Monthly Archives: September 2008

Key 9/11 Eye Witness "Commits Suicide?"

Bombs in the basement

The Daily News reported yesterday that Kenny Johannemann – a key witness in the WTC 9/11 bombings – recently committed suicide.

I call him a key witness because in spite of aggressive prodding from reporters about “the planes,” he clearly called what happened on the upper floors of the World Trade Center “explosions.”

More important, Johannemann reported a massive explosion in the basement of one of the Twin Towers and rescuing someone who received full body burns from an explosion that took place at the base – not the top – of the building.

(The Daily News obscured this part of the story in their report today.)

The suicide note purportedly left by Johannemann stated that he had “lost friends and family” over “his drinking” which the letter attributes to his depression since 9/11.

Here is the entire text of the note as reported in the Daily News:

“The reason I killed myself was ’cause I was getting evicted and can’t handle homelessness. I was also very depressed since 9/11. I’ve been drinking way too much and it’s ruined my life. I’ve lost friends and family over drinking and I’m very lonely. There is nothing left for me to be happy about other than my cat. Sounds weird, but it’s true. I just wanted to say I’m sorry 2 any people I ever hurt in my life. I really was a good person when I wasn’t drinking. I hope people remember that.

Goodbye!!!

Kenny Johannemann”

I wonder if the person who wrote this suicide note bothered to spend any time listening to Johannemann speak.

Johannemann had a large extended family and large social network which, according to his cousin Gerald Maya, universally held him in high regard. Maya had offered him a place to live.

You have to ask yourself two thing:

1. Would a man shoot himself in the head because he faced eviction when he had a family and social safety net like that?

2. Would someone as well spoken as Johannemann demonstrated himself to be on live TV, write a suicide note that sounds more like a teen aged boy’s text message than a grown man’s final testament?

Keep in mind that there are other people, more visible than Johannemann, who are actively telling the same story he did in public venues. You can bet that Johannemann’s “suicide” has sent them a message loud and clear about their safety or lack of it.

In case you were concerned about them, these eye witnesses are alive and well:

Preplanned Agents Exposed Talking To Media On Morning Of September 11th, 2001

Source: brasschecktv.com

The 9/11 Solution – RESTORED

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=2792830342831749576&hl=en&fs=true

The Video Google Censored

Google took this video down after three days and then when I attempted to post it to YouTube it was rejected.

This video is an important companion piece to the video that I call “Inside Job” (see the Brasscheck TV archive.)

“Inside Job” shows that thousands of eye witnesses and millions of live TV viewers heard and heard about MULTIPLE explosions in the Twin Towers that preceded their sudden and inexplicable collapse.

“The 9/11 Solution” shows that even as the World Trade Center was burning and immediately after the collapses, a stream of disinformation laying down the key official 9/11 myths was being actively being put in place via the US mass media (i.e. the impact of the planes weakened the structures, the “intense” fires caused the collapses, Bin Laden was the only possible suspect.)

Iraq’s Operation Phoenix

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
August 31, 2008

“More than 3,500 insurgents have been ‘taken off the streets of Baghdad’ by the elite British force in a series of audacious ‘Black Ops’ over the past two years,” reports Sean Rayment for the London Telegraph. “It is understood that while the majority of the terrorists were captured, several hundred, who were mainly members of the organization known as ‘al-Qa’eda in Iraq’ have been killed by the SAS.”

Zarqawi
Recall the Washington Post, the CIA’s favorite newspaper, admitting that the putative leader of “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” the criminal retard Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was little more than a Pentagon PSYOP.

The assassination program in Iraq is a collaborative effort between the British SAS and the American Delta Force. It is called “Task Force Black.” General Petraeus was so impressed with the assassination effort he remarked: “They have exceptional initiative, exceptional skill, exceptional courage and, I think, exceptional savvy. I can’t say enough about how impressive they are in thinking on their feet.”

Let’s rewind. Recall the Washington Post, the CIA’s favorite newspaper, admitting that the putative leader of “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” the criminal retard Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was little more than a Pentagon PSYOP.

“The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks,” wrote Thomas E. Ricks in a front page story for the newspaper on April 10, 2006. “For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi’s role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the ‘U.S. Home Audience’ as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.”

