The Truth will prevail, but only if we demand it from Congress!
9-11 Inside Job and Neocons Hacked 2004
25 Questions about the Murder of
Mike Davis (whose most recent book is Monster at our Door, The Global Threat of Avian Flu) and architect Anthony Fontenot have just returned from
Right now, we're watching the ridiculous spectacle of the woefully incompetent former FEMA head Michael Brown being thrown to the Republican wolves in the House of Representatives, while the two national figures most in charge of the Katrina debacle, Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, remain remarkably untouched by their acts. The man who couldn't wait to invade
The Mysteries of
Twenty-five Questions about the Murder of the Big Easy
We recently spent a week in
Indeed, the most toxic debris in
In almost random order, here are twenty-five of the urgent questions that deeply trouble the local people we spoke with. Until a grand jury or congressional committee begins to uncover the answers, the moral (as opposed to simply physical) reconstruction of the
1. Why did the floodwalls along the
2. Who owned the huge barge that was catapulted through the wall of the
3. All of
4. Why did Mayor Ray Nagin, in defiance of his own official disaster plan, delay twelve to twenty-four hours in ordering a mandatory evacuation of the city?
5. Why did Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff not declare Katrina an "Incident of National Significance" until August 31 -- thus preventing the full deployment of urgently needed federal resources?
6. Why wasn't the nearby U.S.S. Bataan immediately sent to the aid of
7. Similarly, why wasn't the Baltimore-based hospital ship USS Comfort ordered to sea until August 31, or the 82nd Airborne Division deployed in
8. Why does Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld balk at making public his "severe weather execution order" that established the ground rules for the military response to Katrina? Did the Pentagon, as a recent report by the Congressional Research Service suggests, fail to take initiatives within already authorized powers, then attempt to transfer the blame to state and local governments?
9. Why were the more than 350 buses of the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority -- eventually flooded where they were parked -- not mobilized to evacuate infirm, poor, and car-less residents?
10. What significance attaches to the fact that the chair of the Transportation Authority, appointed by Mayor Nagin, is Jimmy Reiss, the wealthy leader of the New Orleans Business Council which has long advocated a thorough redevelopment of (and cleanup of crime in) the city?
11. Under what authority did Mayor Nagin meet confidentially in
12. Everyone knows about a famous train called "the City of
13. Why were patients at private hospitals like Tulane evacuated by helicopter while their counterparts at the
14. Was the failure to adequately stock food, water, potable toilets, cots, and medicine at the Louisiana Superdome a deliberate decision -- as many believe -- to force poorer residents to leave the city?
15. The French Quarter has one of the highest densities of restaurants in the nation. Once the acute shortages of food and water at the Superdome and the Convention Center were known, why didn't officials requisition supplies from hotels and restaurants located just a few blocks away? (As it happened, vast quantities of food were simply left to spoil.)
17. Why didn't the Navy or Coast Guard immediately airdrop life preservers and rubber rafts in flooded districts? Why wasn't such life-saving equipment stocked in schools and hospitals?
18. Why weren't evacuee centers established in
19. Is the Justice Department investigating the Jim Crow-like response of the suburban
20. Who is responsible for the suspicious fires that have swept the city? Why have so many fires occurred in blue-collar areas that have long been targets of proposed gentrification, such as the Section 8 homes on
21. Where were FEMA's several dozen vaunted urban search-and-rescue teams? Aside from some courageous work by Coast Guard helicopter crews, the early rescue effort was largely mounted by volunteers who towed their own boats into the city after hearing an appeal on television.
22. We found a massive Red Cross presence in
23. Why isn't FEMA scrambling to create a central registry of everyone evacuated from the greater
24. As politicians talk about "disaster czars" and elite-appointed reconstruction commissions, and as architects and developers advance utopian designs for an ethnically cleansed "new urbanism" in
25. Indeed, on the fortieth anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, what has happened to democracy?
Mike Davis is the author of many books including City of Quartz, Dead Cities and Other Tales, and the just published Monster at our Door, The Global Threat of Avian Flu (The New Press) as well as the forthcoming Planet of Slums (Verso).
Anthony Fontenot is a
Copyright 2005 Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot