I'm gonna summarize three previous posts because I think they are the most important thing I have to add in relation to Katrina. This is kind of a quick cut and paste job of previous posts so forgive me if its sloppy.
(And, I gotta say, from a table top excercise point of view, the decision to force evacuations by deprivation may be sound(I was somewhat convinced by the email from the Nola.Com guy at the end, but if you do not offer a mechanism to escape the deprivation for four or five days, it's criminal.)First Post:
After thinking about this for a day, I believe, quite literally, that there is a case for manslaughter here. If the Red Cross statement below is true, FEMA and state officials knowingly, recklessly endangered the lives of those poor souls who were left in New Orleans.
(I'm cutting out exhibit A because I have seen some conflicting info indicating that the "Walmart Water" was simply redeployed.)Exhibit B: From a Red Cross FAQ
- Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
- The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
Now, let me get this straight. FEMA and the state Homeland Security Department were refusing the entry of food, water, and personnel because they were afraid the presence of the Red Cross would "keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city."
So, in other words, if the people had food and water, they might not evacuate, so if we cut off their food and water, their imperiled lives would drive them to seek evacuation.
I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know all the legal specifics of this form of manslaughter. But to you, doesn't this sound like reckless endangerment?
We need to find out who made that decision and that statement to the Red Cross. That person is responsible for hundreds, possibly thousands, of deaths
Oh, and let's just add that the evacuees who were being driven out of New Orleans by their hunger and their thirst were given no means for evacuation. And in the case of the Superdome were kept from leaving at the point of a gun. Wanna bet the same sonofabitch issued that order?And later I added Exhibit C:
Exhibit B: (From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:)
As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center yesterday, American Red Cross officials said that federal emergency management authorities would not allow them to do the same.
Other relief agencies say the area is so damaged and dangerous that they doubted they could conduct mass feeding there now.
"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans," said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.
"Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders." .....
Though frustrated, Hosler understood the reasons. The goal is to move people out of an uninhabitable city, and relief operations might keep them there.
So, again, from another source we have the claim that, in this case specifically named, the Homeland Security Dept actively stopped the delivery of food and water for the purpose of moving people out of the city.
AGAIN, the Homeland Security Dept actively denied life sustaining food and water into New Orleans so that the starving and dying would have to try to leave the city in order to survive.THE HOMELAND SECURITY DEPT INTENTIONALLY STARVED THE PEOPLE OF NEW ORLEANS.
And then, they didn't try to help the people get out. We all saw the people waiting for the buses that took days to arrive, but what about this?
Mary Landrieu, the Democratic US senator from Louisiana, accused the Federal Emergency Management Agency of having "dragging its feet" when Amtrak offered trains to evacuate victims.So, THE HOMELAND SECURITY DEPT INTENTIONALLY STARVED THE PEOPLE OF NEW ORLEANS TO GET THEM TO WANT TO LEAVE THE CITY, AND THEN DENIED THEM THE MEANS TO LEAVE THE CITY.
Someone should go on trial for this. Someone should go to jail for this. and if this is true, someone should die for this.
And George Bush said, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."And lastly, I received and Email from one of the guys at NOLA.com who are covering this thing.
Got an email from Jon Donley from the Nola.com(Times Picayune linked website) countering my arguments about the Red Cross being held out of New Orleans intentionally by the Dept of Homeland Security.
It's obvious that this guy is exhausted, and it's not like he has a lot of time to write emails to me sitting in air conditioned Houston. So, I'm just going to print the part about the Red Cross in New Orleans, and, out of discretion, leave some of the personal details of his experience out. (Jon, if you feel that I need to print the second paragraph, tell me and it'll be up in a second.)
Please believe me that this guy has been through hell. And that his on the ground experience gives him some real credibility.
You're right, we're mad. But not about this. I can't imagine anything more
foolish than allowing the Red Cross into New Orleans. I'm afraid that you
don't understand that anyone left in New Orleans is going to die. They can
die hungry, or they can die fed, but they are going to die. I don't have
time to explain this to you, but allowing the Red Cross in would kill
people. Many people are holding out, thinking that if they just get food
and water delivered, they can avoid leaving New Orleans. Anything that
encourages that is going to kill people. The Red Cross should - and is -
focusing on the vast refugee camps and shelters spread from here to San
Antonio. People are dying there, too . . . and the Red Cross is stretched
to the limit feeding them, giving them basic survival services
That's a good rebuttal.
Specifically, I was writing about the absence of the Red Cross in the early days of the disaster before the mass evacuations had begun, not at present, but I find it difficult to argue.
The fatalism in this has struck me hard. I can't imagine what it's like there after a week.
So that's where we are so far in this.