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Hurricane Katrina Chronicle

Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans
By Jeremy Scahill and Daniela Crespo
September 2005

    New Orleans - Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force. Several mercenaries we spoke with said they had served in Iraq on the personal security details of the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer and the former US ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte.

    "This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States)," a heavily armed Blackwater mercenary told us as we stood on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. "We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."

    Blackwater mercenaries are some of the most feared professional killers in the world and they are accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences. Their presence on the streets of New Orleans should be a cause for serious concern for the remaining residents of the city and raises alarming questions about why the government would allow men trained to kill with impunity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to operate here. Some of the men now patrolling the streets of New Orleans returned from Iraq as recently as 2 weeks ago.

    What is most disturbing is the claim of several Blackwater mercenaries we spoke with that they are here under contract from the federal and Louisiana state governments.

    Blackwater is one of the leading private "security" firms servicing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It has several US government contracts and has provided security for many senior US diplomats, foreign dignitaries and corporations. The company rose to international prominence after 4 of its men were killed in Fallujah and two of their charred bodies were hung from a bridge in March 2004. Those killings sparked the massive US retaliation against the civilian population of Fallujah that resulted in scores of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees.

    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."

    Officially, Blackwater says its forces are in New Orleans to "join the Hurricane Relief Effort." A statement on the company's website, dated September 1, advertises airlift services, security services and crowd control. The company, according to news reports, has since begun taking private contracts to guard hotels, businesses and other properties. But what has not been publicly acknowledged is the claim, made to us by 2 Blackwater mercenaries, that they are actually engaged in general law enforcement activities including "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals."

    That raises a key question: under what authority are Blackwater's men operating? A spokesperson for the Homeland Security Department, Russ Knocke, told the Washington Post he knows of no federal plans to hire Blackwater or other private security. "We believe we've got the right mix of personnel in law enforcement for the federal government to meet the demands of public safety." he said.

    But in an hour-long conversation with several Blackwater mercenaries, we heard a different story. The men we spoke with said they are indeed on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and the Louisiana governor's office and that some of them are sleeping in camps organized by Homeland Security in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. One of them wore a gold Louisiana state law enforcement badge and said he had been "deputized" by the governor. They told us they not only had authority to make arrests but also to use lethal force. We encountered the Blackwater forces as we walked through the streets of the largely deserted French Quarter. We were talking with 2 New York Police officers when an unmarked car without license plates sped up next to us and stopped. Inside were 3 men, dressed in khaki uniforms, flak jackets and wielding automatic weapons. "Y'all know where the Blackwater guys are?" they asked. One of the police officers responded, "There are a bunch of them around here," and pointed down the road.

    "Blackwater?" we asked. "The guys who are in Iraq?"

    "Yeah," said the officer. "They're all over the place."

    A short while later, as we continued down Bourbon Street, we ran into the men from the car. They wore Blackwater ID badges on their arms.

    "When they told me New Orleans, I said, 'What country is that in?,'" said one of the Blackwater men. He was wearing his company ID around his neck in a carrying case with the phrase "Operation Iraqi Freedom" printed on it. After bragging about how he drives around Iraq in a "State Department issued level 5, explosion proof BMW," he said he was "just trying to get back to Kirkuk (in the north of Iraq) where the real action is." Later we overheard him on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying $350 a day plus per diem. That is much less than the men make serving in more dangerous conditions in Iraq. Two men we spoke with said they plan on returning to Iraq in October. But, as one mercenary said, they've been told they could be in New Orleans for up to 6 months. "This is a trend," he told us. "You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."

    If Blackwater's reputation and record in Iraq are any indication of the kind of "services" the company offers, the people of New Orleans have much to fear.


    Jeremy Scahill, a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!, and Daniela Crespo are in New Orleans. Visit www.democracynow.org for in-depth, independent, investigative reporting on Hurricane Katrina. Email: jeremy@democracynow.org.


U.S. Meteorologist Says Russian Inventors Caused Hurricane Katrina
Created: MosNews
September 2005

A meteorologist in Pocatello, Idaho, claims Japanese gangsters known as the Yakuza used KGB inventions to cause Hurricane Katrina, Wireless Flash reported Thursday.

Scott Stevens says after looking at NASA satellite photos of the hurricane, he’s is convinced it was caused by electromagnetic generators from ground-based microwave transmitters.

“There is absolutely zero chance that this is natural, zero,” Villagevoice quoted Stevens as saying after Katrina’s landfall, pointing out suspiciously rectilinear shapes in the satellite-photoed hurricane clouds

The generators emit a soundwave between three and 30 megahertz and Stevens claims the Russians invented the storm-creating technology back in 1976 and sold it to others in the late 1980s.

Stevens says the clouds formed by the generators are different from normal clouds and are able to appear out of nowhere and says Katrina had many rotation points that are unusual for hurricanes.

At least 10 nations and organizations possess the technology, but Stevens suspects the Japanese Yakuza created Katrina in order to make a fortune in the futures market and to get even with the U.S. for the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima.