As Michel Chossudovsky notes, much of this fairy tale propaganda is delivered to the corporate media by “top feeders” at the Pentagon. “Disinformation and war propaganda are an integral part of military planning. What the Washington Post fails to mention, however, is its own role in sustaining the Zarqawi legend, along with network TV, most of the printed press, and of course CNN and Fox News, not to mention a significant portion of the alternative media,” writes Chossudovsky. As we know, the Washington Post was long ago compromised by the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, so this role is now reflexive.

US military-intelligence has created it own terrorist organizations. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program “to go after” these terrorist organizations. To reach its foreign policy objectives, the images of terrorism in the Iraqi war theater must remain vivid in the minds of the citizens, who are constantly reminded of the terrorist threat. The Iraqi resistance movement is described as terrorists led by Zarqawi.

In other words, “al-Qaeda in Iraq” is a fabrication designed to discredit the Iraqi resistance.

SAS
Two SAS operatives captured in Iraq after attempting to stage a false flag terrorist attack.

Sean Rayment and the London Telegraph would have us believe the British SAS is only killing “al-Qaeda in Iraq” members. In fact, it appears they are targeting the leadership of the Iraqi resistance while capturing and imprisoning street level “terrorists,” that is to say fighters resisting occupation.

The SAS is a natural for this sort of work. It was formed during WW11 by David Stirling with the intention to operate behind enemy lines and to perform acts of sabotage and assassination. The SAS also worked against indigenous groups under the rubric of “counter insurgency” in Malaya, Oman, Borneo, and elsewhere.

“By 1969, the SAS had been sent to Northern Ireland to perform covert operations against the IRA — which included assassination,” writes David Guyatt. “Perhaps the best known incident that involved the SAS in a ‘wet operation’ was the assassination of an IRA unit in Gibraltar.”

In fact, British intelligence created much of the terrorism attributed to the IRA. Kevin Fulton (a pseudonym), the British agent who was assigned to infiltrate the IRA, writes in his book, Unsung Hero, that the he met FBI and MI5 agents and was given money to buy an infra-red device to be used to set off IRA bombs. “In New York he attended a meeting with FBI agents and British intelligence officers. There he agreed to expose IRA operatives in America to the FBI. However, the same terrorists, who were arrested months later, were first allowed to procure and send the infrared technology to the IRA. Fulton claims this technology was used in the Troubles and forms the basis for insurgent bombs in Iraq,” Enda Leahy wrote for the Sunday Times on March 19, 2006. For more on the dirty tricks of British intelligence and the SAS in particular, see my British “Pseudo-Gang” Terrorists Exposed in Basra, Global Research, September 24, 2005.

As for British involvement in creating terrorism in Iraq, recall the two SAS agents captured by the Iraqis attempting to stage terror attacks. “Iraqi security officials on [September 19, 2005] variously accused the two Britons they detained of shooting at Iraqi forces or trying to plant explosives,” the Washington Post reported. As I wrote at the time (see link above), “the next time you read or hear about crazed ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’ terrorists blowing up children or desperate job applicants, keep in mind, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, the perpetrators may very well be British SAS goons who cut their teeth killing Irish citizens.”

The CIA ran likewise operations in Vietnam. As former CIA employee Ralph McGehee notes, the “U.S. and Saigon intel services maintained an active list of VC cadre marked for assassination” in the late 1960s. Dubbed Operation Phoenix, the assassination program “called for ‘neutralizing’ 1800 [alleged Viet Cong] a month.” Approximately one third of the Viet Cong targeted for arrest were summarily killed by so-called “security committees” in provincial interrogation centers outside of judicial control and funded by the CIA. More than 40,000 Vietnamese were killed under Operation Phoenix at an estimated cost of nearly $2 billion (see Ralph McGehee, CIA and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam).

The collaborative effort between the British SAS and America’s Delta Force is obviously designed to take out the leadership of the Iraqi resistance, led by a disparate and not necessarily connected combination of former Ba’athists, nationalists, Sunni and Shi’a militias. It is intended to decimate the leadership — referred to as “al-Qaeda in Iraq” terrorists in the corporate media — as the United States prepares to downsize its presence in Iraq and shift emphasis under a new administration to Afghanistan.

Texas To Track Truant Stundents With GPS

By ELIZABETH WHITE, Associated Press Writer Sat Aug 23, 3:28 AM ET

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Court authorities here will be able to track students with a history of skipping school under a new program requiring them to wear ankle bracelets with Global Positioning System monitoring.

