Bodies Found Piled in Freezer in New Orleans Convention Center
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    Bodies Found Piled in Freezer in New Orleans Convention Center

    Bodies Found Piled in Freezer in New Orleans Convention Center


    Arkansas National Guardsman Mikel Brooks stepped through the food service entrance of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Monday, flipped on the light at the end of his machine gun, and started pointing out bodies.

    "Don't step in that blood - it's contaminated," he said. "That one with his arm sticking up in the air, he's an old man."

    Then he shined the light on the smaller human figure under the white sheet next to the elderly man.

    "That's a kid," he said. "There's another one in the freezer, a 7-year-old with her throat cut."

    He moved on, walking quickly through the darkness, pulling his camouflage shirt to his face to screen out the overwhelming odor.

    "There's an old woman," he said, pointing to a wheelchair covered by a sheet. "I escorted her in myself. And that old man got bludgeoned to death," he said of the body lying on the floor next to the wheelchair.

    Brooks and several other Guardsmen said they had seen between 30 and 40 more bodies in the Convention Center's freezer. "It's not on, but at least you can shut the door," said fellow Guardsman Phillip Thompson.

    The scene of rotting bodies inside the Convention Center reflected those in thousands of businesses, schools, homes and shelters across the metropolitan area. The official death count from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana was 71 as of Monday evening, but that included only those bodies that had been brought to a make-shift morgue in St. Gabriel.

    Nearly a full week after Hurricane Katrina, a rescue force the size of an invading army had not yet begun the task of retrieving the bodies Sunday. What's more, officials appeared to have no plan.

    Daniel Martinez, a spokesman for FEMA working on Interstate 10 in eastern New Orleans, said plans for body recovery "are not being released yet."

    Dozens of rescue workers questioned Monday said they knew of no protocol or collection points for bodies; none said they had retrieved even one of the many corpses seen floating in neighborhoods around the city as they searched for survivors.

    Scores of rescue workers this week repeated the same mantra, over and over: We can't worry about the dead; we're still trying to save the living.

    But as rescue teams across the city said they had checked nearly every house for survivors, the enormity of the death that lay in Hurricane Katrina's wake came into sharp focus even as the plans for taking care of the dead remained murky.

    Mayor Ray Nagin, addressing the potential body count for the storm for the first time, said the storm may have claimed more than 10,000 lives.

    In a news conference Monday morning, Deputy Chief Warren Riley said his department was "not responsible for recovery."

    "We don't have a body count, but I can tell you it's growing. It's growing," he said.

    As the rescue missions covered more and more ground but yielded fewer survivors, New Orleans Police Deputy Chief Steve Nicholas said that the time has come to start dealing with the dead.

    "I know we're still rescuing people, but I think it's time we start pulling out the bodies," he said.

    The highest concentration of casualties from Hurricane Katrina likely will come in the Lower 9th Ward, St. Bernard Parish, areas first inundated on Aug. 29 with floodwaters that engulfed second story homes in minutes. New Orleans also will likely see mass casualties, New Orleans Police Capt. Timothy Bayard said.

    "We're going see a lot more bodies out of New Orleans East than we anticipated," he said.

    In just one subdivision, Sherwood Forest, survivors who showed up to the Convention Center on Monday said police told them roughly 90 people in the subdivision had died.

    In St. Bernard, 22 bodies were found lashed together. Officials surmised the drowning victims had tried to stay together to keep themselves from being washed away in the storm.

    Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said "more than a thousand" people had died in St. Bernard. "When the death toll comes out, it's going to be a jolt for everybody," he said. "I'll be surprised if the casualties in St. Bernard are less than a thousand."

    Even Uptown near the river, one of the few spots of dry land, a body lay in front of a white wooden shotgun double at 4732 Laurel St. The body of an older woman lay under a gray blanket, pinned down at the corners by brick and slate, adorned with a plastic-wrapped flower bouquet. Above her, a yellow cardboard sign quoting John 3:16 had been taped to the window.

