September 14, 2005

Red Cross agreed to withhold Orleans aid, operates in tandem with Homeland Security

Today's New Orwellian Times report comes from a Raw Story investigation via Terrible at BlondeSense:

...the Red Cross was "at the table" with "Emergency Management" numerous times while conditions deteriorated in New Orleans and that a decision was reached that if the group set up shop within the city, it might encourage others to come back, creating a secondary crisis.

Amid reports that thousands were trapped in the Superdome and the Convention Center, the Red Cross did not distribute or drop supplies to either location. The group's explanation that its presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city mirrors a National Guard decision not to drop food supplies, saying they did not want to spark riots.

Unknown to most Red Cross donors, Congress incorporated the Red Cross to act "under government supervision" and eight of the fifty members of the Board Governors are to be appointed by the President, seven of whom are federal officials.

President Bush has appointed six persons to the Board.

The Red Cross' leading officers are Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chair of the Board, and Marsha J. Evans, the President and CEO.

McElveen-Hunter was appointed by Bush in June 2004. Her Red Cross bio says she is the "former U.S. Ambassador to Finland (2001-2003) and the CEO and owner of Pace Communications, Inc., the largest private custom publishing company in the United States. The company's clients include such Fortune 500 companies as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, AT&T, Carlson Hotels, and Toyota."

McElveen-Hunter donated more than $130,000 to the Republican Party since 2000, RAW STORY has found. Her largest donations were $25,000 to the Republican National Committee in April 2004 and $100,000 in July 2000. In May 2000, she gave $1000 to "Bush for President, Inc."

As of Sept. 11, 2005, the American Red Cross estimated that it had received $578 million in gifts and pledges for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

During previous disaster relief efforts, however, the Red Cross has withheld funds intended for victims and placed them into a reserve fund for future use, including for what one Red Cross president described as a �war fund."
More at The Raw Story


Jake - but not that Jake said...

Aikane, have you read Evan's comments to O'Reilly?

Despite what the Red Cross spokeswoman said at the time, and despite the fact that the Red Cross takes it's orders from the Feds in emergencies, Evans maintained that it was the LOCAL folks who kept the RC out in order to starve out the people who wouldn't leave.

I am totally shocked that the leader of the RC would take such a position. You know what else? There are no provisions on the RC web site for contacting anyone actually in the RC leadership.



aikane said...

No, I didn't see the O'Reilly interview. It will be interesting to watch how this plays out.

Red Cross does some good things, but I've never donated to them. The reason goes back all the way to my dad in WW II and his distaste for RC. I don't even remember the details now.

Maybe I'm too hard on RC, but there are plenty of reputable organizations that don't have the same baggage.

Jake - but not that Jake said...

When I was young I used to do volunteer stuff with the RC. But this whole fiasco, while not reflecting poorly on RC volunteers, reflects very poorly on the RC leadership.


aikane said...

I agree. I've known some terrific local RC folks.