Levees.org discovers angry posts coming from inside Army Corps of Engineers’ offices

From WWL:

A local levee
watchdog group says that computer equipment at the Corps of Engineers
has been used to send messages attacking her group on a couple of
Internet blogs they operate.

SNIP

Among the
comments were one that said local people had blocked the Corps’ wishes
and thus locals are responsible for the flooding. Another was more
blunt.

“Sure, blame the Corps for
the floodwall failures,” it read. “But who do you blame for your own
stupidity for putting your families in such a situation?”

The comments prompted Rosenthal to try to find where the e-mails were
coming from. She said she plugged the screen names into an Internet
search that showed they were coming from a computer at the Corps’
office.

“This is the use of
taxpayer money for none other than… these are attempts at
intimidation,” she said. “The statements are going after me and all I
am is a citizen.”


The Corps responded with a written statement.

“There are over 1,600 people working at the Army Corps of Engineers New
Orleans District to reduce risk for the metro New Orleans area. As
each day passes, we are reducing risk. This isolated incident involved
one person out of 1600 people that make up the New Orleans District.”

Rosenthal said she thinks the use of multiple names and IP addresses
indicate that more than one person is behind the posts.

10 thoughts on “Levees.org discovers angry posts coming from inside Army Corps of Engineers’ offices

  1. Since when are unfounded and anonymous arguments posted on a blog which can be dismissed out of hand, anything close to “intimidation”?
    Levees.org is run by a shrill and rather well-connected and well-lawyered individual who can sick the local TV station on individual corps employees whenever she feels miffed at internet comments, but that is not “intimidation”?
    Not siding with the Corps here. Just pointing out what looks to me like paranoid hypocrisy.

  2. Thank you so much First Draft for posting this!
    Sorry Jeffery,
    You Are Wrong Here!
    Wrong Wrong Wrong!
    Please stop making “Ad Mominem” attacks on someone you disagree with, if you can’t back it up with data of your own.
    (Levees.org is run by a shrill and rather well-connected and well-lawyered individual who can sick the local TV station on individual corps employees whenever she feels miffed at internet comments, but that is not “intimidation”?)
    And, check your own Stats while your at it.
    The idea here is not Corps intimidation, even though that is what levees.org maintains. The idea here is that the Corps uses tax-funded equipment to go on comments sections to try to ReFRame the Story of who built those Failed Levees and Why those levees failed.
    If you can’t come up with your own data then you need to get out of the way.
    I am ashamed of you and your pissy, non-informative stance here. Nothing to offer but bile against levees.org or their leader or whatever is stuck in your pants.
    Editilla

  3. And Jeffery,
    by your wounded male’s logic here, Matt MacBride was able to “sick” WWL on the rusty pumps and the sanitation contracts… and Karen at Squandered Heritage was able to “sick” WWL onto the housing demolitions…
    I guess WWL is just “run by a shrill and rather well-connected and well-lawyered” fools who go after a story just because someone “feels miffed”
    Your Freudian Slip is showing.
    Editilla

  4. Editilla,
    You are confusing my take on Sandy’s over-the-top characterization of people typing on the internet as “intimidation” with criticism of Levees.org’s aims in general… which I often… but not always agree with.
    The point is, typing on the internet is not “intimidating” Threatening an individual Corps employee in the media the Levees is doing here, can be construed as such.

  5. I’m so pleased to read this story. Thank you Sandy! This is just the kind of thing that citizens need to do when going up against powerful government organizations and corporations.
    One issue is: Were USACE resources used to attack their critics in this fashion?
    Does the organization stand behind what that individual said? If not, they need to say that.
    Were those posts against the organizational communications policy? (Typically they have internal guidelines about using organizational resources. It would be useful to know that for future reference.)
    When they are attacking others using organization resources, during company time, most likely they are violating their own rules, not First Amendment rules about free speech. It is not so much what they say it is when and using what resources when they say it.
    I’ll bet there are general guidelines on what they say too. So for example, “Don’t threaten others using your computer while you should be working.”
    If the person went home and did this on their own computer on their own time the situation would be different.
    I’m guessing that there will be no consequences to the employee with the exception of being told to comment from home after hours. In fact, I’ll bet that they were all slapping his back and saying, “Good job!” right up until the time he got caught. Then suddenly they never knew it happened.

  6. I’m pretty sure corps employees are well within their rights to use their computers in this fashion provided they are also doing their jobs… which is, of course, not information I am privy to. Likening these blog comments to “intimidation” just seem unnecessary and weird to me, though.
    Also, “Ad Mominem” is pretty funny, BTW. I might try to use that at some point.

  7. Um, Jeffrey, while I agree with your point that this may not rise to the level of “intimidation,” I do take issue with your comment that the employees are within their rights to use their computers in this fashion.
    First, I’m actually violating my company policy (one which is by no means unusual) by using my computer to do non-work-related stuff on company time. (My justification is that I’m still on my lunch hour–just barely–but even in that case, I might not be cool.) I suspect the government is likely to be more stringent in this respect.
    Second, the idea of using a company computer to post comments that are very likely to bring heavy criticism of the Corps is probably not cool, either. And posting “anonymously” (like there is such a thing on the net these days) is no excuse. If it isn’t officially a violation of policy, it is, at the least, effing stupid. My comments on a blog like this are unlikely to bring criticism of my business, but if they did, the powers that be would be perfectly within their rights to discipline me for my actions.

  8. Nice try, Jeffery.
    Too bad. I expected more.
    (Levees.org is run by a shrill and rather well-connected and well-lawyered individual who can sick the local TV station on individual corps employees)
    Just about says it all, doesn’t it?
    What is worse however is that you are not paying attention.
    You also are not aware of the Corps policy on with regard to employee computer use. It is a matter of federal law. No, you do not get a link. Footnotes are for adult use only.
    Sad. Very Sad.
    You are welcome to use my tag “Ad Mominem”.
    That is why I used it specifically for your attack of the founder of levees.org. I believe you two know each other from the Rising Tide?
    And as well, he seems to have a personal problem with the founder of levees.org, so y’all can get together and do whatever it is guys do with this stuff.
    Editilla

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