Rather interesting developments in the whole “Who screwed up Katrina” situation:
From the AP: In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could [UPDATE]
breach top levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans’ Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.
SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE, available in QuickTime (.mov) and Windows Media Player (.wmv).
More information can be found here:
- CNN: Transcript shows governments underestimated Katrina (Watch the CNN Video)
- The Moderate Voice (TONS of links and information, highly recommended.)
Updates as I find them. Check out the links for tons more information from people who blog a lot more than I do. Oh, and from news sources as well. (Look, even Faux News got into the act.)
UPDATE: From MSNBC: (Video available here.) It looks like the entire “failure all around” scenario is shaping up to be just that: failure all around, especially at the federal level. Not only did Bush and his cronies screw up the event with their “fog of bureaucracy”, but a new video shifts the blame more to the state (while at the same time not exonerating the federal government in any way).
(It should be noted that this was during the actual hurricane, so any delay in communication should be expected. We have taped evidence that Bush knew the worst case scenario, where Michael Brown basically begged for federal government assistance. But what about the governor? What was she doing all this time? How was she preparing for this worst case scenario?)
My question is, in a city that’s shaped like a bowl, what’s really the difference between a levee getting topped and breached? Severity? In either case the city’s still getting flooded, with water that has no place to go.
According to MSNBC, “[Max Mayfield] warned only that the levees might be topped, not breached, and that on the many conference calls he monitored, ‘Nobody talked about the possibility of a levee breach or failure until after it happened.'”
My question stands. The administration is relying on the whole “topped, not breached/it’s all Brown’s fault” argument as their excuse for not getting help in right away, but doesn’t this seem like — oh I don’t know — relying on a technicality like “depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”?
This makes for a great spin of events for the Bush, aka “The Teflon President,” aka “Spinmeister W”.
[UPDATE]: The Moderate Voice has a lot more information on this new video. Newsweek has an item about a hastily produced “missing transcript” of a video conference call â€” a transcript that hadn’t been provided to Congress but was hastily sent to Newsweek by the White House. Although no one knows for sure (yet), it would appear this was shoved forward due to the emergence of the highly damaging video…