This is unbelievable -- except that it's not.
The day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, killing hundreds of people and stranding thousands of the sick and weak in hospitals without power, Vice President Dick Cheney made a forceful personal intervention in the crisis: he ordered a Mississippi energy utility to divert its emergency crews from restoring power to rural hospitals and local water supplies -- and instead set them to work on a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast.
People were dying in hospitals; people were languishing in damp, tropical heat, drinking dirty water tainted with death and disease. But just as in his Vietnam War-dodging days, Cheney had "other priorities." It didn't matter if a bunch of sick darkies and old crackers kicked off in the boonies -- what really mattered was minimizing the political fallout from any temporary gasoline shortages that might ensue from the storm.
Just as in Iraq, so it is in Mississippi, in New Orleans, in every state of the Union: The oil is what matters. The money is what matters. The power is what matters. The political posturing is what matters. The people -- the living, breathing, individual human beings -- count for nothing at all. Nothing. That's the Bushist Way.
Power Crews Diverted: Restoring Pipelines Came First
(Hattiesburg American, via Froomkin, via Buzzflash)
Excerpts: Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast. That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt.