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Louisiana Democrat Governor Kathleen Blanco Blamed for Slow Removal of Bodies
Daily Sentinal ^ | 10/27/05 | LARA JAKES JORDAN

Posted on 10/27/2005 6:24:47 PM PDT by Libloather

La. Gov. Blamed for Slow Removal of Bodies
By LARA JAKES JORDAN
Associated Press Writer


Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, left, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, background center, and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco leave a meeting where they addressed the immediate, post-hurricane priorities for the New Orleans hospitality industry, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)

WASHINGTON — Bodies of people killed by Hurricane Katrina went uncollected for more than a week in the New Orleans area as the federal government waited for Louisiana's governor to decide what to do with them, according to memos released Thursday by a Republican-led House committee.

The 38 pages of e-mail between FEMA representatives and Pentagon officials contradict the contention by Louisiana's Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, two weeks after Katrina hit on Aug. 29, that the federal government was moving too slowly to recover the bodies.

They also underscore ongoing political tensions between the Republican Bush administration and Democratic state and local officials over the botched response to Katrina, which killed more than 1,000 people in Louisiana. They were released by a House panel that many Democrats have shunned, chaired by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., that is investigating the government's sluggish preparations and reaction to the storm.

The memos indicate that morgues were not ready to receive bodies until Sept. 7 — two days after the first memo complaining about Blanco's inaction, and nine days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.

"Number 1 issue is body collection," Army Col. John J. Jordan, the military assistant to former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown, wrote in a Sept. 5 e-mail to various Pentagon officials.

"This issue must be addressed, and frankly, there is operations paralysis at this point," Jordan wrote. "FEMA is pushing state to see what they want to do, and indications are that governor is involved in some of the decisions," especially regarding burial.

"Believe organized collection must begin today once morgue is operational or it will become evident to media that plan for collection is not in place," Jordan wrote in the e-mail, which was sent to Brown and Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore, the military coordinator for the disaster.

But the morgue did not open until two days later, according to the Sept. 7 e-mail from Jordan.

"First morgue site is fully operational," Jordan wrote to the Pentagon officials. "...Believe media and family member interest will continue to cause security concerns."

Nearly a week later, on Sept. 13, Blanco lashed out at the federal government, accusing it of moving too slowly in recovering the bodies and saying it was disrespectful to wait so long.

Blanco spokesman Bob Mann said Thursday it was FEMA's responsibility for removing bodies, which was delayed because the agency failed to sign a contract with Houston-based Kenyon International Emergency Services to do so.

Blanco "was almost literally jumping up and down and screaming about FEMA's failure to execute the contract with Kenyon," Mann said. "There were few things during that period that were more important and more urgent to the governor than doing something about this body removal. It was important to her that these people be treated with dignity, that these bodies not be allowed to lay out in the street."

"Yes, there was paralysis, but it was on the part of FEMA," Mann said.

Kenyon International's president Robert Jensen said in a telephone interview Thursday night that it was his company's decision not to sign a contract with FEMA. He declined to give reasons, other than to say that money was not the issue. Kenyon later accepted a contract with the state.

Officials have said they were more focused on rescuing Katrina's survivors immediately after the storm hit than in picking up bodies.

"For that first week following the storm ... all efforts were focused almost exclusively on rescuing the victims who were still alive," said Bob Johannesen, a spokesman for Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals.

Davis spokesman David Marin said the issue "offers further evidence that state and local officials were utterly overwhelmed."

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the federal government must be better prepared to quickly step in disasters of Katrina's size.

"Finger pointing does not provide answers to grieving relatives," said Thompson, D-Miss.

The memos describe what federal officials called a decision by Blanco to not enforce a mandatory evacuation order in New Orleans. They also note that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin "is not prohibiting residents from returning."

"Since FEMA did not anticipate reversal of decision for mandatory evacuation, crisis-action planning is now underway to provide this support," Jordan wrote in the Sept. 5 e-mail.

