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Posted by GaYellowDawg
It's not about blame. It's about responsibility. Let us not forget that the first of the inalienable rights listed by the Declaration of Independence is the right to life, and it is the primary responsibility of the American government to safeguard American lives. When American lives are in danger, it is the responsibility of government to act, not to cut cakes, strum guitars, buy a house, attend a baseball game, or cut a swath through Manhattan's finest shops.
While George Bush was eating cake with John McCain, rats were eating American corpses in American cities. While George Bush was strumming a dissonant chord with a country singer, a dissonant, desperate cry for help went unheeded from American voices in American cities. While Dick Cheney was closing on a posh new house, floodwaters were closing in on many more American houses, and, even worse, their owners. While Donald Rumsfeld was enjoying a game in an American baseball stadium, American citizens were dying in an American football stadium. While Condoleeza Rice was delightedly prancing through Manhattan shops in search of shoes, American citizens were desperately sloshing through New Orleans buildings in search of drinkable water. The largest natural disaster in modern American history is no time for absentee government, but that's what we got.
The Real Costs of a Culture of Greed
By Robert Scheer, AlterNet. Posted September 6, 2005.
What the world has witnessed this past week is an image of poverty and social disarray that tears away the affluent mask of the United States.
Instead of the much-celebrated American can-do machine that promises to bring freedom and prosperity to less fortunate people abroad, we have seen a callous official incompetence that puts even Third World rulers to shame. The well-reported litany of mistakes by the Bush administration in failing to prevent and respond to Katrina's destruction grew longer with each hour's grim revelation from the streets of an apocalyptic New Orleans.
Ordeal of a Whistleblower
By Evelyn Pringle, AlterNet. Posted September 7, 2005.
With the recent demotion of the woman who dared speak out, the list of lies about Halliburton's no-bid Iraq reconstruction contracts grows even longer.
In October 2004, Bunnatine Greenhouse, a top military official responsible for making sure the Army Corps of Engineers complies with contracting rules, came forward and revealed that top Pentagon officials showed improper favoritism to Halliburton when awarding military contracts.
The allegations made by this official were first reported by Time magazine.
Bush on the Gulf Coast in his role as Slim Witless, the yodeling moron. At least Saddam Hussein didn't play the guitar while he killed his own people.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Iraq 100, Louisiana 8: "The Garden of Eden" vs. "Hell on Earth"
Is it possible to actually quantify how screwed up the priorities of the Bush cabal in Washington have been? Usually not. But when it comes to the issue of wetlands -- the natural buffer that could have protected New Orleans against a deadly storm surge liked the one that essentially wiped out the city last week -- the answer is "yes."
In 2004 -- at a time when George W. Bush was running for re-election and presumably courting votes in Louisiana, a potential swing state -- the White House proposed spending a whopping 12 1/3 times as much taxpayer money restoring wetlands in southern Iraq as he planned to spend on the same task in the Mississippi Delta.
Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences
Lorrie Beth Slonsky
Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's
windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.
If I Screamed It, Would You Hear Me?
From our own Christy Cole:
Not too long ago I wrote an article entitled 'Preaching to the Choir.' in which I discussed the political abandonment of the deep south. When I wrote it, I was blissfully unaware of exactly how right I was. Or how it would bring death so close in plentiful amounts.
As a resident of Louisiana I would like to tell you about what you have lost. I would like you to see it, as I saw it.
New Orleans. Or, as they say if you’re from here, "Nuuuw 'Awwwlins'. So famous, most think her our capital city. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, but New Orleans was our crown jewel. World wide she was known for her parties, her history, her engineering feats, her defiance of nature itself. And on top of it all was a culture unlike any place on earth. A place where history is beloved and alive.
Milvertha Hendricks, 84, waits in the rain with other flood victims outside the convention center in New Orleans Thursday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
It's appears only poor black folks and not rich campaign contributors get to wait in the rain while a third of the Louisiana National Guard that might have helped with recovery is stationed in Iraq.
Monument to a Rotten System
By Dave Zirin, AlterNet. Posted September 3, 2005.
Governmental hypocrisy is personified painfully in the monument to corporate greed that has rapidly become the earth's most damnable homeless shelter: the Louisiana Superdome.
There is nothing "unnatural" about the disaster of New Orleans. When politicians smirk at global warming, when developers look at our wetlands and dream of mini-malls, when billions are flushed in the name of war and tax cuts, when issues of poverty and racism don't even register in presidential debates, all it takes is wind, albeit 145 mph wind, to expose a sturdy superpower as a house of cards.
When we desperately need more troops in Iraq, they won't send enough. When we desperately need troops in New Orleans, they won't
THE TROOPS: James Taranto is doing his usual best to defend anything the Bush administration does and points out that the deployment in Iraq is not a reason for the lack of troops to restore order in new Orleans. He cites a NRO article that makes this point:
Take the Army for example. There are 1,012,000 soldiers on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard. Of them, 261,000 are deployed overseas in 120 countries. Iraq accounts for 103,000 soldiers, or 10.2 percent of the Army.
