Online Spoof of the Levee Review Causes Controversy
Advocacy panel says report easy on corps
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
By Mark Schleifstein
A long-simmering dispute about whether a leading engineering organization whitewashed the role of the Army Corps of Engineers in the failure of the levee system during Hurricane Katrina has broken into the open with a bitter YouTube spoof and a demand for an ethics investigation of the organization's staff.
In June, the American Society of Civil Engineers released the results of a peer review of the Defense Department-sponsored Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, or IPET. But critics say the review, and particularly the news release accompanying it, minimized the role of the levee failure in the flooding of the city.
The civil engineering group's most controversial claims were that much of the death and destruction would have happened even without the levee failure, and that the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet did not serve as a hurricane highway into New Orleans. Reviews by other scientific organizations were much tougher on the corps. the American Society of Civil Engineers confirmed the launch of an internal ethics probe of its staff and members based on complaints by a University of California-Berkeley professor, who served on a separate independent panel investigating levee failures.
Levees.org took down the video but someone made a copy before they did.
See it here on YouTube