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Abuse, Forced Labor Rampant in New Orleans Justice System: The videotaped beating of a New Orleans resident offers but a small sample of the widespread brutality, deprivation and railroading that have come to characterize the city’s response to alleged crimes.

$11 Million a Day Spent on Hotels for Storm Relief

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 - Straining to meet President Bush's mid-October deadline to clear out shelters, the federal government has moved hundreds of thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina into hotel rooms at a cost of about $11 million a night, a strategy local officials and some members of Congress criticize as incoherent and wasteful.


Bob Herbert | Bush's Pledge? The Joke's on the Poor  A Page 1 article in The Times on Tuesday carried the following headline: "Liberal Hopes Ebb in Post-Storm Poverty Debate." Bob Herbert writes: The article noted that some liberal activists had hoped that the extraordinary suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina might lead to a genuine effort by the administration and Congress to address such important poverty-related matters as health care, housing, employment and race.

Report: Administration Drastically Reduced Water, Wetland Protection In the past four years, the United States has drastically cut back on its protection of waterways and wetlands, whose erosion was cited as a factor in the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, according to a report issued Wednesday.

Listening to Your Neighbors Die


For three days, Glen Williams sat on his rooftop in New Orleans, watching the water lap at the eaves and listening to unimaginable sounds in his once quiet, close-knit neighborhood.

The cries for help from neighbors, in attics with the waters up to their necks, grew more piteous as the days went by and no help arrived.

But it was the calls from his elderly neighbor, Doris, that haunts him.

"I heard her die," Williams said, bowing his head and running a scraped hand over his graying, close-cropped hair.

"She cried for two nights, 'Help. Someone help me please!' Then the last time I heard her call it turned into a gurgle. That was her last cry.

"I wish I could have saved her. There wasn't nobody there to save her."

Electricity Turned On In New Orleans Neighborhood For Bush, Turned Off When He Left


The Siege of New Orleans  The orders are clear: "Empty the city, Cut off communications between the citizenry, and Protect private property." The result is a massive ethnic cleansing operation that will displace tens of thousands of poor, black residents and pave the way for Halliburton and other major Bush contributors to rebuild the city at taxpayer expense. This is the clearest illustration of class-based warfare we have seen to date, but we expect more will follow.

Katrina Aid from Cuba? No Thanks, Says US Despite Bush administration assurances that international aid offers will be kept free of politics, Cold War tensions seem to be freezing out help from Cuba. In separate Washington press briefings, both the White House and State Department spokesmen this week downplayed the Cuban government's offer to send some 1,600 medics, field hospitals and 83 tons of medical supplies to ease the humanitarian disaster.

Katrina Shakes Global Faith in US  Readers and commentators from abroad are watching images of chaos and despair in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and are wondering how a country so mighty could have fallen so far.

8 Big Lies About Kartina

Katina Links  Ones that could make you really wonder, what is actually happening? Like the one below.

Doctor says FEMA ordered him to stop treating hurricane victims Doctor ordered to Stop treating victims of the Katrina 16 Sep 2005 In the midst of administering chest compressions to a dying woman several days after Hurricane Katrina struck, Dr. Mark N. Perlmutter was ordered to stop by a federal official because he wasn't registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "I begged him to let me continue," said Perlmutter, who left his home and practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Pennsylvania to come to Louisiana and volunteer to care for hurricane victims. "People were dying, and I was the only doctor on the tarmac (at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport) where scores of nonresponsive patients lay on stretchers. Two patients died in front of me."

Deaconess, 73, Jailed for Alleged Looting Time for action people. Email, letters, phone calls to your Senators and Representatives to get this lady freed from prison.  Granny is a HOODLOM? Go Figure. I wonder how many others are like her?

Bush's vision for New Orleans: a profiteer's paradise

According to well placed sources, a military forensic specialist determined the burn marks on the cement chunks did, in fact, come from high explosives. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity said "We found traces of boron-enhanced fluoronitramino explosives as well as PBXN-111 embedded in the debris. This would indicate at least two separate types of explosive devices."
Ruptured New Orleans Levee had help failing
New Orleans, Divers inspecting the ruptured levee walls surrounding New Orleans found something that piqued their interest: Burn marks on underwater debris chunks from the broken levee wall!
One diver, a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saw the burn marks and knew immediately what caused them. When he surfaced and showed the evidence to his superior, the on-site Coordinator for FEMA stepped-in and said "You are not here to conduct an investigation as to why this rupture occurred, but only to determine how best to close it." The FEMA coordinator then threw the evidence back into the water and said "You will tell no one about this."
At that point, the diver went back down to do more inspection of the levee. On the second dive, he secreted a small chunk of the debris inside his wet suit and later arranged for it to be sent to trusted military friends at a The U.S. Army Forensic Laboratory at Fort Gillem, Georgia for testing.

