Letter to the Editor

I sent this today after the Tribune’s pitiful editorial yesterday that basically excused the President from his responsibilities.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Tribune,

I am appalled at your editorial (“When governments fail citizens”). You blithely summarize your piece by saying, “We can lament Katrina. . . and we can learn from her.” Well, gee whiz, what was 9/11? Have you really forgotten so quickly the mandate that disaster required of our leadership?

Stop letting the President off the hook for his incompetency! Your indifference to his colossal failure of leadership and his inability to deliver homeland security is unacceptable.

When you endorsed President Bush for re-election, I wrote to you and said it was synonymous with your saying, “Our reporting isn’t very good.” I stand by that statement.

How many more Americans have to die or suffer needlessly before it will dawn on you guys that something’s terribly wrong in the White House? We really can’t take much more of your ostriching like this.


Jennifer Roche

5 Comments so far

  1. Jos Bleau (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 10:32 am

    What you should have done is show how the White House is responsible for the death and suffering – you know, with evidence and facts. Just saying so isn’t very convincing.

    Or is that your point? Bush is bad = must have caused all the death and suffering. That seems to be what you are saying.

  2. JenniferRoche (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 11:09 am

    Jos, first thanks for posting your thoughts.

    It’s hard for many of us who watched the pokey, disorganized televised response to the hurricane to understand how there is not enough evidence in broad daylight to damn this ineffective gov’t and president. In fact, I’m growing sick and tired of all you Bush-excusers who let him get away with this lame governing.

    How about the fact that I knew there were 10,000 people stuck in the Superdome in the wake of a Level 5 storm from watching tv, but the guy from FEMA didn’t until about a day later?

    How about the fact that one of the major cities in the U.S. was under a mandatory evacuation order, but the President didn’t think he should leave vacation? Nor the vice-President? Real leaders empathize with those they lead. A real leader of America would have been up all night wondering if the wonderful city of New Orleans was going to be around the next morning.

    How about the fact that it was clear that it was highly likely the hurricane was going to hit more than one state, which would require federal help for coordination (you know, among the states), but the President and VP stayed on vacation and hung out til the last hour?

    How about the SOS call to the Associated Press from Dr. Norman McSwain, Chief of Trauma Surgery at Charity Hospital in New Orleans who was so frustrated by the lack of a response that he had to call the AP to get help and this was on Thursday! “We need coordinated help from the government,” he said. Well, gee whiz, who is the top man in charge of that? Why did it take so long to get coordinated help? Who, when all is said and done and one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States
    shows up, who, who who is in charge?

    Oh yeah, and remember 9/11? Weren’t we supposed to be getting ready for quick responses during bad times like Katrina?

    Good leaders plan ahead. Good leaders identify potential disasters and come up with strategies to provide relief ASAP. Good leaders leave the comfort of their vacation home, demand that their VP return from his vacation and Secy of State stop shoe-shopping, and get their butts in their office chairs so as soon as daylight comes, the citizens of the south can be aided.

    Those are just some of the facts. But, I think DAYS to respond to this disaster is probably key among them.

    Are you really suggesting you believe this President did a great job managing this disaster?

    If so, I wish you a better response if and when disaster hits your family.

  3. Jos Bleau (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 12:24 pm

    First, I’m not excusing anybody.

    Second, a majority of the evidence you provide is not evidence that Bush did anything bad, but that he didn’t come off of vacation soon enough. I don’t think that got anyone killed.

    And when it comes to lack of planning, lets actually take a look at who was responsible for that.

    As I said, you should cite some actual examples of that poor planning. Yes, doctors beggin for help indicate poor outcome, but whose planning is responsible for that, exactly?

    Did you know the the City of New Orleans official plan to help the poor in the event of a hurricane was to produce and distribute a DVD telling them that they are on there own and can expect nbo help from the city? That even though thousand of busses were avialable that none would be used to help them?

    Did you know that the official plan was to herd the poor into the Superdome without any provision for food, water or medicine?

    Did you know that Gov. Blanco deliberately forbade private and federal relief workers to enter the city after the storm? That trucks loaded with food, water, and medecine were standing by and that she expressly refused to let them in? That hundreds died due to this?

    Did you know that the Gov. would not allow federal ground troops into the City before Saturday, and that the USS Bataan, with 2000 marines and a 600 bed hospital were on the scene Tuesday and that the Gov. refused them permission to do anything other than conduct helicopter rescues? Yes, that’s 2000 marines could gave been patrolling the city and bring relief to the people in the Superdome. And helping out Dr. McSwain, by the way.

    So lets review – the official plan by the locals was to do nothing for the poor, and to forbid the federals or the Red Cross from helping them in any way, other than rescue, for 5 days.

    Bush deserves to pay big-time for his screw-ups, but they pale in comparison to the harm done by “the good leaders” who chose to let their citizens suffer and die when they could have been easily saved.

  4. JenniferRoche (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

    Okay, so now you’re saying, “Bush deserves to pay big-time for his screw-ups.”

    My point exactly.

  5. Jennifer Roche (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

    “For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and the Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort. Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco’s control.

    The debate began after officials realized that Hurricane Katrina had exposed a critical flaw in the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to the administration’s senior domestic security officials, the plan failed to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated.”

    –from the New York Times today

    Here’s the


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