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Hurricane Katrina briefing tapes surface. Bush knew it all

by Ziks511 / March 3, 2006 10:19 AM PST

in advance. Michael Brown said there were insufficient resources, apparently he knew better than the President. Oh yeah, and he lied about there being tapes and/or transcripts of the meetings.

"In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

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

This frame taken from secure government video obtained by The Associated Press shows then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown, center, at the Homeland Security EOC (emergency operations center) in Washington Aug. 28, 2005, taking part in a government video briefing the day before Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29. (AP Photo) (AP)

The footage _ along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press _ show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

Linked by secure video, Bush expressed a confidence on Aug. 28 that starkly contrasted with the dire warnings his disaster chief and numerous federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm.

A top hurricane expert voiced "grave concerns" about the levees and then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told the president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there weren't enough disaster teams to help evacuees at the Superdome.



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(NT) (NT) Did you see today's Harball, Chris Matthews?
by Dragon / March 3, 2006 10:59 AM PST
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Nope, missed it, but I did see Countdown with Keith Olberman
by Ziks511 / March 3, 2006 11:39 AM PST

What'd I miss?


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Hardball session with Brown, former Fema director
by Dragon / March 3, 2006 12:28 PM PST

I thought he gave a pretty good account of himself. In a nutshell, he didn't think much of Chertoff, didnt think Fema should be part of Homeland Security, gave Bush high marks (Chris suggested a scale from one to five, what was Bush? Answer: "5". What aobut Chertoff? Answer: "2".

Just a few minutes ago, I skimmed an article about him in which he said Americans have the wrong idea of what Fema is and what it does. But Brown said the federal agency's role is widely misunderstood -- it isn't a first responder and has no emergency equipment of its own. Instead, it is an "honest broker,'' getting local, state and federal agencies to cooperate and help with reconstruction.
"I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin to sit down, get over their differences and work together."

Brown on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

"(The agency's) financial resources have dwindled. FEMA's personnel resources have dwindled. ... We have stretched the men and women of FEMA so thin.''

BTW, in that same article:

His strict view brought a reproach from Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn.

"That's why I'm happy you left because that kind of look, in the light like a deer, tells me that you weren't capable to do the job,'' said Shays.

I suppose that could be seen as support for what Brown said about the public's view of what Fema is. Or maybe Shays was suggesting it was Brown's fault for not making it an actual first responder with all the resources at its disposal? Dunno.

When I heard on TV that there were hotels still open in New Orleans, I nearly fell out of my chair (well, figuratively speaking...).

This is a quick-n-dirty reply, but the best I could do before hitting the sack. I have to get up at 5:00 in the morning, to get ready for work. Plain

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(NT) (NT) Many thanks, have a good nights rest. -- Rob
by Ziks511 / March 3, 2006 1:21 PM PST
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Ziks, did you see Evie's earlier link?
by Dragon / March 5, 2006 10:02 AM PST
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Ziks, did you see Evie's link
by Dragon / March 5, 2006 10:11 AM PST

--I think it may be in another string.

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Tape looked to me...
by EdH / March 3, 2006 1:03 PM PST

like it vindicates Bush and Browm, damns Nagen and Blanco. You probably won't see it that way.

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by marinetbryant / March 3, 2006 10:29 PM PST
In reply to: Tape looked to me...

The news org that released it said it was a secret meeting, while in fact every news org was invited. The tape and transcripts have been available for a while. Also, it was a tape of a video conference but they only showed the tight shot of Bush, not the wide shot of the whole meeting. Rob, you really need to find an unbiased news source.


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What I saw was that Bush was told there would be a
by Ziks511 / March 4, 2006 5:09 PM PST
In reply to: Tape looked to me...

levee topping flooding of New Orleans before it happened. He asked no questions, treated it like a briefing. He did not suggest that FEMA be alerted which would have been prudent. He did not ask if measures were in place for fast reaction, or if anyone had informed the Mayor or the Governor. He did not say a word, and then he did nothing for 4 days afterwards. However culpable Nagin and Blanco are, Bush did nothing to warn, or to mobilize relief.

Clinton went to Florida the day after their hurricane and convened with Jeb Bush to ensure that disaster relief was going smoothly. Clinton looked like he cared. Clinton looked like a President. Bush looked to me like a man who didn't understand what he was being told or didn't particularly care. Somebody else's problem is what his behavior on and off the tape says to me. It sure wasn't leadership.


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Filtered by your bias...
by EdH / March 4, 2006 9:45 PM PST
He did not suggest that FEMA be alerted...

The head of FEMA was part of the briefing? Gov Blanco was telling them the levees were fine?

I know, Presoident Bush shoul dhave rolled up hi ssleeves and gone down there and FIXED THE LEVEES HIMSELF.
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From an outside link within that thread
by Roger NC / March 5, 2006 7:50 AM PST

After AP's broadcast this week showing some of the Katrina briefings, the Homeland Security Department refused Thursday to release videos from five other days immediately before and after Katrina hit. The agency insisted last year in response to AP's requests under the Freedom of Information Act there were no such tapes. Now it acknowledges more tapes exist.

The appearance of coverups is what stinks, no matter who is in office. It stank with Nixon, it stank with Clinton, and it's starting to appear now I'm afraid.

I overall support this administration as I believe most regulars here know. I believe the foul up with Katrina was top to bottom and back again. The feds and FEMA were just as wrong, and vice versa, as the governor. The mayor may have been a bit worse, just my view of course.

But the natural instinct of hushing something up and hoping it will go away 99.99% of the time backfires and ends up a coverup when it should have been admit, ok, this was wrong and here's what we propose to correct it. Everyone has a tendancy to deny involvement in snafu's, and any politician is by nature an avoidance of responsibility and blame the other guy machine.

The local authorites were abyssimal in their response. FEMA wasn't much better. Peroid. No one handled the NOLA and greater area disaster well. Other areas hit just as hard, with less publicity, did better jobs with poor recognition.

The way I see it, this is one time the mudslinging is boomeraging on the thrower as well as the throwee, from all sides.

But coverups stink, whether is stains on a dress or mismanagement in an emergency, or silent sections on a tape.


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Pretty good article in Popular Mechanics
by Dragon / March 6, 2006 5:18 AM PST

This months (March) edition titled

"Debunking Katrina Myths"

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