Monday, September 05, 2005

FEMA continues to stymie rescue, recovery efforts

Reports continue to come in of FEMA sabotaging rescue and recovery efforts.

3:32 P.M. Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."

Louisiana's Jefferson Parish is desperate for relief, but parish President Aaron Broussard says officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency turned back three trailer trucks of water, ordered the Coast Guard not to provide emergency diesel fuel and cut emergency power lines.

Thre are widespread reports of FEMA turning back aid from all across the nation, and at least one report unconfirmed report that Gen. Honore', commander of military operations in the region, is fighting to keep FEMA out of the way.

And the New Orleans Times-Picayune published an "Open Letter to President Bush":

In an open letter to President Bush, the Times-Picayune is calling for every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be fired -- especially director Michael Brown.

The editorial says "We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry."

The newspaper goes on to say "Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That's to the government's shame."

The letter says "No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced."

Unfortunately, all links to the electronic edition of the Editorial Page and the index of today's paper point to the same, wrong location.

NBC anchor Brian Williams lashed out at FEMA in his MSNBC blog:

In a strange way, the most outrageous news pictures of this day may be those of
progress: The palettes of food and water that have just been dropped at selected
landing zones in the downtown area of New Orleans. It's an outrage because all
of those elements existed before people died for lack of them: There was water,
there was food, and there were choppers to drop both. Why no one was able to
combine them in an air drop is a cruel and criminal mystery of this dark chapter
in our recent history. The words "failure of imagination" come to mind. The
concept of an air drop of supplies was one we apparently introduced to the
director of FEMA during a live interview on Nightly News on Thursday evening. He
responded by saying that he'd been unaware of the thousands gathered at the
Convention Center. Later that evening an incredulous Ted Koppel on ABC was left
with no choice but to ask if the FEMA director was watching the same television
coverage as the rest of the nation.

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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