FEMA Chief Sent Help Only After Storm Hit


Richard Moore

From: "Dstacey" <•••@••.•••>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
Subject: KATRINA : BLANCO/NAGIN TIMELINE / FEMA Chief Sent Help Only After Storm
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 00:20:24 -0400
----- Original Message -----
From: <mailto:•••@••.•••>Sallie
To: <mailto:Undisclosed-Recipient:;>Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:31 PM

Isn't it funny a reporter asked for a timeline about 9 min.
into the 10 min. video, and Rumsfeld was lost for words and
couldn't tell him where to get one.  He's got more excuses
than Carter has liver pills.  They had two helicopters to
rescue 10,000 people.  Rummy should have consulted Stu. :)) Go


----- Original Message -----
From: Bryan
To: Starfly
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 8:47 PM
----- Original Message -----
From: STU
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 8:26 PM

It is important that the Bush administration not get away with
shifting their responsibility to local officials. Here is what
actually happened.


Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of
emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of
emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal
officials the authority to get involved.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation
of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by
National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts
area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First
reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local

Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill
with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss
Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency,
dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Mass looting reported, security shortage
cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities
have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs
despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford
for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock
Hurricane news.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans
including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval"
conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to
establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local
authorities run out of food and water supplies.

Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New
Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government.
Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite
multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.

Friday, Sept. 2: Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign
to blame state and local officials-despite their repeated
requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op-diverting Coast
Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras.
Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White
House press corps.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials.
Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie
claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or
asked for help.

Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their

(Adapted from: Katrina Timeline,
thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline/ )

Those are the facts. State and local officials BEGGED for help
as people in their city suffered. The Bush administration
didn't get the job done and when their failure became an
embarrassment they attacked those asking for help.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Karl Rove and White
House communications director Dan Bartlett "rolled out a
plan...to contain the political damage from the
administration's response to Hurricane Katrina." The core of
the strategy is "to shift the blame away from the White House
and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana."

This is the same pattern of smearing that the Bush political
machine has used for a decade. John McCain and John Kerry had
their war records smeared. The CIA cover of Ambassador Joseph
Wilson's wife was blown after he criticized the Bush Iraq
policy. Now, Hurricane victims are attacked when the Bush
administration failed to do their duty to help them.

It isn't just the Bush administration. Republican Senator Rick
Santorum blamed victims in a TV interview and House Speaker
Dennis Hastert suggested New Orleans should not be rebuilt.

We can't let them get away with this. Please sign our petition
today and do your

This is just the first step. We need to continue to help those
in need directly and make sure our government does their job.
There will be a time to figure out who specifically to blame
and what to change. In the meantime, the Bush administration
needs to get to work helping those in need.

Thanks for all you do,



September 7, 2005

FEMA Chief Sent Help Only After Storm Hit


Filed at 11:58 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top U.S. disaster official waited hours
after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast before he
proposed to his boss sending at least 1,000 Homeland Security
workers into the region to support rescuers, internal
documents show.

Part of the mission, according to the documents obtained by
The Associated Press, was to ''convey a positive image'' about
the government's response for victims.

Acknowledging that such a move would take two days, Michael
Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff roughly five hours after Katrina made landfall on
Aug. 29.

Before then, FEMA had positioned smaller rescue and
communications teams across the Gulf Coast. But officials
acknowledged the first department-wide appeal for help came
only as the storm raged.

Brown's memo to Chertoff described Katrina as ''this near
catastrophic event'' but otherwise lacked any urgent language.
The memo politely ended, ''Thank you for your consideration in
helping us to meet our responsibilities.''

The initial responses of the government and Brown came under
escalating criticism as the breadth of destruction and death
grew. President Bush and Congress on Tuesday pledged separate
investigations into the federal response to Katrina.
''Governments at all levels failed,'' said Sen. Susan Collins,

Aid from
Canada -- three warships and a coast guard ship -- departed
for the Gulf Coast on Thursday, more than one week after
Canada first offered to send military support. Ottawa has been
careful not to criticize the slow U.S. response and simply
repeated their willingness to help when Washington finally
accepted its offer of assistance.

Several Sea King helicopters and about 1,000 personnel were
aboard the Canadian ships, which will take several days to
arrive off
nyt-geo>Louisiana. The ships were loaded with medical
supplies, 1,200 cots, body bags, assault boats, lumber,
pollution cleanup equipment -- even diapers, baby wipes and
teddy bears.

Navy divers were also dispatched to New Orleans from Halifax
and British Columbia to inspect damaged levees and help U.S.
officials clear navigational hazards.

In the U.S., Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said
Brown had positioned front-line rescue teams and Coast Guard
helicopters before the storm. Brown's memo on Aug. 29 aimed to
assemble the necessary federal work force to support the
rescues, establish communications, and coordinate with victims
and community groups, Knocke said.

Instead of rescuing people or recovering bodies, these
employees would focus on helping victims find the help they
needed, he said.

''There will be plenty of time to assess what worked and what
didn't work,'' Knocke said. ''Clearly there will be time for
blame to be assigned and to learn from some of the successful

Brown's memo told employees that among their duties, they
would be expected to ''convey a positive image of disaster
operations to government officials, community organizations
and the general public.''

''FEMA response and recovery operations are a top priority of
the department and as we know, one of yours,'' Brown wrote
Chertoff. He proposed sending 1,000 Homeland Security
Department employees within 48 hours and 2,000 within seven

Knocke said the 48-hour period indicated for the Homeland
employees was to ensure they had adequate training. ''They
were training to help the lifesavers,'' Knocke said.

Employees required a supervisor's approval and at least 24
hours of disaster training in
nyt-geo>Florida or
nyt-geo>Georgia. ''You must be physically able to work in a
disaster area without refrigeration for medications and have
the ability to work in the outdoors all day,'' Brown wrote.

The same day Brown wrote Chertoff, Brown also urged local fire
and rescue departments outside Louisiana,
nyt-geo> Alabama and
inline=nyt-geo> Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency
workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for
help from state or local governments. Brown said it was vital
to coordinate fire and rescue efforts.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said Tuesday that Brown should resign.



The memo from FEMA Director Mike Brown to Homeland Security 
Secretary Michael Chertoff is available at: 


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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland
blog: http://harmonization.blogspot.com/

"Escaping The Matrix - 
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