"There's nothing new or insightful on these tapes,"
- Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke concerning a video obtained by the Associated Press yesterday.
The video recorded an Aug. 28, 2005 meeting on Hurricane Katrina then threatening New Orleans. The meeting was held at President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch and attended by the President. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans the next day, August 29, 2005. There were over 1300 deaths as a result of the storm, and the common consensus is that New Orleans may never fully recover. There are still many thousands left homeless and in limbo over six months later with a new hurricane season fast approaching.
National Hurricane Center official Max Mayfield spoke during that meeting:
“The storm is gonna pile some of that water in Lake Pontchartrain on the south side of the lake. I don’t think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, uh, but there’s obviously a very very grave concern.”
That’s as in “A VERY, VERY GRAVE CONCERN”. And, in fact that grave concern came to pass.
Now discredited FEMA Head Michael Brown also spoke during the same meeting:
“My gut tells me . . that this one is a bad one and a big one. . . . we're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this event,"
That’s as in “A BAD ONE AND A BIG ONE”, and “WE’RE GOING TO NEED EVERYTHING WE CAN POSSIBLY MUSTER”. And, in fact that also came to pass.
President Bush asked no questions at all during the meeting, but did make this statement:
“I want to assure the folks at the state level, that, uh, we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal, after the storm to help deal with, tha, uh, with the loss of property . . . and we pray there’s no loss of life of course.”
That’s as in “WE ARE FULLY PREPARED”. Unfortunately this was simply lip service and a great big, fat, wishful lie.
And, when later questioned about the abysmal federal response after the storm Mr. Bush had this to say:
“There is frustration. but, uh, I want people to know there’s a lot of help coming. I don’t think anybody anticipated a breech of the levees.”
Shamefully, just another great big, fat "black is white" lie.
Responding to heavy criticism, the White House has recently said the ‘fog of war made decision making difficult” during and after the hurricane. Former FEMA director Michael Brown told AP this week that he did not "buy the 'fog of war' defense".
"It was a fog of bureaucracy," he said.
Personally, I consider this simply another demonstration of the never-ending obtuse arrogance of this administration and their shamefully perpetual insistence that administration fantasy is reality.
Watch the video for yourself here: