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"FEMA Restricts Evacuee Data, Citing Privacy"

Are they doing it to abide by privacy laws, or... is there... a coverup?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is restricting the release of information on Hurricane Katrina evacuees, complicating efforts by families to find loved ones and by law enforcement officials searching for parolees and convicted sex offenders.
Citing privacy concerns, FEMA has rejected a request by Texas officials for access to its database of the more than 100,000 evacuees who have registered for state aid, according to the governor's office. FEMA has also declined requests from five states to cross-check a database of convicted sex offenders and parolees against a list of evacuees requesting federal assistance, law enforcement officials said...

Thousands still missing?

The National Center for Missing Adults has a PDF listing at my count around 7000 names.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has an Excel file with what look to be thousands more.
Possible explanations for each person on the list:
- they were never missing
- they've been found and haven't be delisted or those orgs haven't been informed
- each list is full of dupes and those dupes have been propagated to other lists
- they voluntarily disappeared
- they're still awaiting rescue
- they're dead and haven't yet been found or will never be found

Odd: Hurricane Rita caused massive oil rig damage

FT reports in "Rita causes record damage to oil rigs" that:

Hurricane Rita has caused more damage to oil rigs than any other storm in history and will force companies to delay drilling for oil in the US and as far away as the Middle East, initial damage assessments show...
Ken Sill of Credit Suisse First Boston said: "Early reports indicate numerous rigs are missing, destroyed or have suffered serious damage and several companies have yet to report. Rita may set an all-time record."
The US Coast Guard said nine semisubmersible rigs had broken free from their moorings and were adrift...
Initial reports from companies are ominous. Global Santa Fe reported it could not find two of its rigs. Rowan Companies reported four rigs damaged, with two having moved, one losing its "legs" and the fourth presumed sunk. Noble has four rigs adrift, with two run aground one into a ChevronTexaco platform.

But, just yesterday came this NYT report:

there was little sign of damage to the offshore infrastructure, according to the United States Coast Guard, whose initial survey found only two damaged drilling platforms and no traces of oil spills.

Gosh, that's odd.

Mike Brown, Stephen Buyer on the missing parishes

The mystery of the missing parishes deepens with today's Congressional testimony from former FEMA head Mike Brown.
From the transcript

[REP. STEPHEN BUYER (R-IN)]: ...I'd like to know why did the president's federal emergency assistance declaration of August 27th not include the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines?
BROWN: Under the law, the governor makes the request for the declaration and the governors of the states specify what areas, what counties they want included in that declaration.
And, based upon the governor's request, that's the recommendation that we make to the president. So if a governor does not request a particular county or a particular parish, that's not included in the request.
BUYER: All right.
Orleans Parish is New Orleans. I was listening to my colleague, Mr. Jefferson's, questions about when they talked about, you know, they asked for this assistance for three days and then president responded the very next day, not the day that it was made -- the request -- but the governor of Louisiana actually excluded New Orleans from the president's federal emergency assistance declaration?
BROWN: Again, Congressman, we looked at the request. The governors make the request by...
BUYER: Let me ask this. Since you went through the exercise in Pam, was that not shocking to you that the governor would excluded New Orleans from the declaration?
BUYER: When that request came in excluding these three parishes, did you question it?

At this point, you might want to take a look at the PDF file I believe Brown is referring to:
That does list all three parishes that are refered to above as missing... So, either Brown is wrong, or he's lying, or that's a "later version" of the document he received, or that's not the document he's refering to. Note that that document refers to the Stafford Act, mentioned further on:

BROWN: We questioned it. But I made the decision that we were going to go ahead and move assets in regardless because we have the ability to add those parishes...
BUYER: Regardless. Define regardless to me. What does that mean?
BROWN: Well, under the Stafford Act, once that declaration is made under the delegation of authorities, the director of FEMA can add counties on.
And so I just made the decision regardless of what the governor did, that if we needed to add counties on, we would do that.
[...Louisiana's emergency manager is under indictment...]
BUYER: ...I am really bothered that the governor of Louisiana would ask the president to declare an emergency so things could happen and she would exclude New Orleans and the parishes which are going to be hit by this hurricane.
BUYER: I'm really stunned by that. So I'm glad that you were also equally stunned.

Missing parishes still missing

As previously discussed in "Some LA counties missing from White House emergency declaration" and the later "The strange incident of the missing parishes", the various press releases and emergency declarations from various agencies seem to be missing some of the affected parishes.
For instance, a White House emergency declaration listed the parishes in the north of the state, and not those most affected.
This matter still remains a mystery, and here are some more links for any doughty researchers who want to try to come up with an answer.
A comment left at this post refers to "Winston Smith games", but the promised follow-up is not provided...
If your tinfoil is snugged down tight, enjoy yet another DU thread on this.
And, it turns out that "Is Blanco Trying To Rewrite History?" might not be correct, for the reason listed.
That links to LA press release #976 from Aug 27 and to a PDF file from Aug 28.
The first describes the parishes and requests an emergency declaration. The second requests a disaster declaration:

You correctly noted President Bush's same-day response to the Aug. 27 Blanco letter. What you missed is that on Aug. 29, President Bush responded to the second letter and made the disaster declaration. It's right there on the White House website, six documents above the one you posted.

That second link lists all the parishes in one way or another.
Here are some press releases from FEMA:
Aug 27: "Emergency Aid Authorized For Hurricane Katrina Emergency Response In Louisiana" (does NOT list Orleans, Plaquemines, etc.)
Aug 29: "Designated Counties for Louisiana Hurricane Katrina" (lists all counties in one way or another)
Aug 29: President Declares Major Disaster For Louisiana (ditto)
UPDATE: Here's yet another attempt to figure this out.

The strange incident of the missing parishes

The DUmmies try to sort out the missing parishes first discussed here in Some Louisiana parishes missing from White House emergency declaration. They point to this LA press release, saying in their charming way:

Governor Blanco has to issue a second letter, explicitly listing the Parishes for George.

But, there's no parishes listed at the link. Google's cache is too recent. However, this page seems to have an original copy of that press release (No. 48 KBB 2005), but there's no list there either.
Are the DUmmies mistaken? No, that can't be, can it? It doesn't seem like Blanco's proclamation has been modified since issued, since the Bayou Buzz post says it's from 8/26, the day of the press release.
The leftie page "Bush orders FEMA to protect Upsidedownland" started trying to find the answer to these questions the same day as I did, with no apparent luck so far. He's even got a nice map of the parishes. His third update says:

My inbox has received many dozens of emails from people pointing to August 29th (post-storm) documents, which supposedly fill in the blanks but are entirely off the point. We're looking for a pre-storm explanation. Please check your dates carefully.

On a perhaps related note, here's the August press releases. You'll note that some post numbers are missing, for instance 975. I'm not familiar with whatever system they're using, so perhaps they're elsewhere on their site, or perhaps they were deleted for innocent reasons. Or...

Some LA counties missing from White House emergency declaration

On August 26, the White House issued a "Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana", which is provided below. That statement contains a list of parishes.
Oddly enough, only 39 parishes are listed, yet Louisiana has 64 parishes. One of those that's not on the WH list is... Orleans. Here's the full list of the ones that are missing from the White House list:
Jefferson Davis
St. Bernard
St. Charles
St. James
St. John The Baptist
St. Martin
St. Mary
St. Tammany
West Baton Rouge
Here's the declaration:

The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing.
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.
Representing FEMA, Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named William Lokey as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.


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