Saturday, September 10, 2005

I Blame Local Officials

SULLIVAN: On Saturday, the Louisiana Guard calls up 4,000 troops, every Guardsman in the state. But almost half of its force is out of the state and out of the country. Three thousand Louisiana Guard troops are in Iraq, along with most of Louisiana's heavy equipment, including its watercraft, high-water vehicles and generators. Lieutenant Colonel Schneider says the troops fan out to staging areas across the state. According to the emergency plan, they're to wait there until the storm passes. Their job is to distribute supplies and maintain order. The plan anticipates there might be some looting and violence.

Lt. Col. SCHNEIDER: Part of our agreements we have are to pre-position National Guardsmen with NOPD and with all of the state police troops throughout the greater New Orleans area.

SULLIVAN: That same Saturday, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says the storm will be so big that state and local governments won't be able to handle it. She asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency. Later that day, he does.

The next day, on Sunday, at 9:30 AM, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issues the first ever mandatory evacuation in the city's history.
NPR, via Atrios.

This is the way the spin ends
This is the way the spin ends
This is the way the spin ends,
Not with a bang, but a whimper.

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