Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Bush Administration Prevented An Immediate Military Response To Katrina.

The Pentagon has now joined the chorus of those who are criticizing the Bush administration’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Lt. Commander Sean Kelly, a Pentagon spokesman for Northern Command, told the BBC that NorthCom was prepared to send in search and rescue helicopters from the USS Bataan immediately after the hurricane hit. Kelly said, “We had things ready. The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president authorizes us to do so.”

That authorization didn’t happen for days, despite that the ship was docked right outside of New Orleans. The USS Bataan had doctors, hospital beds, food and the ability to produce up to 100,000 gallons of water a day.

6 Comments:

Blogger MiamiMiami said...

I know that yu "think" you are just reporting the news but it would help your credibility if you actually reported the whole news.

From a briefing today you will see that the President didn't issue orders until FEMA knew what resources they needed. The fact that the Navy was ready and waiting is what they are supposed to be doing. The difference is that until FEMA told the president and the pentagon what was acually needed on the ground the orders can't be given. But I will let you read it for yourself...


============
Q: Good morning. No doubt you’re well aware of the criticism—the debate about the speed and the scale of the initial deployment of relief. I’m just curious from your perspective, where you sit, and I know everyone’s working very hard. But I’m wondering if you believe that this was the best response that could be mounted considering the magnitude of what you were up against, or do you believe that a better job could or should have been done?

ADM. KEATING: It’s a good question, Jamie. From where I sit, of course we can do better. There will be lessons learned. We have teams in place both in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to record those lessons so that it’s not just lessons observed, but we convert them into lessons learned.

On the other hand, the notion that we were a little late to need, I’ll offer you the following observations.

As Katrina was coming northwest out of the Caribbean, >>>>>>we started to make plans here in this headquarters in conjunction with FEMA to support Department of Homeland Security, about five days before Katrina made landfall.<<<<<<< Once she eventually did, she came across, as you’ll recall, the southern tip of Florida on I think it was Thursday, the 25th of August and Friday the 26th. It got back into the Gulf, and then we learned that she was going to strengthen.

At that time on the Saturday/Sunday timeframe when we learned, the 27th/28th of August, that Katrina was building and was going to go through a Category 2 to a 3, we had disaster control officers, DCOs, who are active duty Army colonels, we moved them forward to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Now you will of course appreciate, we don’t want to put troops in front of a massive storm like this. When I was dropping bombs in Desert Storm, that was not an issue with which we were worried. We weren’t going to be dropping bombs on our own forces so we did not want to put our forces in front of this massive hurricane.

>>>>>>>>>>>>As soon as the hurricane cleared, and by the way, we were preparing deployment orders as we saw Katrina strengthen on the late Saturday/Sunday 28 August timeframe as she began to approach Louisiana and Mississippi, we alerted various forces to be prepared to move as soon as the situation on the ground stabilized and as soon as Department of Homeland Security, through FEMA, determined what particular assets we would need.<<<<<<<<<

For example, we began putting Transportation Command assets aside, heavy lift airplanes, because we knew we would need food and water and ice as quickly as we could. We also used ground transportation capabilities that we have. We brought the USS Baton [ed’s note: USS Bataan; spelling error in the transcription] a large amphibious ship which was in the Gulf of Mexico anyway, she went well south to avoid the hurricane. >>>>>>>>As soon as we knew that the hurricane was moving north and hit landfall we brought Baton up behind her so she was providing helicopter search and rescue capability on Tuesday, just as the hurricane was moving up through northern Mississippi and on into Tennessee and Kentucky.<<<<<<<<<<<<

So that’s kind of a long answer to a short question, Jamie. We will of course work very carefully with the Department of Homeland Security to analyze the reaction to this particular disaster, but the fact that the Department of Defense wasn’t ready or wasn’t well prepared, I think is not correct.


Oh but what the hell, President Bush did this on purpose. You're right....moron.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Alva Goldbook said...

Miami,
ahh. FEMA just didn't know what was needed. Perhaps they didn't think that people stranded without food and water would need food and water.

