Over the last 24 hours at least 20 comments have been submitted — many broke our Comments Policy and did not get published — for my four-month old article on the Katrina aftermath called When Drowning Is Not Good Enough.
A blog article — unless it’s a review — usually has an active
comments life of 24 hours or so and then the article becomes dead and
grey and comment-less.
There’s no such thing as a coincidence — so when my Drowning
article suddenly become “comments popular” again with most of the
comments coming from IP addresses in the Deep South — one began to get
the inalienable sensation that something was definitely up, especially
when the comments are all directed down a single path with an obvious,
That kind of comments flood is usually a Spammer at work but this was
That effort was coordinated and committed and obviously an attempt to
sway public opinion and I wondered if other blogs dealing with the same
Katrina issue were also “Spammed” by these special interests seeking to
perhaps muddy the record or maybe mollify future ramifications.
I decided to publish several of those comments for the When Drowning Is Not Good Enough
article that met our Comments Policy and that were also unique in
argument but, as is our history here, I will not allow an ongoing,
concerted, outside effort to control the independence of this blog.
This morning I saw a news article from the Associated Press titled 3 Arrested in New Orleans Hospital Deaths that made the sudden rush of comments make sense in context when I read the following:
A doctor and two nurses were arrested overnight in
connection with the deaths of patients at a New Orleans hospital in the
days following Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana attorney general’s
office said Tuesday.
“We’re not calling this euthanasia. We’re not calling this mercy
killings. This is second-degree murder,” said Kris Wartelle, a
spokeswoman for Attorney General Charles C. Foti.
The three were booked on four counts each after their arrests late
Monday but not yet formally charged, officials said. Wartelle declined
to elaborate on the allegations.
At least 34 patients died there during that period, 10 of them patients
of the hospital’s owner Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. and 24
patients in a facility run by LifeCare Holdings Inc., a separate
After the bodies were recovered, Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard
said they were so decomposed the deaths could only be listed as
He later said samples had been taken from dozens of
patients who died at various hospitals and nursing homes to test for
potentially lethal doses of drugs such as morphine.
Harry Anderson, a spokesman for Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp.,
said the allegations against the medical care workers, if proven true,
“Euthanasia is repugnant to everything we believe as ethical health
care providers, and it violates every precept of ethical behavior and
the law. It is never permissible under any circumstances,” Anderson
The three arrested late Monday were identified by Wartelle and
sheriff’s officials as Dr. Anna Pou and nurses Cheri Landry and Lori
Budo. Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Chief William Hunter said each was
booked on four counts of “principal to second-degree murder.”
After reading that news story — and I urge you to read the whole story because it informative and fascinating — I realized the how and why of the comments avalanche for my When Drowning Is Not Good Enough
Remember: There’s no such thing as a coincidence.
Recalling the pain and devastation of those Katrina deaths is yet
another vital test of our humanity and a larger reminder there are
still hard questions to be asked in the answers of the living.
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – All charges against a doctor
accused of murdering four patients in the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina have been dropped, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday.
A grand jury in New Orleans decided not to pursue charges
against Anna Pou, who was arrested along with two nurses from Memorial
Medical Center on second-degree murder charges in June 2006.