Socialist Worker

New Orleans briefs

Issue No. 1967

Halliburton poised to profit

Earlier this year US multinational Halliburton confirmed that it had hired the former head of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), Joseph Allbaugh, as a consultant on issues including disaster relief and homeland security.

Allbaugh was appointed as head of Fema after working as Bush’s political adviser during his 2001 presidential campaign.

He spent the next four years scaling back preparedness programmes which could have saved thousands of lives in New Orleans.

And Halliburton has just picked up the contract for the reconstruction of New Orleans’s naval bases.

How to get ahead in Fema

Mike Brown, the federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue, was fired from his last private sector job overseeing horse shows.

Before joining Fema as a deputy director in 2001 he had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position.

His only qualification seems to be that he was a college roommate of former Fema head Joseph Allbaugh.

Helicopters used to ferry CNN

Rather than carrying food and water to survivors of the hurricane, three US customs Black Hawk helicopters were used to carry film crews.

The helicopters were stationed at Crestview airport, Florida, within easy flying distance of New Orleans. But the authorities chose to use them to ferry CNN news crews reporting on the disaster.

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