First, FNC’s Major Garrett reported two nights ago that the state of Louisiana had barred the Red Cross from delivering supplies to the Superdome because the state didn’t want the dome to become a “magnet” for people it was trying to evacuate. Now, Garrett has reported that the Salvation Army was also refused access. So far other than a brief mention on CNN, this story hasn’t gotten any other mainstream media attention. Here’s Garrett on the Hugh Hewitt show last night:
The Salvation Army basically said look. We…first of all, both agencies also want to let people know that they’ve served the needs of thousands of people who got out, and who got out just a little bit to high ground, north of New Orleans. But they couldn’t get in to meet those needs. They asked to get in. They were prepared with their…the Salvation Army has these ever-familiar portable kitchen canteens, is what they call them. They can actually make food, produce food on spot, and distribute it there. People line up. We’ve seen that at hurricanes and other natural disasters. They were ready. Not allowed in. At first, it was this idea that we don’t want to create a magnet at the evacuation site. Secondarily, it became an issue of well, there’s lots of water, and we can’t assure your safety, so on and so forth. Here’s another key point, Hugh. I was very specific with the American Red Cross, president and CEO Marty Evans, and said wait. Tell me clearly. Were you prepared to go in before the levees broke? Before water became an issue of any kind? She said absolutely. Were you denied access before the levees broke? She said we were denied access from minute one.
The media have made the Superdome and the convention center the two biggest stories of government failure regarding Katrina’s aftermath. When are they going to start reporting the state’s role in what went wrong? (via Captain’s Quarters)