But at least one group is worried the ankle bracelets will infringe on students’ privacy.

Linda Penn, a Bexar County justice of the peace, said she anticipates that about 50 students from four San Antonio-area school districts — likely to be mostly high schoolers — will wear the anklets during the six-month pilot program announced Friday. She said the time the students wear the anklets will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

“We are at a critical point in our time where we can either educate or incarcerate,” Penn said, linking truancy with juvenile delinquency and later criminal activity. “We can teach them now or run the risk of possible incarceration later on in life. I don’t want to see the latter.”

Penn said students in the program will wear the ankle bracelets full-time and will not be able to remove them. They’ll be selected as they come through her court, and Penn will target truant students with gang affiliations, those with a history of running away and skipping school and those who have been through her court multiple times.

“Students and parents must understand that attending school is not optional,” Penn said. “When they fail to attend school, they are breaking the law.”

Penn said the electronic monitoring is part of a comprehensive program she started four years ago to reduce truancy. She cited programs in Midland and Dallas as having success with similar electronic monitoring measures.

But Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said requiring students to wear the GPS bracelets full-time raises privacy concerns.

“We’re all for keeping kids in school, and we applaud any efforts to make that happen,” Burke said. “But the privacy issue: What happens with the bracelet or anklet after school is out? Is that appropriate for the school or courts to know where and what this person is doing outside of school?”

Asked why the students have to wear the ankle bracelet all the time instead of just the school day, Penn cited problems with runaways.

“Sometimes, as I said, students are runaways. Parents don’t know where they are,” Penn said. “So it’s for the safety of the child, as well as the safety of the community.”

Burke said truant students and runaway kids are different issues.

Asked specifically about privacy concerns, Penn said she didn’t have a comment. But, she added, her priority is “looking for the good of making these children accountable … it’s for the concern of these children getting an education.”

New Spy Software Coming On-Line: “Surveillance In A Box” Makes Its Debut

Tom Burghardt
Global Research
August 29, 2008

You’ve heard of the FBI’s “Quantico Circuit” and were outraged by illegal warrantless wiretapping by Bushist minions. To no avail, you flooded Congress with emails and phone calls, angered by the bipartisan “FISA Amendments Act of 2008” and the swell party thrown by AT&T for “Blue Dog” Democrats in Denver this week for the convention.

But just in time for a new administration (and the bundles of cash always at the ready for the expanding homeland security market), comes a complete “surveillance in a box” system called the Intelligence Platform!

According to New Scientist, German electronics giant Siemens has developed software allegedly capable of integrating

…tasks typically done by separate surveillance teams or machines, pooling data from sources such as telephone calls, email and internet activity, bank transactions and insurance records. It then sorts through this mountain of information using software that Siemens dubs “intelligence modules”. (Laura Margottini, “Surveillance Made Easy,” New Scientist, 23 August 2008)

New Scientist reports that the firm has sold the system to some 60 countries in Europe and Asia. Which countries? Well, Siemens won’t say.

However, privacy and human rights advocates say the system bears a remarkable resemblance to China’s “Golden Shield,” a massive surveillance network that integrates huge information databases, internet and email monitoring, speech and facial recognition platforms in combination with CCTV monitoring.

Designed specifically for “fusion centers” or their European/Asian equivalents, the Intelligence Platform promises to provide “real-time” high-tech tools to foil terrorist plots before they’re hatched (or keep tabs on antiwar/antiglobalization activists).

The latest item in the emerging “intelligent” software niche market, Intelligence Platform has been “trained” on a large number of sample documents to zero in on names, phone numbers or places from generic text. “This means it can spot names or numbers that crop up alongside anyone already of interest to the authorities, and then catalogue any documents that contain such associates,” New Scientist avers.

In the UK, the Home Office announced it plans to provide law enforcement, local councils and other public agencies access to the details of text messages, emails and internet browsing. This follows close on the heels of an announcement last May that New Labour was considering building a massive centralized database “as a tool to help the security services tackle crime and terrorism.” According to The Guardian,

Local councils, health authorities and hundreds of other public bodies are to be given the power to access details of everyone’s personal text, emails and internet use under Home Office proposals published yesterday.

