The Lady Speaks

Worst. President. Ever.

“I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”

Remember that? We knew it was a lie, but now, thanks to the AP, we know just how big the lie was. Crooks and Liars has the video here. Think Progress has a Katrina timeline here.

According to a report by the Associated Press , George Bush and Michael Chertoff were advised by video conference “in dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms” that “the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans’ Superdome and overwhelm rescuers”.

Bush didn’t ask a single question during the final briefing [Aug 28-JK] before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: “We are fully prepared.”

(…)

Bush declared four days after the storm, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees” that gushed deadly floodwaters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility — and Bush was worried too.

(…)

Mississippi begged for more attention in that same briefing.

“We know that there are tens or hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana that need to be rescued, but we would just ask you, we desperately need to get our share of assets because we’ll have people dying — not because of water coming up, but because we can’t get them medical treatment in our affected counties,” said a Mississippi state official whose name was not mentioned on the tape.

Michael Brown, the much-maligned FEMA chief, was far more aware of the dangers Katrina posed. He comes off far better in this video than does the guy actually responsible for “homeland security” or the guy who says it’s his job to “protect America”.

Video footage of the Aug. 28 briefing, the final one before Katrina struck, showed an intense Brown voicing concerns from the government’s disaster operation center and imploring colleagues to do whatever was necessary to help victims.

“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,” Brown warned. He called the storm “a bad one, a big one” and implored federal agencies to cut through red tape to help people, bending rules if necessary.

Reaction from around the blogosphere: firedoglake, sans-culottes, Bob Geiger, americablog, Pacific Views, and HuffPo. Also: Reuters and the Chicago Tribune.

* Photo – gwbushart

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March 2, 2006 - Posted by | Bush, Politics

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