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TRANSCRIPT: Ray Nagin Interview --- BLACK ON WHITE [View All]

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marcus_b Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-02-05 08:39 AM
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TRANSCRIPT: Ray Nagin Interview --- BLACK ON WHITE
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Edited on Fri Sep-02-05 09:12 AM by marcus_b
If somebody can help fill in the blanks, and correct any mistakes I made, that would be nice. I am not a native english speaker, and this was done in a hurry to get the word out.

Radio Interview Nagin.

START OF TAPE

N: <...> to dictate and to manage military resources down here and I'll fix this for you. You call him right now, and you call the governor and you tell them to delegate the power that they have to the mayor of New Orleans who would get this damned thing fixed.

It's politics man, and they are playing games, and they are spinning, they are out there spinning for the cameras. And---

I: But can't they just---if nothing else look at 25% of their energy coming from the state is not flowing through the pipelines, we're on the verge of anarchy? Can't they understand that they're, if nothing else, that they're gonna be hurt politically?

N: I don't know what they are doing, I mean, air conditioning must be good, because I haven't had any in five days, and maybe there is some smoke coming out of the air conditioning units that's clogging some folk's, you know, their vision.

I: Have you talked with the president?

N: I have talked directly with the president---

I: What did he say?

N: I have talked to the head of the Homeland Security. I have talked to everybody under the sun. I have been out there, man, I flew these helicopters, been in the crowds, talking to people, crying don't know where their relatives are. I have done it all, man, and I tell you man, , I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming, that is coming. And my answer to that today is BS!, where is the beef? Because there is no beef in this city, there is no beef anywhere in South East Lousiana, and these goddamned ships that are coming, I don't see them.

I: What did you say to the president and what did he say to you?

N: I basically told him we have an incredible crisis here, and that his flying over in AirForce One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around the city, and I have been very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we are out-manned in just about every respect. Do you know the reason why the looters got out of control? Because we had most of our resources saving people, 1000s of people that were stuck in attics, man, old ladies, when you pull of the of ventilator vents and you look down there and they are standing in there in water up to their fricking neck.

And they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggawn event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn, excuse my French everybody in America. But I am pissed.

I: Did you say to the president of the United States, "I need the military in here?"

N: I said I need everything. Well, I'll tell you this, and I'll give the president some credit on this. He sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done. And his name is General Honore. And he came off the doggawn chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving. And he is getting some stuff done. They ought to give this guy---they don't wanna give it to me---they give this guy full authority, and he'll get things done, and we can save some people.

I: What do you need right now do get control over the situation?

N: I need reinforcements, I need troups, man, I need 500 busses, man. When you are talking about, you know, one of the briefings we had they were talking about getting, you know, public school bus drivers to come down here, bus people out here, I'm like: You gotta be kidding me, this is a national desaster, get every doggawn Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans.

That's them thinking small, man, and this a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough, man, this is crazy. I have got 15-20.000 people over at the convention center, it's bursting at its seams, the poor people in Tammany Parish they are air-vaccing people over here in New Orleans. We don't have anything, and we are sharing with our brothers in Tammany Parish.

It- It- It- It's awful down here, man.

I: Do you believe that the president is seeing this, holding news conferences on it, but can't do anything until Kathlyn Blanco requests to do it and do you know whether or not she has made that request.

N: I have no idea what they are doing, but I will tell you this. If god is looking over all this, and they are not doing everything in their power to save people, they are all going to pay the price.

Because every day that we delay, people are dying. And they are dying by the hundreds, I am willing to bet ya. We are getting reports and calls that is breaking my heart from people saying: I've been in my attic, I can't take it anymore, the water is up to my neck, I don't think I can hold out. And that's happening as we speak.

You know what really upsets me, ? We told everybody the importance of the 17th Street canal issue. Please, please, take care of this. We don't care what you do, figure it out.

I: Who did you say this to?

N: Everybody, governor, you know, homeland security, FEMA. You name it we said it. And, you know, they've allowed that pumping station next to the pumping station 6, to go under water. Our sewage and waterboy people stayed there and endangered their lifes. And what happened when that pumping station went down the water started flowing again in the city. And it started getting to levels that probably killed more people. In addition to that, we had water flowing through the pipes in this city. That's a power station over there, so there is no water flowing anywhere on East bank of Orlean's Parish. So critical water supply was destroyed because of lack of action.

