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Archive: 9/5/05-9/11/05

Sunday  9/11/2005

Locals believe Levees were Intentionally blown  9/11/2005 InfoWars 

Overkill: Feared Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans  9/11/2005 Democracy Now: ""When they told me New Orleans, I said, 'What country is that in?,'" said one of the Blackwater men. He was wearing his company ID around his neck in a carrying case with the phrase "Operation Iraqi Freedom" printed on it. After bragging about how he drives around Iraq in a "State Department issued level 5, explosion proof BMW," he said he was "just trying to get back to Kirkuk (in the north of Iraq) where the real action is." Later we overheard him on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying $350 a day plus per diem. That is much less than the men make serving in more dangerous conditions in Iraq. Two men we spoke with said they plan on returning to Iraq in October. But, as one mercenary said, they've been told they could be in New Orleans for up to 6 months. "This is a trend," he told us. "You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations." If Blackwater's reputation and record in Iraq are any indication of the kind of "services" the company offers, the people of New Orleans have much to fear."

Vermont Guard find La. style of policing different  9/11/2005 Times Argus, VT: "Two deputies were in the cruiser and another three or four were loaded into the truck. The deputies asked the Guard members how things were going. When the soldiers said it was boring, one deputy said, "I guess we'll go make a run through there to see if we can stir some (stuff) up." "They're going in in squad size. It looks like they're loading up," one Guardsman said as the deputies pulled forward about 50 yards to get ready to make their patrol. The Guard prepared to spread out to catch anyone running from the deputies, but the next hour or so was quiet. "They said they went back in there and kicked everybody's door in," said Sgt. Francis Estey of Arlington. Staff Sgt. Eric Crammond said the police officers had a much harder attitude than the Guardsmen — understandable, given what they had gone through in the first days after the disaster. "They're talking the way we used to talk when we were 'in theater,'" he said, referring to the unit's recent deployment to Iraq. "They were in there the better part of an hour. (The residents) are pretty intimidated." ...Spc. Michael Shepard of Winooski noted another detail about the neighborhood. "All of the kids asked us if that's all we have for weapons," he said, hoisting his M-16 rifle and nodding towards the 9 mm pistol in a holster on his leg. "I was like, 'uh-oh.'" A number of the Guard in third platoon reported police officers carrying weapons as large as an AT-4 — an anti-tank weapon and a successor to the bazooka."

Disasters Waiting to Happen  9/11/2005 NY Times: "The American Society of Civil Engineers, whose 137,000 members are involved in virtually every public works project undertaken in the United States, says that $1.6 trillion must be spent over the next five years to prevent further deterioration. Only $900 billion is now earmarked. Absent the additional spending, said Lawrence Roth, deputy executive director of the society, "every natural disaster is going to be more destructive than it needs to be." Infrastructure deteriorates in more than one way. There is lack of maintenance: roughly 13,000 highway fatalities each year, for example, are a result of inadequate maintenance of aging highways, the civil engineers say. And there is overuse: the levees in California, many of them built by farmers to convert marshes to farmland, now must be strengthened to prevent the destruction of newly built communities."

Cover-up: toxic waters 'will make New Orleans unsafe for a decade'  9/11/2005 Independent, UK: "Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe for full human habitation for a decade, a US government official has told The Independent on Sunday. And, he added, the Bush administration is covering up the danger. In an exclusive interview, Hugh Kaufman, an expert on toxic waste and responses to environmental disasters at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said the way the polluted water was being pumped out was increasing the danger to health. The pollution was far worse than had been admitted, he said, because his agency was failing to take enough samples and was refusing to make public the results of those it had analysed. "Inept political hacks" running the clean-up will imperil the health of low-income migrant workers by getting them to do the work. His intervention came as President Bush's approval ratings fell below 40 per cent for the first time. Yesterday, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, turned the screw by criticising the US President's opposition to the Kyoto protocol on global warming. He compared New Orleans to island nations such as the Maldives, which are threatened by rising sea levels. Other US sources spelt out the extent of the danger from one of America's most polluted industrial areas, known locally as "Cancer Alley". "

Attacks on democratic rights, breaching legal barriers: FEMA and Katrina: REX-84 Revisited The "Black Curtain" around FEMA's Operations  9/11/2005 Global Research: "In short, the corporate media would have us believe Brown is a clueless lawyer and former horse trader and FEMA an unresponsive federal bureaucratic leviathan wrapped up in red tape. But this does not explain the following: FEMA refused evacuation help from Amtrak; it turned away experienced fire fighters and first responders; it turned back Wal-Mart supply trucks; refused to allow the Red Cross to deliver food; blocked a 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid; turned away generators and other equipment (see this page with links to news stories). In other words, FEMA went out of its way to deny aid and allow people to die from dehydration, starvation, and lack of medicine and medical help. In addition to denying aid, and thus killing an as of yet (and possibly forever) unknown number of people, FEMA is attempting to control media access to the worst natural disaster in American history (see Journalist Groups Protest FEMA Ban on Photos of Dead). Moreover, journalists and photographers have been assaulted by troops and had their notebooks and cameras confiscated (see The Eye of the Hurricane by Matthias Gebauer)."