Maybe we should compare this to FEMA's reaction to Hurricane Charley which hit landfall on Friday, August 13th, 2004.

this from CNN:

"Convoys of trucks were rolling down I-75 Saturday, loaded with crews and supplies needed in the massive recovery effort. Florida officials said the convoys would keep coming Sunday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency designated 16 counties eligible for federal disaster assistance, in addition to the four given such designation yesterday. The move allows a quicker rush of funds and resources to the worst hit areas.

Mike Bolch with FEMA said federal officials were going house to house searching for possible victims and providing assistance.

Food and medical supplies were being brought to the state. And FEMA was conducting aerial surveillance, looking for survivors who may need quick assistance.

The Red Cross set up shelters in affected areas, including Punta Gorda. Spokesman Chris Paladeno said the Red Cross mobile food kitchen in Punta Gorda will produce 20,000 meals a day.

The agency has already distributed tens of thousands of meals and snacks across the state, he said."

The difference between Katrina and Charley?

Katrina hit a red state with a blue governor, a blue senator, and a blue mayor. Katrinia hit poor black residents of New Orleans. Charley, on the other hand hit moderate to upperclass homes in the state of Florida, whose govenor is the president's brother.

Perhaps the only way to get FEMA to work is to elect a Bush to the governorship to all 50 states.

11:38 AM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

Miami,
ahh. FEMA just didn't know what was needed. Perhaps they didn't think that people stranded without food and water would need food and water.

=====>If you undertsood how FEMA is set up you would understand how stupid that statement was. First of all, FEMA does not come in until the State calls them in. And before the State calls them in they get a plan together to give to FEMA AHEAD of time so that inital help can arrive immediately. The fact that there was no food and water initially was NOT the fault of FEMA. The MAyor and Governor should have had these supplies available for at least the first 24-48 hours after the incident. Amazing that they are both Democrats? Not really...

Maybe we should compare this to FEMA's reaction to Hurricane Charley which hit landfall on Friday, August 13th, 2004.

this from CNN:

"Convoys of trucks were rolling down I-75 Saturday, loaded with crews and supplies needed in the massive recovery effort. Florida officials said the convoys would keep coming Sunday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency designated 16 counties eligible for federal disaster assistance, in addition to the four given such designation yesterday. The move allows a quicker rush of funds and resources to the worst hit areas.

Mike Bolch with FEMA said federal officials were going house to house searching for possible victims and providing assistance.

Food and medical supplies were being brought to the state. And FEMA was conducting aerial surveillance, looking for survivors who may need quick assistance.

The Red Cross set up shelters in affected areas, including Punta Gorda. Spokesman Chris Paladeno said the Red Cross mobile food kitchen in Punta Gorda will produce 20,000 meals a day.

The agency has already distributed tens of thousands of meals and snacks across the state, he said."

The difference between Katrina and Charley?

Katrina hit a red state with a blue governor, a blue senator, and a blue mayor. Katrinia hit poor black residents of New Orleans. Charley, on the other hand hit moderate to upperclass homes in the state of Florida, whose govenor is the president's brother.

Perhaps the only way to get FEMA to work is to elect a Bush to the governorship to all 50 states.

=====>Being a resident of such state maybe I can help with you with some facts that you neglected. Florida had already had these supplies taken care of for most of these communities having gone through this planning ahead of time. Try harder next time dick.

1:13 PM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

In addition to my last post I would like to add one more facet to this that you seemed to have neglect. It was the Mayor who told those folks to go to the Superdome. Now don't you think that if you are telling thousands of people to stay at the Superdome that you would at least have some supplies there? But now he didn't.

So why are you not first assigning blame to the Mayor first? Is it because :
A. He's Black
B. He's A Democrat
C. You hate Bush no matter what the circumstances are
D. All of the above

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so much more of an interesting argument when you don't quote from the Gospels.

1:57 PM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

It's a much more interesting conversation when people quote the facts...

6:50 AM  

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