|THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND HURRICANE KATRINA
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a federal agency as well as a “principal” Army command. It was founded on June 16, 1715. It is garrisoned in Washington, D. C. It has 36 thousand employees: 720 military and 35,280 civilian. Its motto is “Essayons” which is the French word for the English phrase of “Let Us Try.” Currently, the “Scarlet and White’s” Chief of Engineers and Commanding General is Lieutenant General Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr.
The USACE is the world’s “largest ‘public’ engineering”, design, and flood protection agency.
(The Chief of Engineers commands USACE. Within “The Pentagon” [It is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense}, the “Chief” advises the U. S. Army “on engineering matters” and serves as the Army’s “topographer” [Topography is the study of the Earth’s surface, shape and features. Thus, a “topographer” is a map maker.]. The English word, topography, is taken from the Greek word meaning “place to write.”)
The USACE “provides a wide range” of public works support to the United States and to the Department of Defense: its mission is to “provide vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation’s security energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters.” Its vision (of itself) is to have “a great engineering force of highly disciplined people working with partners through disciplined thought and action to deliver innovative and sustained solutions to the nation’s” (and the world’s) “engineering challenges.”
Thus, the USACE’s activities and influence are global in nature.
(In the “private” sector, Bechtel Corporation [Bechtel Group] is the largest construction company in the United States. With headquarters in San Francisco [50 Beale Street], California [USA], and with revenues of 30.8 billion dollars , it is the most powerful, construction company in the nation, and one of most powerful, construction companies in the world [after the French “powerhouse”, Vinci: with revenues of 33.4 billion dollars, 2010]. Currently, its chairperson and CEO is Riley P. Bechtel. The company was founded in 1898, and it has approximately 49 thousand employees. It built the “Hoover Dam.”
“Riley” is the great-grandson of Warren A. Bechtel, founder and former chairperson of Bechtel. As of August of 2011, he is the Chairperson of the International Council of J. P. Morgan Chase [ICJPMC]. And, he is an extremely influential “oligarch” with a reported net worth of 5.5 billion dollars, 2010.
[The ICJPMC is comprised of 28 members, who represent a number of global mega-corporations from 19 nations. It was created, in approximately, 1965. It meets annually in leading world cities in order to gain “perspectives on economic, political and social trends in key regions and countries of the world.”
The “council” provides advice to the “senior management of J. P. Morgan Chase on the above and other issues” affecting clients and business. As of October 2010, some of its more “notable” council members [other than Bechtel] are: Jean-Louis Beffa, Michael A. Chaney, Andes Desmarais, Martin Feldstein, Henry A. Kissinger, David J. O’Reilly, Walter V. Shipley, William S. Stavropoulos, Ernesto Zedillo, and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
The collective net worth of this council of “oligarchs” [COO] is staggering, and most members of the COO represent some of the most powerful and some of the most influential corporations in the world.)
Over time (from 1775 to the present), the “Corps” has become a political, an engineering, and a public relations disaster, and it has been protected from comprehensive reform and from criminal prosecution by a number of “special interests” groups.
These groups are both semi-governmental (local, state, national, and international) and private (e. g. Bechtel): their collective greed and their “incompetence” have killed hundreds of people and have caused billions of dollars in property damage throughout the nation and throughout the world.
A partial list of “catastrophes” to which the “Corps” has significantly contributed (within the United States and during peacetime) due to “faulty” engineering and due to human “greed” is: (1) the Great Mississippi Food of 1927; (2) the Mississippi Flood of 1973; (3) the Lower Mississippi Flood of 1983; (4) the Great Mississippi and Missouri Floods of 1993; (5) the Lower Mississippi-Katrina Flood of New Orleans Food of 2005; and (6) the Mississippi Flood of 2011.
Because of the limitations of time, only “catastrophes” “1” and “5” will be discussed below.
(Typically, the flooding scenarios involve the Missouri River, the Ohio River, the Arkansas River, and the Red River flowing into the great Mississippi River and, in turn, damaging a number of the central basin states.)
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive “river” flood in the history of the nation. The flood affected the great states of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. By May of 1927, the Mississippi River, below Memphis, Tennessee, reached a width of 60 miles: for example, the Cumberland River at Nashville [Tennessee] “topped” levees at 56 feet by New Year’s Day of 1927.
(The floodwaters overcame the “levees” [or dikes or embankments or floodbanks or stopbanks: elongated naturally occurring ridges or artificially constructed fills or walls which regulate water levels] causing over 145 breaks in the Mississippi River system of levees.
The flood damage costs were over 400 million dollars [5 billion dollars by today’s dollars] and the death of 246 people in seven out of ten states affected.)
