Thursday :: Sep 8, 2005

Welcome To George's Holiday Camp


by pessimist

Here we go again.

The other day, I wrote about Katrina evacuees being taken to Utah with no prior knowledge of their destination, and that they were reportedly being kept behind barbed wire. I mentioned at the time that I couldn't confirm this, and if any Utahns who read The Left Coaster could confirm or deny this tale, it would be reported here.

But this morning, what do I spy - to my shock and surprise - but a similar report from Aurora, Colorado:

I was afraid of this. As the great diaspora of New Orleans continues with evacuees not being told where they're going until the bus/plane cranks up or until they land/arrive, the police state tactics of some of the 'welcoming' communities are actually just housing people at remote locations, behind fences - like prisons, really.

Verne Stovall, foreground, and her daughter-in-law, Jacquelyn Augustine, stand at a fence separating them from reporters and others Tuesday at the Community College of Aurora. Stovall recalled how she was rescued Sunday with 23 other people from a flooded house in New Orleans. (Denver Post / Glenn Asakawa)

And that's NOT all, folks!

I saw a report yesterday where evacuees were put on a plane and not told they were heading for Salt Lake City, Utah until they began taxi-ing down the runway. [I wrote about this - p]

And then there is that report I have noted in recent days of the 1,000 evacuees flown to Roosevelt Roads naval base on Puerto Rico's eastern tip. What of them? I've still seen no reports, but I confirmed it with a Puerto Rican friend of mine. This is too surreal.

I mean if you read the story, the evacuees are very thankful for being safe and in a new place. Still, do we want to treat fellow Americans like this? And why so far away in Colorado? One woman says she's never even been outside of New Orleans and that's a pretty common thing among New Orleans' poorer residents.

As for forcing Americans into a fenced-in camp? I don't like it. Not one bit.

There is even SCLM support for this report.

Evacuees' stories are moving, but fence isn't
Article Last Updated: 09/07/2005 03:37:49 AM
By Diane Carman
Denver Post Staff Columnist

If I didn't know better, I'd have thought I was peering through the fence at a concentration camp.
The signs on the buildings say "Community College of Aurora," though for now they're serving as an impromptu Camp Katrina. About 160 hurricane survivors are being housed in the dorms, surrounded by fences, roadblocks, security guards and enough armed police officers to invade Grenada.

There's a credentials unit to process every visitor, an intake unit to provide identification tags and a bag of clothes to every evacuee, several Salvation Army food stations, portable toilets, shuttle buses, a green army-tent chapel with church services three times a day and a communications team to keep reporters as far away from actual news as possible.

It probably was easier for a reporter to get inside Gitmo on Tuesday than to penetrate the force field around Lowry.

Breaching Security

But survivors occasionally breached the lockdown and came to the fence to tell their stories, each one astonishing.

At a time when it seems ordinary to deliver food and water and provide sanitation to the space station orbiting 200 miles above the Earth, these people watched bodies float past them for days and wondered if help ever would arrive.

Diane Carman's column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached at 303-820-1489 or dcarman@denverpost.com.


Meanwhile, back in Congress:


Republicans block efforts to amend relief bill, hold vote without providing copy of bill

In the wake of what the Wall Street Journal projected may be the most expensive natural disaster in American history, the Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives limited floor consideration of the $52 billion Katrina relief bill proposed by President Bush and voted to reject any Democratic efforts to amend the bill to include a wider array of relief measures, RAW STORY has learned. Voting along party lines, Republicans denied a measure that would have allowed for two hours of discussion and opened up the measure to be amended.
Democrats said no one had even seen a copy of the legislation.

And, to back up (mi$)Admin$tration claims, they are trotting out their most successful prevaricator:

Powell to the Rescue?

With George W. Bush’s approval rating at an all-time low following the bungled hurricane relief effort, sources say the White House has turned to the most trusted man ever associated with the administration to save the president’s political bacon. The only question is, will Colin Powell take the job?

t would give the former secretary of state and general the opportunity to reprise his Gulf War leadership on America’s own gulf coast. It would also give Powell, who left the administration amid infighting over foreign policy, a chance to receive a hero’s welcome on the world stage—something his reputation could use after he appeared before the United Nations with bogus proof of Saddam Hussein’s illegal weapons program.

That'll fix things!

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