Stuart Leeds, MD -- FEMA prevents peace group from helping
From a letter to Cindy Sheehan that she reprinted at "Daily Kos":
My name is Stuart Leeds - I'm the family practice MD that you met at the storage facility shortly before we all caravanned to Algiers today.Via Charles Dodgson.
It was a great honor and delight to meet you! I'm also pleased and somewhat relieved to have the opportunity to give you a brief report on the state of affairs visa vi the medical relief effort in the afflicted areas.
In short strokes: people are not getting the help they need, because our government, through the agency of FEMA, has totally politicized the relief effort. I'm sure you've already gotten wind of the reports that the Bush Administration is handing out huge contracts to favored vendors, much as they have done in Iraq. But what is not widely known is - and I can verify this personally -- that FEMA is preventing certain groups and individuals from participating in the relief efforts. Here's a quick synopsis of the experience I and my companions (my wife, and two respiratory therapists) had today, in our attempts to offer our services to the Red Cross operation in Covington, LA.
# We got a call from an official at the Red Cross that the Vets for Peace were being invited to send doctors to Abita Springs, a nearby community.
# When we got there around 9 AM, some of director Dr Rachel Murphy's assistants welcomed us, and started making lists of materials we would need
# Suddenly, a man wearing a Homeland Security shirt came over and rudely asked us to leave. He brought a local cop with him, and their body language was pretty threatening. We explained that we were coming at the request of both Dr. Murphy and the mayor of Covington, Candace Watkins. He (whose name was Rodney Hart) would hear none of it from us; he forced us to leave immediately.