“Rumors of deaths greatly exaggerated"

what do you think?

The Times-Picayune headline and story appears only after almost a full month of reports that the New Orleans victims of hurricane Katrina had acted like murderers and animals.

As the fog of warlike conditions in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath has cleared, the vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.

"I think 99 percent of it is bulls---," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome. "Don't get me wrong, bad things happened, but I didn't see any killing and raping and cutting of throats or anything. ... Ninety-nine percent of the people in the Dome were very well-behaved."

. . . .

Four weeks after the storm, few of the widely reported atrocities have been backed with evidence. The piles of bodies never materialized, and soldiers, police officers and rescue personnel on the front lines say that although anarchy reigned at times and people suffered unimaginable indignities, most of the worst crimes reported at the time never happened.

We should have known all along that racism would be a key part of the disaster response. What has surprised us most, the original reports or the news that they were spurious?

[image dated September 2, of crowd awaiting evacuation from the Superdome, by David J. Phillip from AP via Times-Picayune]

it's impossible to know what's true anymore - the press is paid for - politicians lie for a living - the arts are all we have left