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September 07, 2005



Kaspit: great job. Very complete and to the point.

LR aka Qplagh

I'm responding to your comment on my livejournal.I was linked to your blog via Hungry Blues, which I found via bitchphd. sometime earlier this summer.
One LJ I have linked to in my LJ has a huge, and very comprehensive linklist:
I don't know if he's added to it, but it contains a lot of various links.
I think his heading for it is "Lake George Informational Links".


"Where was Bush? Cheney? (Condi Rice?) In a storm, the pilot should take the helm. A businessman’s viewpoint:...The fact that Chertoff had not activated all of his resources by noon Sunday says clearly that he is not qualified for his post and totally failed his responsibility. The fact that Pres. Bush had not checked what actions Chertoff was initiating before late Sunday at the latest, also calls his competence into question. Local authorities with experience, like in Florida, can be left to deal with a Cat 3 hurricane on their own. An expected Cat. 5 should have had federal gov't attention from the top as soon as it was expected, even without the added risk of New Orlean's levees. Waiting to see if the bullet would be dodged is totally unacceptable. Both Bush and Chertoff should resign."

The AP reported that Bush was the one who issued the order for mandatory evacuation before the storm hit. Fema coordinated with the Red Cross to deliver provisions. The Red Cross says that they down in NO with supplies before the storm, and were turned away by the State Homeland Security - a state organization, unrelated to the Feds. The State said that if they allowed the RedCross to supply the folks at the Superdome with provisions, people would go to the Superdome rather than evacuate (ask the state what the point is of having an evacuation center without provisions, or why anyone would think that a convention center with MREs would be an attractive place to wait out the storm).
Your businessman should do more factchecking.


Criticisms of the Bush Administration continued to be supported by the evidence. Deppi you cite 3 "media spins" now being touted by political PR specialists and then covered by reporters and esp Fox. For a debunking, or at least to give yourself a more neutral grounding, please see:

1. Was "Bush the one who issued the order..."? No. He called up the Gov. Blanco right before the press conference. "BLANCO: I want to reiterate what the mayor has said. This is a very dangerous time. Just before we walked into this room, President Bush called and told me to share with all of you that he is very concerned about the citizens. He is concerned about the impact that this hurricane would have on our people. And he asked me to please ensure that there would be a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans." Source, also wikipedia.

2. Was the Red Cross held up by the state? This idea has been promoted heavily by Rush Limbaugh, Fox, etc. For more clarity, see wikipedia, citing this source among others. Via links above, you'll see many claims about FEMA mismanaging relief.

With mistakes of the magnitude we have seen before and after the hurriance, both local/state and federal authorities have much to answer for. We can't simply read either the mainstream media or blogs for unbiased information. Reporting has to viewed with a critical eye, esp since so many professional PR folks have been mobilized to shape media (and blog) analysis. I suppose we can't help but be shaped by our own presuppositions about the key figures. In recent daf yomi, there was a sugya (talmudic pericope) about giving the benefit of the doubt (chaf zechut). In addition, moral critique is shaped by our expectations of both legal duties as well as reasonable and responsible conduct. It remains my judgment, pending further information, that (1) the flaws in evacuation can be attributed mostly to local/state officials, (2) the inadequate construction of levees is due primarily to federal agencies and leaders, (3) once flooding began, the federal response was unacceptable slow and mishandled, and (4) the hurricane threat and then virtual destruction of a U.S. city required a far stronger, immediate and hands-on response by top administration officials, including the President.


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