Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bush Lied When Saying, "I Don't Think Anybody Anticipated The Breach Of The Levees"

Four days after Hurricane Katrina hit, President Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans.

But six days of footage and transcripts obtained by the Associated Press show in excruciating detail that federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, and made those concerns clear to President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during an Aug. 29 government-wide briefing.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on Aug. 29 but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

Federal disaster officials warned Bush and Chertoff before Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, risk lives in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage of the briefings.

Now we know why Bush said "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with the storm.


Anonymous Dr Fate said...

I demand that Democrats say this on TV- and use the word "lied."

Will they, or are they too frightened???

7:38 PM  
Anonymous MJDuncan1982 said...

Absolutely amazing...I hope he chokes on a pretzel.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous aquart said...

ABC News at 6 just covered it. Making it very clear that he did know that the levees could be breached.

CBS covered it at 6:30, and gave the White House spin on it as well.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Jobe said...

Democrats are way to timid to make this an issue. They should be united and all of them should be saying the same thing to any and all reporters who will listen. Make the American people listen to this, it's beyond criminal... over a thousand people died, and more then a hundred thousand lost there homes!

1:25 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Bush lied (again) and (even more) people died.
Imagine if this video had surfaced
immediately AFTER Katrina when the pitiful hurricane response and the consequent death, suffering, and anger was still fresh on people's minds.
I imagine there would have been a national outcry for Bush's immediate resignation.
Yet now, several months later, despite a better handle on the shamefully sinfully underreported, official death toll of more than 1,000 victims, and I understand thousands more still missing, the extent of destruction and the $100 billion plus costs, the MSM will by the weekend probably allow the story to slip out of mainstream consciousness.
By the time of the Mid-term election campaigns, any mention of it will not come without an attribution to a Democrat.

Well, I hope I turn out to be wrong here.

Katrina reports downplay deaths
I have to confess I haven't seen all the media reports on this video, but at least the MSN and Fox News reports on this video I did see MADE NO MENTION OF THE DEATH TOLL in New Orleans from Katrina in connection with this report.
Why is this? An intentional slip of the truth to spare Bush deserved outrage?
Had the Bush Administration immediately sent in troops like Bush had promised in the tape, instead of waiting for four days, might many of these 1,000 plus lives been saved?
Why isn't the tale of a government claiming to be committed to protecting American lives major f---up not a bold headline story for repeated days anyway.
Think of all the reporting on the 3,000 plus dead from 9-11.
Aren't the lives of these people in New Orleans demonstrably taken by government incompetence just as important?
Aren't they worth at least a fraction of the attention?

8:37 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Maybe this is why the White House was so insistent on not playing the "blame game."

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Metta said...

Everyone knew in '98 under Newt Gingrich et. al.

They knew they'd need $2 billion then and they denied funding. Short sighted and mean spirited then, paying dues now.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Lone Wolf said...

NOLA residents should start a class action suit against Bush et al...

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Already the media has framed this video tape showing a black and white wrongful conduct of the Bush Administration into a partisan battle.
We cannot have a bonafide substantiated criticism against the Bush Administration unless the Republicans jump into the frey.
As long as it is turned into a partisan battle, the significance of the wrong is diminished.
The Bush Administration can continue to get away with anything.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous buddyhollysghost said...

"We are fully prepared to sit back and laugh while our fellow Americans die. I mean, who gives a crap about all those people who voted for Kerry? My base doesn't care, that's for sure.

"So, yeah, we're all prepared. Watch us and see!"

6:05 PM  
Anonymous radfringe said...

I actually heard one blatherhead on CNN this morning try to defend the bush* statement, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"

by saying that bush didn't mean it that way


I guess Mr or Ms "ANYBODY" wasn't at the meeting. There were alot of people there but none of them went by the name of "ANYBODY"

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in the AP article does it use the word breach? The transcipt of the meeting uses the word "topped". Says the levies will probably not be topped.
Where can anyone find the word "breached in the video or transcripts released today.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Anonymous said...
"Where in the AP article does it use the word breach? The transcipt of the meeting uses the word "topped". Says the levies will probably not be topped.
Where can anyone find the word "breached in the video or transcripts released today."

Exactly, Anonymous, but such details seem to get lost in all the finger-pointing.

John Hinderaker over at Powerline points out that very same thing.

"The AP says the transcripts show that Bush was "worried" about the levees failing. But the quote they cite is after Katrina hit, and after levee failures had been reported. This obviously has nothing to do with what was anticipated before the fact. What, then, is the AP's basis for saying that "federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees..."? Here is the only support for that claim in the article:

"The National Hurricane Center's Mayfield told the final briefing before Katrina struck that storm models predicted minimal flooding inside New Orleans during the hurricane but he expressed concerns that counterclockwise winds and storm surges afterward could cause the levees at Lake Pontchartrain to be overrun.
"I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not but that is obviously a very, very grave concern," Mayfield told the briefing."

But this has nothing to do with the levees breaching; it has to do with them being overtopped--a much less dangerous threat. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, there has been endless discussion about the difference between breaching and overtopping. If these AP reporters, Margaret Ebrahim and John Solomon, really don't know the difference, they have no business reporting on Katrina."

4:11 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, nice try.
But your argument is directly off the Bush Administration press release to counter the negative publicity, and does not line up with the facts.
In the broader picture, Media Matters for America paints a very convincing picture that Bush was warned and knew about specifically the levees breaking repeatedly in the days leading up to Katrina.
Among the evidences from the below link: "First, Bush himself reportedly raised the question of levee breaches as the hurricane hit on August 29, 2005, as indicated by a portion of the videotape that Myers played earlier in the segment."

I know you will accuse media matters of being a left-wing biased website and use that to discredit the entire argument. Doesn't work.
At least it's not like the viewpoint you cite, which spawned and had no existence until after the Bush Administration went into full spin and damage control. Read: you've been duped by false propaganda.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Trinity, nice try."

Nice try, nothing, twot. The possibility of the levees breaching has existed for decades and decades before 2005. You can thank those who have been running New Orleans/Louisiana for all that time for not doing something about it. Everybody who has lived there or who knows people who do will tell you that it is one of the most corrupt places in the country.

Mistakes were made at every level of government, but that is always going to be the case when a disaster of this enormity occurs. Had the Mayor followed his city's own evacuation plan a little better, it might have helped. To ignore everybody else's poor planning only to hang all the blame around the President's neck just shows where you are coming from politically, which of course is not exactly a secret.

Read about some of the things that were done right during Katrina in "Debunking Katrina Myths".

6:07 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

I place more belief in the detailed. investigative findings of the bipartisan congressional report on the Katrina and in eyewitness testimony than some Popular Mechanics article, which reports out of context and glosses over many of the official findings.
Besides, you're missing the point. Bush lied about not having anticipated the breech of the levees, and falsly represented the executive branch was firmly in control of the situation when the evidence shows it was not.
What does it take for you to see what a sizeable majority of Americans now see - a wholly incompetent Bush administration. You're likely one of these conservative drones yet still trying to defend Nixon.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

I am amased there is argument about what words were used or not used. Bush was given information about how bad this storm was going to be and a heads up about the severe possibilities. I agree that people, local governments, and state governments have a responsiblity for their own protection, but FEMA was formed to provide the extraordinary help necessary when these type of catastrophes occur. What Bush lied about was his personal attention that he was giving this catastrophe. He was very detached about the plight of New Orleans and that is what bothers me the most. He only rolled up his sleeves to tackle this problem when the public reaction was against his credablity.

7:08 PM  

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