Recovering New Orleans' dead subordinated to profit and politics

 44 Oil Spills Found in Southeast Louisiana  More than 500 specialists are working to clean up 44 oil spills ranging from several hundred gallons to nearly 4 million gallons, the US Coast Guard said in an assessment that goes far beyond initial reports of just two significant spills.

Corporations of the Whirlwind Bush Connections The Reconstruction of New Oraq= New Orleans In recent weeks, news has been seeping out of Iraq that the "reconstruction" of that country is petering out, because the money is largely gone. According to American officials, reported T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles Times last week, "The U.S. will halt construction work on some water and power plants in Iraq because it is running out of money for projects." A variety of such reconstruction projects crucial to the everyday lives of Iraqis, the British Guardian informs us, are now "grinding to a halt" as "plans to overhaul the country's infrastructure have been downsized, postponed or abandoned because the $24bn budget approved by Congress has been dwarfed by the scale of the task."

Outside one house on Kentucky Street, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division summoned a reporter and photographer standing nearby and told them that if they took pictures or wrote a story about the body recovery process, he would take away their press credentials and kick them out of the state.

FEMA, La. outsource Katrina body count to firm implicated in body-dumping scandals. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has hired Kenyon International to set up a mobile morgue for handling bodies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, RAW STORY has learned.

Kenyon is a subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a scandal-ridden Texas-based company operated by a friend of the Bush family. Recently, SCI subsidiaries have been implicated in illegally discarding and desecrating corpses.


Foreign Aid Refused by FEMA! Why?!!

Sunday 4th September 2005 (05h50) :
Why did FEMA reject offers of aid from other countries?

WASHINGTON - In a dramatic turnabout, the United States is now on the receiving end of help from around the world as some two dozen countries offer post-hurricane assistance.
Venezuela, a target of frequent criticism by the Bush administration, offered humanitarian aid and fuel. Venezuela’s Citgo Petroleum Corp. pledged a $1 million donation for hurricane aid.

With offers from the four corners of the globe pouring in, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided "no offer that can help alleviate the suffering of the people in the afflicted area will be refused," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday.

However, in Moscow, a Russian official said the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency had rejected a Russian offer to dispatch rescue teams and other aid.

Condolences and cash On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to President Bush and said Russia was prepared to help if asked.

Boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators, cash assistance and medical teams have been offered to the U.S. government in Washington or in embassies overseas.

Offers have been received from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, NATO and the Organization of American States, the spokesman said.

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon called Wednesday at the State Department to offer condolences and assistance. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid, about $2.2 billion a year.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has offered the U.S. hundreds of doctors, nurses, experts in trauma and natural disasters, NBC News has learned. Sharon has also offered field hospitals and medical kits as well as temporary housing and told Bush in a letter that the medical assistance and other help could be deployed within 24 hours.

Tempered expectations Still, Bush told ABC-TV: "I’m not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn’t asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country’s going to rise up and take care of it."

"You know," he said, "we would love help, but we’re going to take care of our own business as well, and there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll succeed. And there’s no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."

Historically, the United States provides assistance to other countries experiencing earthquakes, floods and other disasters.

Germany, which was rebuilt after World War II largely by the U.S. Marshall Plan, offered its help in a telephone call to Rice.

"The German Government is prepared to do all that is humanly possible," the German embassy said. In his call, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer assured Rice of Germany’s solidarity with its American friends in a difficult time, the embassy said.


Daley 'shocked' as feds reject aid : A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.

This is a must listen Interview With Mayor of New Orleans. "They are feeding the public a line of bull - and people are dying down here."

 Murder and mayhem in New Orleans' miserable shelter "They died right here, in America, waiting for food," By Mark Egan Leroy Fouchea, offered to show reporters the dead bodies of a man in a wheelchair, a young man who he said he dragged inside just hours earlier, and the limp forms of two infants, one just four months old, the other six months old.

Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans By Joseph R. Chenelly "We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control."

 I EscapedFrom New Orleans: Notes From Inside The City : In the refugee camp I just left, on the I-10 freeway near Causeway, thousands of people (at least 90% black and poor) stood and squatted in mud and trash behind metal barricades, under an unforgiving sun, with heavily armed soldiers standing guard over them.

Criticism of Bush mounts as more than 10,000 feared dead : Having spent their fourth day waiting to be rescued, the city fell deeper into chaos, with gangs roaming the city and corpses rotting in the sun.

