Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org  * firstname.lastname@example.org 
PM Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The Neglected Levees of New Orleans: A Victim of Iraq War Spending
"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to
handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the
price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished,
and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security
issue for us."
-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish,
Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.
Today the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote: "No one can say they didn't see
it coming. For years before Hurricane Katrina roared ashore Monday morning,
devastating the Gulf Coast, officials from Louisiana, Mississippi and
Alabama have been warning about their vulnerability to the storms..." See:
WILL BUNCH, email@example.com ,
Will Bunch is a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News. The
article states: "Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?
'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues" for Editor
& Publisher. He wrote: "After 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA
[Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project] dropped to a trickle. The
Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war
in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal
tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the
Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a
reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars." Bunch is
continuing to write on his blog: .
The New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a five-part series in 2002 titled
"Washing Away" about the threat of a major hurricane. The series is
available at: .
ERIC HOLDEMAN, firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management,
Holdeman wrote the article in the Washington Post yesterday titled
"Destroying FEMA." He wrote: "The country's premier agency for dealing with
such events -- FEMA -- is being, in effect, systematically downgraded and
all but dismantled by the Department of Homeland Security."
LLOYD DUMAS, email@example.com 
Professor of political economy and economics at the University of Texas
at Dallas, Dumas is author of the book "Lethal Arrogance: Human Fallibility
and Dangerous Technologies" and an expert on crisis management.
ERIK LEAVER, firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Co-author of the just-released report "The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting
Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops," Leaver is a
research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. The study finds:
"According to current estimates, the cost of the Iraq War could exceed $700
billion. In current dollars, the Vietnam War cost U.S. taxpayers $600 billion."
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167