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Eric Schmeltzer

Eric Schmeltzer

Posted: September 23, 2005 03:58 PM

Something Smells in New Orleans


If you are looking for the worst piece of crap journalism out there today, look no further than this Scripps Howard piece

So let me get this straight: tons of the filthiest, foulest water has been pumped into Lake Pontchartrain, but it's still safe for swimming? How about President Bush and Stephen Johnson go for a little dip? Then I'll believe it.

That Scripps Howard can report this with a straight face, without finding and reporting on dissenting views at all is wholly irresponsible. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones. This story in Reuters a few days ago reported that the water in New Orleans was not a "toxic gumbo." Again, sources were totally limited to government officials.

Read on my blog about the mysterious absence of two key chemicals in all water and sediment testing. Toluene and Benzene are two key components of petroleum products like gasoline and oil. Yet no testing shows ANY levels of these chemicals. Therefore, the testing is either falsified, which is hard to prove, or incomplete, which is 100% true. If it is incomplete, what other chemicals and metals are not turning up? Most likely a whole lot.

If this is a cover-up, what purpose would it serve? Well, for starters, if water and sediment is declared to be no dangerous, it doesn't have to be cleaned up. If they did admit to levels of benzene and toluene and other chemicals, guess who could be held liable? Oil and chemical companies! I'm willing to bet a few CEOs are calling their buddy, W, about it. Mayor Ray Nagin is playing a part too by not questioning these findings for a second, and happily sending people back into the city. A real Mayor would stop reinhabitation, and ask for all findings to be independently verified. After all, this is the same Administration that told us they were 100% sure Saddam had WMD.

Keep a close eye on this. I'm not ready to say it's a cover-up, but as time goes on, it's starting to smell a lot worse than the stench in New Orleans that is caused by the chemicals the EPA says it cannot detect.