    Alcede Jackson
    Rest in Peace
    In the loving arms of Jesus

    Given the length of time many had been dead, and in the water, some of the bodies already might be unrecognizable, and some may never be recovered.

    Many trapped by flood waters in shelters found their own ways of dealing with those who died in their midst.

    Near an elementary school at Poland and St. Claude avenues, Dwight and Wilber Rhodes, two brothers, said they had tried to save a middle-aged man and woman at the Convention Center who appeared to have drowned.

    "We performed CPR on them, but they were already dead," Dwight Rhodes said. "So we took the food out of the freezer and put the bodies in."

    Of the four bodies that lay just inside the food service entrance of the Convention Center, the woman in the wheelchair rattled Brooks the most. When he found her two days before among the sea of suffering in front of the Convention Center where one of the last refugee camps evacuated, her husband sat next to her. He had only one concern when Brooks and some of his comrades carted her away.

    "Bring me back my wheelchair," he recalled the man telling him.

    One of the bodies, they said, was a girl they estimated to be 5 years old. Though they could not confirm it, they had heard she was gang-raped.

    "There was an old lady that said the little girl had been raped by two or three guys, and that she had told another unit. But they said they couldn't do anything about it with all the people there," Brooks said. "I would have put him in cuffs, stuck him in the freezer and left him there."

    Brooks and his unit came to New Orleans not long after serving a year of combat duty in Iraq, taking on gunfire and bombs, while losing comrades with regularity. Still, the scene at the Convention Center, where they conducted an evacuation this week, left him shell-shocked.

    "I ain't got the stomach for it, even after what I saw in Iraq," said Brooks, referring to the freezer where the bulk of the bodies sat decomposing. "In Iraq, it's one-on-one. It's war. It's fair. Here, it's just crazy. It's anarchy. When you get down to killing and raping people in the streets for food and water And this is America. This is just 300 miles south of where I live."


  2. #2
    Registered User Free Member Catz1611's Avatar
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    all I can think to say is WOW! What a HORRIBLE horrible ordeal..


  3. #3
    All I can say is that these people that did these cowardly acts are now living in other cities. It is time to take the blinders off, and to check the able bodied young males that were sent away from LA. They should have been kept as work parties in NO, and they were not!

    The tragedy is that these creeps are amoung you now!

    We have already arrested one, on his first day in Tucson for trying to smuggle Crack and Marijuanna in to the area where other NO Residents now reside. There is no telling what kind of criminals NO has released on the country! They have gotten away with Murder in their own city.


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    Marine Free Member GySgtRet's Avatar
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    The mayor of New Orleans and the governor need to be put on charges of mass murder. Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

    Semper Fidelis


  5. #5
    I think, correction, I know that the true impact of the Mayors failings to deal with the criminal eliment will plague the nation in the years to come.


  6. #6
    Marine Free Member mrbsox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Joseph P Carey
    All I can say is that these people that did these cowardly acts are now living in other cities. It is time to take the blinders off, and to check the able bodied young males that were sent away from LA. They should have been kept as work parties in NO, and they were not!

    The tragedy is that these creeps are amoung you now!

    We have already arrested one, on his first day in Tucson for trying to smuggle Crack and Marijuanna in to the area where other NO Residents now reside. There is no telling what kind of criminals NO has released on the country! They have gotten away with Murder in their own city.
    THAT is what worries me also Cpl. This 'TOXIC SOUP' is being shipped all around.
    MY closet will remain 'Locked and Loaded'.


  7. #7
    This article was sent to me. Interesting assessment.
    THE TRUTH ABOUT NEW ORLEANS
    An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State

    Sep 02, 2005
    by Robert Tracinski

    It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

    If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

    Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists--myself included--did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

    But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

    The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

    The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over the past four days. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

    The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

    For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency--indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

    When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

    So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

    To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:

    "Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

    "The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire....

    "Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

    " 'These troops are...under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.' "

    The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

    What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to drive away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Super Dome?

    Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

    My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

    What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"--the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels--gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails--so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

    There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

    All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

    No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

    What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. They don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

    But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

    The welfare state--and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages--is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

    Source: TIA Daily -- September


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