Feds Gov't Blocks Red Cross

Un-fucking-believable:"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans," said Red Cross spokeswoman Renita Hosler."Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders."UPDATE 9/8/05: The Red Cross also says "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." Thanks to the commenters for the catch. I was on the road. But still -- I should've gotten to it sooner.flag_kid.jpgWhich almost makes this colossal screw-up look good by comparison...

Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in New Orleans didn't get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck...New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard last Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday.
(Big ups: Sploid, which has been on fire since this story broke)THERE'S MORE: David Brooks -- usually one of the Bush administration's most reliable editorial pals -- is livid. Channeling the American Scene, he calls Katrina "the anti-9/11."
On Sept. 11, Rudy Giuliani took control. The government response was quick and decisive. The rich and poor suffered alike. Americans had been hit, but felt united and strong. Public confidence in institutions surged.Last week in New Orleans, by contrast, nobody took control. Authority was diffuse and action was ineffective. The rich escaped while the poor were abandoned. Leaders spun while looters rampaged. Partisans squabbled while the nation was ashamed.The first rule of the social fabric - that in times of crisis you protect the vulnerable - was trampled. Leaving the poor in New Orleans was the moral equivalent of leaving the injured on the battlefield. No wonder confidence in civic institutions is plummeting.
AND MORE: "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 Bushs visit to New Orleans," the Times-Picayune reports.(Big ups: BJ)AND MORE: "While federal and state emergency planners scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore, underused and waiting for a larger role in the effort," the Chicago Trib (via John) says. "The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore."AND MORE: Xeni is calling bullshit on Army Times, which called looters in New Orleans "the insurgency."It's bad, for sure. And she's right to say that "We are talking about fellow American citizens here -- in America. Not insurgents. Not refugees. Not enemies. Americans."But Army Times doesn't speak for the Army. I'd be shocked if soldiers started using the term.
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