I: Why couldn't they drop the 3.000 pound sandbags or the containers that they were talking about earlier. Was that an engineering feat that just couldn't be done?

N: It is said it was some pulleys that they had to manufacture, but you know. In a state of emergency, man, you are creative, you figure out ways to get stuff done. Then they told me that they went over night, and they built 17 concrete structures and had the pulleys on and we're gonna drop them. I flew over that thing yesterday, and it is in the same shape that it was after the storm hit. There is nothing happening, and they are feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning, and people are dying down here.

I: If some of the public called, and they are right that there is a law that the president, the federal government, can't do anything without local or state request, would you request martial law?

N: I've already re--- I've already called for martial law in the city of New Orleans. We did that a few of days ago.

I: Did the governor do that, too?

N: I don't know. I don't think so. But we called for martial law when we realized that the looting was getting out of control and we redirected all of our police officers back to patrol in the streets. They were dirt--- dead tired from saving people, but they worked all night, because we thought that thing was gonna blow wide open last night. So we redirected all of our resources, and we held it under check.

I'm not sure if we could do that another night with the current resources. And I am telling you right now, they are showing all these reports about people looting and doing all that weird stuff, and they are all doing that. But people are desperate, and they are trying to find food and water, the majorities of them.

But you have some knuckleheads out there, and they are taking advantage of that lawless--- the situation where we can't really control it. And they are doing some awful, awful things, but that is a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.

And here's , one of the things people have nobody talked about this: Drugs float in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me. And that's why we were having an escalation in murders. People don't wanna talk about this, but I wanna talk about it.

You have drug addicts, that are now walking about the city, looking for a fix. And that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals, drug stores. They are looking for something to take the edge off of their Jones, if you will. And right now they don't have anything to take the edge off, and they probably found guns. So what you've seen is drug starving crazy addicts, drug addicts, that are wreaking havoc, and we don't have the man power to adequately deal with--- we can only target certain sections of the city and form a perimeter around them and hope to god that we are not overrun.

I: Well, you and I must be in a minority. Because apparently there is a section of our citizenry out there that thinks because of a law that says the Federal Government can't come unless requested by the proper people, that everything that is going on is as good as it can possibly be.

N: Really?

I: I know you don't feel that way.

N: Did the tsunami victims requst? Did they go through a formal process to request? Eh, you know, did Iraq--- the Iraqi people request that we go in there? Did they ask us to go in there? What is more important? This is, you know, I tell you man, I am probably going to get into a whole bunch of trouble. I am probably going to get into so much trouble that it ain't even funny. They don't even want to deal with me after the interview is over.

I: You and I'll be in this funny place together.

N: But we authorized 8<0> billion dollar to go into Iraq. After 9/11 we gave the president unprecedented powers to take care in New York and other places. You mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique that when you mention New Orleans to anybody around the world, everybodies eyes light up. You mean to tell me that a place where you probably have 1000s of people who have died and 1000s more who are dying every day. That we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, man. You know, I am not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly. And I don't know whose problem it is, I don't know whether it is the governor's problem, I don't know whether it's the president's problem. But somebody needs to get their ass on a plane, and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out, right now.

I: What can we do here?

N: Keep talking about it.

I: We'll do that. What else can we do?

N: Organize people to write letters, to make calls to their congress men---

I: Emails.

N: to the president, to the white--- to the governor. Flood their doggawn offices to do something. This is ridiculous. I don't want to see any more goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city, and they come down to this city and stand with us, when their military trucks and troups that we can't even count--- don't tell me 40.000 people are coming here! They are not here! It's too doggawn late. Now let's get get off our asses and do something! And let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country!

I: I say this right now. You are the only politician who has called, and called for arms like this. And if--- whatever it takes, the governor, president, whatever law precedent it takes, whatever it takes--- I bet that the people listening to you are on your side.

N: Well, I hope so Galen, I am this, I am at a point now where it don't matter. People are dying, they don't have homes, they don't have jobs; the city of New Orleans will never be the same in this time.

I: That's New Orlean's major Ray Nagin in an interview with Galen they got really emotional towards the end of the interview.

END OF TAPE
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