Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Katrina News

By now, I'm sure that you've seen the AP story and video about the briefing President Bush received by FEMA and Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center prior to Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. If not, you can go to Yahoo or The Washington Post among other places.

The video clearly shows Bush being told that the storm could breach the levees and put lives at risk in the Superdome. Four days after the storm, Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." So was the President lying or did he not understand the briefing? Is there another option I'm missing?

In response to this story, "the White House and Homeland Security Department urged the public Wednesday not to read too much into the video footage."

"I hope people don't draw conclusions from the president getting a single briefing," presidential spokesman Trent Duffy said, citing a variety of orders and disaster declarations Bush signed before the storm made landfall. "He received multiple briefings from multiple officials, and he was completely engaged at all times."

How can you not read into the video footage? I just don't get it.

A quick personal story. I had a brief foray working in the emergency management field. There are skilled and talented professionals who prepare for such emergencies. It seems like these folks (even Brownie who sounded competent in the video) did what they were supposed to do in informing their superiors about Katrina. However, their superiors, primarily President Bush, did not respond to the concerns.

1 comment:

Brian Stern said...

I'm not sure that you should count making a citizens arrest on the Hamburgler as "a brief foray working in the emergency management field". That's why they keep Mayor McCheese employed anyway.

"My swimming records will never be broken...NEVER!!!!!"