FEMA's Blocking Of Relief Efforts - An Amazing List  9/11/2005 Rense: [understandable in the context of FEMA as a continuity of government and control agency, not a disaster relief agency]

We had to kill our patients  9/11/2005 The Mail, UK: "Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive."

Katrina Survivor: 17th St. Levee 'Bombed'  9/11/2005 Conspiracy Planet: [This story, despite its "Conspiracy Planet" provenance, mirrors the many rumors passed around among the survivors, many of whom heard the explosions in the 9th ward.]

Blackwater Mercenaries: Coming Soon to Your Town  9/11/2005 UrukNet: "It is now obvious how martial law (not officially declared as such) will work in America in the wake of the devastation of New Orleans. Instead of federal troops or an influx of National Guard troops sent to “restore order” (the latter mandated in our now anachronistic Constitution; see Article 1, Section 8) and empowered to “suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions,” in Louisiana the state and federal governments have brazenly violated the Constitution by sending in Blackwater Security and other private goon squads. “Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans,” write Jeremy Scahill and Daniela Crespo. “Some of the mercenaries say they have been ‘deputized’ by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force.” Soon after Katrina slammed into New Orleans, the media reported the presence of Blackwater goons (and have no doubt, Blackwater hires “special ops types from South Africa’s former apartheid regime,” according to James Ridgeway and others, people fairly characterized as murderous paramilitary goons)."

BANNER TURNS HERO FOR MISSISSIPPI HURRICANE VICTIMS  9/11/2005 Contact Music: "Banner, who has organised a benefit concert in Atlanta, Georgia to raise cash for survivors, felt guilty when he realised he had clothes and footwear he'd never wear when so many were without anything. So he packed up his truck and travelled across the state dropping off his belongings to others."

On the Edge Without an Exit  9/11/2005 LA Times: "A Gretna, La., social worker tries to treat and evacuate the remaining residents in his housing project, as local officials say they can't do much."

Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy  9/11/2005 NYT: "Oliver Thomas, the New Orleans City Council president, expressed a view shared by many in city and state government: that a national disaster requires a national response. "Everybody's trying to look at it like the City of New Orleans messed up," Mr. Thomas said in an interview. "But you mean to tell me that in the richest nation in the world, people really expected a little town with less than 500,000 people to handle a disaster like this? That's ludicrous to even think that.""

Katrina: Relocation or Ethnic Cleansing?  9/11/2005 Dissident Voice 

Sheriff threatens to arrest FEMA officials - Countermands FEMA order that stores remain closed  9/11/2005 Times Picayune, New Orleans 

Rebuilding New Orleans means reinventing the whole city  9/11/2005 Baltimore Sun 

Saturday  9/10/2005

FEMA has hired Kenyon Worldwide Disaster Management  9/10/2005 Talking Points Memo: "Kenyon Worldwide Disaster Management, a Houston-based company which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), another Houston-based corporation, which bills itself as the "dominant leader in the North American death care industry." SCI is not only closely associated with the president (which is not surprising since the company is based in Houston), they were also at the center of what is probably the best-known scandal during Bush's six years as governor of Texas: the so-called 'funeralgate' case."

German plane with Katrina aid turned back from U.S.  9/10/2005 AP: [Add this to a long list of similar events.]

Katrina effort mired in bureaucratic hash  9/10/2005 Newsday 

Police in Suburbs Blocked Evacuees, Witnesses Report  9/10/2005 NYT: "Arthur Lawson, chief of the Gretna, La., Police Department, confirmed that his officers, along with those from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the Crescent City Connection Police, sealed the bridge. "There was no place for them to come on our side," Mr. Lawson said. He said that he had been asked by reporters about officers threatening victims with guns or shooting over their heads, but he said that he had not yet asked his officers about that. "As soon as things calm down, we will do an inquiry and find out what happened," he said."

The Real Heroes of New Orleans  9/10/2005 EV World: another copy of the story of the Gretna sheriff turning back survivors at the bridge.

Kevin Powell Reports Back from Louisianna  9/10/2005 Davey D's Hip Hop News 

Business Elite Ethnically Cleanse the Poor in New Orleans  9/10/2005 UrukNet: "In 1927, the so-called Great Mississippi Flood was used to ethnically cleanse African-Americans. “As the flood approached New Orleans, Louisiana 30 tons of dynamite were set off on the levee at Caernarvon, Louisiana,” explains Wikipedia. “This prevented New Orleans from experiencing serious damage but destroyed much of the marsh below the city and flooded all of St. Bernard Parish… During the disaster 700,000 people were displaced, including 330,000 African-Americans who were moved to 154 relief camps. Over 13,000 refugees near Greenville, Mississippi were gathered from area farms and evacuated to the crest of an unbroken levee, and stranded there for days without food or clean water, while boats arrived to evacuate white women and children. Many African-Americans were detained and forced to labor at gunpoint during flood relief efforts… The aftermath of the flood was one factor in the Great Migration of African-Americans to northern cities.”"

