Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Major (Garrett) Story

While nobody is thrilled with the federal response to Katrina in New Orleans and thereabouts, one gets the sense that people are quickly realizing New Orleans' problems have far more to do with inept/corrupt local and state government than they do with the manifold flaws of the federal government.

Major Garret of Fox News is reporting a story today that, if true, will end the debate once and for all. It's an astounding story. According to Garrett, the American Red Cross is telling him that they were poised to immediately begin relief efforts at the Superdome in New Orleans after the storm passed, and that the state government would not allow them to.

Garrett appeared today on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. Following is a portion of the transcript provided by Radio Blogger:
HH: You just broke a pretty big story. I was watching up on the corner television in my studio, and it's headlined that the Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome, Major Garrett. Tell us what you found out.

MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdome, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is 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.
HH: Any doubt in the Red Cross' mind that they were ready to go, but they were blocked?

MG: No. Absolutely none. They are absolutely unequivocal on that point.

HH: And are they eager to get this story out there, because they are chagrined by the coverage that's been emanating from New Orleans?

MG: I think they are. I mean, and look. Every agency that is in the private sector, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Feed The Children, all the ones we typically see are aggrieved by all the crap that's being thrown around about the response to this hurricane, because they work hand and glove with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. When FEMA is tarred and feathered, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are tarred and feathered, because they work on a cooperative basis. They feel they are being sullied by this reaction.
With these sorts of stories being reported, expect New Orleans' mayor and Louisiana's governor and senators to switch even more decisively into survive-at-all-costs-by-trashing-and-burning mode.

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