Thursday, September 08, 2005

Red Cross stopped from delivering aid by Louisiana Officials

Don't know why Drudge hasn't caught on to this yet; but taking a page from his book, Porkopolis is putting out the alert siren.

Hugh Hewit's The Red Cross Blocked has a transcript of a radio interview with Major Garrett of Fox News. (video from Garrett with Brit Hume on Special Report)

Garrett reports that the primary reason the Red Cross was delayed in getting to the Superdome and the Convention Center in New Orleans was because "...the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come."

Also from the interview, Garrett states the following:

As the Red Cross told me, they said look. We are not state actors. We are not the Army. We are a private organziation. We work in cooperation with both FEMA and the state officials. But the state told us A) it's not safe, because the water is dangerous. And we're now learning how toxic the water is. B) there's a security situation, because they didn't have a handle on the violence on the ground. And C) and I think this is most importantly, they wanted to evacuate out. They didn't want people to stay.

Point B is very note worthy as has been pointed out in great detail in Looking for holes in this thesis on the so-called lack of federal response in New Orleans.

Update: B I N G O!!! Confirmation from none other than the Red Cross' web site that they were not allowed to go in because the National Guard did not give the authriazation:

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

Acess 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.

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.
[This fully supports what Lt. General Blum says here.]

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.

It doesn't get much better than that in the investigative blog sphere.

Another big time hat tip to: Flopping Aces

End Update

Update 2:

Nancy Pelosi and many other Democrats owe FEMA Director Brown a huge apology. It is now becoming clear that the Louisiana State Homeland Security Department kept the Red Cross, and possibly other civillian aid workers, from going in to New Orleans and assisting with the relief effort while Mayor Nagin was screaming for help.

From Powerline we get this re-confirmation of the information noted above in the Red Cross web site:

A Red Cross official, Carol Miller, said on NPR's Diane Rehm show this morning that the Red Cross was told not to provide aid at the Superdome by the Louisiana, not U.S., Department of Homeland Security. Audio here: (click link on left side of page) the comment is about 35:40 into the show.
Listen to the show (via Windows Media, via RealPlayer) and fastforward to the section. There you will hear Red Cross representative Carol Miller being extremely clear and stressing that the 'state' Homeland Security Department, not the federal Homeland Security Department, kept the Red Cross from moving into New Orleans.

End Update

Further on in the interview, Garrett lays down yet another layer to the foundation of this startling claim in a response to Hugh Hewit's question if he had any doubt about his claims:

HH: So you have no doubt in your mind that they have...

MG: Oh, none. None. And I want to give credit to Bill O'Reilly, because he had
Marty Evans [CEO of the Red Cross]on the O'Reilly Factor last night. And this is the first time Marty Evans said it. She said it on the O'Reilly Factor last night in a very sort of brief intro to her longer comments about dealing with the housing and other needs of the evacuees now. She said look. We were ready. We couldn't go in. They wouldn't let us in, and the interview continued. I developed it more fully today.

HH: And the 'they' are the Louisiana state officials?

MG: Right.

Bit Time Hat Tip to: WMD



Post a Comment

<< Home