"SOME IN THE MEDIA IGNORING FACTS
Larry C. Johnson
While watching the MSNBC program, CONNECTED, COAST TO COAST with Ron Reagan, a man from the Evergreen Foundation was on air spinning the myth that the President had to "beg" the Governor of Louisiana to take action. Having been on this show several times I called one of the bookers, Susan Durrwatcher, to alert her to the fact that this man was misrepresenting what happened. I offered Susan the following objective, documented facts (see timeline below). Susan thanked me for my "opinion" and said "we just have a different perspective". Stunned, I asked her by what standard of journalism that an objective fact was mere opinion? I asked her to simply look at the documents and correct the record. She declined. I asked her to remove me from the MSNBC list of contacts. I’m sure MSNBC won’t miss me and I am certain I will have a happy life without having to subject myself to their unprofessional approach to journalism.
The Bush White House is furiously spinning to lay the blame on the Governor and Mayor of Louisiana. My position is that I think both the Governor and the Mayor can be faulted on a variety of fronts. I do not absolve them of their responsibility to properly and fully implement their own emergency response plans. However, the Governor followed the appropriate protocol and, in accordance with the National Response Plan (NRP), asked the President in accordance with the Stafford Act, to declare a State of Emergency.
Friday, 26 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana declares state of emergency
Saturday morning, 27 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency and requests Federal Assistance "to save lives and property". Note, the letter was published on 27 August 2005 on Lexis Nexis but was dated 28 August 2005. Bush received the letter on Saturday and responded on the same day by declaring a State of Emergency. Note, per the NRP, William Lokey was designated as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in Louisiana.
Sunday, 28 August 2005, Mayor of New Orleans orders Mandatory Evacuation.
(Note: In Governor Blanco’s request on the 27th, there is a specific request for help with evacuation and a specific request for help to "save lives and protect property". )
Monday, 29 August 2005, FEMA Director Brown requests DHS Secretary Chertoff’s help in getting 1000 DHS employees ready to deploy to the disaster within 48 hours.
Under the National Response Plane (see p. 93, Figure 11), once the President declares a State of Emergency the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to implement the Plan. Initially, DHS is supposed to deploy an Emergency Response Team to the State to provide expertise in assessing needs and determining appropriate courses of action. Moreover, on p. 52 of the NRP the President may act proactively under the Stafford Act.
Folks, these are not OPINIONS, these are cold, objective facts. However, MSNBC and other members of the Main Stream Media, are confused about what is a fact and what is opinion."
Well, it didn’t take long.
I guess we can hope that there wil be a few Trajans, Hadrians and Antonines down the road somewhere.
What would be the expected rank of the officer in charge of the 550 person unit that was serving at the Superdome? The unit that took 11 hours to process the 9000 civilians that showed up at the superdome the day the rain started?
Can a 550 person NG unit locked and loaded maintain order and discipline for 6 days?
Has anyone heard from General Ralph Lupin ( commanding general of the Nat Guard unit ) since the day the rains started to fall?
How would one get the daily sitreps from the OIC at the Superdome or the after action report or the lessons learned report?
FOIA I guess. The unit should have been a battalion probably of MPs. Lieutenant Colonel in command maybe?
Keep order? These are amateur soldiers and we do not know what their instructions were.
Some thoughts on the behaviour of non-military folks in stressed situations.
1) It is a commonplace scene in almost half the war/action/cowboys movies that make up our cultural heritage: The injured/lost/hiding hero/heroine firing their weapon to get the attention of otherwise blind and blithely ignorant rescuers. I suspect that doing so in real life in a NOLA situation makes one a trained sniper trying to destroy rescue helicopters as far as the press is concerned.
2) By the third day, the superdome had approx 20K people and the convention center another 20K. I wonder in a poor civilian population how many of those 20K might be expectant or new mothers who came to the center without enough formula or diapers or safety pins. Might that explain why we saw so many photos of young men and women pushing shopping carts loaded with forumla and water and anything edible and diapers? Looters all.
3) I wonder how many folks arrived barefoot or half naked. That could not be even a partial explanation for seeing young folks pushing shopping carts full of sneakers and clothes toward the dome and the convention center. Looters all.
4) I wonder how many of the folks in the convention center and the dome were atomistic individuals knowing no one else in the crowd, arriving alone and not merging into the various groupings that had sprung up by church or street or tenement or apartment floor. Family does for family, family and friends do for family and friends, family and friends and neighbours coalesce into tribes and help each other.
I wonder about many things because I am not a smart man, not a democrat nor a Democrat, not a believer in what I am told by people with agendas and careers and asses to cover. I wonder why the first response was to assume that the folks left behind were insurgents and that the proper objective was to make NOLA look like “little somalia.” I wonder how soon that Perfumed Prince will get his next star.
“I guess we can hope that there wil be a few Trajans, Hadrians and Antonines down the road somewhere.”
Plato, Livy, Machiavelli all wrote post-mortems (and valedictions). Time for the boffins to dust off their keyboards.
…so it goes.
the above refers to the classic works on Republics.
Not allowing the images of dead soliders at DoverAB is step one and not showing dead bodies in N.O.is step two. Don’t tell me it’s common decency. It’s propoganda by ommission and censorship for the benefit of the White House.