LAPD Shut Down dead prez/KRS Benefit Show  9/10/2005 Davey D's Hip Hop News: "Fidel also dropped some knowledge about LAPD including the sorted history of police Chief William Bratton and the increased militarization of the police. He also spoke about how a lot of folks in the hood were being depicted as potential terrorists and how there was new laws on the books that allowed the President to keep one in prison indefinitely after he slapped them with a label ‘enemy combatant. Folks were all up in the place soaking everything up. By the time I arrived KRS had already ripped it big time… Well known DJs like Mark Luv of the Zulu Nation held it down on the ones and twos and Ras Kass took the stage and repped in a major way.. On deck after Ras Kass was dead prez and judging by the enthusiastic applause it was clear folks came to see them. So Ras is rocking his set when suddenly everything is thrown off by the loud noise of LA’s infamous ‘ghetto bird’ (police helicopter). At first, everyone thought the copter was just flying by, when suddenly it circled around and flashed its big floodlights on the peaceful crowd. It made a couple of more passes and then almost on cue, the entire crowd started chanting ‘@#%$ the Police’ and put their middle fingers up to the sky."

Fearful Southerners buy firearms at torrid pace  9/10/2005 Chicago Tribune: "In any case, there is no shortage of homeowners putting up signs that read "Looters will be shot on sight." On the ground, there is mounting evidence to suggest firearms are a hot commodity. Take the neighborhood surrounding the Astrodome in Houston, where gun stores say they're selling at a brisk pace. "Basically, what we are seeing is people who are just afraid," said Valde Garcia, manager of Bailey's House of Guns near the Astrodome, where thousands of Katrina's victims have been housed temporarily."

Beyond Incompetence  9/10/2005 Bellacio: [Many instances where the government was not just incompetent but actively sabotaged aid to Katrina victims]

New Orleans: covert operations underway?  9/10/2005 UrukNet: "Wednesday's broadcast of KPFA's "Flashpoints" featured a telephone interview with Malik Rahim, who gave a gut-wrenching and shocking firsthand account of the staggering horror of still-neglected New Orleans that he and other survivors are facing. In stark contrast to increasingly optimistic mainstream media coverage (cover-up) about "improving relief efforts" and "rebuilding," Rahim exposed the fact that there is no relief. No Red Cross, no food, no emergency medical care under a FEMA lockdown that has kept any relief from getting into New Orleans. Meanwhile, as the Bush administration's combat operations ramp up, and troops prowl the streets, no help whatsoever has been offered to residents, according to Rahim. Rotting corpses litter the streets. People, heroically fending for themselves and their own, are being left in shocking conditions to suffer and die."

Friday  9/9/2005

Cops trapped survivors in New Orleans  9/9/2005 Washington Times: ""We shut down the bridge," Arthur Lawson, chief of the City of Gretna Police Department, confirmed to United Press International, adding that his jurisdiction had been "a closed and secure location" since before the storm hit. "All our people had evacuated and we locked the city down," he said. The bridge in question -- the Crescent City Connection -- is the major artery heading west out of New Orleans across the Mississippi River. Lawson said that once the storm itself had passed Monday, police from Gretna City, Jefferson Parrish and the Louisiana State Crescent City Connection Police Department closed to foot traffic the three access points to the bridge closest to the West Bank of the river. He added that the small town, which he called "a bedroom community" for the city of New Orleans, would have been overwhelmed by the influx. "There was no food, water or shelter" in Gretna City, Lawson said. "We did not have the wherewithal to deal with these people. "If we had opened the bridge, our city would have looked like New Orleans does now: looted, burned and pillaged." " [The standard excuse for lynchings was rape of a white woman.]

Rebuilding New Orleans for Big Oil  9/9/2005 Unknown News: "The port where New Orleans sits is one of the most important on the Gulf Coast, if not the most important. A huge amount of oil, gas, and other commerce moves through this port. On top of this, for years now, the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) industry has been trying to get past strict environmental regulations to try to establish a LNG terminal somewhere along this coast, but has run into nothing but roadblocks. It's just too damn dangerous to have such a facility located anywhere near so many people. It has its own inherent dangers, being that there would be such a huge amount of explosive gas moving through the area, but it would also be certain to attract terrorists. But what if they could get rid of one of the biggest roadblocks, the people? Enter Hurricane Katrina, and you have the perfect opportunity. We haven't heard from Dick Cheney through this entire ordeal. Suddenly he emerges from his Wyoming hideaway, and he is being dispatched to New Orleans to oversee the reconstruction. How telling. How convenient. Just the man for the job, that is, if it involves furthering the interests of Big Oil/Gas rather than rebuilding for the little people, and poor black ones at that."