Ministers want to make it mandatory for telephone and internet companies to keep details of all personal internet traffic for at least 12 months so it can be accessed for investigations into crime or other threats to public safety. …

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats last night branded the measure a “snooper’s charter”. (Alan Travis, “’Snooper’s charter’ to check texts and email,” The Guardian, Wednesday, August 13, 2008)

A blurb posted on Siemens’ website claims that the “challenge” is “to foster the well-being of law-abiding citizens” and therefore, “authorized groups need to have direct access to communications between suspects, whether it is individuals, groups or organizations. Only then can they take appropriate action, detect, prevent and anticipate crimes and guarantee peace and security.”

In other words, if you’ve got nothing to hide “trust us:” the shopworn mantra of securocrats everywhere. And in today’s climate, this is an especially burdensome challenge for state security and corporate spies who demand “highly-sophisticated, multi-level voice and data recordings” in order to destroy our rights while transforming our respective societies into Orwellian police states. New Scientist reports,

Once a person is being monitored, pattern-recognition software first identifies their typical behaviour, such as repeated calls to certain numbers over a period of a few months. The software can then identify any deviations from the norm and flag up unusual activities, such as transactions with a foreign bank, or contact with someone who is also under surveillance, so that analysts can take a closer look.

But if the experience of U.S. Fusion Centers are any indication of the accuracy of the Siemens system, false positives will be endemic while thousands, if not millions, of perfectly innocent individuals are forever ensnared in the state’s data driftnet. According to the American Civil Liberties Union,

The Justice Department’s 2006 Guidelines envision fusion centers doing more than simply sharing legitimately acquired law enforcement information across different branches of our burgeoning security establishment. The Guidelines encourage compiling data “from nontraditional sources, such as public safety entities and private sector organizations” and fusing it with federal intelligence “to anticipate, identify, prevent, and/or monitor criminal and terrorist activity.” This strongly implies the use of statistical dragnets that have come to be called data-mining. The inevitable result of a data-mining approach to fusion centers will be:

Many innocent individuals will be flagged, scrutinized, investigated, placed on watch lists, interrogated or arrested, and possibly suffer irreparable harm to their reputation, all because of a hidden machinery of data brokers, information aggregators and computer algorithms.

Law enforcement agencies will waste time and resources investing in high-tech computer boondoggles that leave them chasing false leads–while real threats go unaddressed and limited resources are sucked away from the basic, old-fashioned legwork that is the only way genuine terror plots have ever been foiled. (Michael German and Jay Staley, “What’s Wrong with Fusion Centers,” American Civil Liberties, December 2007)

But perhaps “high-tech computer boondoggles” are precisely the point!

After all, the Boeing Company and their sidekicks at SRI International (which describes itself as “an independent, nonprofit research institute”) were recently criticized by a House Science and Technology Subcommittee for “irregularities” in the government’s Railhead program, a suite of software “upgrades” to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), “a vast database of names that feeds the nation’s terrorist watch list,” the Associated Press reported.

Railhead was touted as a “fix” for a system built by Lockheed Martin in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. According to congressional investigators, the system provides data to all federal terrorist watch lists, including the “no-fly” list run by the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration and the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, a national clearinghouse for federal, state and local fusion centers.

According to the House committee the program is months behind schedule, millions over budget and “would actually be less capable than the U.S. government terrorist tracking system it is meant to replace.” Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported,

When tested, the new system failed to find matches for terrorist-suspect names that were spelled slightly different from the name entered into the system, a common challenge when translating names from Arabic to English. It also could not perform basic searches of multiple words connected with terms such as “and” and “or.” (Siobhan Gorman, “Flaws Found in Watch List for Terrorists, The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2008)

Leaving aside the racist presuppositions of the Journal, to wit, that Arab = terrorist (no small matter when dealing with nativist yahoos here in the “homeland” or elswehere), as Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) said in a statement, “the program appears to be on the brink of collapse after an estimated half-billion dollars in taxpayer funding has been spent on it.” According to the committee,

The Railhead program had been undergoing an internal technical implosion for more than one year. But public statements and sworn public testimony to Congress from senior officials within the NCTC [National Counterterrorist Center] and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) never revealed the mounting technical troubles, poor contractor management or lax government oversight that appears to have been endemic throughout the program and has led to Railhead’s colossal failure. Astoundingly, the Director of NCTC and the Director of National Intelligence have both specifically pointed to TIDE and NCTC Online as hallmarks of the government’s information sharing accomplishments. (“Technical Flaws Hinder Terrorist Watch List; Congress Calls for Investigation,” Committee on Science and Technology, Press Release, August 21, 2008)

In a technical sense, the NCTC and the ODNI may be correct in touting TIDE and NCTC Online as “hallmarks of the government’s information sharing accomplishments,” if by “sharing accomplishments” they meant handing over unlimited bundles of taxpayer’s hard-earned cash to enterprising contractors!

