- Eye witnesses are starting to come forward, some only
a block away from the 17th St Canal levee break, saying they heard a loud,
powerful explosion right before water starting gushing in, as they ended
up in a matter of minutes floating downstream on their rooftops.
- Terry Adams, who lives one block away from the 17th St.
break, remembers hearing what sounded "like a bomb going off"
from where the levee gave-way before rushing water forced him to his rooftop.
- "Everything was calm, it was late at night and the
storm had passed. I thought we had dodged a bullet and there was no water
in my house and I was only a block away from the 17 th St. break,"
said Adams, a lower 9th Ward resident, in an extended conversation this
week from New Orleans.
- "Then I heard what sounded like a bomb go off from
the direction of where the levee gave-way and within a matter of minutes
I was forced up on my roof where I floated for about a mile into town before
somehow getting to safety."
- Asked if he was sure he heard an explosion, he added:
"Water breaking a levee isn't going to make the noise I heard and
besides, the levee should have broke before or during the storm, not afterward.
- "I heard an explosion and so did a lot of other
people. It came right from where the levee broke. What else could it have
been but somebody blowing up the levee?"
- The question of how the levee burst in one gigantic place
at the 17th St. and London Ave. drainage canals, estimated by some to be
a gaping hole three football fields long, as well as a number of other
locations, has been on the minds of other local residents from the lower
9 th Ward besides Adams, many hearing the same explosions but being ignored
by the mainstream media, putting their accounts in the realm of conspiracy
- For example, whenever the subject of the levees being
intentionally detonated comes up, most mainstream commentators like ABC's
Michel Martin, dismiss even the slightest possibility of foul play, appeasing
Black listeners with comments such as this:
- "Anybody with any knowledge of history can understand
why a lot of people can feel this way, but any real possibility that the
levies were intentionally exploded must be dismissed."
- However, according to Ryan Washington, a long time New
Orleans bus driver and former resident of the lower 9th Ward who grew up
playing football on top the levee, said the possibility of government dirty
work and foul play isn't so far fetched.
- Now living in nearby Slidell, also hard hit by the hurricane,
he has talked to numerous eye witnesses who say the exact same thing as
Adams, insisting the levee was blown up and didn't give-way by natural
- Washington also said the media should not concentrate
on testimony from experts, new commentators and government officials, who
have biased opinions, buy emphasis should be placed on interviewed the
hundreds if not thousands of people who heard or saw something the night
the levees blew.
- "Why don't they talk to the people who were there?
Why are they relying on government experts who have a reason to hide the
truth? I personally am gathering a list of people, a long list, who saw
and heard what really happened that night," said Washington, in a
telephone conversation this week from New Orleans.
- He added that government officials have been wanted to
get hold of the valuable lower 9th Ward property ever since 1965 when Hurricane
Betsy flooded the area and the same suspicions of foul play circulated
through his neighborhood.
- "I even have talked to many reporters on the scene
and tell them to get the story from the horse's mouth and talk to the people,"
said Washington, adding it's easier to hear and learn the real truth on
a city bus than behind the veil of city hall and the corrupted television
- "The stories about people hearing and seeing explosions,
as well as stories about bomb residue being found at the scene, never see
the light of day or get in the papers or on television.
- "And if they do, these stories are always dismissed
as being crazy or discredited by experts or government officials, who I
personally don't believe one bit."
- According to Washington, several important factors convince
him beyond a reasonable doubt that the levees were blown intentionally
to racially cleanse the city, as well as the first step in a redevelopment
plan to put up high rise casinos and hotels in the lower 9 th Ward.
- "First, they always say that explosion was a power
generator. But the power was off when the levees blew and the power station
they were talking about was not in the vicinity of where the explosions
were heard," said Washington. "Next, they say the barge in the
canal broke the levees. I never once saw a barge in the canal in all the
years I lived there.
- "Also, if it did plow through the levee, it never
would have made such a noise or cause an immediate break three football
fields long. Further, why were immediately on the scene to fence of the
levees so no one could see what happened when it too them more than 10
days in some cases to rescue people. What are they hiding?