Iraq hurt Katrina response, general says  9/9/2005 CNN: "The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops from Mississippi and Louisiana in Iraq when Hurricane Katrina struck hindered those states' initial storm response, military and civilian officials said Friday. Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said that "arguably" a day or so of response time was lost due to the absence of the Mississippi National Guard's 155th Infantry Brigade and Louisiana's 256th Infantry Brigade, each with thousands of troops in Iraq."

KANYE FIRES OFF AGAIN  9/9/2005 Contact Music: "And he isn't finished yet - appearing on ELLEN DeGENERES' US television chat show this morning (09SEP05), West insisted Bush and other politicians knew America's Gulf Coast couldn't withstand a hurricane a year before Katrina hit." [Actually for many years.]

Fox touts misleading Red Cross account to blame Blanco  9/9/2005 Media Matters 


Dallas meeting plans reconstruction of New Orleans without poor African Americans  9/9/2005 Wayne Madsen Report: "According to well-informed New Orleans sources, New Orleans' wealthiest families, including those who are direct descendants of the French who settled New Orleans (not the Acadians [Cajuns] who were poor refugees from British tyranny in Nova Scotia) are meeting in Dallas today with Bush administration officials, New Orleans city officials, wealthy Texas oilmen, and bankers to plan for the reconstruction of New Orleans. These wealthy New Orleans residents live in the gated community of Audobon Place, a section of the city near the Garden District replete with personal helipads that still has running water and sewage and was only slightly affected by hurricane Katrina. It is now reportedly being patrolled by private Israeli security forces… The Dallas meeting focused on rebuilding and re-zoning New Orleans without the "criminal element," a code word for the city's poor African American community. These New Orleans residents have been scattered across the United States and are now under the control of FEMA. There is an understanding by the wealthy New Orleans elite that the poor will never be able to return."

Beware: The Post-Katrina Great Land Grab!  9/9/2005 National Black Business News 

Thursday  9/8/2005

Camps  9/8/2005 Simbaud: survey of detention camps

Bush suffers in polls post-Katrina  9/8/2005 Reuters 

Black Outrage and Worldwide Criticism Mounting  9/8/2005 Black Voice News 

The Militarization of New Orleans. From Victims to Vandals: Mass Media and New Orleans  9/8/2005 Global Research: "The mass media commentators and interviewers wholeheartedly co-operated in decriminalizing the state. The officials guilty of crimes against the humanity of poor and destitute citizens were transformed into humanitarian saviors. Not a single word of self-criticism from the officials and none suggested by the media moderators. The few dissident critical voices of the first few days were chastened and disappeared from the television screen. The US media was the only place in the world in which the guilty officials were exonerated… Given the government’s total abandonment of tens of thousands of poor, starving and homeless blacks, it was obvious that many people would scavenge for food and water. By deliberately linking the survivors with “looters” and “rapists”, public officials set the stage for the subsequent militarization and de-facto martial law – fertile terrain for the killing fields. The first reports that filtered out from (unembedded) eyewitness reports mentioned groups of Guardsmen beating the self-help survivors. Military reports cited the killing of several ‘snipers’. No doubt the Government’s first pre-occupation is to saturate the city with the military to prevent the survivors from organizing for justice and to channel all communications about the state of the city through officially approved sources. Even more significantly the military defines the nature of the situation as a problem of criminality and the repressive “solution” through maximum control and minimum aid."

Louisiana senator: Thank you Canada  9/8/2005 CBC News: "A Louisiana state senator has praised a Canadian search and rescue team. Senator Walter Boasso said a Vancouver-based team reached St. Bernard parish five days before the U.S. army got there. "Fabulous, fabulous guys," Boasso said. "They started rolling with us and got in boats to save people ... We've got Canadian flags flying everywhere.""

Was racial bias behind U.S. government failure in New Orleans?  9/8/2005 Final Call: "Later, federal officials and Republicans began shifting the blame to local and state officials. They insisted that local and Louisiana state officials are the designated “first responders,” and they accused the Democratic governor and mayor of New Orleans of not sounding the alarm soon enough. However, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had, in fact, made an urgent official request three days before the storm, according to Rep. Cummings, “for some kind of a special designation from FEMA, which would have had the buses taking people out, three days before the storm,” Mr. Cummings told The Final Call in an exclusive interview. “It sat on a desk and didn’t even get looked at until after the storm had hit. “This has got to be a wake-up call for us, as African American people, from another perspective,” he continued. “That is, if we believe that the government is going to always be there for our rescue, we need to re-think that. Because I don’t want us to be in a position where we’re not doing for self, when we can. And this is the perfect situation for that lesson to be learned.”"

Helicopter Pilots Get Shit On For Rescuing Hurricane Victims: Pissed Sailors Cut Off Their Search/Rescue Patches  9/8/2005 UrukNet 

KATRINA TIMELINE  9/8/2005 UrukNet 

Interview about restrictions on New Orleans detainees ends abruptly  9/8/2005 Unknown News: [Has Utah created a concentration camp for Katrina survivors?]

