Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Army Corps of Engineers takes one for the Gibber

Via the Puffington Host, we learn that the Army Corps of Engineers has taken responsibility for creating a system of substandard levees in New Orleans, mostly be neglecting to monitor subsidence: In a sweeping new study of the causes of the disaster in New Orleans last year, the Army Corps of Engineers concludes that the levees it built in the city were an incomplete patchwork of protection, containing flaws in design and construction and not built to handle a storm anywhere near the strength of Hurricane Katrina. "The hurricane protection system in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana was a system in name only," said the draft of the nine-volume report, released yesterday in New Orleans. My first thought was, "At last! Someone in Washington is acting like an adult and taking some responsibility." And of course the Army Corps of Engineers is famous for constructing bold, innovative projects to tame nature that turn out to be total disasters. Since there is no ethic of building to accommodate nature, nature "breaks out" (cf. OT) against them... or, rather, the people for whom they build flood control projects. And then I realized that Bush has ordered that all agency reports reflect Administration thinking. Administration thinking at this point is that the American people haven't bought it's attempt to blame low-level officials or dumb blacks. Someone higher up the ladder has to take the fall. And the Corps takes orders. I rather doubt the report contains mention of the way the Administration and Congress withheld funds for flood control.
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