The View All Depends on Where You Are Standing...
Check out this timeline from CNN on the fundamental disconnect that was going on between FEMA, the Federal government, and those actually in the zone stricken by Hurricane Katrina. A sample of the inconsistencies that CNN culled from their transcripts, from interviews with Federal officials, FEMA officials, and people actually in New Orleans. Some of the divergent comments were made minutes apart:
On The federal response:I'm not discounting the utter chaos of the situation in the hurricane zone, and how difficult communication must have been with no electricity and telephone lines, but this does give a bit of a snapshot into how adequate aid could have been so delayed.
- Brown: Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.
- Homeland Security Director Chertoff: Now, of course, a critical element of what we're doing is the process of evacuation and securing New Orleans and other areas that are afflicted. And here the Department of Defense has performed magnificently, as has the National Guard, in bringing enormous resources and capabilities to bear in the areas that are suffering.
- Crowd chanting outside the Convention Center: We want help.
- Nagin: They don't have a clue what's going on down there.
- Phyllis Petrich, a tourist stranded at the Ritz-Carlton: They are invisible. We have no idea where they are. We hear bits and pieces that the National Guard is around, but where? We have not seen them. We have not seen FEMA officials. We have seen no one.
- Brown: I actually think the security is pretty darn good. There's some really bad people out there that are causing some problems, and it seems to me that every time a bad person wants to scream of cause a problem, there's somebody there with a camera to stick it in their face. ( See Jack Cafferty's rant on the government's 'bungled' response -- 0:57)
- Chertoff: In addition to local law enforcement, we have 2,800 National Guard in New Orleans as we speak today. One thousand four hundred additional National Guard military police trained soldiers will be arriving every day: 1,400 today, 1,400 tomorrow and 1,400 the next day.
- Nagin: I continue to hear that troops are on the way, but we are still protecting the city with only 1,500 New Orleans police officers, an additional 300 law enforcement personnel, 250 National Guard troops, and other military personnel who are primarily focused on evacuation.
- Lawrence: The police are very, very tense right now. They're literally riding around, full assault weapons, full tactical gear, in pickup trucks. Five, six, seven, eight officers. It is a very tense situation here.