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Hurricane Katrina Censorship & Cover-up

September 11, 2005

Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important Hurricane Katrina news stories in the mainstream media which show clear censorship and suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on the original media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word to our friends and colleagues, we can and will build a brighter future.


U.S. Censoring Katrina Coverage, Groups Say
September 8, 2005, Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/07/AR2005090702126.html

When U.S. officials asked the news media not to take pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, they were censoring a key part of the disaster story, free-speech watchdogs said yesterday. The move by the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in line with the Bush administration's ban on images of flag-draped U.S. military coffins returning from the Iraq war, media monitors charged in separate telephone interviews. On Tuesday, FEMA refused to take reporters and photographers along on boats seeking victims in flooded areas, saying they would take up valuable space needed in the recovery effort and asked them not to take pictures of the dead. A FEMA spokeswoman wrote: "The recovery of victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect and we have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media." FEMA's policy of excluding media from recovery expeditions in New Orleans is "an invitation to chaos," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a part of Columbia University's journalism school.

Note: Death tolls were reported prominently on a daily basis after the Asian tsunami, so why are the media and government so reluctant to give figures on the number dead in this catastrophe?

U.S. agency blocks photos of New Orleans dead
September 6, 2005, Reuters

http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=bondsNews&storyID=2005-09-07T005629Z_01_N06101601_RTRIDST_0_KATRINA-PHOTOGRAPHS.XML

The U.S. government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims. "We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media," the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed response to a Reuters inquiry.

Note: Though the previous Washington Post article mentioned this news a couple days later, no major media picked up this important Reuters story.

Frustrated: Fire crews to hand out fliers for FEMA
September 6, 2005, Salt Lake Tribune

http://www.sltrib.com/search/ci_3004197

Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?" As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA. On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency. As specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

A Compilation of FEMA's Rejections of Qualified Help

FEMA refuses hundreds of personnel, dozens of vehicles - Chicago Tribune, 9/2/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050902daley,1,2011979.story

FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/3/05
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05246/565143.stm

FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board - Chicago Tribune, 9/4/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509040369sep04,1,4144825.story

FEMA turns away state-of-the-art mobile hospital from Univ. of North Carolina - CNN, 9/5/05
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/09/04/katrina.sick.redtape.ap/

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations - Financial Times, 9/5/05
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/84aa35cc-1da8-11da-b40b-00000e

FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks - New York Times, 9/6/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspecial/05blame.html

FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel - New York Times, 9/6/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspecial/05blame.html

FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid - News Sentinel, 9/8/05
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/news/editorial/12595873.htm
 
FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond" Unless Dispatched - FEMA's own website
http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18470

Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist
September 5, 2005, CNN

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/03/katrina.chertoff/

Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued Saturday that government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur. But in fact, government officials, scientists and journalists have warned of such a scenario for years [see articles immediately below]. Chertoff, fielding questions from reporters, said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans. In 2002 the New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a five-part series exploring the vulnerability of the city. The newspaper, and other news media as well, specifically addressed the possibility of massive floods drowning residents, destroying homes and releasing toxic chemicals throughout the city. (Read: "Times-Picayune" Special Report: Washing away) Scientists long have discussed this possibility as a sort of doomsday scenario. As far back as Friday, August 26, the National Hurricane Center was predicting the storm could be a Category 4 hurricane at landfall, with New Orleans directly in its path. The National Weather Service prediction proved almost perfect. Katrina made landfall on Monday, August 29.

Katrina makes many of planners' fears a reality
September 9, 2005, MSNBC

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9274362/

As Katrina roared into the Gulf of Mexico, emergency planners pored over maps and charts of a hurricane simulation that projected 61,290 dead and 384,257 injured or sick in a catastrophic flood that would leave swaths of southeast Louisiana uninhabitable for more than a year. These planners were not involved in the frantic preparations for Katrina. By coincidence, they were working on a yearlong project to prepare federal and state officials for a Category 3 hurricane striking New Orleans. Their fictitious storm eerily foreshadowed the havoc wrought by Category 4 Katrina a few days later, raising questions about whether government leaders did everything possible – as early as possible – to protect New Orleans residents from a well-documented threat. Brown, relieved of his onsite Katrina duties Friday, said he was kept apprised of Hurricane Pam planning from the beginning. He assumes the report also was sent to superiors at the Homeland Security Department, "but can I put it in the hands of Secretary Ridge or Secretary Chertoff? No."

Gone With the Water (Hurricane Predicted Again One Year Ago)
October, 2004, National Geographic

http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/

As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however–the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party. Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. When did this calamity happen? It hasn't–yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. "It's not if it will happen," says University of New Orleans geologist Shea Penland. "It's when."

