CommunityPam's House Blend

Red Cross not allowed into NO

Bush, enjoying a photo op in MS with “the people”; he didn’t get to speak to folks from the Superdome in New Orleans, a site of murder, rape, death threats and near starvation — he flew over it.

The Red Cross has been banned from entering New Orleans. How f*cking stupid is this? Homeland Security has prevented the organization from coming in. This is a complete breakdown of government planning for disaster. Where have my taxpayer dollars been going? Whatever has been directed into FEMA’s budget has been a waste, since they can’t handle the job, and then Homeland Security keeps out an organization that can actually bring some relief.

The people are still dying and need to get out, and this is what our government is doing — bumbling again. (RedCross):

Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

* Access 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. [What kind of line of bullsh*t is this? Food and water are not going to make people want to stay in that fetid hellhole one more day than possible.]

* The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

* The Red Cross shares the nation’s anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

* The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.

* The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.

* As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.

If one were to put on a tin foil hat, you’d think that our government is now in the official business of “cleansing” the city of its “undesirables,” and plans to rebuild New Orleans with as few of the people at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder as possible able to return.

What kind of ass-clown job is Michael Chertoff doing at Homeland Security?

There is also a DKos diary on this.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding