Friday, September 16, 2005

Invisible on the Radar

Katrina--was there anything that went right? Well, yes it did. Quite a lot actually.

Largely invisible to the media's radar, a broad-based rescue effort by federal, state and local first responders pulled 25,000 to 50,000 people from harm's way in floodwaters in the city. Ironically, FEMA's role, for good or ill, was essentially non-existent, as was the Governor's and the Mayor's.

And, who were these first responders?

The Connecticut Post, of all places, gives the best overview of the operation in a column by Peter Urban. He points out that a single chopper of the Louisiana National Guard, on Monday after the storm hit, pulled some 250 people to safety; there were 16 other 30- passenger Black Hawks in the unit that had been stripped of seating to fly similar rescue missions. If the other choppers only saved half as many people, that one unit alone pulled out 2000 people a day.
But the Louisiana Blackhawks weren't the only rescuers. The Coast Guard was flying as soon as the hurricane passed on Monday as well and had already accounted for several thousand victims by Wednesday.
The Air Force reported 1,300 rescues and some 14,000 "transported" by Sept. 4.
By Tuesday night, the Navy's Bataan hospital ship-cited for its inaction by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman--in fact had five choppers flying rescue missions and had pulled out several hundred people.
But those weren't the only helicopters flying. Overall, 113 choppers were in operation around New Orleans by Sept. 1, according to The Armed Forces Press Service.

That's right. The Louisiana National Guard; the Coast Guard; the US Air Force; and the US Navy.

No wonder the MSM didn't notice! No wonder Nancy Pelosi and her gang; and its minions; Hollywood; and all those antiwar protestors fawning over Mother Sheehan didn't notice!

All of these organizations are completely invisible on their radar screen.

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