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Reply #204: ChiTrib: "Nearby Navy Ship Underused" - doctors idle, hospital beds empty [View All]

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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-05 10:14 PM
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204. ChiTrib: "Nearby Navy Ship Underused" - doctors idle, hospital beds empty
Meanwhile, people are still dying of prolonged neglect. And wasn't there a story of a mother giving birth to a baby in one of those huge noisome evacuee pens and both of them dying? And no damn wonder. Meanwhile, there were clean hospital beds and doctors ready a helicopter flight away. If this doesnt stir up outrage and heartbreak in my country, its lost its soul.

I can't understand why Americans have not realized before that the "Culture of Life" meme of the neocons is one of the cruelest Orwellian jokes of all. >> Nation/World

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.

The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore.

The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents.

But now the Bataan's hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven't been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.


The military professionals have to be careful about reporting disagreement or frustration with the President's policies or decisions, but between the lines you can see the frustration at their resources not being used to save lives and help the hurricane victims. This is from Newhouse News Service.
Sept. 3, 2005

Military Expresses Frustration Over Red Tape

BY DAVID WOOD?c.2005 Newhouse News Service


As of Friday morning, according to officers here, only 12,000 Guardsmen from all contributing states were on station in Louisiana and Mississippi. That's less than half the 30,000 National Guard troops available for deployment from the immediate region -- Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida -- according to officials at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

"There is a tremendous amount of frustration here, that we have assets stacked up ready to go and we don't have the requests for them," said an officer who asked not to be identified. "All we can do is nudge the folks at FEMA and say, `How about if we do this or that?"'?
FEMA spokeswoman Natalie Rule defended her agency's coordination efforts with the Pentagon.?
"The military has been joined at the hip (with FEMA) since this storm was approaching Florida," Rule said. "We were working all together on the national coordination response in Washington as well as at the regional level 24 hours a day, seven days a week."


(David Wood can be contacted at )

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