September 8th, 2005 § Comments off

For reasons known only to himself, Michael Brown, the pathetic, incompetent excuse for a FEMA director who’s supposed to be running the Hurricane Katrina response effort, is still not allowing rescue personnel to enter New Orleans:

[Brown]—who is under fire for the agency’s slow response to the flooding—said Wednesday that scores of police and volunteer firefighters from around the nation, as well as trucks loaded with donated water, were even now being prevented from entering New Orleans while troops conduct house-to-house searches.

“They can’t just yet,” Brown said during a briefing in Baton Rouge. “There is going to come this natural time when we will release this floodgate of cops and firefighters who want to help. It’s the same for anyone who wants to volunteer—we have over 50,000 offers of donations from the private sector. It has to be coordinated in such a way that it helps.”

Does that make any fucking sense to anyone? The city is filled with corpses, people are still in need of supplies and medical help, and Michael Brown is keeping the relief out of the city?

Meanwhile, Congress is merrily allocating tens of billions of dollars to FEMA for reconstruction, even though FEMA’s proven itself to be unqualified beyond all comprehension (and even though reconstruction is not FEMA’s job).

Also, keep in mind that I’m only posting about the absolute worst aspects of the relief effort. If you want a fuller picture of how America has failed its neediest citizens, read Making Light (my source for the first link), Talking Points Memo (my source for the second), and This Modern World.

UPDATE: It gets even better. Not only is FEMA keeping rescuers out of New Orleans, it’s apparently paying a private security firm to patrol the city instead.

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