Living in an industrialized nation in the modern era shelters one from the fetid squalor known in the less developed nations. It allows one to take many things for granted. There is no doubt. One of those things is that we do not leave human remains in the street for days on end to decompose. It was understandable that in the first few chaotic days after the levees broke, the living had to be tended to first; but after the arrival of thousands of troops to police an almost empty city, there was no longer an excuse.

Original reports suggested a very heavy loss of life. The State ordered 25,000 body bags. Casualties were estimated in the range of ten to twenty thousand. The dead were tagged and left to rot while an evil game of bluff was played out behind the scenes. FEMA balked at signing a contract with a company called Kenyon International. Desperate the Government of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, signed a deal with them instead. They had been working in the area anyway without a contract. The bodies of the dead providing impetus to the setting of the rate settled at $118,980 per day for two months. It has been stated that volunteers working under local authority lack expertise in ‘dealing’ with crime scenes.

Kenyon International has a great deal of experience with crime scenes. They were in Oklahoma City. They were in Pennsylvania on September 11th. They were in Phuket after the tsunami. They cleaned up after hurricane Charlie in Florida. This all sounds innocent even efficient. A look at the history of Kenyon’s parent company, Service Corporatation International (SCI), tends to make one believe there are ulterior motives. Their specialty seems to be in body disposal not recovery. The death toll should fall sharply to protect the White House from a deepening scandal.

The previous scandal, funeralgate, though terribly macabre has slipped down the memory hole. A subsidiary of SCI was implicated in a grave reselling scam. The previous occupants of Menorah Gardens were evicted to remove areas to be eaten by wild hogs. SCI paid a $100 million settlement.

Fortunately SCI’s Chairman, Robert Waltrip, is a long time friend of the Bush clan who contributed to the Bush Presidential Library and Bush Jr.’s gubernatorial campaign.

SCI was also owner of the companies involved in the Tri-State Crematory scandal in Georgia where hundreds of bodies were piled up behind a shed in 2000. One of the cemetery vaults was resold 67 times. The local authorities seemed to be more than capable to clean up after this act of negligence.

In an earlier Texas scandal the Texas Funeral Service Commission Director, Eliza May, was fired for her investigation into unlicensed embalmers in the employ of SCI. She settled a lawsuit prior to G.W.’s presidential campaign. The Director of Menorah Gardens wasn’t as fortunate. He was found dead in his car a victim of an apparent suicide.

Mr. Bush’s Chief of Staff, Joe Allbaugh, was appointed head of FEMA upon Mr. Bush’s coronation as President. He resigned to be a lobbyist for Halliburton Corporation the ultimate owner of SCI.

The question that arises is why should the State pay for something it can have for free? The army could have picked up the bodies. A local Sheriff in Florida asked this question when hurricane Charlie struck. He was going to use volunteers. There were only 25 fatalities. I’m sure he could deal with a crime scene. However, the story behind the scenes was that like the Gulf States recently, there were many undocumented aliens in the path of the hurricane. They were secured in their quarters because their employers feared they would not return to work if they were allowed to leave. In hurricanes throughout history in the Gulf States thousands of migrant workers have been killed. Now the death toll will be less than expected. The clean up crew will see to that. Just be careful when you walk in the woods, you may not be alone.

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