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fema tells the plebians to fuck off

august 15, 2005
Feds: FEMA records of no public interest
www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article

Government lawyers asked a federal judge in Fort Myers to rule that it shouldn't have to turn over Federal Emergency Management Agency records sought by three Florida newspapers.

The News-Press, FLORIDA TODAY in Brevard County and the Pensacola News-Journal, all owned by Gannett Inc., sued FEMA in March for the names and addresses of people who received aid after the hurricanes of 2004 and other documents the agency has refused to provide.

FEMA lawyers argued in a motion for summary judgment that was filed late Wednesday that there is little public interest in how the agency spent its disaster aid money. The feds also argued that the information is not public, that it's protected by privacy laws and exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act.

The newspapers contend that the information is public and citizens have the right to learn how the government is spending its money.

"FEMA acknowledges spending $5.5 billion taxpayer dollars after the hurricanes yet doesn't seem to understand why the public is entitled to know where and how that money was spent," said Jim Lake of the Holland & Knight law firm in Tampa, the newspapers' attorney. "The public interest in this information is enormous, and we hope the court will order its release."


right now fema claims that they are spending $5 million a day. the agency already gets $7 billion a year in funding. and congress is getting ready to rush through another $10 billion in emergency funding.

the dhs site mentions two areas where part of the 2005 budget were directed
www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display


For 2005, FEMA's budget includes $20 million for planning and exercises associated with medical surge capabilities.

...

Increases totaling $37 million are included for operations of the Homeland Security Operations Center and to support FEMA incident management capabilities.


next year is the 40 year anniv of the founding of the black panthers, a year after the watts riot.
 

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