WaPo reports Thousands of documents released by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Friday night shed new light on clashes between state officials, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin and the Bush administration as they struggled to respond to Hurricane Katrina.
If she really wants to clear everything up, then why has the New Orleans Disaster Plan, which was here right after the hurrican hit (and which they ignored) disappeared from their website, and why has the State of Louisiana plan which used to be here and here also disappeared?Among the more than 100,000 pages of newly released records, which ranged from after-action reports to hand-scrawled notes written at the height of the storm, are memos showing Blanco frustrated and angered over delays in evacuations and the slow delivery of promised federal aid.
I thought this sort of rewriting history might take place, so if you want to see the New Orleans plan as it existed the day the hurricane hit, it is here, and if you want to see the Louisiana plan as it was when the hurricane hit, it is here and here
"We need everything you've got," Blanco is quoted in a memo as telling President Bush on Aug. 29, the day Katrina made landfall.
hat sounds like she was already in a panic, and such an ambiguous request is hard do respond to. President Bush is Commander in Chief of the nation's military. Was she asking him to send the military in, and if so had she signed the proper documents to satisfy Posse Comitatus? President Bush's Justice Department includes the FBI. Was she saying that the Louisiana Justice Department and/or the New Orleans Police Department was unable to maintain public law and order, and was she offerring to turn things over to the FBI? She should have been much more specific with her requests.But despite assurances from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that 500 buses were "standing by," Blanco's aides were compelled to take action when the FEMA buses failed to materialize, documents show. "We need buses," Andy Kopplin, chief of staff to Blanco, said in an e-mail to Blanco staffers late on Aug. 30, the day after the storm hit.
Did you use the 600 school buses Mayor Nagin had at his disposal, and did not use to evacuate people prior to the hurricane's arrival? Why not use what you have before asking the Feds to send it in?"Find buses that can go to NO [New Orleans] ASAP."
I believe New Orleans had flooded by then. So where do you think FEMA could find 500 buses that would float, or how else were they supposed to get them there?
Two days later, on Sept. 2, Blanco complained to the White House that FEMA had still failed to fulfill its promises of aid. While cloaked in customary political courtesies, Blanco noted that she had already requested 40,000 more troops;
Did she call up her own National Guard, and did she activate the sharing agreements governors have with other governors for borrowing some of their National Guard forces, or did she want Bush to Federalize the National Guard, and if so was she willing for them to be under federal control?ice, water and food;
Which the Red Cross had available, but was not allowed to bring to the SuperDome because Nagin did not want to encourage people to stay there, and he felt that if he withheld food and water they would not stay.buses, base camps, staging areas, amphibious vehicles, mobile morgues, rescue teams, housing, airlift and communications systems, according to a press office e-mail of the text of her letter to Bush.
Rantingprofs blogged But look at this tidbit buried in paragraph 22: Overnight the crisis deepened. Although FEMA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel in New Orleans reported witnessing a massive break hundreds of feet long in the 17th Street Canal levee that afternoon -- effectively dooming the city -- the first report of the collapse in the state police log came at 3 a.m. the next day, Aug. 30. (My emph.)
Oh, let me guess. That wasn't the state being out of it, that was more evidence of a failure of communication.