'It reminds me of Baghdad in the worst of times' : A man walked past the bodies dragging a pallet loaded with big bottles of ginger ale, some plates and a frying pan. To the rest of America watching the tragedy unfold on their televisions, he was one of the looters, denounced by President Bush. But to the people inside the convention centre, he was one of a band of heroes keeping them alive.

Arianna Huffington: Bill Clinton, Suck-Up-in-Chief: What the hell was Bill Clinton thinking, standing there next to President Bush and providing verbal cover for the administration's ludicrous claims that the problems plaguing New Orleans were unforeseeable?

 Norma Sherry: Katrina's Wrath, America's Shame : The sight on my television set leaves me ill and sick to my stomach. Are we ever going to learn a lesson from this travesty?

Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?: Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.



New Orleans on a hair-trigger

'Stop the car right now,' reporter told. `Back up, or I'll shoot'

By Tim Harper

09/02/05 "
Toronto Star" -- -- NEW ORLEANS - I wheeled the car around and headed back to the scene of the shooting, looking for Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk, when the officer turned, spotted me and pointed the shotgun right at the windshield.

"Stop the car right now. Back up, or I'll shoot," he screamed.

A couple of others cocked their weapons and trained their guns on the car, purpose in their eyes.

Instinctively, I raised my hands above the wheel and gunned the Pontiac in reverse over fallen tree limbs and debris in the street.

This was our indoctrination into a Big Easy that'll never make a picture postcard.

Minutes earlier, as Oleniuk and I first saw downtown New Orleans looming after a long odyssey to get into the locked-down city, he shouted at me to stop when he spotted armed officers crouched behind a cruiser, training their guns on an apartment block.

His welcome to the besieged city came the second he left the vehicle when three shots rang out — a quick "pop-pop-pop." Oleniuk stumbled behind a lamppost for protection and began shooting photos.

In seconds, as many as 40 officers sped to the scene, most in marked cars — but one in a Kinko's van — some of whom set up behind Oleniuk, their guns aimed over his left shoulder.

Others, guns drawn, shouted at me to get out of the way.

Realizing he was in the line of fire, Oleniuk raced for cover behind a cruiser and worked alongside a group of police as they fired into the building.

After 15 minutes, the last of more than 350 images shot by Oleniuk depicted officers delivering a fierce beating to the two suspects, an assault so fearsome one of the suspects defecated.

Realizing their frontier justice had been captured for posterity, the police turned on the photographer, one ripping a camera from his neck with such force it broke its shoulder strap.

Another grabbed a second camera and, somewhere in the melee, Oleniuk's press pass was ripped from his neck.

The officers fumbled with the cameras, finally pulling out the memory cards with the photos.

Oleniuk pleaded for the return of his cameras, was rebuffed, then, after retreating about a block, approached them again and asked for his cameras back.

One of the officers who had been hunkered down with Oleniuk during the 15-minute shootout said he could have his cameras, but when he asked again for his pictures, he was gruffly told: "If you don't get your ass out of here, I'm going to break your motherf---ing jaw."

In the chaos that is New Orleans, police menacingly pointed loaded weapons at me four times, and Oleniuk and I watched later when four officers armed with machineguns, after first demanding to know where we were going, turned on an approaching cab and screamed at the Hispanic driver to get his hands off the wheel or they'd open fire. When he wouldn't do so immediately, it appeared for a split second that he would be shot on the spot.

Mercifully, his shaky hands finally appeared above the dash.

Because New Orleans is under martial law, police need no reason to stop and search anyone or pull them off the street. There's no doubt they see journalists as an impediment to their efforts to regain control of their city. But they have also been shot by snipers and looters in the nighttime chaos, and anyone who drives through this city these days knows what it's like to get a little twitchy.

As one navigates ravaged New Orleans from the east, through Kenner and Jefferson Parish, past the airport and toward the French Quarter, driving flooded streets till the filthy water gets too deep, then trying alternate routes, it is the human toll, not the physical toll, which worsens.

First, there is a single barefoot man walking aimlessly along Airline Highway. Then others slogging through the floodwaters of Metairie. Then families trudging dispiritedly along the roads of Kenner. Then, by the time you get to Napoleon and St. Charles in New Orleans, close to 100 sit silently in the middle of debris, watching the strange car navigate among the downed trees in their neighbourhood.

Later, down St. Charles, some try to stop you to ask for rides — "I have a baby ..." — others glare sardonically, while others peer at the car blankly.

Through downtown, toward the French Quarter, the refugees congregate in groups of 10 or 20. Some have guns, some have crowbars or iron bars, and, mindful of carjackings, you dispense with the hurricane etiquette of treating darkened intersections as four-way stops.

