Army Corps Caught Attacking Citizens Online

Submitted by: Sandy Rosenthal

In a sworn affidavit, Jon Donley, Editor of the online version of New Orleans’ leading newspaper, the Times Picayune, described questionable and possibly illegal behavior by about 20 individuals at the U.S Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District.

The activity occurred for several years immediately following the Corps of Engineers’ catastrophic levee failures during Katrina. Disguising their identities and using government equipment, the cadre routinely posted misleading and disparaging comments on public forums and news stories with a common theme. The group’s apparent goal, said Donley was to “attack people calling for (Corps) accountability, to silence critics and deflect independent review of the Katrina disaster.”

Furthermore, the affidavit asserts that many comments “appealed to racial division and at times engaged in racial slurs” against African American citizens in New Orleans.

Donley’s affidavit so thoroughly validated the index of suspicion that US Senator Mary Landrieu in June 2009 requested the Pentagon to conduct an investigation. Unfortunately, the investigation, essentially an internal review, was limited in scope and pinned blame on an isolated individual who was subsequently fired. Donley was never contacted by any investigator even though he was the key source
of information.

Sources on this story:
http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/09/department_of_defense_inspecto.html

The Associated Press article did NOT cover the crucial part of the
story - Mr. Donley’s testimony.
http://www.kplctv.com/Global/story.asp?s=11232111&

Post on Jon Donley’s blog on why he spoke out
http://www.jondonley.com/2009/06/affidavit-on-smear-campaign-against-corps-critics/

Comment re-printed from Sandy Rosenthal’s Huffington Post blog on the
failure of the Pentagon to conduct a complete investigation:
http://levees.org/2009/12/15/jon-donley-the-corps-is-one-of-most-powerful-machines-in-the-u-s/