Mann said more than 1 million people evacuated New Orleans by the eve of Katrina's arrival, and that Blanco encouraged people to lave town through a major public information effort.

Forcibly removing people or threatening arrest for those who chose to stay behind were not realistic options, Mann said. "I don't know how you enforce a mandatory evacuation order," he said.

___

Associated Press Writer Kevin McGill in New Orleans contributed to this report.

___

October 27, 2005 - 4:23 p.m. PDT


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blamed; blanco; bodies; democratic; gov; governor; hurricane; kathleen; katrina; la; ll; louisiana; nagin; new; orleans; rats; removal; slow
The Cindy Sheehan photo-ops could be endless...


1 posted on 10/27/2005 6:24:49 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather

Rough.

2 posted on 10/27/2005 6:31:12 PM PDT by SquirrelKing (I'm not mean, you're just a sissy.)
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To: Libloather

Whoa! Halloween witch pictures need to come with a warning.

:)


3 posted on 10/27/2005 6:31:54 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: Libloather

Blanco is blamed for the slow removal of bidies? That's it? What about criminal neglect, gross maleficence, incompetence, failure to properly exercise her responsibility as Governor, manslaughter, stupidity, ignorance..... to name a few??


4 posted on 10/27/2005 6:32:03 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: Libloather

You gotta admit, Sheenan has mastered that 'mopey dopey' face!


5 posted on 10/27/2005 6:32:08 PM PDT by HitmanLV (Listen to my demos for Savage Nation contest: http://www.geocities.com/mr_vinnie_vegas/index.html)
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To: caisson71

Governor Blanco is sickening and useless as all Democrats are, but the real guilty folks are the voters of Louisiana that elected her and have not removed her from office. They deserve what they get!!!


6 posted on 10/27/2005 6:34:52 PM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX
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To: caisson71

Relax. The recriminations and findings of negligence against Blanco and Nagin are just beginning.


7 posted on 10/27/2005 6:36:03 PM PDT by sinkspur (Trust, but vilify.)
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To: Libloather
The Cindy Sheehan photo-ops could be endless...

Bingo! You nailed it. I was thinking the same thing. Can't these morons get their collective heads out of their a$$es and THINK. OTOH, I guess that is why they are so friggin depressed, and fugly.

8 posted on 10/27/2005 6:36:03 PM PDT by Cobra64
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To: Libloather
"Finger pointing does not provide answers to grieving relatives," said Thompson, D-Miss.

Why you lying puke, that's all the democrats did and your claims were false.

9 posted on 10/27/2005 6:36:29 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: JLAGRAYFOX

I agree but we have to pay for their mistakes. Talk about voting their way into my pocket!


10 posted on 10/27/2005 6:36:52 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: sinkspur

That's Louisiana. I'm not expecting anything to happen. As a matter of fact, this is America, Democrats can get away with murder....with the help of many Republicans.


11 posted on 10/27/2005 6:39:01 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: Libloather

[music cue: "Three Blind Mice" (the Three Stooges theme)]

12 posted on 10/27/2005 6:41:51 PM PDT by RichInOC (New Orleans...put underwater by governments that had no pride.)
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To: caisson71

If any of my senators or congressman sends one cent to Louisiana, they will lose my vote. My feeling is, if you voted for that idiot, you deserve to live with her mistakes. Let the voters of Louisiana pay for their great choice out of their own pockets. Let the Feds pay for roads, airports, levees, etc., but not one cent to help the Democrat Party that has destroyed southeast Louisana. The citizens and voters of Louisiana should be ashamed of themselves.


13 posted on 10/27/2005 6:41:55 PM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX
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To: caisson71; MurryMom; Howlin; ALOHA RONNIE; RonDog
Blanco is blamed for the slow removal of bodies? That's it?

She must be tuckered out after all of her EXPRESS evacuation and cleanup efforts...

14 posted on 10/27/2005 6:42:38 PM PDT by Libloather (Geena Davis isn't man enough to play Hillary on TV. Heck, BILL isn't man enough to play Hillary...)
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To: Libloather

When this boob was elected did anyone tell her the job comes with be responsible? Did she not get a copy of "Governing for Dummies"? I really try to care about the people there but they keep voting for these idiots....


