- Gore: Bush to Blame for Katrina

Richard A Whitenight rum.runner at JUNO.COM
Tue Sep 13 15:27:07 MDT 2005

Another Democratic Whore Speaks

Monday, Sept. 12, 2005 9:54 p.m. EDT 
Gore: Bush to Blame for Katrina 
Former Vice President Al Gore urged Americans on Friday to hold the Bush
administration accountable for failing to adequately prepare for and
respond to Hurricane Katrina. 

"When the corpses of American citizens are floating in toxic flood waters
five days after a hurricane struck, it is time not only to respond
directly to the victims of the catastrophe, but to hold ... the leaders
of our nation accountable," Gore told environmentalists at the Sierra
Club's national convention. 
Gore had been scheduled to give a speech to state insurance commissioners
in New Orleans this weekend about the likelihood that global warming will
spawn increasingly deadly hurricanes. He decided to take his speech to
San Francisco after that conference was canceled. 
"The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long
time. We are facing a global climate crisis, it is deepening. We are
entering a period of consequences," Gore said. 
Bush administration officials have said Katrina's damage could not have
been anticipated, but Gore rejected that. 
"What happened was not only knowable, it was known in advance, in great
and painstaking detail. They did tabletop planning exercises. They
identified exactly what the scientific evidence showed would take place,"
Gore said. 
In his Sierra Club speech, the former senator from Tennessee didn't
mention an act of mercy that he was personally involved in -- his help
airlifting some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New
Orleans to Tennessee on Sept. 3 and 4. He did that at the urging of a
doctor who saved the life of his son years earlier. 
Dr. Anderson Spickard, who is Gore's personal physician and accompanied
him on the flights, told The Associated Press that "Gore told me he
wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the
opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has." 
An account of the flights was posted this week on a Democratic Party Web
page. It was written by Greg Simon, president of the Washington-based
activist group FasterCures. Simon, who helped put together the mission,
also declined an interview. 
On Sept. 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, Simon
learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore's son,
Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get
in touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital
in New Orleans. 
"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute -- food and
water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and
... corpses outside," Simon wrote. 
Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite
the $50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of
California Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them. 
"None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written
guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews,"
Simon wrote of the American Airlines flights. "One official said if Gore
promised to pay, that was good enough for them." 
He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col.
Dar LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military
hospital in Baghdad. 
Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape,
personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S.
Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New
About 140 people, many of them sick, landed in Knoxville on Sept. 3. The
second flight, with 130 evacuees, landed the next day in Chattanooga. 
© 2005 Associated Press. 
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