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CONS: The Katrina Incident: Media Manipulation Masks Government Malfeasance.

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posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 10:57 AM
New Orleans, Louisiana is the location of one of the greatest disasters to occur in modern times. On August 29, 2005 a hurricane hit land and began its destructive movement north. The hurricane's official designation became 'Katrina,' and will be remembered as the most expensive natural disaster to occur in United States history at roughly 86 billion dollars. Whole island chains were obliterated, as evinced by satellite photography, and nearly 80% of New Orleans ultimately ended up flooded. [1] The meteorological nature of hurricane Katrina is but a small piece of what actually happened, however; the real disaster began after landfall. The political action, or inaction, by the government is viewed by a wide array of people as a chief failure of current executive power. Therefore, various failures in government reaction have been the main focus in the public consensus. However, the proactive quality of engaging in illegal activities by the government should be viewed with far greater scrutiny. Indeed, could it be that the media coverage was manipulated in such a way as to mask the true nature of government infringement on rights? These and other issues are of prime importance to this essay and will be supported by evidence from the public forum held at Chester University, October 23, 2007.

The Chester University Public Forum

In the opening sequences of the forum, a few issues seemed to dominate the discussion; chiefly, the notion of evidence through media coverage as factual or fictional. Although one of the speakers claimed that media sources are almost always right, scrutiny needs to be given to this subject. The media exists to provide people, some of which may have little or no direct contact with the covered event, with objective data reporting. However, media does tend to have an agenda.

Richard M. Cohen, former Senior Producer for CBS political news, illustrates this concept quite well when he reportedly stated that, "We are going to impose our agenda on the [media] coverage by dealing with issues and subjects that we choose to deal with." A universally unbiased media outlet seems to be something of a nonentity. Why were the Katrina survivors and "refugees" not considered as such, as a whole, but more so as separate groups; blacks, whites, looters, gang bangers, criminals, and survivalists.

Thereupon, an assortment of media providers were covering the event for the entire country, and world. There stories, implications, and captions were powerful indeed. Unless one had physically experienced the events in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina, media was likely the exclusive source of information.

Racially Inflammatory Rumors Delivered as Fact

Forum member Larry Kesterson, staff photographer of the Philadelphia Inquirer, referenced the supposed rape of a six year old female in the Superdome as being entirely fabricated. The Superdome acted as a post disaster relocation and detainment center for New Orleans refugees; it is the apparent epicenter of several rumors of murder, robbery, assault, and rape, many of such claims remain unsubstantiated. These rumors became news as this information was recorded, synthesized, and then broadcast to millions of listeners worldwide. Therein, the margin for a substantial disparity existing between the factual occurrences of a besieged New Orleans and the reported news is rather large.

What might the motives behind the rumor propagation and falsification of stories be? One unidentified student attending the forum asked the following question of the forums leaders, "Why do you feel the abuses of civil rights were so underreported; rights such as protection from illegal search and seizure, and the right to keep and bear arms?" Indeed, this raises questions. Why was their so much emphasis on highlighting the dangers of looting and the obvious roles of the various classes and races of the refugees? According to musician Kanye West, "You see a black family, it says, 'They're looting.' You see a white family, it says, 'They're looking for food." This quote illustrates the quality of the situation, wherein various roles and designations where given to certain groups of "refugees" by the media.

Few people seem to have noticed, immediately anyway, the broad scope of what the government accomplished in this time. While the media seems to have been focused on the relief effort in general and various criminal activities, the government was carrying out broad sweeping violations of the Bill of Rights.

Abuse of Power by Government Representatives

There are numerous reports of blatant disregard for the 2nd amendment through illegal gun confiscation. Deputy Chief Warren Riley publicly announced that "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons." In one dramatic incident Patty Konie, an elderly but well stocked and prepared civilian homeowner, was attacked by heavily armed police for possessing a pistol. Furthermore, Patty Konie was not in the immediate disaster zone and her life was not in danger. A substantiation for confiscation of her weapon remains unseen.

In ABC World News coverage, Konie goes on to explain how the police, "punched [her] in the face" and she ultimately believed that, "...they were going to kill me." [2] In addition to the 2nd amendment, the 4th amendment was simultaneously violated by the seizure of her property (pistol) and the search of her home. In the same report, Robert Zas, a civilian firearm owner, claims that the police seized his legal firearms and promptly destroyed them on the spot following an illegal search of his vehicle. The abuse of power by the government is incongruent with the with any legal method for seizing one's property or revoking the right to keep and bear arms, these were law abiding and peaceable citizens, not criminals.

