We've known already that hundreds of millions of dollars offered to the United States after Katrina by international governments was turned down. But now we are learning more of the details.
The U.S. has collected about $126 million and used just $40 million of the $454 million in cash that was offered, the newspaper reported, citing U.S. officials and contractors....
Wasted aid included medical supplies from Italy that spoiled in the elements for weeks after Katrina...
The U.S. turned down at least 54 of 77 aid offers as of January 2006 from three close allies: Canada, Britain and Israel, according to a State Department document, the Post reported.
We only used $40 million of $454 million in cash aid that was offered.... less that ten percent!
And while we are at it, don't forget the hundreds of tons of NATO ration packs that the British donated for Katrina victims only to see us burn it in an incinerator.
Then we also have the question of priorities, and making sure that the friends of the administration didn't get 'cheated.' For example,
Also, the Department of Homeland Security accepted, then later rejected, an offer from Greece to use two cruise ships as hospitals or to house displaced residents for free because the ships could not arrive soon enough, the Post said. The government paid $249 million to use Carnival Cruise Lines vessels.
There are still 100,000 Katrina evacuees living in camps or in government provided housing today, so the issue about arrival times is pretty bogus. So I have to wonder whether the fact that Carnival chairman Mickey Arison is a large contributor to the Republican party and a big Bush supporter might have had something to do with their turning down free cruise ships from the Greeks so they could pay Arison and his company a quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer money instead.
And other people to have to protect:
Kuwait made the largest offer — $100 million in cash and $400 million in oil, the Post said. The Kuwaitis ended up instead donating $25 million each to the Red Cross and a private Katrina aid group because it seemed to be "the fastest way to get money to the people that needed it,'' the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah, told the Post. The oil donation was not collected.
Just think that if we accepted $400 million in free oil what that would do to gasoline prices and oil company profits.
This is criminal, or it should be. If everything was under control and we really didn't need all that foreign aid, then it would be OK to turn it down. But things are still not under control in regard to an awful lot of Katrina evacuees, and under the circumstances WHAT THE HECK IS THIS ADMINISTRATION DOING, TURNING DOWN ALL THAT FOREIGN AID? It's like a man stuck in a deep hole who quits tossing the rope back and insisting that he can get out himself. Only this time it is thousands of people he is tossing the rope away from.