Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Honore Without Honor

Transcript from Media Gab of news conference on Hurricane Rita, emphasis added by me:

Honore: And Mr. Mayor, let's go back, because I can see right now, we're setting this up as he said, he said, we said. All right? We are not going to go, by order of the mayor and the governor, and open the convention center for people to come in. There are buses there. Is that clear to you? Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear? Is that clear to the public?

Female reporter: Where do they move on...

Honore: That's not your business.

Male reporter: But General, that didn't work the first time...

Honore: Wait a minute. It didn't work the first time. This ain't the first time. Okay? If...we don't control Rita, you understand? So there are a lot of pieces of it that's going to be worked out. You got good public servants working through it. Let's get a little trust here, because you're starting to act like this is your problem. You are carrying the message, okay? What we're going to do is have the buses staged.

Male reporter: General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time...

Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out. This is the way we've got to do it. So please. I apologize to you, but let's talk about the future. Rita is happening. And right now, we need to get good, clean information out to the people that they can use. And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.
In other words, Gen. Honore got the Bush memo: Journalists serve no function other than to distribute its information. Non-cleared information that could be pertinent to life or death for American citizens is "not [our] business."

Hey, General Honore? You work for us. So fuck you, and answer the goddamned questions.

Oh, and on the same day, this obscenity from CNN's Kyra Phillips:

PHILLIPS: General Russel Honore, always a pleasure, sir. You're my hero. I'm curious, are you going to -- are you still with me?

HONORE: Yes, ma'am.

PHILLIPS: All right. Final question. Are you going to sing with Wayne Newton? Because I know you can hum a mean tune.

HONORE: No ma'am, I can't sing, but I will see him sometime today.

PHILLIPS: I'm just trying -- there we go, I got a smile. General, great to see you, sir.
HONORE: OK.

PHILLIPS: All right. General Russel Honore. Quite a man.
Thanks for asking the hard questions that America needs answered, Kyra. And Gen. Honore, thanks for making time to answer her questions.

And if you think I was being facetious about Honore getting the memo, there's clearly been a directive that no one in the Bush administration is to admit that anything is being done differently post-Katrina. Look at Scott McClellan's refusal to specify a single thing done differently, even while he claims that lessons have been learned and things have improved. Emphasis, again, is mine:

Q Are you confident that the lessons learned from Katrina will be applied in the case of this hurricane?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I might want to point out, too, before I come to that question, too, that the disaster medical teams are in the region. You have nine -- at least nine search and rescue teams that are in the region so that they can deploy quickly once the storm has passed.

Q So the lessons learned from Katrina will be applied in the case of Rita?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, in terms of Katrina, that was a storm that was unprecedented in size and scope and devastation. It is something that we want to make sure all the lessons possible are learned, and we want to make sure that we know exactly what worked and what didn't work. And that's why we are working closely with Congress as they move forward on their investigation. That's why the President has tasked his Homeland Security Council to make sure that there is a comprehensive review of the preparedness and response relating to Katrina, so we're doing that. Now, in terms of Rita, I just talked about the steps that we're taking. And we're going to make sure that we are doing everything we can to have the strongest possible coordination with state and local governments as we prepared and respond to Hurricane Rita.

Q Well, Scott, continuing with what Steve said, how is what you're doing for Rita different from what you did from Katrina?

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. A couple of things -- one, the President is focused on making sure we have the strongest possible coordination with state and local governments in the path of Hurricane Rita. We hope Rita is not devastating, but we must be prepared for the worst. Coordination at all levels needs to be seamless, or as seamless as possible, and that's what we're working to do. Homeland Security and FEMA officials are working closely with state and local governments so that resources can be targeted where they are most needed. They are redoubling efforts to make sure we have a full understanding of what the needs are so that we can make sure that those needs are met. And I went through several steps that were already taken to address these issues.

Q So that's -- you think that that's going to be an improvement over what was done in Katrina?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, in terms of Katrina, we're still focused on the immediate needs of the people in the region and working to make sure that they are getting back up on their feet, that we're moving forward on the recovery, that we're moving forward on the rebuilding to help people rebuild their lives and rebuild their communities. We are determined to learn the lessons of Katrina, and that's why we have been assessing what's been working and what hasn't been working and taking steps to address those issues. That's why we're also working closely with Congress, and the President is committed to making sure that there's a thorough investigation so that we can learn those lessons.

