With regard to FEMA not wanting photos of the dead taken, Bush ordering all media out of New Orleans, and the current calls for 100% evacuation (voluntary or not) of all of NOLA’s residents, it’s clear what the goal is: just as with the Iraqi war, where the government only most reluctantly started to allow photos of the returning dead to be released, the government does not want full information to get out.
I can kind of see the point of evacuating all of the NOLA residents, even though that means fewer witnesses in the area. There’s no food, no water, no infrastructure. If any of them get in trouble, they can’t call on a phone for help and help can’t even drive in once it knows. They’re at the mercy of looters and further disasters. Dysentry and cholera and typhoid (not to mention malaria, etc if mosquito populations aren’t kept under control) are very real and lethal risks. Plus there’s the increasing risk of fire, as people are using candles and such for lighting in the absence of electricity, so that NOLA has the ironic problem of more and more fires as the city starts to dry out (hell of a thing, from flood to fires…).
But, every single NG, military, and FEMA unit in the city should be accompanied by a reporter and a camera. No hiding. No cover ups. No glossing over, whatever the actual reason or rationale.
The other thing I find annoying is the government’s continued insistence that we aren’t accepting help from abroad, while at the same time Red Cross is urgently requesting its sister organizations in other countries to send money and help. It’s infuriating on two levels, firstly the double speak at the government level, in technically refusing assistance, and then again by giving the impression to the US citizenry in general that other countries aren’t bothering to offer help (when in fact many, many have).