Two Bush 2000 Florida recount aides were rewarded with top FEMA posts  9/8/2005 Philadelphia Daily News: "Reversing an eight-year crusade to rid the now-embattled Federal Emegency Management Agency of political patronage, a newly elected George W. Bush in 2001 named two key players in his Florida recount fight to important FEMA posts."

"What didn't go right?"  9/8/2005 Salon: "The Bush administration's mishandling of Hurricane Katrina stands as the pluperfect case study of the Republican Party's theory and practice of government. For decades conservatives have funded think tanks, filled libraries and conducted political campaigns to promote the idea of limited government. Now, in New Orleans, the theory has been tested. The floodwaters have rolled over the rhetoric. Under Bush, government has been "limited" only in certain weak spots, like levees, while in other spots it has vastly expanded into a behemoth subsisting on the greatest deficit spending in our history. State and local governments have not been empowered, but rendered impotent, in the face of circumstances beyond their means in which they have desperately requested federal intervention. Experienced professionals in government have been forced out, tried-and-true policies discarded, expert research ignored and cronies elevated to senior management."

FEMA - The Secret Government  9/8/2005 UrukNet: originally published in 1995 - "Some people have referred to it as the "secret government" of the United States. It is not an elected body, it does not involve itself in public disclosures, and it even has a quasi-secret budget in the billions of dollars. This government organization has more power than the President of the United States or the Congress, it has the power to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant and hold them without trial, it can seize property, food supplies, transportation systems, and can suspend the Constitution."

Katrina, Aftermath Galvanize Black America  9/8/2005 AP: "Some 71 percent of blacks say the disaster shows that racial inequality remains a major problem in America, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 6-7 among 1,000 Americans; 56 percent of whites feel this was not a particularly important lesson. And while 66 percent of blacks think the government's response would have been faster if most of the victims had been white, 77 percent of whites disagreed. On Thursday, first lady Laura Bush said it was "disgusting" that critics blamed her husband's policies for the racial disparities between hurricane survivors."

Military courage, love to save our people  9/8/2005 Final Call: On Sept. 3, New Black Panthers from Houston and Dallas under the direction of National Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, along with Houston Chairperson Krystal Muhammad and Dallas Chairperson Robert Williams, left the Houston Astrodome headed for New Orleans in two Black-owned chartered buses… Lynelle Washington, who gave her story directly to The Final Call afer she was rescued by them: “I have been here through it all. I never left my house in Gretna, La. It’s right across the bridge from New Orleans. I got completely flooded out. I have been trapped here the entire time. The cops came by on Saturday and they saw that I was alive. They gave me two bottles of water and kept going. I was scared to go out of my house. The boy down the street went into the Walgreen's across the street to get him something to eat and they (police) beat him. They thought he was the one who broke in, but he wasn’t, it was already broken into. I saw him, he went in after it was already broken into. “They keep changing up their stories. First, they got on the loudspeakers telling people to go into the places and get them something to eat, then when the people go in, they beat them. They beat up the boy and left him on the street. I went out after the police left and gave the boy one of the bottles of water they gave me. Thank God for these Brothers that came to get me.”"

International offers of support: What about Cuba?  9/8/2005 Final Call 

New Orleans Population has the Right of Return  9/8/2005 Black Commentator: "Displacement based on race is a form of genocide, as recognized under the Geneva Conventions. Destruction of a people’s culture, by official action or depraved inaction, is an offense against humanity, under international law. New Orleans – the whole city, and its people – is an indispensable component of African American culture and history. It is clear that the displaced people of New Orleans are being outsourced – to everywhere, and nowhere. They are not nowhere people. They are citizens of the United States, which is obligated to right the wrongs of the Bush regime, and it’s unnatural disaster. Charity is fine. Rights are better. The people of New Orleans have the Right to Return – on Uncle Sam’s tab."

Unbearable Crime on the Mississipi  9/8/2005 Black Commentator: "When I woke up today, the only thought that came to mind was Reverend Jesse Jackson's indignant cry, "This is the bottom of the slave ship we are looking at." ...Jesse's metaphor is also so apt in that you only had to listen to five minutes of reporting to know families had been separated in ways that could be irreparable – across states, even mothers from month-old babies...just evacuating babies without contact with the parents is such a nightmare, I hate even hearing about it. These are the people who were marginalized from the Internet as well; are they going to run to a computer site? ...Lastly, there is now what is called the Katrina Diaspora. This diaspora of people without resources puts the restoration of families and community at risk, and in the case of New Orleans' black community, probably makes that impossible. Even people who own land there are going to be in deep trouble trying to hold onto it when the real estate boondoggle gets in the courts. I'm afraid we'll be reading a lot of stupid crap about how they couldn't be found, taxes were owed, etc. as in times past throughout the South. That's why I hope Jesse gets someone to bring people like Congressman Bennie Thompson into the fold, as he is familiar with the commission that had to be set up in the Delta because people are still trying to get back land stolen in the 1930s. And the developers are probably asking for eminent domain to be declared even as I'm typing."