15 posted on 10/27/2005 6:47:37 PM PDT by Normal4me
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To: Normal4me; Ellesu; caryatid; abb
I really try to care about the people there but they keep voting for these idiots....

Don't discount the voter fraud.....
16 posted on 10/27/2005 6:50:43 PM PDT by LA Woman3
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To: Libloather

So Blanco let the bodies rot for more than a week and then went ballistic because FEMA didn't sign with Kenyon.

Kenyon refused to sign with FEMA, but signed with Blanco.

Clearly it wasn't the corpses Blanco was worried about, or she wouldn't have waited so long.

Clearly she wanted Kenyon to have the contract, otherwise she wouldn't have hit the ceiling when FEMA didn't sign and wouldn't have made the deal with Kenyon herself if not.

Clearly Blanco wanted Kenyon to sign with FEMA, or else she wouldn't have waited.

Clearly Kenyon did not want to sign with FEMA and refuses to talk about it.

We already have a good idea of how Kenyon does business, from the lawsuits that they settled for dumping corpses in the woods where animals ate them instead of burying them as the company was paid to do.

Something is obviously very wrong here, but just as obviously, we are missing a key piece or key pieces of the puzzle.

Stay tuned, Blanco's too dumb to get away with covering up the truth for very long, and I have a feeling that the rest of this story is going to be a whopper.


17 posted on 10/27/2005 6:54:59 PM PDT by jeffers
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To: Normal4me

She only got in by about 5% and that was more than likely from democrat vote fraud in NOLA. If Jindal had won it would not have been the fiasco you saw.


18 posted on 10/27/2005 6:56:37 PM PDT by CajunConservative
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To: JLAGRAYFOX

In a perfect republic, you would be correct. However, in our "activist" democracy, we are being "gamed" by the politicians in NO and LA. The people vote for the politicians who can get them someting for nothing and yet, with the able efforts of the MSM scream racism, George Bush's fault, the rich, etc. when they fail to get what they want. In the end, they complain they don't get enough. What a country!!


19 posted on 10/27/2005 6:56:41 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: Libloather
In the picture you have and the little one SquirrelKing added below, she actually looks bored like why is she being bothered with this nonsense. I can't believe her or Nagin.
20 posted on 10/27/2005 7:05:45 PM PDT by WasDougsLamb (Just my opinion.Go easy on me........)
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To: Libloather
Did she not get a copy of "Governing for Dummies"?

I doubt she could read it. She doesn't look like the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

I guess her staff didn't read it to her at bedtime, or buy her a copy of the Cliff's Notes.

Un-freaking-believable

21 posted on 10/27/2005 7:06:55 PM PDT by WarEagle (This is obviously Karl Rove's fault...)
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To: Libloather
In a September 5th e-mail, 8 days after the Hurricane struck:

"FEMA is pushing state to see what they want to do, and indications are that governor is involved in some of the decisions ... "

Why wasn't the governor involved in all of the decisions? Was she too busy getting her hair done for her endless photo ops?

22 posted on 10/27/2005 7:27:43 PM PDT by caryatid (There are none so blind as those who will not see ...)
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To: Libloather

Is Mitch Landrieu queer? My "gaydar" just went off looking at his picture.


23 posted on 10/27/2005 7:31:06 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Liberalism cannot survive in a free and open society.)
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To: jeffers
Clearly Blanco wanted Kenyon to sign with FEMA, or else she wouldn't have waited.

This was a no bid contract and the amount of the contract was not revealed when it was announced.

24 posted on 10/27/2005 7:33:30 PM PDT by caryatid (There are none so blind as those who will not see ...)
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To: jeffers

Hmmmm,,makes me want to go google this company. Wonder who owns it and how they are related to people in power.

