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VFP Katrina Aid: $17K To VFP, $0 To Victims

Mother Sheehan fans will recall that as hurricane Katrina threatened to remove her grieving visage from the front page of the nation’s newspapers, Cindy got together with her pals, the Veterans For Peace, to start a Katrina relief effort.

Even the self-designated higher being, Michael Moore, began vouching and shilling for Cindy and the VFP’s Katrina relief program.

As discussed previously, the VFP asked for donations that they claimed would be used to "support" the Red Cross. (The VFP later falsely claimed that the Red Cross had designated them " the best shelter " doing Katrina relief. Despite the minor fact that the VFP never opened any kind of shelter.)

Meanwhile, the VFP accused the Red Cross of gross incompetence and bragged about looting Red Cross supplies and passing them out to the victims themselves.

Soon, however, the Red Cross and the local authorities were made aware of the VFP’s claims. The VFP were quickly chased out of the school they were using, then their storage facility, and then even the public campground. In each instance the VFP had lied to those in charge, falsely claiming to be with the Red Cross.

Eventually, the VFP scrubbed its sites of most references to their "support" of the Red Cross, but not before collecting untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, as well as who knows how much supplies and equipment.

As of this writing, the local police, the Red Cross, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office and the US Department of Justice are reportedly conducting investigations into the VFP’s Katrina activities.

Despite their overwhelming success at fundraising, where they claimed to be collecting more than $100K a day, the VFP have apparently thus far spent little or no money helping the victims of Katrina. (Apart from delivering possibly pilfered supplies to the racist Moslem felony ex-con former Black Panther, Malik Rahim.)

Lastly, the VFP’s own lawyers accused them of malfeasance, and the VFP in turn fired said lawyers.

The Veterans For Peacehave long since fled Covington, Louisiana, which was their Katrina relief center. They have even closed down their message board and reportedly fired all the moderators there. Though they continue to ask for donations for their Katrina relief program there and elsewhere on the internet.

Here is a recent update from a purported insider, Paul V. Paul alleges that no VFP money has been spent on hurricane relief. But he says the VFP did try to use their money to try to buy $17,000 worth of "media equipment":

Rumor control about Katrina direct-aid and Veterans for Peace

Last night rumors started popping up about the mishandling of funds meant for direct-aid for the victims of hurricane victims by Veterans for Peace and/or the Spell family.  As someone who has spent some time with most of the individuals involved in this controversy, I decided to look into these allegations myself.  This is my report after talking with Buddy and Annie Spell this morning on the phone.

After Hurricane Katrina, Buddy & Annie Spell set up a kitchen at a park near their home in a suburb of New Orleans. Veterans For Peace (VFP) set up camp in the Spell’s damaged house to man the kitchen and manage the logistics for the disaster. Michael Moore, seeing how incompetent the Feds were at helping the victims of the Katrina, helped raise approximately $300,000 – $500,000 for VFP to be used as direct-aid for hurricane victims. (As of the writing of this post, I do not have an exact number as to the amount raised.)

Apparently, VFP hasn’t used most of the money that was donated to them for Hurricane relief yet. The reason for this is unclear, but I suspect in all the confusion over the past few weeks, no one felt they were authorized to start shepherding the paperwork for the direct-aid account.

On Friday, September 17th, when local hurricane victims started to ask where the direct-aid money was getting spent, Annie Spell was put in charge of the direct-aid account. The next day she was asked by VFP to cut a check for $17,000 for equipment to document the reconstruction, and use, of the donated funds.

When the request for the media equipment came, most volunteers thought that there should have been at least $100,000 in the direct-aid account. (After all, it had been almost 3 weeks since the funds had been promised.) However, when Mrs. Spell looked at the books, she saw that the funds had not transfered yet and there was only $3000 available for immediate use. She cut a check for $1000 to bring potable water to the city of Bogalusa, but refused to authorize the spending for the media equipment because the account didn’t have the money at the time.

Apparently, the refusal of Annie Spell to authorize the $17,000 upset the VFP leadership. They took her name off the direct-aid account and drove to DC for the huge protest coming this weekend… neglecting to explain to the volunteers still in Louisiana what was going on.

In my option, there is no scandal here : It’s an unfortunate spat between the Spell family and VFP. Charity transactions like this take time to fully process, and the VFP people didn’t understand how important it was to follow through with the authorization process.  Everyone involved has been under a tremendous amount of pressure, and at this point the volunteers are exhausted.

The controversy has taken a lot out of the Spell family, and they are disassociating themselves from VFP and the peace movement. I pray that the wounds caused from all this will heal quickly.

Posted by Paul V. — Tue, 09/20/2005 – 2:19pm

This should sound very familiar to those who have been following this story, since we have suspected all along that the VFP only wanted these donations of money and supplies for themselves.

The supplies requested for Katrina relief have always been laughably screwy — e.g., electolytes [ sic] — except for when we go to the bottom of their list, which was remarkable for its precise detail.

Here is an example of their request list from a page (since disappeared) that predates the Katrina relief grift, since the VFP were asking for it for their Support The Terroristsbus tour:

Mobile Multi Media & Internet Access Bus

Here is the needs list for the bus!

(1) Satelite Mobile Internet Unit = $5,000

(1) Apple iMac G5 Computer 20" Monitor = $3,000
(1) 500 Gigabyte Firewire Harddrive = $500
(1) Canon XL2 Digital Video Camera = $4,500
(1) Digital Projector (3000 lunens) =$1000
(2) Apple iPods with recording mics = $600
(1) Canon Printer = $200
(40) Mini DV Tape = $200
(40) DVD Blanks = $200

= $15,000.00

Monthly Satelite Access Fee = $200 pr/mo

Website Hosting = $50 pr/mo

We are asking you to help us get the word out to the world that there are veterans who beleave we did not have the right to invade Iraq. We want to help them express how they feal when they come home. We want to let them know that we care! And since we are veterans of WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Afganistan and Iraq. We are trusted to present them in a respectfull light.

Donations for our traveling multi media equipment will keep our guest speakers and support staff press, sponsors, members, in touch through via email, web, blogs, and teleconferencing.

In order to insure our message get out the way we want it, we most maintain control of the message content as well as the context.

As we said all along, this equipment request had nothingto do with "supporting" the Red Cross or helping Katrina victims. The VFP just wanted this equipment to promulgate their hate America agit-prop.

It’s still not clear whether they have yet actually purchased this equipment or not. You can’t go by the lack of coverage of their participation of last weekend’s Support The Terroristsrally in DC, since the VFP have shown they can’t even operate cell phones or chat forums.

But it’s President Bush and the American Red Cross Cindy Sheehan and the VFP say are incompetent and dishonest.

Cindy being intervie...

Hilariously, the taxpayer-supported Communists at Radio Pacificahave recently awarded Mother Sheehan with their prestigious " Unvarnished Truth Award."

Perhaps this will impress the judge at her trial, should she been prosecuted by any of the ongoing investigations.

(All praise to reader Karlila for doggedly keeping track of these behind the scenes doings.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, September 30th, 2005. Comments are currently closed.

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