Have any of you seen this picture before? Anything like it, perhaps, as it relates to Hurricane Katrina?
Here's the caption: A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flight engineer unloads food and water at the Louisiana Super Dome in New Orleans on Sept. 3, 2005. The Super Dome is being used as a central staging and relocation center for thousands of displaced New Orleans residents affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. DoD photo.
When it comes to MREs I'm no expert, but dang! The top case in front don't look like MREs to me. It looks like industrial-sized cans of Campbell's Soup . . . and here's a few other photographs from the Department of Defense you probably haven't seen, either.
Like many (most?) who listened and saw the media's reports from New Orleans in Katrina's wake, the horror stories they provided kept us glued to the coverage as our stomachs turned. Each story about the carnage and brutality throughout New Orleans cemented our belief that abandoned, the people there had turned to lawless savagery. The strong preying upon the weak.
Which raised the spectre, naturally, that if faced with a similiar catastrophe would we, too, find ourselves in the same situation.
We know now that the murders and rapes reported by the media, primarily at the Superdome, never occurred. Still, we're left with the memory of tens of thousands of people trapped -- abandoned and alone -- without food or water until days later when the military finally arrived to provide relief.
Except . . .
The cavalry wasn't late. It didn't arrive on Thursday smoking a cigar and cussing. It was there all along.The main command center for Louisiana's National Guard had been set up in the Superdome.
Many survivors in the Dome complained of food and water shortages, a charge that reverberated through the media echo chamber.. . . [T]he Guard stuck to strict rationing - one MRE and one liter of water per day, exactly what troops got in combat in Iraq. Because so many victims were being brought in so quickly in an open-ended rescue operation, the Guard wasn't taking any chances of running out of supplies by opening an all-you-can eat buffet. It started out with a 3-day supply for ten thousand people, and ultimately brought in 300,000 MREs and 397,000 liter bottles of water, a 30-day supply for 10,000 people.NOLA's cops and firefighters all abandoning their posts? Looks like that's another tall tale.
At Real Clear Politics, Lou Dolinar -- who originally thought some of what he was being told was a hoax -- looks at Katrina: What the Media
It's long, but it's well worth it.