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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Louisiana Governor admits not asking for federal help

ACB News:

As one FEMA official told ABC News, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco failed to submit a request for help in a timely manner.

Shortly before Katrina hit, she sent President Bush a request, asking for shelter and provisions, but didn't specifically ask for help with evacuations. One aide to the governor told ABC News today Blanco thought city officials were taking care of the evacuation.

As covered in a previous post, in the USA a State Governor must specifically request resources from the President once a state of emergency has been declared.

The Posse Comitatus Act makes it illegal for federal US military personnel to engage in the sorts of activities now being carried out in New Orleans:
The PCA generally prohibits U.S. military personnel from direct participation in law enforcement activities. Some of those law enforcement activities would include interdicting vehicles, vessels, and aircraft; conducting surveillance, searches, pursuit and seizures; or making arrests on behalf of civilian law enforcement authorities. Prohibiting direct military involvement in law enforcement is in keeping with long-standing U.S. law and policy limiting the military’s role in domestic affairs.
That is why Blanco signed a proclamation on Sept 2nd allowing out of state Police Officers to be deputized as Lousiana State Troopers - federal troops like the 82nd Airborne sent in by the US Army have no legal ability to do police work on US soil. Austin Bay has some letters from just such a deputized Police Officer sent by the (federal) Department of Homeland Security from Illinois to Louisiana.

As Peter Metcalph mentioned recently, the President can otherwise only take command of civil affairs within a State if the Insurrection Act is used. And somehow I can't see the Bush bashers taking that very well. The Insurrection Act is briefly discussed here.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 9/08/2005 12:30:00 am

3 Comments:

Blogger Ackers1 said...

It's extraordinary watching the spin come out of the Bush White House. Are Americans really going to be so stupid that they believe this stuff. Oh we had to wait for a week because she didn't ASK us to help. We were completely hamstrung because constitutionally we couldn't act because to do so we would have had to invoke the Insurrection Act! I mean really why bother with a Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. What's the point if you are just gonna be sittin there waiting to be asked in.

For those that need reminding so you can see clear of the spin pouring out of the White House and it's allies in the RWBS who god knows why seem to celebrate incompetence. I've seen plenty of outraged conservative Americans demanding the resignation of Michael Brown. That I would of thought was the very least level of accountability that should be demanded.

For those that need reminding here's a timeline.

Friday, 26 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana declares state of emergency
Saturday morning, 27 August 2005, Governor of Louisiana asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency and requests Federal Assistance "to save lives and property". Note, the letter was published on 27 August 2005 on Lexis Nexis but was dated 28 August 2005. Bush received the letter on Saturday and responded on the same day by declaring a State of Emergency. Note, per the NRP, William Lokey was designated as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in Louisiana.

Sunday, 28 August 2005, Mayor of New Orleans orders Mandatory Evacuation.

(Note: In Governor Blanco's request on the 27th, there is a specific request for help with evacuation and a specific request for help to "save lives and protect property". )

Monday, 29 August 2005, FEMA Director Brown requests DHS Secretary Chertoff's help in getting 1000 DHS employees ready to deploy to the disaster within 48 hours.

Under the National Response Plane (see p. 93, Figure 11), once the President declares a State of Emergency the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to implement the Plan. Initially, DHS is supposed to deploy an Emergency Response Team to the State to provide expertise in assessing needs and determining appropriate courses of action. Moreover, on p. 52 of the NRP the President may act proactively under the Stafford Act.

9/08/2005 07:45:00 am  
Anonymous tincanman said...

You do yourself a disservice by simply labelling everything you do not agree with as spin.

9/08/2005 10:51:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jesus ackers1 why are you still wasting your time?

Probably half the people frequenting this sight are ignoring anything you post because of your previous arse-leakage-comments. We dont even bother reading it anymore.

9/08/2005 11:05:00 am  

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