The Lady Speaks

Jenn’s Sunday Sermon

No one’s shocked to discover even more proof of incompetence from the Bush misAdministration, are they?

From the Washington Post:

As the winds and water of Hurricane Katrina were receding, presidential confidante Karen Hughes sent a cable from her State Department office to U.S. ambassadors worldwide.

Titled “Echo-Chamber Message” — a public relations term for talking points designed to be repeated again and again — the Sept. 7, 2005, directive was unmistakable: Assure the scores of countries that had pledged or donated aid at the height of the disaster that their largesse had provided Americans “practical help and moral support” and “highlight the concrete benefits hurricane victims are receiving.”

Many of the U.S. diplomats who received the message, however, were beginning to witness a more embarrassing reality. They knew the U.S. government was turning down many allies’ offers of manpower, supplies and expertise worth untold millions of dollars. Eventually the United States also would fail to collect most of the unprecedented outpouring of international cash assistance for Katrina’s victims.

[snip]

More than 10,000 pages of cables, telegraphs and e-mails from U.S. diplomats around the globe — released piecemeal since last fall under the Freedom of Information Act — provide a fuller account of problems that, at times, mystified generous allies and left U.S. representatives at a loss for an explanation. […]

In one exchange, State Department officials anguished over whether to tell Italy that its shipments of medicine, gauze and other medical supplies spoiled in the elements for weeks after Katrina’s landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and were destroyed. “Tell them we blew it,” one disgusted official wrote. But she hedged: “The flip side is just to dispose of it and not come clean. I could be persuaded.”

[snip]

And while television sets worldwide showed images of New Orleans residents begging to be rescued from rooftops as floodwaters rose, U.S. officials turned down countless offers of allied troops and search-and-rescue teams. The most common responses: “sent letter of thanks” and “will keep offer on hand,” the new documents show.

Overall, the United States declined 54 of 77 recorded aid offers from three of its staunchest allies: Canada, Britain and Israel, according to a 40-page State Department table of the offers that had been received as of January 2006. [all emphasis mine]

What’s new (or news) here – other than the fact that this is embarrassing on a scale I can’t even begin to describe?

The Bush regime – with its emphasis on “loyalty” and habit of rewarding the big fundraisers, with its continual placement of incompetent, inexperienced personnel in key agencies (and driving out the career staffs of those agencies) – was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the damage and death and incapable of responding in a timely and appropriate manner to the disaster in New Orleans and around the Gulf Coast. And when other countries offered aid, in every manner possible, they were turned down or – even worse – had their aid packages left to rot.

What’s newsworthy is that this is a warning to every other major city in America: if something happens, you’re on your own. Not that the feds don’t want to help, but that they are hog-tied with politically-wired appointees who’ve turned everything they’ve touched to dust.

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April 29, 2007 - Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Government, Homeland Security, Hurricane Katrina, Politics, State Dept, White House

3 Comments »

  1. Wonderful post.
    Incompetence caused by incompetence. We have so much to repair in our country. The task seems too big. I don’t envy our next president…and we better be very wise in that selection.
    OT:
    Jenn, you are featured today on my Sunday CommunitySpeak post and The Lady Speaks is now on my blogroll. Stop by to read how pleased people are that you have joined our community.

    Comment by mirth | April 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. Now if I grew up with sermons like this, I might still go to church every once in awhile.

    Did you catch Condi on on….whatever that ABC Sunday morning show with Stephanopolis is? He asked bout the Post story and she waved her hand and dismissed it as aid we didn’t need or couldn’t use. UN-BE-LIEVABLE!!!!

    Comment by D-day | April 29, 2007 | Reply

  3. Thanks to both of you.

    mirth: I think maybe that’s what’s gotten me so down – realizing all the work it’s going to take to repair this nightmare. Kinda like looking at your kid’s room and wishing you could just shut the door and walk away, instead of spending half the day nagging…er, supervising as they clean.

    thanks for featuring me!

    D: If I grew up with sermons like this, I might still go to church too. LOL I got lucky enough to have a grandmother who knew it wasn’t what you did on Sundays that made you a good Christian, or a good person.

    I, thankfully, don’t have cable – or even an antenna – so I miss all the misAdmin’s little elves when they make their rounds. I miss the Daily Show too…but at least C&L puts the clips up.

    Aid we didn’t need or couldn’t use?! Riiiiight. I suggest Condi not go to the Gulf anytime soon.

    — Jenn

    Oh, by the way: don’t worry about being OT. No rules here, more or less, other than the “be nice” ones.

    Comment by PA_Lady | April 29, 2007 | Reply


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