WAYE encourages hurricane victims  9/8/2005 Birmingham Times: "WAYE 1220 AM decided to declare Friday September 2 as a day of encouragement for the hurricane evacuees that are placed in the City of Birmingham. WAYE manager Minister Mary Agee and program director Bishop Demetrics Roscoe organized an inter-faith tribute to all the displaced victims that are stationed around the area. Pastors, businesses, politicians, and local citizens all joined together to support this concerted effort. According to one of WAYE listeners this one-hour program was one of the most dynamic and healing moments she had ever experienced."

America's Pretenses Washed Away  9/8/2005 Black Commentator: "Message boards all over the Internet are filled with posts from white people that are espousing hatred and rejoicing that Katrina caused such devastation and how they wished that it had killed all the (racial epithet) of New Orleans. Black America has been feeling the pain of the racist tone since the first reports of Black people being termed “looters” while white people were miraculously “finding” food. We are supposed to accept our lot in life and not complain because that’s the premise of this great nation. Black people, check your birth certificate to see if you are classified as three-fifths of a human being. Chances are, if you are poor and undereducated, it says you are because that’s the way the government is treating us."

FEMA Nixes Grassroots Radio Station for Hurricane Evacuees  9/8/2005 Village Voice 

Poll: Katrina Response Inadequate  9/8/2005 CBS: [the blame game may play well]

Wednesday  9/7/2005

FEMA packed with W's pals  9/7/2005 NY Daily News: "The three top jobs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Bush went to political cronies with no apparent experience coping with catastrophes, the Daily News has learned. Even if Bush were to fire embattled and suddenly invisible FEMA Director Michael Brown over his handling of Hurricane Katrina, the bureaucrat immediately below him is no disaster professional, either. While Brown ran horse shows in his last private-sector job, FEMA's No. 2 man, deputy director and chief of staff Patrick Rhode, was an advance man for the Bush-Cheney campaign and White House. He also did short stints at the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration."

Key aim of the Bush administration's takeover of the NOLA situation is to cut off press access  9/7/2005 Talking Point Memo: "Take a moment to note what's happening here: these are the marks of repressive government, which mixes inefficiency with authoritarianism. The crew that couldn't get key aid on the scene in time last week is coming in in force now. And one of the key missions appears to be cutting off public information about what's happening in the city. This is a domestic, natural disaster. Absent specific cases where members of the press would interfere or get in the way of some particular clean up operation, or perhaps demolition work, there is simply no reason why credentialed members of the press should not be able to cover everything that is happening in that city."

Three Days In Hell  9/7/2005 TPM Café: "One time, to amuse themselves, the soldiers threw bottles as hard as they could into the crowd, like in baseball. A woman was hit in the head. The Navy arrived and it was even worse: the soldiers did not stop yelling at us. From the bus that took us on Friday morning towards Dallas, we saw a cotton field outside the windows. The blacks joked: “Nothing has changed,” they told us."

International offers of help came immediately, but U.S. approval was delayed by days  9/7/2005 Washington Post 

Media groups say FEMA censors search for bodies  9/7/2005 Reuters 

Why Do They Hate You? John Wayne and New Orleans Indians  9/7/2005 Counterpunch: "I kept warning others that they should not go out, even in taxis, because they would be in danger returning. I tried to explain why, to no avail. Sure enough, a young historian from Maine was shot and killed by a sniper in front of the Hyatt after returning from fun in the French Quarter. After that, the historians stayed inside until ready to go to the airport in buses. Now, New Orleans will be rebuilt as one big "urban renewal" project, destroying the remaining working class homes and apartments, a sort of Disneyland for tourists and the wealthy. It's been going in that direction for forty years, as have other cities like Manhattan and San Francisco. But, it may not be that easy with that insurgency which, hopefully, will not capitulate."

ANSWER delegation reports from New Orleans  9/7/2005 SF Bay View 

Bush's White Wash of Katrina  9/7/2005 National Black Business News 

‘There was about to be a riot in New Orleans’ - ‘They are trying to make the conditions here intolerable so that everyone will leave’ - by Malik Rahim  9/7/2005 SF Bay View 

WSJ: White rich elude Orleans chaos, don’t want poor Blacks back  9/7/2005 SF Bay View 

Add it all up: News from New Orleans - What do you get? Genocide!  9/7/2005 SF Bay View: "“Reports are emanating from Iraqis who are working with the Americans, both at the Baghdad International airport and in the Green Zone, of a mutiny that occurred among the American soldiers against their officers,” reports. “Three days ago, one American soldier went into hysterics upon hearing of the death of three members of his family in New Orleans. Corporal Nick Lancer shouted: ‘This is the curse of Iraq. My family paid for my crimes in Iraq. Send us back to help our families. God damn you, Bush and Rumsfeld.’ “Matters escalated when an officer tried, by force, to calm Lancer down. Lancer was then joined by other soldiers who started to beat the officer. The fighting escalated when other officers tried to intervene in the melee and the soldiers began attacking and hitting them with their rifle butts. This included the beating of Iraqi senior army officers who attempted to help the American officers. “The soldiers were shouting: ‘You scoundrels. We will throw you out to the Resistance to kill you. It is because of you that we are getting killed here.’ At one point, one of the soldiers radioed other fellow soldiers, who were out on patrols, to stop their mission and to return quickly to join them.”

