Today’s Super Bowl: A Convenient Distraction by Ed Ciaccio

by Ed Ciaccio

Dandelion Salad
Featured Writer
February 7, 2010

As we get ready to watch the New Orleans Saints play in their first ever Super Bowl, it is important to remember what was allowed to happen to the middle class and poor, mostly black people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina missed (that’s right, it missed) that city in 2005.  See “What really happened in New Orleans?” [videos added by DS]

wizbang – Aug 28, 2006

The top video (5 minutes) is an excerpt from “The Drowning of New Orleans”, shown 10 months after the disaster.  It finally revealed what these firefighters/first responders knew but were told to keep quiet: 1,500 people drowned because the defective, inadequate levees failed and were breached by rising Mississippi River flood water; they weren’t simply “topped”.

Part 3- Big Easy to Big Empty

GregPalastOffic – Jul 9, 2007

The lower video (nearly 10 minutes) is an excerpt from Greg Palast’s “Big Easy to Big Empty” which reveals the moral and financial corruption of the Bush administration in giving a $500,000 contract to a company to develop an evacuation plan for New Orleans when no one at that company had any experience in that field (but they had contributed to the Republican Party).  A year after the disaster, FEMA was still unable to find the company’s alleged plan.  Meanwhile, hurricane experts at the nearby Louisiana State University, who had not only the exact experience needed, but an evacuation plan based on the reality of the city nearby, were ignored.

This excerpt also reveals how the real plan was for the ethnic cleansing of poor and middle class black areas of New Orleans so that developers could “upscale” those areas which were not ever badly damaged by flood waters.  I own a copy of Palast’s film so I’ve seen more than this excerpt.  I recommend the film, but it will enrage you.

We now know, from a video showing Bush being briefed beforehand, that Bush was warned about the potential failing of the New Orleans levees (see Bush Was Told of Levees’ Possible Failure Before Katrina, but, as with Condi Rice’s lie about “planes being used as missiles” on 9/11/01, Bush claimed that no one anticipated the failure of the levees.

Bush has still not been held accountable for his many crimes, which include not only waging an illegal, aggressive war based on lies, ordering torture, suspending habeas corpus and Posse Comitatus (with Congress’ approval), and spying without warrants on U.S, citizens, but also criminal negligence in the drowning of New Orleans.

And Obama’s steadfast refusal to prosecute any of these crimes (he wants to “look ahead”!) of the Bush administration, in violation of Obama’s oath of office, makes Obama complicit after the fact (and as liable to impeachment as Bush was).  Of course, in spite of his fine rhetoric, Obama continued to vote for funding of the illegal Iraq war and occupation as a U.S. Senator, and now, as President, continues many of the same Bush/Cheney policies.

How much longer will we tolerate law-breaking (undeclared wars, “indefinite detention”), murdering (U.S. drones have killed 123 innocent civilians along with 3 al-Qaeda members in Pakistan recently, as the civilian death tolls continue to rise in both Pakistan and Afghanistan due to our drone attacks), and torturing (still going on in Guantanamo as well as in Bagram air base, Afghanistan, and in secret CIA “black sites”) by presidents who hypocritically swear to uphold our Constitution?

And yes, I am aware that every president since JFK has been threatened by the CIA, the Pentagon, and JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) about the possible consequences to him and his family if he dares challenge the increasingly more powerful “National Security” apparatus of our corporatist-militarist state (see Stan Goff’s chilling article The Murderous Mystique of JSOC: How Secret Becomes Special

More of us must become aware of those threats so that we clearly see what a monster has developed since the National Security Act of 1947, which President Harry Truman later regretted signing, and its consequences, which President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in his January, 1961 Farewell speech (his original phrase, later changed out of fear of retaliation against his party, was “the Military-Congressional-Industrial Complex”).

Unless and until more of us wake up to the inconvenient truth that we live in a corporatist-militarist state (the very definition of fascism) which disguises its sociopathic ruthlessness with the “smiley face” of mass corporate media infotainment distractions such as “American Idol”, endless celebrity gossip/scandals, and extravaganzas such as today’s Super Bowl, the financially suicidal, deadly depredations of this warmongering state, in our name and with our tax money, will continue.

Of course, it is much more comfortable and convenient to take the “ostrich option” and bury our heads in the sand, and let our grandchildren deal with the consequences of an increasingly lawless, sociopathic corporate state dedicated to endless wars funded by ever-increasing war budgets (the corporate welfare and federal jobs program of choice).

from the archives:

Expert Fired Who Warned Levees Would Burst – Hurricane George, Four Years Later by Greg Palast

Economic Hit Men and the Next Drowning of New Orleans – Hurricane Bush Four Years Later, Part 2 by Greg Palast

The Year The Levees Broke By Greg Palast (2006)

Drowning New Orleans: Washing Away the Black Vote by Greg Palast (audio link)

Big Easy to Big Empty (videos; Greg Palast; Katrina) (updated: Part 3)