-Australian Herald-Sun, "Five dead were army workers: report,"
September 2, 2005
"Associated Press reports that at least five people shot dead by police as they walked across a New Orleans bridge yesterday were contractors working for the US Defence department. A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers said the victims were contractors on their way to repair a canal. The contractors were on their way across the bridge to launch barges into Lake Pontchartrain, in an operation to fix the 17th Street Canal, according to the spokesman. The shootings took place on the Danziger Bridge, across a canal connecting Lake Pontchartrain to the Mississippi River. Early on Sunday, Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley of New Orleans said police shot at eight people, killing five or six."


Re: Explosive Residue Found On Failed Levee Debris

Eerie new local tourism pilgrimage site in NO

Last night´s Nightline featured a report by correspondent John Donvan on the Jefferson Parish side of the seawall at the 17th St. breach

Gripping visuals of the filthy water being pumped out and of people taking photos of the scene of the disaster that caused the flooding

Excellent video showing the extent of the damage
if you can FIND a video link here, there is a transcript in their archves as well. You could clearly see in the video on Nightline that it was a very long break.


"...Donvan found a surreal scene on a high point in Jefferson Parish. The point overlooks New Orleans and you can see the breach in the now-infamous levee that helped fill the city with water. People want to see it. So they´ve come to see, take pictures, and reflect. The onlookers have some interesting insights into what´s happened. It´s a strange window into the silenced city..."

This is also interesting describing how they are breaching levees to ´reduce pressure on strained walls´


The Battle of 17th Street
By Andrew G. Wright
Thu Sep 8, 8:17 AM ET

From enr.construction.com


Entergy was concentrating on power restoration to the Sewerage & Water Board´s system pumping stations in the Lakeview section, near the 17th St. Canal. Water in this district remained up to rooflines, but on Sept. 5, the Corps plugged a 450-foot breach in the canal wall. For days, Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters had been placing large sandbags in the hole. The sandbags rose above the surface of the water on Monday.

But the Corps wasn´t in this fight alone. Local contractor Boh Bros. Construction was working simultaneously to plug the breach with rip rap --- stones and chunks of concrete -- from the north and to close the canal mouth with sheet piles, thick slabs of metal pounded into the ground to form a wall.

The contractor left a 40-foot gap in the center of the canal, Naomi says. "We want to keep the pressure off the side walls. We don´t really know what the structural integrity is until we can inspect them, so we´ll drain along the center line." That will minimize pressure on the intact west wall of the canal and the repaired east wall, he says.


The Corps placed portable pumps behind the sheet piles to get the flow moving. At the opposite end of the canal, the S&WB is powering up the No. 6 pump station. The largest station in the system, it has a rated pumping capacity of 9,380 cubic feet per second.

"We´ll pump slowly at first. We don´t want to put too much pressure on the canal walls," says Greg Breerwood, the Corps deputy district engineer. If the canal walls hold, the plan is to pull the sheet piles and push more water back into the lake. Other pump stations will come on line as fast as S&WB and the Corps´ 249th Prime Power Engineer Battalion can get them ready.

With 17th St. draining, Corps and contractor reported that they had sheetpiled shut the mouth of the London Ave. Canal, except for a small gap to allow some drainage. Boh Bros. is building an access road, and helicopters are sealing a breach there. Pumping will commence as soon as the canal is sealed.


Further east, the Inner Harbor Navigation Channel has a pump running, but it also has two long breaches on its east side. Repairs are under way. Beyond that are some of the worst hit areas: East New Orleans, St. Bernard´s Parish and Plaquemines Parish.

While crews were sandbagging and sheetpiling shut the drainage canals that flow into Lake Pontchartrain, the Corps had dispatched snagging and grading crews from the Memphis District, to purposely breach levees.

One of the unit´s normal roles is to keep navigation channels clear in the Mississippi River. They have tracked backhoes called "Marsh Buggies," says Breerwood. On Sept. 4-5 they cut 30-foot notches in the levees in St. Bernards and Plaquemines Parish. The pressure of escaping water soon widened the gaps to 400 feet..."

Back to main page

By John Lee

A great reader has put together a list of examples of government sabotage of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Related: FEMA Deliberately Sabotaging Hurricane Relief Efforts


"Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy has to stand trial."
-Aaron Broussard, president Jefferson Parish council, MSNBC, TRANSCRIPT Meet the Press with Tim Russert, VIDEO: "Feds criticized for slow response," and VIDEO: "She drowned Friday night," September 4, 2005

Female reporter: "Is it true that the levees were blown up on purpose?"
White House press officer: "This is not the time or the place for questions like that!"
-Televised Press Conference with Ex-President George Bush Sr. Sir Knight of the British Empire and Ex-President Bill Clinton-Blythe-Rockefeller IV re "Bush & Clinton Katrina Fund", MSNBC Morning Show, September 5, 2005

"The US Corps of Engineers will actually open new breaches in the levees in several places to allow the water level to drop faster" [except at high-tide...].
-MSNBC TV, September 4 & 5, 2005

