Thursday, September 29, 2005

More on the so-called 'slow response' in New Orleans

The New York Times' Fear Exceeded Crime's Reality in New Orleans today echoes a case Porkopolis made more than 3 weeks ago in Looking for holes in this thesis on the so-called lack of federal response in New Orleans for the so-called 'slow response' in New Orleans:

Here's what Porkopolis said on September 06, 2005:

...3. Disaster relief workers and supplies were prepositioned by the federal government. But due to the security situation in New Orleans, National Guard authorites didn't want to risk the lives of federal and state aid workers until security had been established. (From this Department of Defense briefing conducted on Saturday, September 3, 2005:
The most contentious issues were lawlessness in the streets, and particularly a potentially very dangerous volatile situation in the convention center where tens of thousands of people literally occupied that on their own. We had people that were evacuated from hotels, and tourists that were lumped together with some street thugs and some gang members that -- it was a potentially very dangerous situation.

We waited until we had enough force in place to do an overwhelming force. Went in with police powers, 1,000 National Guard military policemen under the command and control of the adjutant general of the State of Louisiana, Major General Landreneau, yesterday shortly after noon stormed the convention center, for lack of a better term, and there was absolutely no opposition, complete cooperation, and we attribute that to an excellent plan, superbly executed with great military precision...

Q: One quick follow-up. Is it fair to say, using the convention center as an example, that one reason it took until Friday to get aid in is the National Guard needed time to build up a response team with military police to ensure law and order because the New Orleans Police Department had degraded so much?

GEN. BLUM: That is not only fair, it is accurate. You've concisely stated exactly what was needed, and I told you why. We took the time to build the right force. The outcome was superb. No lives hurt, nobody injured. It was done almost invisibly.
If federal (FEMA/Red Cross) and state aid workers had been brought into the situation before security had been established, it would have made things worse . Dead aid workers are of no use to anyone.

Here's what the Times says today, September 29, 2005:

Rumors Affected Response

...What became clear is that the rumor of crime, as much as the reality of the public disorder, often played a powerful role in the emergency response
. A team of paramedics was barred from entering Slidell, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, for nearly 10 hours based on a state trooper's report that a mob of armed, marauding people had commandeered boats. It turned out to be two men escaping from their flooded streets, said Farol Champlin, a paramedic with the Acadian Ambulance Company.
Update: An excellent post on the details associate with military logistics as it relates to the National Guard; Eight Pounds: A USMC loggie weighs in.

Hat Tip: Rantingprofs





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