Saturday, September 17, 2005

Whose hands are on the money?

Is anyone having second thoughts about giving billions of dollars of aid for Katrina relief to local and state officials?

If not, read this: Louisiana Officials Indicted Before Katrina Hit.

Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.

And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998. . . .

The problems are particularly worrisome, federal officials said, because they involve the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the agency that will administer much of the billions in federal aid anticipated for victims of Katrina.

If the hundreds of billions of dollars of hurricane relief fall into the wrong hands, this could make the Oil For Food Scandel amount look like monopoly money.

On a related note, have you heard of the Louisiana congressman who under the auspices of viewing hurricane damage, went to his home to recover personal items, and then got stuck, so he had to get a rescue team to get him out. So during a crucial time when the National Guard and the Coast Guard are trying to keep order and rescue people, this empty suit swings by his house and even takes Guardsmen with him. Then the Coast Guard has to intervene to get him out.


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