Saturday, September 10, 2005

When White House Officials and their Cronies do care

They do care when there is an election and a potential disaster is going to hit an important swing state. This article shows how FEMA gave $21 Million in Miami-Dade county in the 2004 hurricane season, even though the severity of the storms were like "bad thunderstorms" causing minimal damage. People bought furniture, televisions and computers with the money they received from FEMA. Of course, this year, there isn't anything to gain, so now , I guess, no help is on the horizon for residents of these counties more severely affected by Katrina than even by Francis, the worst storm last year.

They do not care when there's no personal gain to be had from a situation. To do not care despite the fact that they KNEW what would happen.
This is a transcript of the National Weather Service message from 10:11 in the morning on Sunday before Katrina hit. Remember the National Weather Service is the government weather service, and the president was personally briefed on this.
10:11 Central Time- Devastating damage expected. Hurricane Katrina. A most powerful hurricane with unprecedented strength rivaling the intensity of hurricane Camille of 1969. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer. At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fall, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. The majority of industrial buildings will become non-functional, partial to complete wall and roof failures expected, all wood-frame low-rising apartment buildings will be destroyed, concrete block low-rise apartments will sustain major damage including some wall and roof failure. High-rise office and apartment buildings will sway dangerously, a few to the point of total collapse. All windows will blow out.

Military disaster reponse crews knew what was happening, but needed to wait for the president's authorization. They were told "not to respond to affected counties and states without being requested and lawfully dispatched by state and local authorities." (courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald, Democracy Now and Times Online)

Seeing as how there's no immediate POLITICAL benefit to keeping residents of NO healthy and safe, why send aid? If they had started prepping response in advance of the situation, WHEN THEY WERE WARNED OF IT, imagine the difference!!

But, see, warnings like the one above, does not an emergency make. "Devastating damage expected" is not cause for a response. How do we know this? Well, Department of Homeland Security head, Michael Chertoff, explained at a press conference, nearly a week after Katrina, why it took so long to get National Guard troops to New Orleans:
You know, these are citizen soldiers, we have to get them mobilized and deployed. When we send the National Guard overseas, we don't tell them to pack up and leave in 24 hours unless it's some huge emergency [emphasis added].

I'm not very good at math, but I think I can get this one. It's very simple really. Potential of Losing Lives = Not-Emergency. Potential of Losing an Election = Emergency.

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