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Among the more shocking revelations is the former mayor’s account of the evening of Aug. 30, 2005. Nagin writes that he and his top aides were in the Hyatt’s fourth-floor command center when about 20 men entered, “dressed in black combat outfits and adorned in bulletproof vests, rifles, and leg straps holding at least two very large handguns each.
“Their presence was shocking, menacing, bizarre, and surreal,” he writes, adding that one barked out: “‘We’re here to protect the mayor. Everybody else get out.’”
The armed men wouldn’t say who sent them or why, though Nagin surmises they may have worked for mega-defense contractor Blackwater. “If they were here to protect me, I sure did not feel that as my gut told me there was another agenda at play, and it clearly did not have our best interests at heart, period,” he writes.
The guards managed to access Nagin’s 27th-floor suite and install “all kinds of wires” they claimed were “for a satellite connection.” Ultimately, though, their efforts were thwarted when “Greg (Meffert) and crew stopped (them) cold,” Nagin writes, referring to his former chief technology officer.
“I thought to myself, ‘I’m a dead man! I have just publicly denounced the governor, U.S. Senators, FEMA and the president of the United States,’” he writes. “I started wondering if during the night I would be visited by specially trained CIA agents. Could they secretly shoot me with a miniature, slow-acting poison dart?"
“Taking the social reengineering play off the table meant I would have troubles with these very powerful, shadowy figures in the future,” he writes. “From that point on everything changed, especially local media treatment. I had a target on my back as the guy who stood in the way of their vision of a new New Orleans where mint juleps would once again be the drink of choice in a bleached, adult Disney World-like city.”