Bush Administration Turned Down Post Katrina Foreign Aid

This has been known for some time but through FOIA’s CREW has uncovered the extent to which the Bush administration delayed, declined and failed to collect foreign aid pledged after Katrina.The Washington Post reports that CREW obtained over “10,000 pages of cables, telegraphs and e-mails from U.S. diplomats around the globe” and made them available to the paper. It is damning evidence of yet another Katrina failure by the administration of which CREW executive director Melanie Sloan stated, “It’s clear that they’re trying to hide their ineptitude, incompetence and malfeasance.”

Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold
for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster
victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors.
Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil.
Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the
Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic
limits on how it can be spent.

In addition, valuable supplies and
services — such as cellphone systems, medicine and cruise ships —
were delayed or declined because the government could not handle them.
In some cases, supplies were wasted.

SNIP

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.”

In another instance, the Department of Homeland Security accepted an
offer from Greece on Sept. 3, 2005, to dispatch two cruise ships that
could be used free as hotels or hospitals for displaced residents. The
deal was rescinded Sept. 15 after it became clear a ship would not
arrive before Oct. 10. The U.S. eventually paid $249 million to use
Carnival Cruise Lines vessels.

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.

There is more and I highly recommend reading the whole article.

It is gut wrenching to learn that offers of troops and search and rescue teams were declined when they were so badly needed. Since last April the remains of at least 25 bodies have been discovered in New Orleans. Just this week the Orleans Parish coroner stated he expects more will be found and there are still homes that are untouched since Katrina. There were people who returned home months after Katrina to find the decaying remains of family members. And then there was Kimberly Polk. She had been searching months for her missing 5 year old daughter Sarena. She knew her search had ended when she learned from news accounts that a child’s body had been found in debris on March 24, 2006 still wearing a backpack. Sarena always wore her blue backpack. Her body had been found by a search and rescue team. Bless the individuals and dogs who did this work. But the backing of the leaders in the federal government was not there to back them. To say the Bush administration mismanaged it would be too kind. Theirs was an abject neglect of responsibilityand the suffering incurred as a result is unquantifiable. When the history is written it will be considered a shameful stain on America.

Just think what almost a billion in foreign aid could have done for the Gulf Coast. But it was simply turned down or lost to those in such great need then and now by an incompetent and arrogant administration. I hope someone has to go before Congress and explain but I’d rather each and everyone of them explain to Kimberly Polk…

Polk

11 thoughts on “Bush Administration Turned Down Post Katrina Foreign Aid

  1. mdhatter says:

    Sick sad men.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Scout, I read the Post article with t sense of horror. I’m speechless.
    Grnadmere Mimi

  3. gene214 says:

    The Bush Administration has been running our government like the old Soviet Politburo – corruption, incompetence, and criminal neglect. Everybody from Bush on down should be in fucking jail.

  4. hoppycalif says:

    I hope everyone is aware that we are at a critical point in our Constitutional history. The impeachment procedure was put into the Constitution for just this type of circumstance – a criminal, negligent, incompetent, psychotic president and vice president. If we don’t use the impeachment procedure now, we can kiss it goodbye. Any future president deserving of impeachment can always point to this president and say “you didn’t impeach him and I’m not nearly that bad”, or if that future president is even worse, he will have become such a dictator that Congress will be dissolved.
    It is irrelevant that impeachment would occur so late in Bush’s term in office. This is a genuine “use it or lose it” moment in our history. If we lose it, future generations will have only assassination as a means of deposing criminal presidents.

  5. pansypoo says:

    the sheeple know this, a lot of congresscritters know this, but the teevee gnews they need for cover are not calling for it cause georgie is their creation.
    the talking heads think all is well cause their portfolios haven’t disappeared yet.
    and all those teevee re-had shows should be STRICTLY IN THE GULFCOAST or other places hit by disaster. fuck the people living in utah mcmansions.

  6. It wasn’t just incompetence, or just arrogance: this administration took Reagan seriously, and thinks government exists only for the purpose of going to war and to hand out government contracts, preferably to Halliburton. As John Bolton told Jon Stewart, the President serves those who voted for him.
    Poor blacks don’t count. Poor whites don’t count for much, either.
    To accept the aid would have meant government could do something for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and that the Bush Administration could not countenance. Pure and simple. Incompetence? I’m tired of that dodge. Put it up there with Gonzales’ “I can’t recall.” Then you should get the hell out of D.C., because you’re either a liar or an idiot, and I think it’s probably both.
    Same goes for this entire Administration. They couldn’t administer all this foreign aid? Then they don’t deserve their salaries. Don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
    Feh.

  7. What can you say?
    We’ve passed the time for a peaceful revolution. Voting, as Bush has shown, is for the foolish.
    Hasta la victoria siempre. Socialismo o muerte.

  8. Elspeth R says:

    Well, c’mon – someone in the bushite assministration needs to come out and say the line to do with letting the aid languish/rot/ebb away that we all know is coming:
    “Noone could have predicted the generosity of other nations”
    BAH!!!!!
    Elspeth
    ITMFA!!!

  9. j swift says:

    What? You don’t really expect the Bush Maladministration to accept all that money. Hell, that would be tantamount to admitting they needed help, or did not do enough themselves, or are incompetent. You know we can’t have that now don’t you.

  10. Emma says:

    “No one could have predicted the generosity of other nations.”
    Of course the Bushies couldn’t have. Because they are so fucking arrogant, in their “We are America and the best and the brightest mindset.” They can’t separate true compassion from political maneuvering. It boggles their mind to realize that just because the French, the Germans, and everyone else stood and said No to Iraq, just because they HATE the American government does not not mean they hate all of the American people. They have actual compassion for the poor and downtrod in a way these fuckhead compassionate conservatives never could. They saw the suffering, they saw their human brothers and sisters and said “We must do something.”
    *wants to hit something really badly*

  11. While indelicately put, what Ronnie had said was exactly true, this was a cruise that was put together for bi or lesbian women! There were to be no men on board at all, so that if the female guests wanted to, they could roam the ship entirely in the buff, and while overt acts of sex in public were discouraged, Mo had heard from other ladies who had previously taken the cruise, that on more than one occasion they had personally seen some serious pussy licking taking place at the pool! Mo was a pure lesbian,…

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