Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Here We Go Again: FEMA wants to block photos of New Orleans Dead

Here it comes:

The U.S. government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims.

An agency spokeswoman said space was needed on the rescue boats and that "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect."

"We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media," the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed response to a Reuters inquiry.

Okay, seriously, it’s come to this: How do we know they're not killing them? I’m 100% serious. Not that I actually believe they are – but come on now, that’s what a media blackout like this will achieve.

Is this really still America? How long until the airspace over NOLA is restricted so there are no aerial photos? And what happens if some photographers choose to take pictures anyway – will their cameras be seized?

It all boils down to this – if this administration really cared about the “dignity” of these victims, then why did they let them rot in the streets for DAYS? Who the hell are they trying to kid?

I’ll tell you who they’re trying to kid – you and me. Yet again we pay for these people to lie and hide, just like they have in Iraq, only this time the turf doesn’t belong to them, so we get this bid to shut down the media when it’s showing bad news. They couldn't do it the way they originally envisioned, by forcing Blanco to cede control of the National Guard so they could seal the area, so this is the next best thing. Shut them out any way possible and you stop the flow of bad news. People “feel protected” rather than actually being protected.

I think it’s time Americans let them know that we’re not prepared to swallow their lies and Soviet-style suppression of the truth. FEMA has blocked anything and everything going to that site - rescuers, food, water, oil, boats, communications, cars, trucks, buses, helicopters, planes, and now journalists, and they must pay the price.

Just watch. Next comes the cooking of the body count statistics.

And for the record, I will run photos, even if it’s eventually in defiance of some bullshit law. The American people deserve to know just what their corrupt, morally bankrupt government is doing to them. RIP, Alcene. May your suffering not be in vain.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:52 AM