When the sky is taken by storm: The rage and anguish of Black America  9/7/2005 SF Bay View 

Dean: Race played a role in Katrina death toll  9/7/2005 AP: ""We must ... come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not," Dean said. Dean said Americans have a moral responsibility to not ignore the devastating effects of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina when it struck the Gulf Coast. The former presidential candidate said the government will be judged on how it treats the old, the young and the poor. "People are poor in different parts of the country. They are not refugees. They are Americans," he said. Dean said that instead of considering proposed estate tax breaks, the Senate should channel the $760 billion savings into disaster relief funds."

The Deadly Legacy of the Welfare State Lies in New Orleans  9/7/2005 The Future of Freedom Foundation: [Why is it that the word Freedom now makes us so suspicious - perhaps this article is a good example, with its twisted logic and ignorance of the facts. Cuba can evacuate 1.7 million people on a dime, and they sure don't do it via the "Welfare State Scam".]

Welcome to the Rockies, now get behind the fence!  9/7/2005 Blue Owl Six: "And then there is that report I have noted in recent days of the 1,000 evacuees flown to Roosevelt Roads naval base on Puerto Rico's eastern tip. What of them? I've still seen no reports, but I confirmed it with a Puerto Rican friend of mine. This is too surreal. As for forcing Americans into a fenced-in camp? I don't like it. Not one bit."

Prisoners abandoned in Orleans Parish Prison  9/7/2005 SF Bay View: "Ahmad told Maga, my friend, that he was LEFT IN ORLEANS PARISH PRISON, along with every other prisoner, when the hurricane hit and the flood waters rose. The prison guards and other staff left, evacuated the prison and left the inmates there to fend for themselves. Most of them were locked in their cells; the cell doors were stuck due to power outages. Ahmad tells of riots and total panic within the prison as it started filling with water. He says, “The whole prison is going to have to be rebuilt,” as the inmates literally tore the place apart, trying to escape any way they could. Ahmad went four days and nights locked in the prison WITHOUT ANY FOOD OR WATER."

Tuesday  9/6/2005

Real Heroes and Sheroes of New Orleans  9/6/2005 Znet: "As we approached the bridge, armed sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us that there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans, and there would be no Superdomes in their city. These were code words for: if you are poor and Black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River, and you are not getting out of New Orleans."

New Orleans during the disaster: Authorities vs. humanity  9/6/2005 EMS news: "The authors are paramedics from California who were attending the EMS conference in New Orleans… Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water. Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups."

White House Press Briefing: Angry Reporters Hit McClellan Hard on Hurricane, Ask if Heads Will Roll  9/6/2005 Editor & Publisher 

Sucker's Bets for the New Century The U.S. after Katrina  9/6/2005 Znet: "Our rulers have insisted by both word and deed that the laws of physics and chemistry do not apply to us. That delusion will now start to vanish. Katrina marks Year One of our new calendar, the start of an age in which the physical world has flipped from sure and secure to volatile and unhinged. New Orleans doesn't look like the America we've lived in. But it very much resembles the planet we will inhabit the rest of our lives."

The Real Costs of a Culture of Greed  9/6/2005 Alternet: "Yet the problem is much deeper. For half a century, free-market purists have to great effect denigrated the essential role that modern government performs as some terrible liberal plot. Thus, the symbolism of New Orleans' flooding is tragically apt: Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and Louisiana Gov. Huey Long's ambitious populist reforms in the 1930s eased Louisiana out of feudalism and toward modernity; the Reagan Revolution and the callousness of both Bush administrations have sent them back toward the abyss."

Firing Michael Brown Is Not Enough  9/6/2005 Znet 

Refugees from New Orleans behind barbed wire in Utah  9/6/2005 Unknown News 

Bush greeted by storm backlash  9/6/2005 Newsday: "As the man who represents, to many in the Gulf States, a government response that Bush himself called "not acceptable," the president faced a continuing backlash from survivors and officials along the flattened path of last week's hurricane."

Hurricanes thriving on global warming  9/6/2005 The Register: "In a paper appearing in the online edition of the journal Nature Kerry Emmanuel, professor of meteorology in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, writes: "My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in [hurricanes'] destructive potential, and - taking into account an increasing coastal population - a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the 21st century." Emanuel analysed data from tropical cyclones dating back to the middle of the last century, tracking the amount of energy released by each storm, the duration of the storm and its top windspeed. He found that since the 1970's, the storms have become more energetic, around half as fast again, and last on average 50 per cent longer. The results are broadly in line with computer simulations of the impact of climate change on hurricane intensity. The increase has also happened in parallel with an increase in the average surface temperature of the world's oceans. Some of this temperature increase can be ascribed to global warming, Emanuel says."

