Thursday, October 06, 2005

New Orleans Levee Destruction: Intentional, Accidental, or God-made?

I just finished listening to a report that raised the possibility of the New Orleans' levees being potentially destroyed.

Before I put on a possible conspiracy theorist hat, I had to go further into the background of the article to see if and where truth really lies.

Fortunately within today's online society, references, background articles, and links for news must be provided before the news can be fully considered credible.

As I checked the references, more possible causes started to appear.

Since the vast majority of Americans do not feel that hurricanes are the result of God's power, then this immediately finds God not guilty of breaching the levees by any means.

One hurricane expert from LSU named Paul Kemp, director of the Natural Systems Modeling Group at LSU's Center for Coastal, Energy, and Environmental Resources led a reporter to believe within an article entitled "LSU storm expert rejects levee failure explanation" that "canals in New Orleans weren't "overtopped" by Hurricane Katrina's storm surge, meaning the structures failed for other reasons".

"If they are not overtopped, it means they failed at some lower elevation" of water, Kemp said.

The article further reports "Kemp said his researchers did see evidence of overtopping along the Industrial Canal. Breaches in the levee along that canal helped flood the 9th Ward and parts of St. Bernard Parish".

Another online article on Black points to a different version of the levees breach.  This article points to other articles that supposedly appeared on major media outlets on television and print that raise the possibility of the levees being damaged due to an explosion.  The same article reports that the Wall Street Journal raised the possibility of a barge striking and damaging a levee.

Another link on Black appears to be a worthwhile comment that you should consider reading written by a reader commending the website on its coverage of the story.

One religious leader has stated that the Mayor of New Orleans personally told him that there was a 25-foot crater beneath the levees (but the cause of the crater was not stated by the Mayor Nagin).

USA Today reported that 'Worst fears came true' for New Orleans levees on September 23, 2005 and updated on September 24, 2005.  There is a graphic that visually demonstrates how a levee fails.

Another USA Today article entitled
"Levees in New Orleans to be rebuilt" state that the levees will be rebuilt to the specifications of the levees before the storm but not stronger unless Congressional approval is granted.

So is there a definitive answer?  At the moment, I would say no while reserving the opportunity to change my personal opinion at any time in the future.

But what has been fully confirmed?  Well, we clearly know that Vice-President Cheney's former company Haliburton which he was CEO has received federal contracts in the aftermath of the storms and these contracts did not go through any bidding process whatsoever.

We do know that a minimum of 3000 employees of the city of New Orleans have been downsized (at least half of its workforce) and their lives are thrown into further turmoil.

We do know that outside companies have been recipients of outsourcing the work that would have been done city workers at pay rates lower than what the state's residents would earn.

As a result of the storm and the current administration tone coming from the top down, the amount of corruption that is going to surface is going to exponentially escalate.

This is going to be the double tragedy of the storms while not minimizing the deaths due to both flooding and the delay in assistance.

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