Gorman reports that in “recent weeks, the government has fired most of the 862 private contractors from dozens of companies working on the Railhead project, and only a skeleton crew remains.” Boeing and SRI’s response? According to the Journal, “calls to officials of Boeing and SRI were not immediately returned.”

I bet they weren’t! Especially since the committee said “Railhead insiders” allege that the government paid Boeing some $200 million to retrofit the company’s Herndon, Virginia office with security upgrades so that top secret software work could be performed there. The government then leased the same office space from Boeing. How’s that for hitting the old corporate “sweet spot.”

None of this of course, should surprise anyone, least of all defense lobby dollar-addicted members of Congress who, like Captain Renault in Casablanca are “shocked, shocked” to find their corporate “partners” have failed to deliver–again.

According to Washington Technology’s list of “2008 Top 100 Government Prime Contractors,” Boeing clocked-in at No. 2 with $9,706,621,413 in taxpayer handouts. No slouches themselves, Siemens placed No. 79 with some $186,292,146 in prime government contracts across an array of defense and civilian agencies. With Railhead’s imminent demise, perhaps the German electronics giant has a future in the U.S. “homeland security” market with its Intelligent Platform?

Then again, perhaps not. Computer security expert Bruce Schneier told New Scientist, “’currently there are no good patterns available to recognise terrorists,’ he says, and questions whether Siemens has got around this.” But since the business of government is business, maybe they do after all.

Meanwhile, the PRISE consortium of security technology and human rights experts funded by the European Union, called “for a moratorium on the development of fusion technologies, referring explicitly to the Siemens Intelligence Platform,” Margottini reported.

According to New Scientist, PRISE analysts told the EU, “The efficiency and reliability of such tools is as yet unknown. More surveillance does not necessarily lead to a higher level of societal security. Hence there must be a thorough examination of whether the resulting massive constraints on human rights are proportionate and justified.”

But here in the United States concern over trivial things such as “massive constraints on human rights,” unlike state attacks against the “quaint” rights of the average citizen are, like the impeachment of a regime studded with war criminals, most definitely “off the table.”

While the Democrats celebrate Barack Obama’s coronation in Denver this week and the Republicans are poised to do the same for John McCain in the Twin Cities rest assured, administrations may change, but the corporate grift is eternal.

Turkish President Mentions “New World Order”

Andrew McLemore
Raw Story
August 16, 2008

For controversial Turkish President Abdullah Gül, the recent war in Georgia signals a “new world order” that will emerge from the rubble of South Ossetia and force the United States to share its power, The Guardian reported.

Gül said America’s inability to prevent Russia’s invasion shows that the US can no longer shape world politics as it once did.

“I don’t think you can control all the world from one centre,” Gül said. “There are big nations. There are huge populations. There is unbelievable economic development in some parts of the world. So what we have to do is, instead of unilateral actions, act all together, make common decisions and have consultations with the world. A new world order, if I can say it, should emerge.”

The geopolitical turmoil in the Caucusus — a region between Europe and Asia that includes the nations of Georgia and Turkey — has placed Turkey in a difficult position between pleasing its neighbor Russia and not hurting its relationship with the US.

The conflict in Georgia proved Turkey’s tenuous position regarding energy when Russian tanks cut the flow of oil to Turkey from a pipeline running through Georgia, Reuters reported.

Turkey’s energy problems have forced it to seek gas from Russia and Iran, prompting an outcry from Washington.

Gül spoke to The Guardian shortly before a meeting with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The US warned Turkey on Thursday against striking an energy deal with Iran after learning of the two presidents’ meeting, Financial Times reported.

US officials claim the deal will undermine international efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

“Such a deal by Turkey with Iran would send the wrong message at a time when the Iranian regime has repeatedly failed to comply with its UN Security Council and IAEA obligations,” the US state department said.

Gül said he doesn’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, but he “doesn’t want to think about” the United States attack on Iran.

