Societal death. Spirtual death. Psychological death.
I have devoted a large amount of time on this blog to exposing the shennanigans which Imagine and crew pulled in 2003 when the Department of Justice was issuing a 7 million dollar grant to the city to develop an interoperable communications system. Greg Meffert scuttled the grant in order to 1. re-direct it towards himself and his peeps or 2. protect corporate interests who didn't want the grant to go through with the technology which was to be used or 3. both.
Katrina hit....there was no line of communication among our first responders. This resulted in the loss of countless lives.
Clay has recently pointed out a Wired article which spells out our failures pretty clearly. Read this:
In some cities, this communication gap is beginning to close. Homeland Security money has flowed into communities around the country. And while some wasted it on measures like cameras, armed robots and things having nothing to do with terrorism, others spent it on interoperable communications capabilities. Minnesota did that in 2004.
It worked. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that lives were saved by disaster planning that had been fine-tuned and improved with lessons learned from 9/11:
"We have a unified command system now where everyone -- police, fire, the sheriff's office, doctors, coroners, local and state and federal officials -- operate under one voice,'' said Stanek, who is in charge of water recovery efforts at the collapse site.
"We all operate now under the 800 (megahertz radio frequency system), which was the biggest criticism after 9/11," Stanek said, "and to have 50 to 60 different agencies able to speak to each other was just fantastic.''
Others weren't so lucky. Louisiana's first responders had catastrophic communications problems in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina. According to National Defense Magazine:
Police could not talk to firefighters and emergency medical teams. Helicopter and boat rescuers had to wave signs and follow one another to survivors. Sometimes, police and other first responders were out of touch with comrades a few blocks away. National Guard relay runners scurried about with scribbled messages as they did during the Civil War.
A congressional report on preparedness and response to Katrina said much the same thing
Let's not forget that this grant has been reissued by the DHS and is coming back up for bid. I hope the bid process is above board instead of falling into the hands of an incompetent Nagin/Meffert crony.