The Washington Post story about wasted Katrina relief funds is creating some real buzz all over the internet and in news circles right now. Quite frankly, as one who tracks Katrina talk on a daily basis, I've been amazed at the depth and scope of the conversation this article has provoked and not just nationally but globally. I'd venture to say the WaPo article has done more to bring back Katrina issues into awareness than anything else I've read in a while. So rock on WaPo! It's good to have you back covering Katrina matters. BTW WaPo staff writers John Solomon and Spencer S. Hsu penned the article I'm referring to. You can catch it here. In the meantime, I've reprinted a post by fraud expert Ed Dickson, below (It was originally published at his excellent blog Fraud, Phishing & Financial Misdeeds.)
By Ed Dickson
hurricane disasters, and their commentary on social issues, continue to
amaze me. To me, the rest of the world can learn a lot by studying the
ongoing problems related to the disaster.
The amount of money wasted, or lost to fraud (over a billion and growing) is a sad commentary, when a lot of the victims are still living in the now (infamous) FEMA trailers.
Now a new allegation is being brought forth, which is that $854 million in aid promised by our allies, wasn't even accepted. I find this pretty interesting as people are suffering nearly two years, afterwards?
Even more shameful was that expert search and rescue personnel, were turned down, immediately after the hurricane, when they probably would have been extremely helpful:
And while television sets worldwide showed images of New Orleans residents begging to be rescued from rooftops as floodwaters rose, U.S. officials turned down countless offers of allied troops and search-and-rescue teams. The most common responses: "sent letter of thanks" and "will keep offer on hand," the new documents show.
This fact, given the problems in the initial response, amazes me.
Original Washington Post article, here.
I wonder how our allies, many of who have accepted similar aid from us in the past, felt when we turned their generous offers down?
More recently, the Post is reporting that Congress intends to look into this. The article regarding this can be read, here.