Q Well, can you distinguish what you're doing differently?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I just talked to you about where the President's focus is and what we are doing. We want to make sure that we're --

Q And these are things you didn't do in Katrina?

MR. McCLELLAN: We want to make sure that we are better prepared and better positioned to respond to Hurricane Rita and that's what we're doing. That's why I outlined the several steps that we are taking. And that's why I just told you that the President is focused on making sure that we have the strongest possible coordination with state and local officials, and that we have --

Q Which you didn't have before, right?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- as seamless as possible coordination with state and local officials.

Q In other words, better than the last time?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I just answered that question, Bill.

Q No, not really.

Well, on the other hand, maybe McClellan meant it when he said: "the President is focused on making sure we have the strongest possible coordination with state and local governments in the path of Hurricane Rita...Coordination at all levels needs to be seamless, or as seamless as possible, and that's what we're working to do. Homeland Security and FEMA officials are working closely with state and local governments so that resources can be targeted where they are most needed. They are redoubling efforts to make sure we have a full understanding of what the needs are so that we can make sure that those needs are met." If it's true, that definitely would be different from Katrina.

In either case, though, less than a month after a massive hurricane wiped a major American city off the map, both the American military and the American civilian leadership refuse to tell the American people a single change in procedure, even on the eve of another potentially devastating natural disaster.

15 comments:

LowerEnlistedScum said...

The General is an important person who is trying to deal with a crisis, HOW DARE ANYONE QUESTION HIM (rolls eyes).

p.s. Fuck YOU sir...

Anonymous said...

At least he apologized to the reporter...and most people hate the press enough to appreciate seeing one get told off.

Anonymous said...

When the Govt. puts people on buses (or TRAINS) the people have the right to know where they are going. We are an inch away from Federal Containment Camps. NEVER AGAIN.

Charles said...

I reluctantly made the case that Gen. Honore was responsible for the disaster in New Orleans. See my URL or

http://phoenixwoman.blogspot.com/2005/09/was-gen-honores-command-of-nola.html

Short version: how did a gaggle of Gretna police keep people penned into NOLA without the area commander's consent?

Anonymous said...

Funny how the media is trumpeting this guy as some sort of savior.
I see a President that's desperate put a capable black face in front of this debacle to remove the stain of Republican racism. Regardless of whether he's capable or not, he's bulletproof because the mainstream media won't criticize a black "role model".

Jeff & Launie Jonsson said...

Honore is black? When he takes off his beret, the tan line is like night and day. The man is paler than pale.

Anonymous said...

Wow... make sure you let everyone know that... The General isn't black enough.

Needs to be blacker, cause, he's too tan.

Jeff & Launie Jonsson said...

Look, seriously. I'm not trying to impugn him because he's pale. I seriously thought the man was white. No disrespect intended.

KathyF said...

There are a lot of pale African Americans in Louisiana. In fact, they take pride in being "light". There's even a former plantation that used to be owned by a black woman, who owned slaves at one time.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't bother me that much - maybe it should - but I think he was just trying to get the message out quickly and he is a General (maybe he should've had someone else handle the press.) On the other hand, it does bother me when Scott M. continues to dodge questions. He is there to inform people, that's all he's there for.

Anonymous said...

I'm English and Irish and this guy is lighter that me. Maybe he's got the same dermatologist as Michael Jackson?
http://www.tradoc.army.mil/pao/TNSarchives/March05/Casa3.jpg

becca said...

Creole.... He's probably Creole.

Why does this even matter?

Anonymous said...

it DOESN'T matter.........the point is , he's a prop

Anonymous said...

I think the General is right. The news media should be doing just what he said. The Media seems to be stuck on itself and it does look stupid.

Anonymous said...

From the General himself "When your right you can go a long way"...the media does think the sun rises and sets because of them. Watch the WhiteHouse press briefing everyday. They all seem to have been struck with stupidity and ask dumb questions EVERY day. But yet they do it over and over and all it shows is THEY have a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience.

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