CNN) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin blasted the slow pace of
federal and state relief efforts in an expletive-laced
interview with local radio station WWL-AM.
following is a transcript of WWL correspondent Garland
Robinette's interview with Nagin on Thursday night.
Robinette asked the mayor about his conversation with
NAGIN: I told him we had an
incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force
One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around
this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able
to marshal resources and we're outmanned in just about every
respect. (Listen to the mayor express his frustration in
this video -- 12:09)
You know the reason why the
looters got out of control? Because we had most of our
resources saving people, thousands of people that were stuck
in attics, man, old ladies. ... You pull off the doggone
ventilator vent and you look down there and they're standing
in there in water up to their freaking necks.
they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew
down here one time two days after the doggone event was over
with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse
my French everybody in America, but I am pissed.
WWL: Did you say to the president of the United
States, "I need the military in here"?
said, "I need everything."
Now, I will tell you this
-- and I give the president some credit on this -- he sent
one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done,
and his name is [Lt.] Gen. [Russel] Honore.
came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and
people started moving. And he's getting some stuff done.
They ought to give that guy -- if they don't want to
give it to me, give him full authority to get the job done,
and we can save some people.
WWL: What do you need
right now to get control of this situation?
need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses,
man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the
briefings we had, they were talking about getting public
school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out
I'm like, "You 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 -- they're thinking small, man. And this is a
major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough,
man. This is crazy.
I've got 15,000 to 20,000 people
over at the convention center. It's bursting at the seams.
The poor people in Plaquemines Parish. ... We don't have
anything, and we're sharing with our brothers in Plaquemines
It's awful down here, man.
you believe that the president is seeing this, holding a
news conference on it but can't do anything until [Louisiana
Gov.] Kathleen Blanco requested him to do it? And do you
know whether or not she has made that request?
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 to save
people, they are going to pay the price. Because every day
that we delay, people are dying and they're dying by the
hundreds, I'm willing to bet you.
reports and calls that are 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 Street Canal issue. We said, "Please, please take care
of this. We don't care what you do. Figure it out."
WWL: Who'd you say that to?
Everybody: the governor, Homeland Security, FEMA. You name
it, we said it.
And they allowed that pumping
station next to Pumping Station 6 to go under water. Our
sewage and water board people ... stayed there and
endangered their lives.
And what happened when that
pumping station went down, the water started flowing again
in the city, and it starting getting to levels that probably
killed more people.
In addition to that, we had
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 our critical
water supply was destroyed because of lack of action.
WWL: Why couldn't they drop the 3,000-pound sandbags
or the containers that they were talking about earlier? Was
it an engineering feat that just couldn't be done?
NAGIN: They said it was some pulleys that they had
to manufacture. But, you know, in a state of emergency, man,
you are creative, you figure out ways to get stuff done.
Then they told me that they went overnight, and they
built 17 concrete structures and they had the pulleys on
them and they were going to drop them.
I flew over
that thing yesterday, and it's in the same shape that it was
after the storm hit. There is nothing happening. And they're
feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and
people are dying down here.
WWL: If some of the
public called and they're right, that there's a law that the
president, that the federal government can't do anything
without local or state requests, would you request martial