"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Body Snatchers 

The grim task of recovering Katrina's dead has been assigned to a private firm - Kenyon International, a division of Service Corporation International (SCI) - first through a Department of Homeland Security contract, and then directly by the state of Louisiana. There are two things you should know about SCI. First:
The Menorah Gardens cemetery chain, owned by SCI, desecrated vaults, removed hundreds of bodies from two cemeteries in Florida and dumped the gruesome remains in woods frequented by wild hogs, investigators discovered in 2001. In one case, a backhoe was used to crack open a vault, remove corpses and make room for more dead bodies.

SCI paid $100 million to settle a lawsuit filed by outraged family members of the deceased....

SCI also owned fifteen funeral homes named as defendants in a lawsuit filed on behalf of family members alleging "macabre mishandling, abuse and desecration of bodies" by Tri-State Crematory in Georgia. The lawsuit accused SCI-owned funeral homes of sending bodies to the unlicensed, unregulated crematorium, where never-incinerated corpses were found piled outdoors and stuffed in sheds in 2000.

And the second thing you should know about SCI? You just knew this was coming:
[Robert] Waltrip, chairman of SCI, is a longtime friend of Bush's father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush. The firm's political action committee donated $45,000 to George W. Bush's 1994 gubernatorial campaign.

The company also contributed more than $100,000 for construction of the George H.W. Bush presidential library.

Go ahead - pretend that you're surprised.




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