- "Please someone from the media come down here and
get the real story as I have talked to so many people who feel the same
way I do. The government has been trying to get our land since 1965 and
they are still trying today."
- Besides numerous residents suspecting foul play, New
York filmmaker Spike Lee in October Lee said on Friday night's Real Time
with Bill Maher on HBO, that he believes Louis Farakhan's allegation that
a levee was blown up to flood the nearly all-Black 9th Ward.
- Lee added that "a choice had to be made, one neighborhood
got to save another neighborhood and flood another 'hood, flood another
neighborhood." He then engaged in a heated battle of words with neo
con shill and MSNBC reporter, bow tied Tucker Carlson, who dismissed Lee
as conspiracy theorist spreading paranoia and fear.
- At this point the short exchange between the two shows
Carlson's true colors as a government propagandist and as far from being
a journalist as George W. Bush himself:
- Lee: "Presidents have been assassinated. So why
is that so far-fetched? Do you think that election in 2000 was fair? You
don't think that was rigged If they can rig an election, they can do anything!"
- Carlson: "I was in New Orleans right after the hurricane
in the ninth ward. And while I didn't hear anybody say the levee was blown
up by the federal government, I did interview a bunch of people who were
stuck there who said they believed this was part of the conspiracy to rid
New Orleans of black people. They honestly believed that. I didn't argue
with them, I just listened to what they said and I felt bad for them. So
as you sit here -- who is someone who is rich and has option -- and are
watched by people who are poor and have no options, it seems to me it's
your responsibility, your obligation to tell them the truth and you know
the truth, which is the federal government did not blow up the levees so
don't feed the paranoia and the crazies."
- Lee: "First of all, how's that feeding the paranoia?"
- Carlson: "Because you're saying it's entirely possible
when you know perfectly well it's not possible."
- Lee: "How's it not possible?"
- Although numerous questions remain unanswered about the
reason behind the levee controversy, one question never posed was how could
a man like Carlson ever call himself a fair-minded journalist after comments
made on Real Time?
- "I know why," said Washington. "These
journalists are as corrupt as the government folks they write about. I'm
only a bus driver but I know the difference between right and wrong and
the media is dead wrong by not covering this story fairly.
- One of the biggest controversies still brewing is the
preliminary results of the three main investigatory groups looking at why
the levees erupted. The groups, all tied to government interests, include
the National Science Foundation in conjunction with the American Society
of Civil Engineers; the United States Army Corps of Engineers; and the
third group being funded by the State of Louisiana, led by scientists at
the Louisiana State University hurricane center.
- Although each investigation is independent of the other,
scientists claim to be sharing data, coming to some surprising preliminary
conclusions, one of which could have enormous consequences.
- In a recent article by John M. Barry analyzing the data
from the three groups, he looks at some of the suspicious preliminary questions,
raising even more questions of how could the 17th St. levee break with
such a small storm surge emanating from Lake Pontchartrain not the Gulf
- "We know that Hurricane Katrina made landfall with
enormous power, devastating the Gulf Coast, and that the levee on the Industrial
Canal in New Orleans was overtopped by a storm surge coming directly from
the Gulf of Mexico. When a levee is overtopped, there is basically nothing
that can be done. Water pouring over a levee long enough will, in effect,
wash part of the levee away. That's what happened on the Industrial Canal,
resulting in the flooding of part of the Ninth Ward, along with much of
St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.
- "But most of New Orleans was not flooded by water
coming directly from the Gulf. It was flooded from the north and rear by
Lake Pontchartrain , when levees failed along the 17th Street and London
Avenue drainage canals. Initially, the Corps of Engineers said that the
storm was so great that it overtopped these levees also.
- "But after inspecting the levees and reviewing storm
data, all three investigating teams agree: Hurricane Katrina hit Lake Pontchartrain
with far less strength than it did the Gulf Coast, and the storm surge
fell well short of the tops of the levees. In fact, a design or construction
flaw caused them to collapse in the face of a force they were designed
to hold. In other words, if the levies had performed as they were supposed
to, the deaths in New Orleans proper, the scenes in the Superdome and the
city's devastation would never have taken place."
- For more informative articles, go to www.arcticbeacon.com.
- Greg Szymanski