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Such abhorrent inhumanity was NOT "incompetence" - story from the inside [View All]

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moodforaday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-05 10:47 PM
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Such abhorrent inhumanity was NOT "incompetence" - story from the inside
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DailyKos has a story "from inside N.O." that has just frightened me out of my wits, even though for the last week I've been doing little but reading such stories on DU and elsewhere. Maybe because it's so detailed and so lucidly written. It's penned by someone who was with a group of tourists, conference-goers and other visitors caught in N.O. (You've heard of them: the group who pooled cash to rent buses, which were then comandeered by the military.)

I only hope stories like this one will make it to MSM and won't be relegated to "conspiracy theory" sites and marginal books that we'll be seeing plenty of.

You really got to read the whole thing, but here's a few excerpts that I've copied into my notes. Don't anyone tell me this shit was not intentional. Note also how they were treated even AFTER they'd already been "evacuated".


All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot. Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair.(...)

"If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement"(...)

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna 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 of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.(...)

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. (...)

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.(...)

We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies (...)

Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches. (...)

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors(...)


Read the whole story at DailyKos:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/6/132725/8931

Exactly under what ORDERS were the Guard, the police and the military? Words fail.
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