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Reply #86: Found a link to BBC video of interview with NORTHCOM officer [View All]

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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-18-09 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #67
86. Found a link to BBC video of interview with NORTHCOM officer
After reading your post, went looking and found the DU thread on this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Here's the quote, as posted by :

Announcer: The relief operation is the largest ever conducted in America. It's being coordinated by the US Northern Command in Colorado. Lieutenant Commander Sean Kelly explains how the relief effort is being organized.

Kelly: US Northern Command is the command that coordinates the military support for our federal and state agencies. They call up and request a capability and we try and provide that capability, whether it's medical resources, search and rescue helicopters, food, water, transportation, communications; that's what we provide.

A: So it sounds like you're providing a bit of everything. I mean, do you know how much you're actually providing?

K: Right now we've got 4,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine and coast guardsmen supporting this. They've delivered more than 9 million meals, I can't remember how many millions of liters of water.

A: 9 million meals? Do you actually have 9 million meals?

K: It's those "meals ready to eat". The packaged meals that the Army takes out with them out in the field. We have 9 million of 'em ready. I know at least 100,000 went to the Superdome the other night to help the people out there in New Orleans. So they're staged at various places throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

A: Now I'm sure you're aware of the criticism that the authorities have been slow to respond to this. When did you get the order to start relief work?

K: NorthCom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready for the storm when it hit Florida because, as you remember, it crossed the bottom part of Florida, and then we were plaining, you know, once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast. So what we did was we activated what we call defense coordinating officers to work with the state to say okay, what do you think you'll need, and we set up staging bases that could be started. We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it's search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.

A: Now I gather that your engineers are also involved in pumping some of that flood water out of the areas.

K: Yes, our military personnel are helping to reconstruct the levees which frees up the engineers to start pumping out the waters so that hopefully New Orleans can be high and dry soon enough.


The link that was created to an MP3 of it is gone now, as you noted.

Poked around more and most all other articles reference that same link.

But, I did find a link to a video of the BBC report: http://tomraworth.com/bbckat.mov

The pertinent section starts a bit after the midway point.

It's so important to remember what actually happened, especially with it looking like a major rewrite is being attempted.

I suppose it is possible that Rumsfield, as well as Bush, did not give the orders they BOTH should have and BOTH are guilty, but this does look like an attempt to shift blame away from Bush and we need to counter it with the facts of what happened.

While looking for the above, the article that goes into details about the Bataan also came up:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Navy ship nearby underused
Craft with food, water, doctors needed orders

By Stephen J. Hedges
Tribune national correspondent
Published September 4, 2005

ON THE USS BATAAN -- While federal and state emergency planners scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore, underused and waiting for a larger role in the effort.

Can't get the link for the TRibune article to work either, but it looks like the whole article is available on a couple web sites.
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