Leave it to the Blog'o'sphere to do a Google search to uncover the Louisiana evacuation plan and note that it was both (a) lacking, and (b) not followed: They Had A Plan
They just didn't follow it. So they were planning to fail. By "they," I mean pretty much every government official in Louisiana, and by "plan," I mean a signed-off set of procedures they were supposed to follow in the event of a catastrophic hurricane. You know, like the one that just hit. And by "fail" I mean complete catastrophic failure.
Here's the southeast Louisiana evac plan supplement, most recently revised in 2000. Go to page 13, read paragraph 5. It states:
5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.
Well, well. Can you say "smoking gun," Mr. Mayor? Mr. Ebbert? How about a smoking arsenal? I guess whether or not you decide to act is based on how you define "school and municipal buses" and "staging area." Or "hurricane." Or "mandatory," as in "mandatory evacuation."
There is much, much more--including a counting of the number of submerged busses that could have been used to evacuate people prior to Katrina hitting that are now submurged under water spilling gasoline into the flood waters, and an observation that when Hurricane Ivan struck a year ago, the mayor of New Orleans made the same damned mistakes--excpet that time, Ivan missed.
Let me repeat this, as for some reason the Major Media has mistakenly (and dangeriously, I may add) decided to blaim President Bush for this disaster. It is the first responders, who are the local police, fire, and local officials using a coordinating contingency plan, who are responsible for helping people for the first 72 hours of an emergency. After 72 hours, the Federal Government can then step in with help to clean up and contain whatever disaster is going on.
I cannot stress this enough. It is the responsibility of the first responders--the police and fire officers and local officials--to respond to disasters and they must have the ability to operate for the first 72 hours without aid from any other state or national official. The reason for this is simple: some natural disasters do not give you several days warning, as we had with Katrina. In the event of an Earthquake in California, a nuclear bomb in Washington D.C., or the World Trade Centers being destroyed in New York, first responders have no advance notice of a disaster in progress.
Now the major media seems to be making a big God Damned deal over the fact that people had plenty of notice about Katrina, and so have asked why it was that President Bush or FEMA didn't "pre-approve" funding and assistance for New Orleans. If we go down that path, however, we will gut our ability for first responders to respond to natural or man-made disasters where there is little or no advance notice to operate efficiently if funding is moved to a national response center and away from areas (such as California) where first responders have a fucking clue.
And as I live in an earthquake zone, this puts my own life in jeopardy.
All so the Major Media can score points against President Bush, when clearly it is the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana should be empeached.
At least one good thing could come out of the Major Media's crys. Without realizing it, one of the things they are demanding is that the Federal Government "do something." Well, the reality is that as all of the failures rest with local government (from a failure to follow their own evacuation plans to a failure to provide reliable information to FEMA), the only thing the Federal Government can possibly do is to take over local operations by turning New Orleans and Louisiana into a Federal District for restructuring purposes a'la the Civil War Reconstruction.
Such a move does have precedence in areas with sufficient local corruption, though generally it's the FBI who does the restructuring with the assistance of a Federal District Judge. (They've done this in several cities in California, for example, and the Los Angeles Police Department was under the thumb of a Federal District Judge for many years.)
I think it would be terribly ironic if the pressure applied by the Major Media on the Federal Government--without paying attention to local or state officials--resulted in the Federal Government assuming control of the State of Louisiana and the outster of Louisiana's Governor and New Orleans' Mayor. Can you imagine the screaming for blood that would go on if that were to come to pass?
This doesn't even begin to touch upon the fact that the President can't send troops across state lines because the law, and that the national guard cannot be commanded by him. Only the Governor can command them, or command them to be directed by the President of the United States. Apparently, he asked for that right and it had not been given to him in a timely fashion.