The “Government Bombed The Levee To Kill Us” Meme

Boy, it’s just fascinating what you can learn when you peruse the left side of the blogosphere. For example, at the most popular liberal blog on earth, The Daily Kos, I ran across a post called “Website Of The Day: Mercy Corps“. Brenda, whose motto on her posts in the comments section is: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you” points to a comment from “NOLA evacuee Clara Barthelemy” that says:

“The 17th street levee was bombed by the Army Corps of Engineers to save the more valuable real estate in the city… to keep the French Quarter protected, the ninth ward was sacrificed… people are afraid to speak out… everyone who was near there heard the bombings… they bombed seven times. That’s why they didn’t fix the levees… 20 feet of water. Gators. People dying in water. They let the parishes go, not the city center. Tourist trap was saved over human life. A six year old girl was raped in here.. 9 year old boy killed. A man in the shower beaten. No hot food. No help for elderly.”

In all fairness to Brenda, she does say it’s “unconfirmed,” but she spends the rest of the post harping on “media censorship” which would seem to indicate she thinks it’s possible that the US military bombed a levee in New Orleans, thereby flooding the city.

In the comments section, there was a link to Jacob Appelbaum’s Weblog where they supposedly had more quotes from evacuees claiming the levees were bombed:

11:22 Now I’m speaking to someone else, another woman, who says some people report having witnessed “bomb sounds,” believe 17th street levee and others were blown up to manage water flow and protect more valuable portions of real estate.

Evacuee Dianne Stafford: “They blew the levee to save the city…” Saying a barge broke the levee. She is from St. Bernard Parish. “More expensive places were saved at the expense of the neighborhoods that aren’t as valuable… Rebuilding Bourbon Street matters more to the government… that’s what mattered to Governor Blanco…”

Again, you get sort of a “I can’t prove this, but it sounds entirely plausible that the government deliberately flooded the city” vibe from the blog:

“I have no way of substantiating the statements of those Jacob spoke to, but I present them here as a snapshot of first-person accounts. While some misinformation may be circulating as rumor among evacuees, let’s also remember that reports of deaths and violence inside the New Orleans Superdome and Convention Center were dismissed as “rumor” in early days by authorities before reporters proved them to be true.”

I did a little more searching around and I found that the ultra-lefties at the British Guardian also got in on the act, although in the version of the story they published, the government didn’t bomb the levees, they just deliberately opened the flood gates:

“We had to wrap dead people in white sheets and throw them outside while the police stood by and did nothing,’ said Correll Williams, a 19-year-old meat cutter from the Crowder Road district in the east of the city, who waded two miles through waist-high water to make it to the Convention Centre after hearing on the radio it was being turned into a refuge.

…Williams only left his apartment after the authorities took the decision to flood his district in an apparent attempt to sluice out some of the water that had submerged a neighbouring district. Like hundreds of others he had heard the news of the decision to flood his district on the radio. The authorities had given people in the district until 5pm on Tuesday to get out – after that they would open the floodgates.

‘We thought we could live without electricity for a few weeks because we had food. But then they told us they were opening the floodgates,’ said Arineatta Walker, who fled the area with her daughter and two grandchildren.

‘So about two o’clock we went on to the streets and we asked the army, “Where can we go?”. And they said, “Just take off because there’s no one going to come back for you.” They kicked my family out of there. If I knew how to hotwire a car I would have,’ Walker said.”

It’s worth noting that the Guardian seems to show no skepticism whatsoever about these stories.

After doing a bit more research on this story, I left the mainstream Guardian and ended right back where I started, at The Daily Kos, where Spacebuddy008 had up a post called “Any0ne? MSM Labor Day night,-Locals say explosives opened 9th ward levee“.

That link led me to a lefty blog called: “You Think What??” which had a post saying:

“It is being reported that homes in the Bywater section of New Orleans, the 9th Ward,flooded because they (some government entity) used too much explosive to dynamite part of the levee after the first section broke – they did this to prevent Uptown (the rich part of town) from being inundated with water from the Lake. Who is responsible for flooding so many homes-Katrina, or our government?”

Where is all this coming from? Is it pure rumor or are there facts behind the fiction?

There’s no recent, legit reference to bombing I’ve been able to find, but apparently, there were some levees in New Orleans blown up with dynamite — of course, that was back in 1927.

The only recent mention of dynamite (outside of rumors) I could find was by “Amos Cormier, president of the Plaquemines Parish Council” and not only was that request made after the levee was breached, it was designed to reduce flooding, and it was denied by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers according to the article that mentioned it.

So, can you lefties please stop floating these irresponsible rumors and implying people were deliberately drowned to death in New Orleans?

Hat tip to Knowledge Is Power for pointing out the original Kos story.

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