That’s all? Yes, 10.2 percent. That datum is significant in itself, a good one to keep handy the next time someone talks about how our forces are stretched too thin, our troops are at the breaking point, and so forth. If you add in Afghanistan (15,000) and the support troops in Kuwait (10,000) you still only have 12.6 percent.
So where are the rest?
(Editor's note: This article was original submitted as a post to afterdowningstreet.org.)
George Fails again or still
Submitted by Susan Carr (not verified) on Sat, 2005-09-03 15:33.
PROPER PRIOR PLANNING PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE!
When I was growing up this was a term my dad used all the time when I could have prevented problems. Mr. Bush has never learned that lesson not only about Katrina and its aftermath, but about all the budget cuts of services for Americans that can come back and haunt us later. That money is being used to fight a losing war and or is put into a Homeland Security Department that still doesn’t offer the protections it should for our citizens. Whether in the Iraq War or in a home crisis Bush is graded
Air Force to Send 300 Airmen to Gulf Coast
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
51 minutes ago
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The U.S. Air Force will send 300 airmen home from Iraq and Afghanistan to help their families cope with emergencies on an air base devastated by Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Miss., a spokesman said Saturday.
The airmen, all based at Keesler Air Force Base, will begin flying home over the next two weeks, said Air Force Capt. David Small, spokesman for U.S. Central Command Air Forces in Qatar.
The group includes airmen who were scheduled to rotate home in September and others whose deployments will be cut short.
Halliburton-- the company who lost taxpayers money in Iraq while making a huge personal profit-- gets contract in New Orleans
Sept. 1, 2005, 8:30PM
Halliburton hired for storm cleanup
The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.
KBR was assigned the work under a "construction capabilities" contract awarded in 2004 after a competitive bidding process. The company is not involved in the Army Corps of Engineers' effort to repair New Orleans' levees.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
World stunned as US struggles with Katrina
By Andrew Gray
2 hours, 1 minute ago
LONDON (Reuters) - The world has watched amazed as the planet's only superpower struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with some saying the chaos has exposed flaws and deep divisions in American society.
World leaders and ordinary citizens have expressed sympathy with the people of the southern United States whose lives were devastated by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.
But many have also been shocked by the images of disorder beamed around the world -- looters roaming the debris-strewn streets and thousands of people gathered in New Orleans waiting for the authorities to provide food, water and other aid.
A Can't-Do Government
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: September 2, 2005
Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.
So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.
I was horrified to come across two photos on yahoo's site--one of a black man described as a "looter" and another of two white people described as having "found" bread and soda.
Go here to see the photos:
It is such language that reveals why we are still, 140 years after the Civil War, such a racist and divided country.
How can we possibly heal the rifts after such unconscious and appalling attitudes are revealed?
Planning, Response Are Faulted
By Josh White and Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 2, 2005; Page A01
Tens of thousands of people remain stranded on the streets of New Orleans in desperate conditions because officials failed to plan for a serious levee breach and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina was slow, according to disaster experts and Louisiana government officials.
Though experts had long predicted that the city -- which sits below sea level and is surrounded by water -- would face unprecedented devastation after an immense hurricane, they said problems were worsened by a late evacuation order and insufficient emergency shelter for as many as 100,000 people.
DEAD BODIES, RAPE,CRACK, GUNSHOTS, FILTH AND A SICKENING STENCH FILLING THE THICK AIR, BRITS' HELL INSIDE THE TERROR DOME
2 September 2005
DEAD BODIES, RAPE,CRACK, GUNSHOTS, FILTH AND A SICKENING STENCH FILLING THE THICK AIR
BRITS' HELL INSIDE THE TERROR DOME
LINK TO ORIGINAL
From Ryan Parry, Us Correspondent, Inside The New Orleans Superdome
BRITISH students told yesterday how they stepped out of the horror of Hurricane Katrina into the hell of their Superdome "shelter".
A place of refuge became a terrifying trap, where knives and guns, crack cocaine use, threats of violence and racial abuse were rife.
Jamie Trout, 22, who kept a record of his four days there, said: "It was like something out of Lord of the Flies - one minute everything is calm and civil, the next it descends into chaos."
By Andrew Gumbel
Published: 02 September 2005
President Bush faced not only the fallout of Hurricane Katrina but also an intense political storm yesterday as relief experts, government officials and newspaper editorials criticised everything from his administration's disaster preparedness policies to the manner in which he made his public entry into the growing crisis on the Gulf coast.
The New York Times said of a speech he made on Tuesday: "Nothing about the President's demeanour yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis."
FEMA Directing Donations To Rev.
09/01/05 02:45 PM Eastern
UPDATED TO REFLECT NEW INFORMATION:
FEMA was called today and the Robertson listing is old. According to the person, it will be gone by tomorrow. FEMA is, no doubt, underfunded, like every other service agency in this government.