I just got back from a FEMA Detainment Camp  9/6/2005 Above Top Secret: [in Oklahoma] "The occupants of the camp cannot leave the camp for any reason. If they leave the camp they may never return. They will be issued FEMA identification cards and "a sum of money" and they will remain within the camp for the next 5 months."

GREEKS BEARING GIFTS - Paul Krugman at the New York Times and Clinton FEMA Director James Lee Witt Leading America Into the Next Slaughter  9/6/2005 From the Wilderness: "Intelligent critics from both left and right have for years painstakingly documented FEMA’s paramount leadership role in Continuity of Government (COG) operations and planning. Better described, COG is what will happen if Congress is nuked, if a major catastrophe makes “normal” government operations impossible, or if there is major civil unrest (or total economic collapse). Much of FEMA’s infrastructure is really dedicated to this task and not to disaster relief. The COG function and authority has been greatly expanded since 9/11. At FTW we have written about FEMA many times and discussed it at length in my book Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. There is no shortage of verifiable government records confirming all this including about two score Executive Orders, The Patriot Act, The Homeland Security Bill, and a couple of pieces of legislation having to do with biological warfare enacted in the post-9/11 climate. COG work was initially begun way back in the late 1970s, and involved early input from the likes of Iran-Contra criminal Oliver North. That’s where FEMA actually came from. If this thinking is not curtailed, then as the economic collapse of the United States becomes ever harder to conceal, FEMA will have been given a green light to impose the most draconian and heartless of measures in our country. FEMA will have the ability to divide the US up into ten autonomous regions, independently governed. Denver will be key to that decentralization and I note with irony that the CIA recently announced it was moving its National Resources (formerly Domestic Operations) Division to Denver (Washington Post, May 5, 2005) . FEMA will have the authority to confiscate any private property, food, medicine, personal vehicles, water supplies and even to impress citizens into forced labor and relocation as needed. FEMA will be able to override all local governments in a declared national emergency, quarantine neighborhoods and compel people to receive untested (for efficacy) vaccinations of drugs which may be dangerous (remember the smallpox vaccines?) and which will only enrich the pharmaceutical companies. FEMA will have the authority to confiscate firearms and gold held by private individuals. The government records proving what I say here are available in abundance and have been widely circulated over the internet for years. The little that remains of our Bill of Rights will simply cease to exist with a Code Red terror alert or another Katrina. And global warming makes another Katrina somewhere inevitable."

Ray Nagin Is NOT America's Mayor  9/6/2005 MichNews: [background on New Orlean's mayor from a Republican point of view, praises Bush, neglects to mention that FEMA never responded to request to evacuate city on school buses. Evacuate to where?]

Monday  9/5/2005

'When you look at who is left behind, it is very disturbing to me.'  9/5/2005 Negrophile: good links

Hurricane Katrina: Black America's 9/11?  9/5/2005 Different Kitchen: good links

Why FEMA Was Missing in Action - Most of the agency's preparedness budget and focus are related to terrorism, not disasters.  9/5/2005 LA Times 

Federal agency 'slow' to accept business help  9/5/2005 Financial Times 

The Cavalry can't get past FEMA  9/5/2005 Meet the Press: when this is played on network TV, they leave out the part about FEMA: "We had Wal-mart deliver three trucks of water. Trailer trucks of water. Fema turned them back, said we didn't need them. This was a week go. We had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a coast guard vessel docked in my parish. The coast guard said come get the fuel right way. When we got there with our trucks, they got a word, FEMA says don't give you the fuel. Yesterday, yesterday, fema comes in and cuts all our emergency communications lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in. he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards said no one is getting near these lines."

New Orleans Activist Malik Rahim Blasts Mayor Nagin  9/5/2005 Democracy Now 

Mayor ready for armed standoff with FEMA  9/5/2005 "Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@.""

Five dead 'were army workers'  9/5/2005 The Australian: "At least five people shot dead by police as they walked across a New Orleans bridge yesterday were contractors working for the US Defence department, according to a report by The Associated Press."

Why FEMA turned away help  9/5/2005 Daily Kos: FEMA's "reason" -- they wouldn't let anyone in "until the National Guard has secured the city."

’US Troops mutiny in Iraq’  9/5/2005 Wayne Madsen Report: "WMR has learned that the US embassy in Baghdad is checking into reports that U.S. troops in Iraq, including National Guardsmen, Army and Marine Corps Reserves, and regular military troops from Louisiana and Mississippi, have mutinied against their officers and are demanding to be immediately sent back home to help their families. It is not known whether the reported mutinies involve physical violence. The reports of rebellions among U.S. troops are filtering out of the Green Zone and at Baghdad International Airport from Iraqis who are working alongside their American counterparts at both locations."

Rove Returns: CIA Leaker Now Leading Campaign to Blame Local Officials for Katrina Aftermath  9/5/2005 Think Progress 

FEMA "dragging its feet" as businesses try to help hurricane, flood victims  9/5/2005 FT 

Venezuela's Citgo sets up hurricane relief centers  9/5/2005 KLFY, LA 

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