"Police shot and killed at least five people Sunday after gunmen opened fire on contractors crossing a bridge to make levee repairs, The Associated Press reported. Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley told AP that police shot at eight people who had guns, killing five or six. Initial AP reports had wrongly indicated that the contractors themselves were shot by police. Nagin said Sunday that his top priority was to start moving traumatized police and firefighters out of the city so that they can get medical and psychological treatment. Police Superintendent Eddie Compass said that two of his officers committed suicide, including one who had discovered his wife had died. President Bush on Sunday ordered flags at government buildings and military installations across the country to fly at half-staff to mark the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist [who is rotting in Hell]."
-CNN, "House-to-house rescues under way in New Orleans," September 5, 2005

TIM RUSSERT: Jefferson Parish President Broussard, let me start with you. You just heard [Michael Chertoff] director of Homeland Security's explanation of what has happened this last week. What is your reaction?
AARON BROUSSARD: We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. I am personally asking our bipartisan congressional delegation here in Louisiana to immediately begin congressional hearings to find out just what happened here. Why did it happen? Who needs to be fired? And believe me, they need to be fired right away, because we still have weeks to go in this tragedy. And whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain-sawed off and we've got to start with some new leadership. It's not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now. It's so obvious. Sir, they were told like me, every single day, 'The cavalry's coming,' on a federal level, 'The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming.' I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, 'Come get the fuel right away.' When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. 'FEMA says don't give you the fuel.' Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, 'No one is getting near these lines.' Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis. Governor Blanco sent in the National Guard. I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn't foresee, a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it. And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, 'Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?' And he said, 'Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday.' And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody. (crying)

"Not only was FEMA chief Michael D. Brown a former attorney for the Lyons, Colorado based International Arabian Horse Association, but he was actually *fired from the International Arabian Horse Association. A Kos poster writes that his colleagues say he was fired for being an "unmitigated, total...disaster". The NYT profiles him here. Even I am staggered -- Brown was the lawyer for the horse association not back in the 1980s or 1990s, but until 2001 when he was brought into FEMA as deputy director by Joe Allbaugh. Incredible. One would think Bush administration party patronage positions would be confined to - you know, cushy ambassadorships and Iraq CPA positions, not doled out as heads of agencies that should be led by even semi-competent technocrats and professionals. Bring in the cavalry, indeed."
-War and Peace, "FEMA Head FIRED From Horse Association in 2001," September 3, 2005
VIDEO: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8004316/

"We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water, and others dead in attics. How many dead? Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands. We have dead bodies in the water. At some point in time the dead bodies are going to start to create a serious disease issue. We are looking at 12 to 16 weeks before people can come in. You mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, Man! I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming, that is coming. And my answer to that today is goddamn Bullshit! They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying. I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, or it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now! This is crazy! The sandbags and levees are in the same shape as before and nothing's happening. Thousands of people are dying every day! I don't want to see another goddamn press conference!!! Put a moritorium on press conferences! Now get off your asses and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country! The city of New Orleans will never be the same.... (crying)"
—Mayor Ray Nagin, New Orleans Death Camp gulag, whose corrupt NOPD copsters were outlawed and replaced by federal police and city councilors were forcibly "evacuated" under federal Martial Law and prevented from supervising the nonexistant repairs to burst dykes (UNCENSORED RANT to Hell with FCC: MP3 audio file of Nagan with Garland Robinnette on WWL blaming George Bush Gang's CIA for drug addicts murdering people: "I'm going to get in a lot of trouble for saying this.")
AUDIO: http://wwl.com/Article.asp?id=113214&spid=

MP3 file: radio broadcast Capt Joyce Riley RN on The Power Hour, WBCR 1470am, Friday 2 Sept 2005, conversation with John Lee of Pirate News TV:
Summary: ThePowerHour.com radio on Fox News report that the military was running communications for George Bush Jr one day BEFORE hurricane Katrina wiped out US ports in Lousiana, Mississippi and Alabama, killing 10,000s of people. This is suspicious in light of New Orleans levees bursting after Bush slashed funding, with no repairs attempted by US Corps of Engineers, and no attempt to rescue people. Power Hour and Pirate News reported that during Gulf War #1, Sir George Bush Sr Knight of the British Empire ordered US troops to blow up oil wells in Kuwait and Iraq and blame Iraq, in order to drive up oil prices. Bush, UN Inc and Clinton-Blythe-Rockefeller sanctions and bombings on Iraq have closed sales of 5-cents/gallon Iraq gasoline to USA. Gasoline prices rose 75-cents/gallon in one day in USA after Katrina. John Lee of PirateNews.org reported that Tennessee soldiers from GW#1 confessed they were ordered to stop firefighters from extinguishing the oil well fires. Ports near New Orleans import not only petroleum, but since NAFTA exported factories and farming to foreign nations, USA is dependant upon foreign food to survive, as pointed out by disgruntled mayor of New Orleans, er, "New Venice".... Why did Bush Gang sabotage New Orleans - was it incompetence, corruption or PREMEDITATED TREASON?!


Did the US Military participate in starting the Oil Well Fires of Kuwait in 1991?

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