[StBernard] Sworn affadavit: Corps used taxpayer funds to attack its critics

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Thu Jun 18 21:10:33 EDT 2009

June 18, 2009

Dear James

In a sworn affidavit, a former managing editor of Nola.com, New
Orleans' largest online newsource describes how the Army Corps of Engineers
used significant tax payer resources to attack critics of the Corps.

According to the affidavit, a cadre of 20 people, for over 3 years,
have hidden their identities and posted comments on the Times-Picayune
affiliate's articles and forums that smeared New Orleanians and obscured the
facts of the Corps of Engineers' responsibility for the failure of its flood

The affidavit also described how many of the comments "appealed to
racial division and at times engaged in racial slurs against African

Levees.org discovered evidence of this activity six months ago, and
early this year submitted a written request to Nola.com/Times Picayune for
all the comments data.

But their lawyer, Neil Rosenhouse of Sabin, Bermant & Gould told us
that, while there is no legal reason to deny us access to the comments, they
still won't give them to us. They cited "policy."

Don't we, the citizens deserve to know the full extent of the Corps'
unethical behavior?

If you agree, write to Jim Amoss, Editor of the Times Picayune at
this address jamoss at timespicayune.com, and say this:

"I deserve to know the full details on how the Corps of Engineers
has been using my tax payer money to protect its image. I deserve to see
all the comments that came from the Corps' computers."

You could also leave a message on Mr. Amoss's voice mail by calling
his direct line: 504-826-3475.

In response to this disturbing information, Levees.org has filed a
request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). We requested all
communications between the Corps of Engineers and its $5 million dollar PR
firm Outreach Process Partners (OPP) which recently claimed on its website
to play a "fundamental part" of reducing the volume of negative news stories
about the Corps.

The PR firm spoke of "fostering strategic relationships" with news
outlets. The Times Picayune is one of the news outlets that OPP boasted of
"providing media support."

These revelations - the sworn affidavit, and the OPP claims - are
two more reasons we deserve the 8/29 Investigation Act, a truly independent
analysis of the flood protection failures, and the organizational component,
that occurred in August 2005.

My dear supporters, we are winning!

These revelations - and the media attention both have garnered - is
evidence that your ongoing efforts and support of Levees.org are paying off.

Sandy Rosenthal
Founder, Levees.org

Click here for the WWL TV Channel 4 Eyewitness News story:

Click here to see a copy of the sworn affidavit.

Click here to see examples of the insulting comments and lies posted
to the internet by individuals at the Army Corps of Engineers.

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