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Louisiana Gov’t Blocked Red Cross

09/08/2005: Looks like the governor has some more hard questions to answer.

Among those questions:

(1) Why did she wait so long to contact President Bush? (In fact, he had to call her.)

(2) Why did she wait so long to request National Guard troops?

She could have deployed Louisiana National Guard troops. Why did she not do this before the storm? If she needed more troops, she was one phone call away from President Bush: had she said the word, Bush could have sent more National Guard troops, the 82nd Airborne, the 101st Airborne (Air Assault), the 10th Mountain Division (Special Forces), and even some Navy SEAL teams.

All she had to do was make the request, and Bush would have ordered FEMA into New Orleans before the storm. (That would have allowed FEMA to provide real-time assessments of situations as they were developing.)

Keep in mind that Bush–if he did not–should have offered these things to her on Friday, August 26. He is not completely blameless.

However, if Gov. Blanco had certain needs, it was her responsibility to relay these needs straight to the President. If Mayor Ray Nagin had certain needs, it was his responsibility to relay those straight to the Governor.

If Gov. Blanco’s own departments are locking out the Red Cross, then someone needs to do some time on the hot seat for that.

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