New Orleans is Sinking (Hurricane predicted on 9/11!!!)
September 11, 2001, Popular Mechanics (Note the date of this article)

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/1282151.html

The fact that New Orleans has not already sunk is a matter of luck. Emergency planners believe that it is a foregone conclusion that the Big Easy someday will be hit by a scouring storm surge. And, given the tremendous amount of coastal-area development, this watery "big one" will produce a staggering amount of damage. Yet, this doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a massive loss of lives. The key is a new emergency warning system developed by Gregory Stone, a professor at Louisiana State University (LSU). It is called WAVCIS, which stands for wave-current surge information system. Within 30 minutes to an hour after raw data is collected from monitoring stations in the Gulf, an assessment of storm-surge damage would be available to emergency planners. Disaster relief agencies then would be able to mobilize resources--rescue personnel, the Red Cross, and so forth.

Navy Pilots Who Rescued Victims Are Reprimanded
September 7, 2005, New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/national/nationalspecial/07navy.html

Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety. Instead, their superiors chided the pilots...at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast. While refueling at a Coast Guard landing pad in early evening, Lieutenant Udkow said, he called Pensacola and received permission to continue rescues that evening. According to the pilots and other military officials, they rescued 110 people. The next morning, though, the two crews were called to a meeting with Commander Holdener, who said he told them that while helping civilians was laudable, the lengthy rescue effort was an unacceptable diversion from their main mission of delivering supplies.

Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC
September 3, 2005, Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/03/AR2005090300165_pf.html

NBC's levee broke and Kanye West flooded through with a tear about the federal response in New Orleans during the network's live concert fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The rapper was among the celebs and singers participating in the one-hour special, produced by NBC News. West was not scheduled to perform; he was one of the blah, blah, blahers, who would read from scripts prepared by the network. West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, "They're looting." You see a white family, it says, "They're looking for food." And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. Parent company NBC Universal said in a statement, "Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks." West's comments would be cut from the West Coast feed, an NBC spokeswoman told The TV Column.

When sluggishness isn't OK
September 4, 2005, Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-0509040406sep04,1,3926343.column

E-mailers sent me copies of two news photos that revealed an apparent double standard regarding black and white flood victims in New Orleans. One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for The Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. In the other, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a similarly light-skinned woman also waded through chest-deep water after "finding" goods that included bread and soda in a local grocery store, according to the caption. Apparently, quipped a cynical blogger at Daily Kos, " It's not looting if you're white."

Halliburton Subsidiary Taps Contract For Repairs
September 5, 2005, Washington Post/AP

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/04/AR2005090401193.html

An Arlington-based Halliburton Co. subsidiary that has been criticized for its reconstruction work in Iraq has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc., won the competitive bid contract last July to provide debris removal and other emergency work associated with natural disasters. KBR has been at the center of scrutiny for receiving a five-year, no-bid contract to restore Iraqi oil fields shortly before the war began in 2003. Halliburton has reported being paid $10.7 billion for Iraq-related government work during 2003 and 2004. The company reported its pretax profits from that work as $163 million. Pentagon auditors have questioned tens of millions of dollars of Halliburton charges for its operations there. Last month three congressional Democrats asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to investigate the demotion of a senior civilian Army official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, who publicly criticized the awarding of that contract. Vice President Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.

Bush lifts wage rules for Katrina
September 9, 2005, CNN/Reuters

http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/08/news/economy/katrina_wages.reut/

President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage. In a notice to Congress, Bush said the hurricane had caused "a national emergency" that permits him to take such action. Bush's action came as the federal government moved to provide billions of dollars in aid. "The administration is using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to cut the wages of people desperately trying to rebuild their lives and their communities," Miller said. "President Bush should immediately realize the colossal mistake he has made in signing this order and rescind it and ensure that America puts its people back to work in the wake of Katrina at wages that will get them and their families back on their feet."


More Resources

For a highly revealing personal account by two emergency medical personnel who were participating in a conference in New Orleans at the time of the hurricane, see their gripping story at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090805A.shtml  The mainstream media is largely avoiding reporting devastating personal stories which reveal all that is being covered up. For more on how the media effectively blocks key stories like this, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/mediainformation

For those interested in information on secret government weather control programs, see two links below:
http://www.WantToKnow.info/050307tsunamibombweapon
http://www.WantToKnow.info/resources#haarp

Our hearts and deepest wishes for support and encouragement go out to all affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you are interested in donating to support those affected, we have found that Brother's Brother Foundation makes the best use of funds donated. To make a contribution: www.brothersbrother.org

For empowering ideas on what we can do about all this:
http://www.WantToKnow.info/spreadtheword - Spread the word
http://www.WantToKnow.info/brighterfuture - Building a brighter future
http://www.WantToKnow.info/youcanhelp - How you can help

For lots more reliable, eye-opening information on the hurricane from major media sources:
http://www.WantToKnow.info/050920katrinadisturbingquestions

With best wishes,
Fred Burks for WantToKnow.info
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton

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Hurricane Katrina Cover-up, Censorship