Editilla on the NOLA Levees and ASCE

A week or so back I noticed Editilla at the Ladder was raising some hell about the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) impeding other levee failure investigations. It is a most worthy topic so I invited him to do a guest post us here on slabbed on the topic. He suggested a confab involving the Ladder and we are happy to oblige.

Before we get to Editilla some background is in order couresty of Sandy Rosenthal at Levees.org and the Times Picayune.

Levees.org, the local nonprofit flood protection watchdog group, blasted on Tuesday the American Society of Civil Engineers for failing to complete an investigation of alleged unethical behavior of its staff during the initial investigation of levee failures in New Orleans.

Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal further criticized delays in the completion of a review of ASCE’s peer reviews of natural and man-made disasters, which the industry group commissioned in December after the filing of the ethics complaint.

“We think that these activities and these excessive delays are artificially manufactured to give the American Society of Civil Engineers time — time to protect its own reputation, time to discredit those coming forward with ethics violations, time so that others coming forward with supporting information will be obstructed and intimidated, and probably worst of all, time so that the American public’s attention will turn elsewhere,” Rosenthal said.

ASCE spokeswoman Joan Buhrman said she could not say when the ethics investigation, being conducted by a committee of three former ASCE presidents, will be completed.

“The CPC is an independent group, and it sets its own timeline,” she said. “It’s a confidential process, and we can’t really say anything else about it at this time.”

Retired U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., said his task force expects to deliver its report to the ASCE by the end of the first week of September.

He said delays in its completion are because of schedule conflicts of its members.

The 42-page ethics complaint was filed by University of California-Berkeley engineering professor Raymond Seed, who claimed executives of ASCE and the corps systematically attempted to undermine an independent investigation led by Seed and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The Army Corps of Engineers has requested that the ASCE appoint an “external review panel” to advise the corps-sponsored Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, which was investigating the causes of flooding during Hurricane Katrina.

Since then, the review panel has continued to advise the corps on changes in policies and construction methods that stemmed from the IPET investigation. It also has published critiques of sections of the IPET’s report as they have been completed.

One thing about post Katrina New Orleans ASCE has no doubt since figured out: They take their flood protection seriously. Seeing the dead from the levee break and resulting flood no doubt leaves a lasting impression. Editilla’s post on the subject left an impression with us. You can find it here.

Thank you Times Picayune.

This major media Editorial does much to help repair the damage done this week to rebuilding safe levees by Gambit’s acquiescence to ASCECORPS

(Sorry Gambit. I saw Dead People in their Flood.)

These Creep’0’Criminals would have us pay NO Attention to That Man behind the Levees.
Since they have failed to stop the 8/29 Investigation from being entered into Congress, ASCECORPS Spin’Filtraitors are now trying to slow down the Bill’s progress until they can defeat Landrieu and Melancon, the Bill’s sponsors

Gambit wants to get us to “join with them” (ASCE) and “help them” (ASCECORPS) recraft this legislation –which is already written.

(No. I made a promise to those Dead People.)

ASCE did this latest slight of hand in the smarmiest of ways under the visage of one Tom Jackson, a past president of ASCE who served on the ERP and currently infiltrates the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East coming off in the Gambit editorial as if we are shutting them, the poor babies, out of the Investigation rather than the other way around. Lemme toll’ya, that conflict-of-interest shit may work for the Bush administration’s Contract Procurement Specialists, but no longer walks here in the Land of Safe Levees. It is an obvious Conflict of Interest for this man, Jackson, to be on the Levee Board, let alone being given such a venue for public relations spin, while his group is Under Investigation.

What is the benefit of Mr. Jackson pointing out Corps deficienciesif they never get corrected? Oldest trick in da’book of tricky business: offer this to see not that.

Well, it certainly serves to give Mr. Jackson the appearance of impartiality, eh? Or, is the purpose of such disclosure simply to give the public a little jerky, something to chew, while ASCECORPS treads water.
If Mr. Jackson truly believed a word he said in his faux criticisms, then he would support fellow ASCE member Raymond Seed’s 42 page Ethics Complaint–rather than attempt to divert attention away from it as he did in Gambit this week, crying “us’n’them”.

Doth Thouesttt Protest’thing?

Rather “Us’n’Them”, how’bout “Them’n’Them”: ASCECORPS …Our Uncle’Sam’Daddy!

They were approached and solicited for participation and cockily refused, even laughed at the very idea.

ASCECORPS has very diligently kept the public shut out of their own Investigative process and now are beginning to act like other Capitans of NOAH’s Ark …as in WHERE Is The Goddamn Money? $36,250,000? How has ASCECORPS blown through So Much Money in such a short time? 3 Years?

~~And With So Little To Show For It?
$12,000,000 per Year? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???
That IPET Report better have pictures!

(Life Matters When Our City Grieves Her Dead.)

There is a Real Problem here between the upper echelons of ASCE(CORPS) and their rank and file member engineers, as Dr. Raymond Seed is not acting alone in his Ethics Complaint. Hence, Mr. Jackson must step down from overseeing the repair of our levees until such conflicts in that process are resolved.

In 190 Days we will finally have a the Corps in Court over MRGO.That gazillion pound gorilla is really what much of this ASCECORPS misdirection is about.
(And future Engineering “Consultant” work for ASCE)
ASCECORPS ~gon’hafta~ Step-it-up’n’MRGO!

We will find out, Mr. Jackson, who signed-off on this crappy, illegitimate engineering. We will discover the names of who came up with this criminally negligent flood control system.

God help anyone who is behind our failing levees
as Goddess Damns those who built them.

Galette L’infamie!

5 thoughts on “Editilla on the NOLA Levees and ASCE”

  1. Thank you Editilla. If Sandy puts that new documentary up on the net, we’ll be certain to feature it here too.

    The only way we can build better levees is to learn from what didn’t work. Every aspect of the chain of events related to the levee breaches demands full transparency not bureaucratic butt covering.


  2. Sandy would be happy to give you a copy of the DVD and I will be happy to forward the email thingy pronto pup!

    Errah…this composting today, timed as it was with the TP lede, ahem… we rattle and hum, sop, rattle’n’hum… jus’sayin… da’road home gettin’bit narrower…

  3. Thanks for the email Editilla! We’re gonna snag us a copy and do Sandy one better than a house party, we’re gonna have us a slabbed party. 🙂


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