An Opportunity for Treachery

The obvious and gross abuses of inalienable Constitutional rights of citizens may represent phase 1 of the governments denial of civil liberty. Race issues were well documented by media as well, and may represent another facet of the government's treachery. The assertion has been made repeatedly that the failure of the government to respond to refugees was due to race related issues. Institutional racism, as mentioned by Annette John-Hall who works as the metro columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, is defined as a step beyond individual racism where racism exists as policy or de facto norm. However, it does not appear as though racism can directly be associated with the improper action of FEMA and the government in general.

The issues at hand with the incident of Katrina deal with everyone, people of all races, and they represent a gross violation of civil rights as delegated by the US Constitution. Racism does exist in the United States, perhaps even on an institutional level through biased and politically motivated reports as noted earlier by Kanye West. Yet Katrina represents a far more universal attack on rights, people of all races have been affected.

Government Hired Private "Security" Forces As A Means Around Posse Comitatus

Of a more frightening nature, however, is the use of force by private entities. Why are there reports of private property owners being allowed to defend their stake with weapons? Journalist Jeremy Scahill rights:

"As business leaders and government officials talk openly of changing the demographics of what was one of the most culturally vibrant of America's cities, mercenaries from companies like DynCorp, Intercon, American Security Group, Blackhawk, Wackenhut and an Israeli company called Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) are fanning out to guard private businesses and homes, as well as government projects and institutions. Within two weeks of the hurricane, the number of private security companies registered in Louisiana jumped from 185 to 235. Some, like Blackwater, are under federal contract. Others have been hired by the wealthy elite, like F. Patrick Quinn III, who brought in private security to guard his $3 million private estate and his luxury hotels, which are under consideration for a lucrative federal contract to house FEMA workers." [3]

Thus, individual citizens were disarmed leaving them subject to the whim of criminals, who by definition do not subscribe to the rule of law, and mercenaries, some of whom had recently been deployed to Iraq for combat. The Posse Comitatus act forbids the use of US troops to police citizens or to be used as law enforcement. Using mercenaries may be a way around this regulation without having to declare martial law.

The Media Distortions Masked Wide-Spread Rights Violations

This has all happened within the United States. Civilians have been killed by mercenaries, police have murdered civilians, and one must let the unreported or undocumented incidences speak for themselves. [4] Lawlessness and a breakdown in society has occurred before in the 1992 Los Angeles riots, it occurred in New Orleans in 2005, and the threat of it happening anywhere in the United States again is very real. It seems clear that in times of emergency the prevailing ideology is to look to government for safety and sustenance, this mindset must be challenged. Violations of humans rights go virtually unchallenged unless a stable system of government exists to prosecute those infractions of the law; however, this is taking into consideration that a stable government will at some point restore the rule of law and order. If such a disaster were to be extrapolated to account for a multi-city disaster situation, the blatant violations seen in Katrina would return with ruthless similarity. The chances of further meteorological disasters in cities on the eastern seaboard does not seem obvious as yet; however, the events of the hurricane Katrina disaster produced a critical lesson for those meaning to survive in the 21st century.

-survival is self proclaimed and not assured-

Works Cited:

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 01:47 PM
Nine flags and zero replies? Either something's fishy or everybody is too speechless to say anything.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:01 PM
reply to post by SonicInfinity

I just found myself agreeing with him, but I dont really know enough about this to comment on it...

All I know about Katrina was how horribly late the government was to provide help to its people. That was on the news all over the world I think.

Every man for himself, it seems.

[edit on 18-11-2007 by Copernicus]

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by xenya

the katrina nightmare just seemed to go on and on without let up while the fires (some started by arsonists) in california news died out very quickly--------do you suppose the government suddenly became super efficient after they learnt what they did wrong for new orleans ? i somehow dont think so-----either the news is being suppressed about california or new orleans just didnt rate too high on the governments priority list ?but whatever my wife and i are amazed that the government even thought about rebuilding new orleans---because its a known fact that the oceans levels are rising and there's no way those new levis are going to stop another katrina and another is bound to come--sorry---just a fact---i wouldn't even want to take a chance on a visit let alone think of living there.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 03:50 PM
I read online that: because the levies were built by the federal government, to admit there was a failure of same was to open the feds to compensation for damages to those in NOLA. Hence, this was called hurricane damage, when in fact, much of the damage was due to levies failing.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by xenya

You people amaze me.

Point 1: The Federal government BEFORE George Bush TOLD state officials they couldn't respond until 3 full days AFTER a catastrophe and to have procedures in place to deal with that eventuality.

Point 2: The Federal government responded with 50K workers within 2½ days after Katrina hit.

Point 3: Bush declared it a disaster area on Sunday BEFORE the Hurricane hit against the wishes of Blanco.