Incredibly enough, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is listing Pat Robertson's organization Operation Blessing as one of its top three groups to which Americans should send cash to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Robertson has previously used Operation Blessings plane's and resources to ferry equipment to his diamond mining corporation in Africa.
FEMA's actions were first pointed out by the website Sploid.
Police: Miss. Man Kills Sister Over Bag Of Ice
POSTED: 12:14 am EDT September 1, 2005
UPDATED: 5:53 am EDT September 1, 2005
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Police in Hattiesburg, Miss., said a man fatally shot his sister in the head over a bag of ice.
Authorities say 35-year-old Antonio Page shot his sister with a handgun on a street corner Tuesday night.
Police Chief David Wynn said the woman's name was not available.
Wynn said tempers are short, but he can't understand why a member of someone's family could take that step.
The shooting is being treated like a homicide, Wynn said.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
New Orleans in Anarchy With Fights, Rapes
By ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago
NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday, as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out and storm survivors battled for seats on the buses that would carry them away from the chaos. The tired and hungry seethed, saying they had been forsaken.
"I'm not sure I'm going to get out of here alive," said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. "I'm scared of riots. I'm scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire."
Congress Sending $10.5B in Relief Aid
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
10 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Congress rushed to provide a $10.5 billion down payment in relief aid for Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina on Thursday as President Bush ordered new action to minimize disruptions in the nation's energy supplies.
"Don't buy gas if you don't need it," he urged consumers already hit by sharply rising prices.
Amid lawlessness in flooded, chaotic New Orleans, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced plans to deploy 1,400 additional National Guard personnel each day for the next several days.
New Orleans mayor issues 'desperate SOS'
Violence disrupts evacuation, rescue efforts
Thursday, September 1, 2005 Posted: 2223 GMT (0623 HKT)
Crowds of New Orleans residents try to get on buses at an evacuation staging area on Interstate 10.
The mayor of New Orleans issued a "desperate SOS" Thursday as violence disrupted efforts to rescue people still trapped in the flooded city and evacuate thousands of displaced residents living amid corpses and human waste.
Residents expressed growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets, raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of relief efforts.
White House Briefing: McClellan Responds to Criticism Related to Hurricane
By E&P Staff
Published: September 01, 2005 4:10 PM ET
NEW YORK White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan met with reporters today, explained what the president plans to do about hurricane relief, and faced questions about whether that relief could have come stronger and sooner--and if, perhaps, Washington could have done more to prevent this tragedy.
Relevant excerpts follow:
Q People on the ground, though are questioning why it's taken three days or more for federal help to arrive, notwithstanding all of the preparations. There's considerable bitterness in some places. We had one woman ask on camera last night, where's the cavalry? And then there's been editorial criticism across the country of the President for not acting sooner, or not coming back sooner. What do you say to all that?
Editorials Raise Questions About President's Response to Katrina--and Lack of Preparations
By E&P Staff
Published: August 31, 2005 10:30 PM ET
NEW YORK As the truth sinks in--this is the worst natural disaster in the nation's history--editorials in a wide range of newspapers have now raised critical issues about the lack of preparation, the effects of so many National Guard sent to Iraq, and the response of President Bush to the tragedy this week.
One of the most stalwart conservative newspapers in the nation, the Union Leader of New Hampshire, today blasted Bush's response to the great Gulf Coast hurricane.
From an article in the Chicago Sun-Times (9/1/05):
Four out of 10 Americans, given a few minutes to bend President Bush's ear on Iraq, would tell him to bring the soldiers home now.
Or, as more than one respondent told Gallup pollsters, "get the [swear word] out."
Paper: Tenet won't become fall guy for 9/11 intelligence
George Tenet will not let himself become the "fall guy" for 9/11 intelligence failures, according to a former intelligence officer and a source friendly to Mr. Tenet, the conservative Washington Times asserted Thursday.
The piece was written by John B. Roberts, who worked in the Reagan White House and often writes on terrorism and intelligence affairs. Tenet, the former CIA direction, was blamed for the sixteen words in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address in which he boldly asserted that Iraq was seeking uranium for a weapons of mass destruction program. He resigned shortly thereafter.
EXCLUSIVE: Karl Rove Makes Surprise Visit to Camp Casey!
Greets, Thanks Bush Supporters Opposing Cindy Sheehan
Snubs, Ignores Combat Vets, Gold Star Families Who Made Ultimate Sacrifice for Bush's War
CRAWFORD, TX - Driving his own pickup, with two trucks blockading both sides of the street, Bush Administration Senior Political Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove made a surprise sunset visit/photo-op Tuesday night to the half dozen or so Bush supporters camped across the street from "Camp Casey" in Crawford, Texas where Cindy Sheehan -- whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq -- originally made her stand requesting a meeting and an explanation from George W. Bush, The BRAD BLOG has learned from eye-witnesses.