In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.
Indeed, the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, said he was relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet."
But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight.
In other words, the White House knew about the impending disaster and did nothing.
Folks, this is a spectacular breach of trust by the Bush administration and a remarkable display of incompetence. The floods of Hurricane Katrina were not caused by an "Act of God," but by a very human failure to act in the face of tragedy. George W. Bush has, once again, lied to the American people. He is a disgrace to his office and should resign before he does any more harm.
At the very least, Bush should fly down to New Orleans, find the nearest church, get on his hands and knees, and beg God and the citizens of New Orleans for forgiveness.
Forgiveness? For WHAT?
- Did Bush build MRGO, that seldom-used shipping outlet that essentially let Kat's Cat 5 storm surge (it was a strange storm, with a much bigger surge than expected) flow right up to the Crescent city?
- Did he not want ANYONE to evacuate? (From news reports I've heard, his administration practically had to take a crowbar to the governor's and mayor's offices to get them to consent to evacuations.)
- Should he have gone down there ahead of Katrina and (as your photo seems to suggest) huff-puff-puffed it back into the Gulf?
- Should he not have authorized all those pre-Katrina federal funds to Louisiana that he did? (Last I heard the Pelican state got nearly as much as California in federal $$$$ prior to the big storm.)
IMO, this is a very foolish headline for this particular blog entry.
posted by Anonymous, at
2/10/2006 12:00 PM
When is this great country going to wake up and impeach this lying sack of sh*t?
posted by Chris L., at
2/10/2006 12:01 PM
Just for posterity's sake, here's the bulletin the National Weather Service, ultimately headed by that ol' coverup artist GWB, posted prior to the storm's landfall...they (read:Bush) were CLUELESS as to what was going to happen, weren't they...and obviously they wanted as few people to know about it as possible (rolleyes):
Urgent Weather Message from NWS New Orleans
WWUS74 KLIX 281550NPWLIXURGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED
HURRICANE KATRINAA MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED STRENGTH...RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969. MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. ATLEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED.
CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE. HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT. AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATEADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...
AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK. POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...
BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEWCROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BEKILLED.AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEARHURRICANE FORCE...OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE..
.ARECERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET...DO NOT VENTUREOUTSIDE!LAZ038-040-050-056>070-282100-ASSUMPTION-LIVINGSTON-LOWER JEFFERSON-LOWER LAFOURCHE-LOWER PLAQUEMINES-LOWER ST. BERNARD-LOWER TERREBONNE-ORLEANS-ST. CHARLES-ST. JAMES-ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-ST. TAMMANY-TANGIPAHOA-UPPER JEFFERSON-UPPER LAFOURCHE-UPPER PLAQUEMINES-UPPER ST. BERNARD-UPPER TERREBONNE-1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
posted by Anonymous, at
2/10/2006 12:03 PM
Anon is full of shit! The gov of LA sent calls and emails to FEMA and the white house begging for help and to send 'all the assistance they could' and this was as the storm was approaching NOT after it hit. Those who didnt leave were for the most part too poor and had no place to go or no money to leave with. Stop apologizing for your master bush and is cabal of incompetant racist assholes.
posted by Anonymous, at
2/10/2006 1:04 PM
"Hey Rich, all media accounts I have seen so far this morning show a typical lack of homework on levee breaches in New Orleans during and after hurricane Katrina.
The downriver side of the Industrial Canal (Lower 9th, New Orleans East, Saint Bernard Parish) was battered and breached during the brunt of the Hurricane and the administration, from what I can tell, was aware of that early on.
What they were not aware of right away (most everyone was not until early afternoon at the earliest on Monday landfall) were the breaches on the 17th Street Canal and the London Avenue Canal and the upriver side of the Industrial Canal, which breached AFTER the brunt of the storm had passed.
Those latter three are what flooded all of New Orleans proper, including areas near downtown where the Superdome lies and where so much media coverage took place. It was not until well into the afternoon that waters rose into those areas and this is what the administration means when they were not aware of certain levee breaches until later on Monday and into Tuesday.
However, if email and other communication demonstrates that senior administration people did know about the 17th Street, London Avenue, and upriver side of the Industrial Canal in the early Monday afternoon, then there are some serious problems with previous administration remarks."
The ultimate failure of the Bush administration cannot be found solely in the post-Katrina response but rather in the Pre-Katrina days and years since 9-11. We listened to this administration tell the American people time and time again to "Trust" them. Trust them they said continuously - as they created the largest single Federal Agency in the history of our nation - with FEMA conveniently neutered and tucked inside the bohemeth Department of Homeland Security.
In the Post-911 world we expected that our government spent our money and its time wisely preparing for unthinkable disasters and catastrophies, working to provide all of the types of assistance a major metropolitian area might need in unthinkable circumtances. But rather than become more efficient our government failed miserably and has become less able to deal with National Emergency than it was prior to 9-11.
FEMA has a history of responding timely and efficiently and always coordinated with local and State agencies working together in harmony in the past. So why in our Post 9-11 world has FEMA been rendered useless and incapable of responding to natural catastrophe? Who is ultimately responsible and who should be held accountable? Well for starters it comes down to the President to appoint "Qualified and Experienced" people to posts such as the Head of FEMA and the DHS. Cronism plays a starring role in this tragedy and cannot be ignored.
The fact that we have military units that can be "on-the-ground anywhere-in-the-world" in a matter of hours belies the notion that our Federal government could not get basic Water and Food to those stranded in NOLA in the hours and days post-Katrina. We have the ability to move mountains when we have to -- but Mr. Bush and this administration did not go that extra mile for the citizens of the Gulf Coast. Much like Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned ... he played the guitar while American's died and suffered in the Gulf Coast.
Anon and other apologists for this Administration cannot gloss over the fact that we expected more from our government in a Post-911 world. Many who had listened to Bush tell them to "trust me -- I'm doing what's right to protect America and make it safe" - Woke up that week to the fact that this man cannot be trusted and he is no better than a snake-oil salesman selling his wares to the weary.
No Mr. Bush couldn't have stopped the levees from breaking. He couldn't have evacuated every single soul from NOLA in time. But he did have forewarning that this storm could and would be devasting to the Gulf Coast and he should've ensured that all the resources of our government were made available to ease the suffering of US Citizens. But he was on vacation and even had time to fly out to California to raise money for the GOP ... where he played the guitar -- but he didn't have time to do his job or ensure those he appointed were doing theirs.
Katrina ultimately was the straw that broke the camels back for the Bush administration -- and rightly so. It demonstrated the failures of this administration with perfect clarity and highlighted the GOPs contempt for the poor and less fortunate. It won't be forgotten.
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