The “cause” of the flooding was the extremely heavy rains in the summer of 1927: the actual “causes” were the “Corps’” faulty engineering and the “greed” of the multitude of sub-contractors who chose “profit over safety” in their construction efforts.
Despite the “Corps’s” dramatic failures in past, construction projects, it was charged (by the U. S. Congress) to build a Mississippi levee system under the Flood Control Act of 1928: the “Corps” responded by building the “longest system of levees” in the world which would repeatedly fail in future, flooding “catastrophes.”
The 2005 levee failures, in Greater New Orleans, were the result of the “Corps’” usual “incompetence” as well as its “choices of sub-contractors” who emphasized “profit over safety” with continuing, political shielding from some “corrupt” members of the U. S. Congress.
Following the passage of Hurricane Katrina and its “landfalls”, in the great state of Mississippi, 50 failures of the levee and food wall systems (which were “protecting” New Orleans [Louisiana]) occurred.
(The English word, hurricane [from the Spanish word “Huracan” and from the Arawakan word “Taino” which means, literally, “storm or storm god”], is defined as a tropical cyclone [a storm system “characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain”], “occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean or the Northeast Pacific Ocean, east of the International Dateline” and elsewhere.
The term “tropical” refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which usually form in tropical regions of the globe and to the formation in maritime tropical air masses.” The “cyclonic” description [with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere] is due to the Coriolis Effect [a deflection of moving objects when they are viewed in a rotating frame of reference].)
Hurricane Katrina (HK) was the costliest, “natural” disaster in the history of the United States of America. It occurred in the 2005, Atlantic hurricane season. At least, 1,836 (1,577 in Louisiana alone] people perished in the actual hurricane and in the flooding that followed: the total, estimated, property damage was 81 billion dollars (2005 USD).
Thus, HK was the “deadliest” U. S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.
(Hurricane Okeechobee [HO] struck the Leeward Islands [the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain of islands, east of the West Indies], Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the great state of Florida.
In Florida, 2,500 people were killed when a storm surge [from Lake Okeechobee] breached the dike surrounding the lake. In total, HO killed 4,078 people, and it caused 100 million dollars [1.3 billion dollars [2011 USD] in damages [in its course]. It was one of the ten most intense hurricanes to make landfall in the nation’s history.)
HK formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2011. In its first landfall, it crossed southern Florida as a moderate hurricane (Category 1). The storm made its second landfall as a more severe hurricane (Category 3) on the mourning of August 29, 2011 in southeast Louisiana. It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas: much of it was due to “storm surge.”
The most significant number of deaths occurred in New Orleans due to the failure of the “Corps’” profit over safety, levee system. Because of the “sovereign immunity provision” in the Flood Control Act of 1928, the “Corps” and its sub-contractors (e.g. Bechtel) could not be held “financial liable.”
Still, the “Corp” and their friends will be held morally and ethically responsible by the “victims” and their families and by the American many: the “Scarlet and White’s” true color will always be “blood red.”
Finally, an investigation of the “response times” from local, state, and federal governments resulted in the resignations of Michael D. Brown of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Eddie Compass of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). Both of these “want to be oligarchs” (and their acknowledged “bigotry”) will never face the responsibility for their “inactions” in this life.
Please note the following statements:
First: the U. S. Insurance Industry’s “collision”, in order to avoid their financial responsibility towards their policyholders, has never been properly investigated by the U. S. Department of Justice (USDOJ). (See e-article “33” on this website.);
Second: the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and the National Weather Service (NWS) should be praised for their services to the “victims” of HK (despite the “indifference” of the American “oligarchs” and the U. S. Congress [to the pain and the suffering of “disenfranchised”, American citizens]); and,
Third: at the moment of this writing, Hurricane Irene (HI) is “striking” the East Coast States. Eric Ivan “the Rodent” Cantor, Republican House Majority Leader of the U. S. Congress and the Representative of the 7th Congressional District of Virginia, stated that federal, “disaster relief” funds should be tied to “equivalent”, federal, spending cuts: the Christian “hell” is made for such “spirit-demons” as the “Rodent” and his like. He should preach his “nonsense” to his true audience: his gods of fear, of selfishness, of profit, and of greed.
To hell with the “oligarchs” (JPMorgan Chase, the International Council [COO], the Bechtel Group, Riley P. Bechtel, and the U. S. Insurance Industry) and their “familiars” (George Walker Bush, FEMA, USDOJ, USACE [the “Scarlet and White”], the U. S. Congress [Cantor and his “ancestors”], NOPD and to all those who participated in this process of “death by government”: for the past 84 years),
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