When you park on Canal St. to get a sense of the enormity of the refugee flow as people come down the Interstate overpass, many pushing shopping carts or luggage racks, you sense the desperation. You park close to where others are parked and you regret that you can't pack them all in your backseat and get them out of there.

And you wonder where the relief workers are.


New Orleans Money Diverted to Iraq

We recently wrote about how National Guard troops needed for disaster relief in New Orleans have been diverted to the Iraq war. Now it turns out that Federal money earmarked to repair the levee system has been diverted to Iraq as well. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested $27 million to pay for hurricane protection projects around Lake Pontchartrain. The Bush administration offered them less than $4 million, and Congress eventually gave them $5.7 million. The corps requested $18 million specifically to repair and strengthen New Orleans levees. Instead, their annual budget was reduced 20% because the money was needed for the war in Iraq. The corps had to delay seven projects that would have enlarged the levees. Most of the destruction in New Orleans caused by hurricane Katrina happened because breaches in these levees allowed water from Lake Pontchartrain to pour into the city until 80% of New Orleans was under water. In 2002, Bush fired Army Corps chief Michael Parker after Parker tried to push through a number of flood control projects, including a proposal to spend $188 million to build a flood control pump in the Mississippi river. Parker, who is a Republican, says, "I'm not saying [New Olreans] wouldn't still be flooded, but I do feel that if it had been totally funded, there would be less flooding than you have."


Per this August 1st article The Louisiana National Guard had already asked for the high water vehicles and other equipment that went to Baghdad last October to be sent back to Louisiana in case it was needed during a natural disaster. I don't see how anyone can deny that Louisiana's and Mississippi's "homeland security" would've had a better chance if their own national guard troops and equipment had been at home instead of Baghdad.

Bush has said that pulling out of Baghdad would send the wrong signal to the insurgencies and terrorists...What kind of message does he think this whole debaucle is sending? More attention needs to be paid to USA's own infrastructure--disasters notwithstanding--instead of draining all of our resources on a senseless war. Especially now that Iraq has decided it wants an Islamic Republic instead of the democracy Bush et al had envisioned.

Privatized hurricane relief; does it work?
Bush privatized the hurricane disaster relief plan, under the Homeland Defense Agency, which reports directly to him. A private company was awarded $500,000 to plan for hurricane response like Katrina. Did that work?

Bush also cut funding by about 50% to the Corp of Engineers that protected the now flooded city, preventing it from strengthening the levies. Did that work? All of that money was sent to Iraq to kill Iraqis.

Bush is directly responsible for lack of any action after the hurricane as the CHIEF head of the Homeland Defense Agency, FEMA and the military. Bush decided to not send any helicopters to drop food or water. Bush decided not to send help until days after the hurricane left. Bush was too busy on vacation while the hurricane approached. Bush did not plan on disaster relief while it was on the way.

He flew over the area while on vacation, and said it was bad. That was all. He went back to vacation while Condoliza Rice went shopping for shoes and saw a play.

Bush dropped in again after the mayor of New Orleans begged day after day for any aid at all, while receiving nothing but promises for federal aid.

The National Guard, which would normally respond to a disaster like this was gone in Iraq, along with all of their equipment and funds. There is no one left to respond. When the governor of Louisiana asked for 40,000 National Guard, Bush sent 5,000, about 10% of what was asked for. Again, the Iraq war debacle now comes home to roost. There are very few National Guard troops to respond to millions of people in need.

Everyone knew that the Superdome had 20,000 people starving and without water for three days, with absolutely no response from Homeland Defense, FEMA, the National Guard, the military or anyone else. Why did Bush withhold aid, despite the pleas from the mayor and governor of the state?

This sounds like a repeat of the day Bush was reading to school children while the towers were being attacked. He kept reading. Then he got in his plane and flew around. The military jets were sent in the wrong direction and never even got close to any of the planes that crashed into buildings.

Houston Chronicle 12/01/01

New Orleans faces doomsday scenario

By ERIC BERGER, Houston Chronicle Science Writer

New Orleans is sinking.
And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.
So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.

"We have an image and credibility problem. We have to convince our country that they need to take us seriously, that they can trust us to do a science-based restoration program."

2001. The Houston Chronicle



More Reports on this page as well.Pictures and Video News Staff

More than four days after Hurricane Katrina struck, the National Guard finally arrived in New Orleans Friday, bringing with them food, water and weapons.

National Guardsmen were helping to evacuate the thousands of storm survivors from the filthy, deplorable confines of the New Orleans Superdome, where people were living in knee-deep trash and using bathrooms polluted with overflowing toilets.

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