Documenting the atrocities

by Henry Farrell on September 6, 2005

Risa Wechsler at “Cosmic Variance”:

bq. The White House has convened a Cabinet-level task force in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that does not include EPA … One source with the government watchdog group OMB Watch says the administration was “short sighted by not including [EPA] right away,” saying it is likely that toxic material, human waste and other contaminants released as as a result of the hurricane are polluting the area and threatening public health. The source speculates that the White House excluded EPA from the task force because of a fear that agency staff may find politically damaging information, similar to what happened in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, when EPA was critical of the administration’s response to the environmental contamination caused by the terrorist attacks.

Laura Rozen at “War and Piece”:

bq. This is incredible. The Bush administration and FEMA have been encouraging Katrina donations to a supposed charity called “Operation Blessing,” headed by Rev. Pat Robertson. Many people pointed this out, in recent days. But what’s truly shocking is that it has been well documented that Robertson’s Operation Blessing diverted charity funds during the Rwandan genocide to bring in diamond mining equipment for a Robertson-headed mining corporation to Zaire.

“Suzanne Nossel”: …

bq. Call me paranoid, but if Iraq is any indication, there’s good reason to be concerned to ensure that the devastation of New Orleans does not wind up simply lining the pockets of contractors with deep connections to the Bush Administration. For the reconstruction of Iraq, exigencies like the need for speed and the lack of security on the ground were used to justify granting massive, long-term no bid contracts to firms with tight ties to senior members of the Administration. The principal beneficiary was, of course, Halliburton, where Dick Cheney was CEO prior to becoming Vice President.

meet “Josh Marshall”:

bq. The White House is already laying the groundwork for centralizing all authority over contracting within the executive branch, which for all intents and purposes means the White House. No oversight. No transparency. Halliburton ready at the trough. Like a friend of mine said earlier this evening, it really is going to be the biggest slush fund of all time.

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Wronglabel » Suspect plans
09.06.05 at 6:55 pm



eudoxis 09.06.05 at 10:58 am

Meanwhile, one of my brothers has opened his house to a family from NO. I have contributed a considerable sum to the Red Cross. My husband’s sister together with her husband, both physicians, have traveled to the disaster area to offer their services in whatever capacity they are needed. Such help is needed for a long time to come. This is only the beginning of a long recovery process and I urge everyone to do what they can to provide aid to the victims of Katrina.


Jack 09.06.05 at 12:42 pm


Matt 09.06.05 at 1:40 pm

Fuck these fucking crooks. And the pious sycophants, Republican-lite free-marketeers that ceaselessly fail to stop them.


Jaybird 09.06.05 at 5:23 pm

Maybe if we give the government more jurisdiction, more money, and more power it’ll be able to take care of us better than it has in the past.


Robin 09.06.05 at 6:48 pm

No jaybird, what we need to do is clearly rely on faith-based organizations like “Operation Blessing” so that war crimin, er, helpless heathens can be rescued body and soul. Or we can rely on the market, which has done so remarkably well at helping disaster victims; price gouging just makes it even more sure that those with the highest utility receive the goods in question (ixnya on the udgetbya onstraintscay).

After all, it’s crazy to think that government could deliver public goods and coordinate things like post-disaster recovery . . .


Jimmy Mac 09.06.05 at 7:59 pm

What is astonishing is that W proclaimed today “we are still trying to figure out how the federal government works with the state and local government.”

What has the DHS been doing for the last 3 years? Choosing wallpaper for their offices?



anne 09.06.05 at 8:05 pm

Just one more of all the many pieces on competency, timing, awareness of the depth of the problem: “FEMA chief waited until after storm hit”. Keep reading to the end: “Meanwhile, the airline industry said the government’s request for help evacuating storm victims didn’t come until late Thursday afternoon.”


Nicholas Weininger 09.06.05 at 10:46 pm

Remember, if you’re a US citizen, every dollar you give to private charity probably means that at least 20-30 cents less go to these bastards. Feed the Red Cross and help starve the beast!


bob mcmanus 09.06.05 at 11:28 pm

Just watched Nightline about the mandatory forced evacuation of the undamaged French Quarter.

Who is responsible for the safety of the (hypothetical) Sargeant on the wall or antique tables and chairs at Antoine’s? If they disappear, can Bush say:”Hey, you saw the looting.”

Can they claim Antoine’s has a little polluted water damage, is unsafe, of no real value, condemn it without compensation, and build Trent Lott’s new mansion on the site?

OK, not Antoine’s, but maybe less prominent real estate?

Josh Marshall talks about the $60 billion dollar congressional authorization being the largest slush fund in history. Hell. The entirety of South LA is ripe for stealing, from land to silverware. Trillions.


nick 09.06.05 at 11:51 pm

OK, not Antoine’s, but maybe less prominent real estate?

I think it’s fair to say that what will be rebuilt will be a kind of ‘New Orleans Experience’, based around the Quarter (aka ‘The Girls Gone Wild French Quarter’, after the sponsorship deal is signed) rather than an actual city.


bad Jim 09.07.05 at 4:37 am

Disneyland already has a simulacrum of New Orleans, including an exclusive private club which is the only place in the Magic Kingdom serving alcoholic beverages.

Perhaps the French Quarter will simply be moved to Las Vegas, which already offers simulacra of Paris, New York and Venice, just as London Bridge was relocated to Lake Havasu City.

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