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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans. Combat operations are underway on the streets "to take this city back" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"This place is going to look like Little Somalia," Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard's Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. "We're going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control." [Army Times]

Going to look like Somalia, is it? So they're planning on strafing and bombing civilians, killing thousands of people who are trying to defend their homes from hostile invaders?
10:22:04 PM    comment ()

Rapes, killings hit Katrina refugees in New Orleans. People left homeless by Hurricane Katrina told horrific stories of rape, murder and trigger happy guards in two New Orleans centers that were set up as shelters but became places of violence and terror.

Police and National Guard troops on Saturday closed down the two centers -- the Superdome arena and the city's convention center -- but them penned them in outside in sweltering heat to keep them from trying to walk out of the city.


Several residents of the impromptu shantytown recounted two horrific incidents where those charged with keeping people safe had killed them instead.

In one, a young man was run down and then shot by a New Orleans police officer, in another a man seeking help was gunned down by a National Guard soldier, witnesses said.


People here said there were now 22 bodies of adults and children stored inside the building, but troops guarding the building refused to confirm that and threatened to beat reporters seeking access to the makeshift morgue.

People trying to walk out are forced back at gunpoint - something troops said was for their own safety. "It's sad, but how far do you think they would get," one soldier said.[Reuters]

Something to keep in mind the next time the government tells people to go to a "shelter."
10:12:52 PM    comment ()

Astrodome gets zip code for evacuee mail. So many people are now living ion Houston's Astrodome that the Postal Service has created a zip code for it.

The zip code will allow evacuees there to receive mail. The new code is 77230. Mail should be addressed to the person and "General Delivery, Houston, TX, 77230." [Times-Picayune]

It's common during time of war for people to send care packages to "Any Soldier." It occurs to me that people inclined to do so could probably send stuff to "Any Refugee" at the address above.
4:17:48 PM    comment ()

Homeland Security to Red Cross: Stay Out of New Orleans. Outrageous!

As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center yesterday, American Red Cross officials said that federal emergency management authorities would not allow them to do the same.

Other relief agencies say the area is so damaged and dangerous that they doubted they could conduct mass feeding there now.

"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans,"... [ Blog]
11:38:11 AM    comment ()

Broadcasting live from the New Orleans Convention.... Broadcasting live from the New Orleans Convention Center on Hannity and Colmes last night, Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera cried, holding a 10-month-old child as he discussed the extremely inhumane conditions 15,000 evacuees have been forced to live under.

Outside, a visibly despondent Shepard Smith pointed out locked exit doors on the center and road checkpoints that prevented the exit of people housed for six days without food, shelter, sanitation, and medicine.

"Let them go," Rivera begged.

View the 8-minute clip on Crooks and Liars.

When did the road to New Orleans go through the rabbit hole? [Workbench]

There are also stories about people able to successfully get out of the city. It sounds like the government is concentrating on the area of the Convention Center and Superdome, where most of the refugees are, in their efforts to keep people from escaping.
11:27:10 AM    comment ()

Insider post on the disaster in the Gulf Oil Industry. The Oil Drum. This is sobering. We are in for a very rough ride.

There are MANY production platforms missing (as in not visible from the air). This means they have been totally lost. I am talking about 10's of platforms, not single digit numbers. Each platform can have from 4 to 100+ wells on it. Most larger ones have 20-30 wells in this area, with numerous caisson wells. They are on their sides, on the bottom of the gulf - they will likely be left as reef material, provided we can get permission. MMS regulations require us to plug each of the wells that were on these platforms - HUGE cost now, as the platforms are gone... Hopefully, MMS will grant `abandon in place' status for these wiped out structures.

We also set individual wells as satellites and pipe them back to existing platforms. These stand-alone wells are called caisson wells. 90% of those in the storm path are bent over, rendering them a total loss, We would have to remove the existing bent structure and drill a new well, as bent pipe is basically unusable.

We utilize platforms as gathering hubs. We pipe the raw oil/water to them and then send it on for separation, or separate it there and send finished oil on. Damage to a hub means everything going to the hub is offline indefinitely. There are +/- 15 HUBS missing. MISSING!! As in we cannot find them from the air.

[John Robb's Weblog]
11:11:20 AM    comment () Celebrating the prosperity of Somalia... (thanks P). [John Robb's Weblog]
11:07:47 AM    comment ()

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