Sunday, April 16, 2006

Army Corps of Engineers: Murderers



Again, I must emphasize that I *do not* place blame upon individual engineers and scientists at the Corps of Engineers. Many of them are my friends. Hell, Mrs. Schroeder used to be one of them. Ninety-nine percent of them -- outside of the command structure -- truly want to do the right thing. They are constrained from doing so by: 1) a contradictory mission to both develop and preserve navigable waterways; 2) a budget process subject to local, and especially federal, political agendas; 3) political favoritism, which creeps into the permitting process for projects that violate the Corps' core principles; and 4) the military protocol to obey orders.

Having said that, and with all due respect, love, and admiration for the people who are trying to do the right thing, the Corps of Engineers as an institution is guilty of negligent homicide and is liable for the tens of billions of dollars in damage to people's homes and livelihoods.

Realitique has a post which links to a pair of Robert Lindsay photos of a Katrina casualty. I recommend that caution be used in considering whether to view the photos, and I wholly recommend against anyone viewing it who is faint of heart.

As I've stated elsewhere, I believe the Corps can do its job, but its mission needs to be clarified, and its decision-making process needs to be isolated from political shenanigans. At the same time, Corps projects need to be subjected to independent review. There are many more people more qualified than I to talk about how the Corps should be reviewed -- and many of them are my friends who work at the Corps. Their voices need to be heard.

2 Comments:

At 4/16/2006 10:24:00 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for the link, but just to clarify, I'm sure the vast majority of employees and contractors of the Corps of Engineers are doing a wonderful job. I knew only one employee; he was a lawyer and he's dead. It's probably a few in the Adminisphere who screwed a lot of things up. But I tend towards invective.

 
At 4/17/2006 05:54:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

I'm not saying invective is wrong. I once had this discussion with one of the editors at the T-P. His point was that the T-P's job is to just report the facts -- the record of accomplishment and disaster of the Corps. I still argued that there's more to the story, and it's an important story to get out there if the Corps if the problem is going to be fixed, and New Orleans truly made safer. He questioned where these people were. Of course, they're not going to come out in the open with their stories, out of fear for their jobs. So we have to rely upon the debate that occurs in the public sphere. If that's all we have to go on, fire away!

 

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