we seem to have contract security forces in new orleans. not the national guard, not the marines or army or navy. not the police. these guys i've heard of and i've followed their exploits in iraq. they really can kill with impunity. so long as they don't shoot at or shoot back at u.s. military. it's an amazing thing. they are almost all ex-military (which makes sense) and they make somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000-500,000 a year for going to iraq. and their companies all have guaranteed contracts either with our government or with major government contractors. remember the men hung from the bridge in fallujah? that's them. remember the men arrested by us when they fired on a u.s. checkpoint in baghdad? no one does, because that was embarrassing and they may not have fired first. contract security forces...legalized militias?
"As the threat of forced evictions now looms in New Orleans and the city confiscates even legally registered weapons from civilians, the private mercenaries of Blackwater patrol the streets openly wielding M-16s and other assault weapons. This despite Police Commissioner Eddie Compass' claim that "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons." "
and then there's michael brown of FEMA. what a world of hurt this man is in. accepted a political job (he's a big supporter of conservative causes) and runs smack into katrina. not a good way for an unqualified candidate to publicly helm that boat. but to me it seems endemic with this administration.
"Jones was surprised Brown was being considered for job at FEMA but figured it wasn't impossible he could have risen high enough in local and state government to be considered for a job directing FEMA operations in Oklahoma.
"The agents quickly corrected him. This was a national post in Washington, deputy director of FEMA, the arm of the federal government that prepares for and responds to disasters around the United States.
Jones looked at the agents, "You're surely kidding?" "
and andrew card is looking a bit peaked these days if you haven't noticed or the white house press has forgotten to tell you.
"I knew that if word leaked out, the bureaucracies would defend themselves," "
this one speaks for itself. FEMA is trying "pilot programs" like it's a brand new toy? FEMA used to know how to handle disasters.
"FEMA spokesman Matt Burns in Washington told the Chronicle today its debit card program was a pilot, designed to get money quickly to a large number of people sheltering in one location.
Ed Conley, the FEMA liaison at Reliant Park, stressed today that FEMA is still giving financial assistance, just through different channels -- by checks that will be mailed and by direct deposit to bank accounts. "
i was talking to karen about this tonight. she hadn't heard about it. i read it on one of the lousiana papers. now here it is in the new york times. the quote i read (from the swamp news) went something like "we don't want another new orleans with looters and all".
Police agencies to the south of New Orleans were so fearful of the crowds trying to leave the city after Hurricane Katrina that they sealed a crucial bridge over the Mississippi River and turned back hundreds of desperate evacuees, two paramedics who were in the crowd said.
well, here's something for the central valleyites. at least we don't live in stockton.
"This is the fastest-growing region in California, and the bulk of that growth is taking place on the flood plains," said Jeffrey F. Mount, a geology professor and the director of the Watershed Center at the University of California, Davis. "What we are doing is creating our own New Orleans."