Point 4: Gov Blanco wanted to make it political and refused to allow Bush to PRESTAGE workers for the aftermath.

Point 5: Mayor Nagin ignored his own plan which would have allowed evacuation with school buses, Amtrac, and city vehicles of over 500K people.

Point 6: When the Superdome was used, Blanco and Nagin REFUSED to allow the Red Cross to stage materials there and bring them there AFTER it hit because they didn't want to encourage more refugees.

Point 7: Nagin stated he wanted New Orleans to remain a "chocolate town", but somehow the Federal Government is racist, and not him.

Point 8: Money has been allocated since the 80's to the Army Corp of Engineers to strengthening the levies and eventually replacing them, but the local and state leadership kept diverting the money into other "causes".

Point 9: $20B has been provided so far to the rebuilding effort, but 90% of New Orleans money has been frozen because they don't want to have to account for the spending. Mississippi on the other hand has received and spent 90% of their allocation because they implemented that system within 30 days of Katrina.

A little education goes a long way people! Stop looking for a conspiracy everywhere (there are plenty of real ones) and stop thinking your country is always working against you. This is the more caring, charitable, successful, and free nation the world has ever seen. Seeing a conspiracy in everything just works against us all...

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 04:04 PM
"much of the damage was due to levies failing."

or being "blown"?

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 04:31 PM
reply to post by xenya

I am so sick of the black/white issue when WE do live in a world of prejudice, but that is mostly flamed by the extreme prejudice of the blacks against the whites. Come on people, do you not remember the mayor of New Orleans stating that they will have their city back and that it will like it should have been...A CHOCOLATE CITY?!?! Selective rememberance, or is people only hearing what they want to hear? As far as aid getting to the people of New Orleans, perhaps they could have gotten to them quicker if they were not being shot at? MAYBE IT'S THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY THAT NEEDS FIXING AND NOT THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF?????

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 04:43 PM
Yes the federal government clearly dropped the ball on Katrina, Was it intentional? Maybe. Now I know lots of people lost allot in this tragedy however I'm going to try to get to the heart of the matter. Common sense says you don't live in a fish bowl where hurricanes can strike. The re-election of Mayor Nagan shows the intelligence of the people that voted him back in. He could have got allot more people out than he did. Had Katrina made landfall there directly there would have been many more deaths and destruction.
The only thing that really had me screaming is that when people tried to walk out of the city they were stopped by police and told to turn around, Now I don't know how some people would respond to that but I can tell you that they would have to shoot me because thats the only thing that would stop me.

[edit on 18-11-2007 by Sky watcher]

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 05:29 PM
I volunteered in New Orleans and Waveland Miss. for a 7-8 months after the storm. One of the reasons I stayed was the awakening that was taking place in many people that had been screwed by the corporations and by the local and national government. My favorite quote that I heard many times was the thick southern accent drawling "I am a Red, White, and Blue eyes have been opened to a lot of things. Katrina's wave of awakening has not stopped and is causing more resistance and talk of revolution then ever will be admited my the government or thier mainstream media mouthpiece.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:09 PM
nunny, everything is a conspiracy. get over it.
people are conspiring as we type.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:15 PM

Originally posted by billybob
nunny, everything is a conspiracy. get over it.
people are conspiring as we type.

I agree totally with you 'billybob'.

At the highest level of government, they can do anything they want and they have a pretty dark agenda planned out.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:21 PM
Guess you read about K. T. Frankovichs' alleged experiences in hurricane Andrew?


posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:53 PM
They would've been perfectly willing to shoot you. The reason the bridge was blocked was because the Oakwood Shopping Center just off the Crescent City Connection Bridge on the west bank had just been torched by thugs from the east bank. There was no way of knowing who among those people wanting to cross the bridge just wanted to get out of the city and who had more nefarious agendas. And any attempt at profiling would most certainly have brought accusations of racism. The only option was to stop everybody.

The fact is, looting and arson were widespread on the east bank and Arthur Lawson, City of Gretna Chief of Police on the west bank probably saved many west bank homes and businesses by blocking the bridge. And here is a news flash. If it happened again, he'd do it again and he'd have the support of every home and business owner on the west bank.

