The following is a comment by Jon Donley, founder and former editior and chief on NOLA.com on my Huffington Post blog dated Dec 14, 2009.
The Corps of Engineers is one of the most powerful machines in the country; it can award and withhold contracts in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The power behind the Great Flood of 1927 was also behind the Katrina Disaster.
As editor-in-chief of NOLA.com, the online news and community platform of New Orleans, I tracked the way Corps agents subverted our life-saving forums and blogs into a tool to twist the facts about what happened in Katrina.
Corps allies worked after 1927 to shield the agency from future liabilities. This is equivalent to a surgeon bearing no liability for negligence.
Fortunately there was a chink in the Corps’ liability armor, as it has now been held responsible for a portion of the destruction.
I expect that its allies are already rushing to close that gap. The Corps’ activities on NOLA.com sparked an investigation called by Sen. Mary Landrieu.
This investigation – conducted by what was effectively an internal review – pinned the blame on an isolated individual.
My data, however, was evidently not considered; in fact, I was never contacted by any investigator, although I was the key source of these accusations.
The investigation was whitewash, and one can only speculate what motivated Sen. Landrieu and the New Orleans news media, to accept the results at face value.