Friday, September 02, 2005

Interview with Mayor Ray Nagin


(This morning CNN rebroadcast the audio interview that the Mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, gave to the local radio station WWL in New Orleans. Here are some of the most important and heartfelt excerpts from that interview.)


Mayor Nagin -- I need reinforcements, I need troops man. I need 500 buses, man we're talking about, you know one of the briefings we had they were talking about getting public school bus drivers. I'm like, you've got to be kidding me, this is a national disaster, get every doggone greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans! That's their thinking, small, and this is a major major major deal! I can't emphasize it enough man!

I've got 15 to 20,000 people over at the convention center, it's bursting at the seams...

Radio Host -- Do you believe that the the president is seeing this, holding a news conference on it, but can't do anything until Kathleen Blanco request him to do it, and do you know whether or not she has made that request.

Mayor Nagin -- I have no idea what they're doing but I will tell you this, you know, God is looking down on all this and if they are not doing everything in their power, they are going to pay the price, because every day that we delay people are dying, and they are dying by the th-, by the hundreds I'm willing to bet you. We are getting reports and calls from people that is breaking my heart, from people saying I've been in my attic, I can't take it anymore the water is up to my neck, I don't think I can hold out. And that's happening as we speak.

You know what really upsets me Garland? We told everybody the importance of the 17th St Canal issue. We said please please take care of this, we don't care what you do, figure it out.

Radio host -- who'd you say that to?

Mayor Nagin -- everybody, Governor, you know homeland security FEMA you name it we said it. And you know they allow that pumping station next to pumping station 6 to to go underwater. Our sewage and water boy people (unintelligible) stayed there and endanger their lives. And what happen when that pumping station went down, the water started flowing again in the city, and it started getting to levels that probably killed more people. In addition to that, we had uh' water flowing through the pipes in the city, that's a power station over there, so there's no water flowing anywhere on the east bank of Orleans Parish so a critical water supply was destroyed because of lack of action....

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Mayor Nagin -- ... there is nothing happening, they are feeding the public a line of bull and it's spinning, and people are dying down here.

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(Responding to a question about martial law from the host)

Mayor Nagin -- I've already called for martial law in the city of New Orleans we did that a few days ago.

Radio host -- Did the governor do that to?

Mayor Nagin -- I don't know, I don't think so. But we called for martial law when we realized that the looting was getting out of control and we redirected all our police officers back to patrolling the street, they were dead tired from saving people but they worked all night, because we thought this thing was going to blow wide open last night. And so we redirected all of our resources and we held it under check. I'm not sure if we can do that another night, with the current resources.

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(Speaking about the looting)

Mayor Nagin -- ...people are desperate and they're trying to find food and water, the majority of them. Now you've got some knuckleheads out there and they are taking advantage of this lawless, this situation where you know we can't really control it and they are doing some awful awful things, but that's a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.

One of the things people have, nobody's talked about this, drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me, and that's why we're having an escalation in murders. People don't want to talk about this, but I'm gonna' to talk about it.

You had drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix and that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drugstores, they were looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will. And right now they don't have anything to take the edge off. And they've probably found guns, so what you seeing is drug starving crazy addicts, drug addicts that are wreaking havoc and we don't have the manpower to adequately deal with it...

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Radio host -- You and I must be in the minority, because apparently there's a section of our citizenry out there that thinks because of a law, that says the federal government can't come in unless requested by the proper people, that everything that's going on to this point has been done as good as it can possibly be.

Mayor Nagin -- really?

Radio host -- I know you don't think that.

Mayor Nagin -- Well did the tsunami victim's request, go through a formal process to request? You know did Iraq, did the Iraqi people request that we go in there? Did they ask us to go in there? What is more important?

I'll tell you man, I'm probably going to get in a whole bunch of trouble, I'm probably going to get in so much trouble that you won't even won a deal with me after this interview is over.

Radio host -- You and I will be in the funny place together.

Mayor Nagin -- But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq lick-ity quick, after 9/11 we give the president unprecedented powers lick-ity quick to take care of New York and other places. Now you mean to tell me a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world everybody's eyes light up. You mean to tell me, that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died, and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need... come on man, you know I'm not one of those drug addicts, I am thinking very clearly.

I don't know who's problem that is, I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, I don't know whether it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get there ass on a plane and sit down the two of them and figure this out right now

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Mayor Nagin -- This is ridiculous, I don't want to see anybody do any more god damn press conferences, put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city and then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can't even count. Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here, they're not here. It's too doggone late!

Now get off your asses and lets do something, and lets fix the biggest god damn crisis in the history of this country!

Radio host -- I'll say it right now, you're the only politician that's called, and called for arms like this. And if, whatever it takes, the Governor, president, whatever law precedent it takes, whatever it takes, I bet that the people listening to you are on your side.

Mayor Nagin -- Well, I hope so Garland I am just, I'm at the point now where it don't matter... people are dying, they don't have homes... they don't have jobs... the city of New Orleans will never be the same... and it's time.

(This statement is followed by a period of silence where you can just make out both men sobbing. )

To listen to the entire interview, download here .

Thanks crooks and liars

2 Comments:

Blogger patty o. furniture said...

thanks for posting that - so sad and horrible ... Mayor Nagin is an honorable man.

September 02, 2005 12:42 PM  
Blogger Powder Finger said...

This interview just floored me. Thanks for posting it here.

September 02, 2005 5:19 PM  

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