Comments Posted By Jay Levitt
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Right you are, Jazzcat, and wrong I am! Thanks for catching that. It's local and state authorities that ordered the Red Cross out. DHS requested that they stay out, but issued no orders.

Comment Posted By Jay Levitt On 5.09.2005 @ 19:13

Shari - that article by Linda Pruzzen-Razzano contains a number of wrong assumptions and misinterpretations stated as facts. She claims that Blanco received a call from Bush on the 27th; that is sourced from the poor wording in the AP article I mentioned above (which, in any event, places the call on the 28th).

She also claims that Bush asked Blanco for a federal takeover of the Guard on August 26th; her source for that date is the WaPo article, which says only "Friday". From the context of the article, it's pretty clear that it's Friday, September 2, they're talking about. She repeats the 8/26 date again later.

She also claims that FEMA could take no action without Blanco's permission, citing an EMAC rule. EMAC is a compact between cooperating states, and has nothing to do with FEMA; as I cited above, FEMA not only can, but is supposed to, mobilize first and communicate with the state later.

Last, she claims that Blanco ceded control to FEMA on 9/1 with an executive order. That order does no such thing; according to the LA web site, it suspends the requirement for "special [police] officers" to be bonded, so that out-of-state troopers can perform LA state law enforcement duties. That's all.

Comment Posted By Jay Levitt On 5.09.2005 @ 19:09

Thanks for putting togther a well-organized, fact-based article. Coupla contributions:

Marv - #3 is not correct. When it seems likely that an emergency will be declared, and the state will be overwhelmed, FEMA and the DHS are supposed to anticipate state needs, get resources in place and ready to go, etc. Once a federal emergency is declared, and the DHS has declared it a catstrophe, the feds do not have to wait for the state to ask for anything; it's literally mobilize first, ask questions later. To paraphrase the National Response Plan: Unless you know a resource isn't needed, that resource deploys. Check out my (admittedly left-wing) guide to the NRP at

For the timeline...

8/28: The "personal appeal" from Bush is a poor wording choice by an AP writer, which has been picked up by the blogosphere. The actual quote from the evacation announcement shows that his call was placed just before the press conference, and therefore well after the decision had been made: "GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO, LOUISIANA: 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 insure that there would be a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans." ullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100017533&docId=l:30599 8627&start=18

(Undated) The Red Cross has been prohibited by both local and federal authorities from going into New Orleans:,1096,0_682_4524,00.html

8/30: Military ships first begin to move into the region.

8/31: According to Geraldo's Fox-News rant on 9/2, the plight of the people locked in the Convention Center was shown on Fox News on 8/31, afternoon.

9/1, evening. Sheriff's deputies from VA were turned back by both FEMA and LA:

The Interdictor ( is a blog from a data center crisis manager in the heart of NOLA. He doesn't report seeing any National Guard troop activity until 9/1, nor any supplies until 9/2 around 1PM. Also, apparently a lot of NOPD officers were simply abandoning their posts. It's a captivating read from someone who's decidedly not a liberal.

9/2, from the TP: "Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said."

9/2: Shep Smith reports a government checkpoint has been set up on the bridge from NO to Jefferson Parish, and anyone attempting to leave is prohibited from doing so.

Comment Posted By Jay Levitt On 5.09.2005 @ 18:43



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