Originally posted by Sky watcher
Yes the federal government clearly dropped the ball on Katrina, Was it intentional? Maybe. Don't think Bush is the only one who screwed up because Bill Clinton did the same thing with Hurricane Andrew, It wasn't till Kathleen Harris got on TV and yelled at the Federal government telling Clinton to get off his rear and do something to help did he do anything. Now I know lots of people lost allot in this tragedy however I'm going to try to get to the heart of the matter. Common sense says you don't live in a fish bowl where hurricanes can strike. The re-election of Mayor Nagan shows the intelligence of the people that voted him back in. He could have got allot more people out than he did. Had Katrina made landfall there directly there would have been many more deaths and destruction.
The only thing that really had me screaming is that when people tried to walk out of the city they were stopped by police and told to turn around, Now I don't know how some people would respond to that but I can tell you that they would have to shoot me because thats the only thing that would stop me.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:25 PM
reply to post by Nunny

i am not your enemy---i love the usa-----i wish i was smart enough to have access to--to know all the facts you have presented about how aide was squanderd at the state level----glad its not the feds fault---but it still seems crazy to me to pour a pile of money into a potential sinkhole and thereby encourage people to stay for another flood disaster next time katrinas sister shows up.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 08:45 PM
I doubt, not sure-just doubt, that there was a full blown conspiracy here. There were conspiracies, sometimes of a political nature, sometimes of a profiteering nature, and sometimes of a racial nature. Of this I'm sure. I just do not yet see any grand scheme to this.

America is a great place. But too often we have leaders that place their own future ahead of the welfare of those they represent. Too often we have people that see nothing wrong with profiting at the expense of those already hurting. Too often we have people so blind they can see only color.

I think all of these things came together in N.O. A vicious synergy was born with that storm that fostered a mindset that such behavior was acceptable. Some people saw this as a way to act out on their fears and hates. Some saw only dollar signs. Some acted from deep seated fear.

But there was also the side of America that sent food and water, on their own. That sent volunteers. That took in displaced families. That tried to make room in already full schools for a few more. That did whatever they could to be caring and compassionate for their fellow man.

We cannot be too quick to judge America on the failures and shortsightedness and prejudices of a small minority of our great nation. Those few, on both sides of this issue, are mostly those who think of themselves first, last, and always. They are not America, no more than a tumor is the person.

Edit for punctuation, etc.

[edit on 18-11-2007 by NGC2736]

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:18 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

I'd have to agree, NGC.

NOT necessarily a fault of the people that comprise this nation, but more a faultering by those who are/were chosen to represent said peoples. NOT that any citizen should expect or feel deserving of a handout, but more that in a situation of such catastrophic enormity there Should have been a more organized and prioritized effort to aide those in need of such. We're not talking ice cream trucks and popsicle parties... just basic needs being fulfilled.

Hindsight being 20/20 and all, sure we can all play Monday morning quarterback, but Honestly... I saw little more than a cluster*bleep* that played out centerstage on the 6 o'clock snewz via the helping hand of overzealous media hounds.

Today in New Orleans...


As much as I hate to admit it, and, again, in hindsight... the entirety of it all... public intro of private security contractors, right to hold and or bear arms thrown out the door, along with other inalienable and constitutionally afforded rights going by the wayside. All supposedly in lieu of "public safety" and or "the good of all".

As some may claim regarding 9-11, was it allowed to happen? If only to gauge the response or acceptance thereof pertaining to such adminstrative and or govermental failures?

I'm NOT set in stone either way, but it would seem there are Obvious questions that have yet to be answered and situations yet to be resolved... 'least in my opinion.

? thoughts ?


posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:23 PM
and in there lies the "rub"... america, or any other country for that matter, is not the government or the corporate elite, it's a body of land made up of ordinary people just trying to survive... and the saddest part of the story?... as the rich continue to do whatever they like for profit and gain, ordinary citizens take strangers into their homes, spend what little time and money they have to help, all the while being fought covertly by the same powers who they're hired/elected to help them! the irony is sickening... as in all things, the rich will come out on top, being able to develop lands that they once had no access to... create more vehicles to suck money from the pockets of the poor (casinos coming quickly to mind)... displace and disenfranchise people too tired to fight...

"annie... get your gun!" man.....

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by 12m8keall2c

Sure, there seems to have been a mindset in certain circles to use this as a testbed for actions of one sort or another. And these types of thing are deplorable. But human nature is not always humane. There will always be small people.

Our government could have done a hell of a lot better. But there will always be the greed (bribe?) that saw all those trailers bought with tax dollars and left in a field. That's the Mr. Hyde part of general human beings.

We need to fire, and then give long prison sentences, to every last professional politician, if for no other reason than being a general drain on humanity.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:43 PM

Originally posted by NGC2736
We need to fire, and then give long prison sentences, to every last professional politician, if for no other reason than being a general drain on humanity.

While I don't see That bill hitting the House or Senate floor anytime soon, I couldn't agree more... regardless of political affiliation.

The catastrophe that was Katrina opened Many an eye, public and otherwise. Unfortunately, and apparently, those with a hand and or influence in the aftermath couldn't see beyond their nose... to include personal interests and or influential desires.



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