Information Clearinghouse.org – 2005-09-09 23:51:13
FEMA Blocking Relief Efforts – An Amazing List
(September 8, 2005) —
• FEMA won’t accept Amtrak’s help in evacuations
• FEMA turns away experienced firefighters
• FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks
• FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel
• FEMA won’t let Red Cross deliver food
• FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans
• FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid
• FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board
• FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck
• FEMA turns away generators
• FEMA: “First Responders Urged Not To Respond”
Report prepared by “forest25”
Former FEMA Head and Halliburton Lobbyist
Visits Louisiana Looking for Reconstruction Deals
WASHINGTON (September 8, 2005) — The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Joseph Allbaugh, now a lobbyist for Halliburton, is in Lousiana helping his clients obtain disaster relief contracts, the Washington Post reported today.
But Allbaugh insisted he’s not in Louisiana seeking contracts for clients.
“I don’t do government contracts,” he told the Post from Louisiana. Instead, he says he’s “just trying to lend my shoulder to the wheel, trying to coordinate some private-sector support that the government always asks for.”
But that’s not the same thing as seeking government contracts for clients, says Allbaugh.
“The first thing he says when he sits down with a client is, ‘Don’t hire me if you’re looking for a government contract,'” an Allbaugh spokesperson defensively told The Hill newspaper today.
With all the public outrage over Halliburton’s contracts, it’s not surprising that Allbaugh would distance himself from the word “contract” even though he’s involved in helping clients obtain government contracts in Louisiana, Iraq and elsewhere.
Even Republicans on Capitol Hill are feeling a bit disgusted. “I think there are some laws that have to be changed, especially [when contracting] in emergency situations and the like,” Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, told the Hill.
In a further play on words, Allbaugh and Halliburton say Allbaugh is a “consultant,” not a lobbyist for Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR). But see his KBR lobby registration form at this link…
http://sopr.senate.gov/cgi-win/opr_gifviewer.exe?/2005/01/000/090/0000 90 44|2
A Halliburton spokesperson said KBR “hired Joe Allbaugh in February 2005 as a consultant to provide strategy support to its Government and Infrastructure business. Since that time, Mr. Allbaugh has not consulted on any specific contracts that the company is considering pursuing, nor has he been tasked by the company with any lobbying responsibilities.”
After leaving FEMA in March 2003, Allbaugh, who managed the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign, founded Allbaugh Co., a lobbying firm with many clients in the disaster-relief business. President Clinton’s former FEMA director had also formed his own lobbying firm for disaster relief.
The creation of the Homeland Security Department has created another big industry for lobbyists: disaster relief. The Post reported there are roughly 240 businesses and lobbyists seeking to influence contracting and policies related to disaster relief. “Few of them, however, have Allbaugh’s experience or can advertise their close connections to Bush,” reported the Post.
In addition to Allbaugh Company, Allbaugh in 2003 was a founder of New Bridge Strategies, which helps companies acquire contracts in Iraq, and Diligence-Iraq, a firm that provides security for civilians in the Middle East.
More Information: http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/news/allbaugh.html
© Copyright , HalliburtonWatch.org, 2005
Private Security and Mercenary Companies Patrol New Orleans
Reaping the Profits of a Humanitarian Disaster
Larry Chin / Centre for Research on Globalization
(September 8, 2005) — The Wednesday, September 7, 2005 broadcast of KPFA’s “Flashpoints” featured a telephone interview with Malik Rahim, who gave a gut-wrenching and shocking firsthand account of the staggering horror of still-neglected New Orleans that he and other survivors are facing. In stark contrast to increasingly optimistic mainstream media coverage (cover-up) about “improving relief efforts” and “rebuilding”, Rahim exposed the fact that there is no relief. No Red Cross, no food, no emergency medical care under a FEMA lockdown that has kept any relief from getting into New Orleans.
Meanwhile, as the Bush administration’s combat operations ramp up, and troops prowl the streets, no help whatsoever has been offered to residents, according to Rahim. Rotting corpses litter the streets, still not moved. People, heroically fending for themselves and their own, are being left in shocking conditions to suffer and die. “Between these disturbing [independent firsthand] reports, and accounts such as “The People of the Dome”, New Orleans is being reduced to another Fallujah.” (see L Chin at http://onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/090505Chin/090505chin.html)
Rahim’s account confirms this — literally. According to Rahim, mercenaries from Blackwater USA are rumbling through the New Orleans streets, armed to the teeth and in full battle gear.
Blackwater USA is a private mercenary firm, one of many “war outsourcing” outfits working for the Pentagon. In the spring 2004 Fallujah assault, Blackwater was involved with combat as well as logistics (food shipments, etc.). Four Blackwater USA mercenaries were killed in Fallujah, raising worldwide attention.
In February 2005, the former Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and the Bush State Department’s former Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Cofer Black, became Blackwater USA’s Vice Chairman.
In “The Mercenary Variable: Outsourced combat in Iraq”, US Army Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff describes Blackwater as follows:
“Blackwater USA is a guns-for-hire training-and-recruitment outfit on a 6,000 acre military training compound on the northern coastal plain of Moyock, North Carolina, a stone’s throw from the Virginia border.”
“What differentiates them from the crazed, ex-military flotsam that rampaged through Congo in the 1960’s is that they are
(2) they use legally recognized financial/contract instruments, and
(3), they work for recognized governments.
The latter is a very finely drawn point, because governments frequently hire these legalized mercenaries at the insistence, and with the support, of multinational corporations who just happen – as it turns out – to be in the same place these outfits are doing their security.
“On the combat end, Blackwater USA is mostly ex-SEALs with a few former SWAT cops thrown in, run by a blustering hyper-macho ex-SEAL named Gary Jackson. One of the victims of the Fallujah ambush – a WWF-looking body-builder-type – had boasted to a reporter staying in his hotel in Baghdad that he preferred hand-to-hand combat so he could see his quarry eye to eye. When I was running a Special Forces A-Detachment, this kind of talk would have sent me seeking a way to reassign you out of my team.”
The infamous Halliburton-KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root), the “classic” private military firm connected to Dick Cheney, is already in the area as well. Where there is oil, war, destruction and “rebuilding”, there is KBR.
What are they doing in New Orleans? What is the Bush administration and FEMA up to, that the world is being kept from seeing? How many more Americans in New Orleans will die?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at www.globalresearch.ca
© Copyright Larry Chin, GlobalResearch.ca, 2005