Interesting, on the dead pelican, Blancos approvals are sunk and disapprovals up in the high fifties. Landrieu's approvals have sunk too but not as much. Vitters are still high, approvals in the high fifties.

So it looks like Blanco and Landrieu may be toast.


25 posted on 10/27/2005 7:37:00 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: Cowboy Bob
Angela Hunt, of the Dallas City Council reported in ANGELA'S BLOG, dated Saturday, September 3, 2005:

Tour of Dallas' Hurricane Katrina Evacuee Facilities

I toured the Reunion Arena and Convention Center evacuee facilities with Louisiana's Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, his wife Cheryl, and Dallas Convention and Visitor's Bureau Director Phillip Jones.

26 posted on 10/27/2005 7:42:11 PM PDT by caryatid (There are none so blind as those who will not see ...)
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To: caryatid

Blanco publicly complained when FEMA refused to sign with Kenyon, then did it herself.

Kenyon gets $119,000 per day in a contract that runs 2 months.

http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=3851853

The key questions here are:

1. Why was Blanco so insistent that Kenyon get the contract?

2. Why did Blanco want Kenyon to sign with FEMA and not contract with Louisiana?

3. Why did Kenyon refuse to sign with FEMA?

4. Why did FEMA refuse to sign with Kenyon?

We have enough information to know that something is very wrong, but not enough to see exactly what it is.


27 posted on 10/27/2005 7:50:58 PM PDT by jeffers
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To: jeffers
Why was Blanco so insistent that Kenyon get the contract?

What connection, if any, does Kenyon have with The Shaw Group? It has been reported that Blanco's husband "Coach" has "connections" with The Shaw Group.

28 posted on 10/27/2005 8:00:19 PM PDT by caryatid (There are none so blind as those who will not see ...)
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To: Cowboy Bob

"Is Mitch Landrieu queer? My "gaydar" just went off looking at his picture."

I don't know, but I wouldn't ask sister Mary! She's frustrated and has been looking to punch someone for quite a while now...


29 posted on 10/27/2005 8:11:24 PM PDT by LibSnubber (Liberal democrats are domestic terrorists)
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To: Libloather

I'm from up north.

When I first looked at the title I saw: "snow removal..."


30 posted on 10/27/2005 8:20:11 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: JLAGRAYFOX

I thought she had a vision of a better New Orleans.

Maybe it's just a vision of a smellier New Orleans.


31 posted on 10/27/2005 8:44:29 PM PDT by henderson field
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To: Libloather

We learned at girl scout camp not to hold a candle under our chin. Oh, the ugliness!


32 posted on 10/27/2005 8:45:40 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: ntnychik; Howlin; Liz
We learned at girl scout camp not to hold a candle under our chin. Oh, the ugliness!

Just wondering (since you've spent HOURS or maybe DAYS around campsites) - if the candle is under your chin, wouldn't the predominant light source fill your extra large nostrils with some sort of illumination?

(From the tiny size of that flame's foot candles, I smell a Big Media photo-op.)


33 posted on 10/27/2005 9:17:01 PM PDT by Libloather (Geena Davis isn't man enough to play Hillary on TV. Heck, BILL isn't man enough to play Hillary...)
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To: xzins

LOL


34 posted on 10/27/2005 9:22:14 PM PDT by caryatid (There are none so blind as those who will not see ...)
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To: Libloather

Maybe she wanted the bodies above ground long enough to get up and vote Democrat a few times first. Isn't that traditional?


35 posted on 10/27/2005 9:24:35 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: SquirrelKing
"They also underscore ongoing political tensions between the Republican Bush administration and Democratic state and local officials over the botched response to Katrina, which killed more than 1,000 people in Louisiana."

Huh? I'm really hoping the writer didn't mean to imply the "botched response killed 1000 people.

36 posted on 10/28/2005 7:14:43 AM PDT by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: Katya
No. No. They wouldn't imply THAT.

/happyflowersunshine worldview

37 posted on 10/28/2005 8:20:56 AM PDT by SquirrelKing (I'm not mean, you're just a sissy.)
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