Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Congress thinks Army Corps of Engineers doing a heckuva job

No, this is not a story from The Onion:

LAST WEEK the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers admitted responsibility for much of the destruction of New Orleans. It was not true, as the Corps initially had claimed, that its defenses failed because Congress had authorized only Category 3 protection, with the result that Hurricane Katrina overtopped the city's floodwalls. Rather, Katrina was no stronger than a Category 2 storm by the time it came ashore, and many of the floodwalls let water in because they collapsed, not because they weren't high enough. As the Corps' own inquiry found, the agency committed numerous mistakes of design: Its network of pumps, walls and levees was "a system in name only"; it failed to take into account the gradual sinking of the local soil; it closed its ears when people pointed out these problems. The result was a national tragedy.

You might think that the Corps' mea culpa would fuel efforts to reform the agency. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) are pushing a measure that would do just that, requiring that future Corps proposals be subject to technical review by an independent agency. But the stronger current in Congress goes in the opposite direction. A measure urged by Louisiana senators and written by Sens. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) would loosen oversight of the Corps. Billions of dollars may be spent in ways that ignore the most basic lessons from Katrina.

Geez, you'd think they'd be discussing what they fuck they are going to do with a government entity so poorly run that it kills people, and how many homes we are going to rebuild at the expense of the federal government in order to try and make it up to the residents of New Orleans who lives were ruined by the mind-boggling ineptitude of the USACE.


marc said...

damn straight. not to mention the people who need homes the most (read: low-income residents) are not the ones getting them.

Grant Miller said...

Opens the floodgates to more pork projects.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Winston, I tried emailing you at the address you left and it bounced back.