to house the Hurricane victims- please sign and pass on
paypal donation to Chapter 116
I officially closed down for the Labor Day Weekend, but the Bush administration's response to Katrina was simply too much for me. So I've written today a summary piece, especially emphasizing the way in which Iraq has proved a grim coming attraction for Katrina's aftermath: "At the Front of Nowhere at All: The Perfect Storm and the Feral City."
New Orleans is, of course, the "feral city" that thirty years of sci fi movies and post-apocalyptic novels (think: Escape from New York) have brought to our consciousness. It is clearly a defining event of our moment, possibly our lives, and it has swept up all Bush policies -- every way in which they have tried to "starve the beast" -- into a perfect toxic storm.
By Stephen Elliott
Louisiana black leaders, along with Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson, want to take Katrina victims to a shuttered Air Force base instead of shelters. And I'm going with them.
Baton Rouge, LA - I got on a bus with California Rep. Maxine Waters Saturday afternoon, not sure where we were going, just knowing we were headed to New Orleans to pick up Hurricane Katrina victims. Even as television news is showing pictures of people being rescued by military helicopters and chartered buses, local and national black leaders are seething at the mismanaged evacuation, as well as the haphazard way even the rescued people are being handled. So they've come up with their own plan: to load the remaining residents on buses they've chartered and bring them to England Air Force Base, a shuttered military installation in Alexandria, La.