“I don’t want to think about that. Everybody should take a lesson from what happened in Iraq,” he said. “Diplomatic solutions are always better than hard solutions.”

Gustav Evacuees Get Barcode Bracelets

COSHANDRA DILLARD
Tyler Paper
August 31, 2001

Tyler will be a hub for several thousand Hurricane Gustav evacuees as city officials enact its emergency response plan, and so far, it seems as though early relief efforts have been fluid.

Mayor Barbara Bass Saturday signed an official declaration of disaster/emergency condition during the second of two press conferences on Saturday. Mayor Bass said preparations are specifically geared towards the evacuations of special needs evacuees from Beaumont.

“We are fully prepared to respond to the emergency situation,” Mayor Bass said. “We have activated our emergency operations center as well as our reception center.”

The city’s reception center is located at Faulkner Park off of U.S. Highway 69, just north of Loop 49. A team of police, fire and medical officials are in place to greet and process evacuees, whether they come in official buses or in cars.

By 5 p.m. Saturday, the first four buses carrying about 155 people arrived in Tyler and headed directly to a shelter, Tyler Fire Department Captain Jeff Akin said.

Meanwhile at the reception center, about 12 people — a family of four and a group of eight — were the first to check in with officials before heading to a local shelter.

A small bus carrying about 15 evacuees arrived by 7 p.m. and about 1,000 more are expected to arrive by Monday, Akin said.

Tyler Fire Department Chief David Schlottach said following numerous conference calls with state officials, they are expecting to receive about 6,000 evacuees, although, he said he is uncertain if any will be coming from New Orleans.

“We really do have great communications with the state,” Chief Scholattach said. “Tyler is heavily involved in this.”

City officials said since the reception center will process thousands of people, they are implementing a system that will move people to shelters smoothly.

“We are really streamlining this process,” said Susan Guthrie, city of Tyler communications director.

Guthrie said evacuees coming in their own cars are asked to go directly to the reception center so they may keep up with the number of people they are receiving and to avoid having an overflow at some shelters.

Before leaving Beaumont, evacuees have already been entered into an intricate computer system that will keep track of them once they make it to Tyler.

“They already have a bracelet with a barcode,” Captain Akin said. “They will walk through the scanner and it automatically loads into the computers. We have a list of where they need to go.”

This system ensures that families can locate each other when coming to East Texas, Akin said.

“With Hurricane Katrina, we had no system. Families were calling wanting to know where family members were and we had no way of finding out. This way, we have a better way of tracking where people are going.”

Stan Lewis, with the Salvation Army, said they will provide food and water to evacuees at the reception center through Monday, before heading south. He said 150 volunteers will load up on about 20 disaster vehicles but he is unsure what city they will be deployed to.

“We could go to New Orleans or it could be Port Arthur,” Lewis said. “Until then, we are going to try to help these people.”

Bob Frazier, 66, was among one of the first evacuees off of the first bus at the reception center. Although anxious about the result of Hurricane Gustav, he said he was a little more at ease with the way state and local officials are handling the evacuation process. During Hurricane Rita, Frazier said he spent three days on a bus without food, water and bathroom breaks.

“Today we had plenty of water and it only took us about four hours to get here,” Frazier said as he snacked on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich provided by Salvation Army volunteers. “It wasn’t bad at all. I knew it would be different this time.”

Jason Hollowell, a Tyler Junior College paramedic student, volunteered at the center and said he was prepared to be there all night, bringing an extra change of clothes. He said he helped with relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina and he is also pleased that things are much more organized this time.

“It’s a week before and it’s already set up,” Hollowell said. “There are things we are doing in anticipation and preparation. With Katrina, the storm hit and we walked outside and there were 45 buses. We learned a lot about what not to do from three years ago.”

With the influx of evacuees, Chief Schlottach noted that East Texas drivers are to use precaution when traveling roads and highways.

“Traffic will be very congested because there are a great number of self evacuees coming up the highway,” he said. “I just advise citizens to bear with it because their fellow Texans are trying to get out of harm’s way.”

Chief Schottach said those interested in volunteering can call 211 to find out ways to help with relief efforts.

With the signing of the declaration and activation of the emergency management plan, Mayor Bass said the city will now be eligible to request reimbursement from federal funds for providing shelter and relief to evacuees.

« Older Entries