posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 02:21 AM
Complete Transcript of the video:
Jefferson Parish President, Aaron Broussard, let the world know what he was thinking today on Meet the Press. Here are his comments:
MR. RUSSERT: And we are back.
Jefferson Parish President Broussard, let me start with you. You just
heard the director of Homeland Security´s explanation of what has
happened this last week. What is your reaction?
MR. AARON BROUSSARD: We have been abandoned by our own country.
Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms
ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American
soil ever in U.S. history. I am personally asking our bipartisan
congressional delegation here in Louisiana to immediately begin
congressional hearings to find out just what happened here. Why did it
happen? Who needs to be fired? And believe me, they need to be fired
right away, because we still have weeks to go in this tragedy. We have
months to go. We have years to go. And whoever is at the top of this
totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain-sawed off and we´ve got to
start with some new leadership.
It´s not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here.
Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area,
and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now. It´s so
obvious. FEMA needs more congressional funding. It needs more
presidential support. It needs to be a Cabinet-level director. It
needs to be an independent agency that will be able to fulfill its
mission to work in partnership with state and local governments around
America. FEMA needs to be empowered to do the things it was created to
do. It needs to come somewhere, like New Orleans, with all of its force
immediately, without red tape, without bureaucracy, act immediately with
common sense and leadership, and save lives. Forget about the
property. We can rebuild the property. It´s got to be able to come in
and save lives.
We need strong leadership at the top of America right now in order to
accomplish this and to-- reconstructing FEMA.
MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Broussard, let me ask--I want to ask--should...
MR. BROUSSARD: You know, just some quick examples...
MR. RUSSERT: Hold on. Hold on, sir. Shouldn´t the mayor of New
Orleans and the governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility?
Couldn´t they have been much more forceful, much more effective and much
more organized in evacuating the area?
MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The
cavalry´s coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry´s coming, the
cavalry´s coming, the cavalry´s coming." I have just begun to hear the
hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry´s still not here yet, but I´ve begun
to hear the hoofs, and we´re almost a week out.
Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver
three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back.
They said we didn´t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000
gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The
Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there
with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don´t give you the fuel."
Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency
communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry
Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our
line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee
said that if America--American government would have responded like
Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn´t be in this crisis.
But I want to thank Governor Blanco for all she´s done and all her
leadership. She sent in the National Guard. I just repaired a breach on
my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn´t foresee, a
300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National
Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two
and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it.
MR. RUSSERT: All right.
MR. BROUSSARD: I´m telling you most importantly I want to thank my
MR. RUSSERT: All right.
MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They´re burned out, the
doctors, the nurses. _And I want to give you one last story and I´ll
shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who
runs this building I´m in, emergency management, he´s responsible for
everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and
every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody
coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody´s coming to get you.
Somebody´s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody´s coming to get you on
Wednesday. Somebody´s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody´s coming
to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned
MR. RUSSERT: Mr. President...
MR. BROUSSARD: Nobody´s coming to get us. Nobody´s coming to get us.
The secretary has promised. Everybody´s promised. They´ve had press
conferences. I´m sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up
and send us somebody.
MR. RUSSERT: Just take a pause, Mr. President. While you gather
yourself in your very emotional times, I understand, let me go to
Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi.
*edit to correct transcipt is of the video, not the complete transcript of the show*
[edit on 9/5/2005 by darkelf]