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Bush was briefed about the gravity of Katrina

Left: 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. Right: Bush is shown responding in the briefing. (AP Photo)

[UPDATE: Welcome, Raw Story readers. Freeper commentary added – true to form, it’s vile and they find ways to blame anyone, well, everyone else but Dear Leader for this.]

Didn’t Dear Leader tell us all that “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees” and that based on his review of the next day’s imaginary newspapers, that he thought that New Orleans “dodged the bullet” so he didn’t have any idea that the levees would be breached?

It was all bullsh*t.

As officials told about the gravity of the hurricane approaching the Gulf Coast, and the potential disaster that the region faced, he didn’t ask a single question.

The Associated Press SOMEHOW got this incredible footage, which is up on Crooks and Liars.

Gee,what are the chances embattled FEMA gave this footage up, as it has been the whipping boy for this whole mess? From the AP story:

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.”

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’s confidence on Aug. 28 starkly contrasts with the dire warnings his disaster chief and a cacophony of 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.

It can’t get any worse than this for this fraudulent, lying bastard in the White House. Then again, I thought minutes of video of him blanking out reading “The Pet Goat” on September 11 was enough to show the public what a worthless piece of crap they elected, but they gave him a pass. Will they give him a pass for baldface lying about being briefed about Katrina? How will Rove get him out of this one?

I have to repeat it again — think about it — thousands of lives were in the balance, and he didn’t ask a single question of those briefing him. What kind of f*cking leadership is this?

How many scandalous, immoral, incompetent acts can this man and his vile administration get away with? This just has to stop.


The Freepers (part of that hardcore ~30% still supporting this knob-end president) manage to blame: 1) black victims of Katrina, 2) the AP for obtaining the tape, 3) everyone down in the Gulf, because they should have been watching the Weather Channel (and I suppose that somehow lets the Chimp off the hook?!). This is the Republican Base.

Actual Freeper Quotesâ„?

“More BS from Asso Propaganda. Funny how they NEVER cover the briefing documents from FEMA that warns local and state officials that it can take up to 96 hours for the Feds to ride to the rescue. More scum bag KNOWING lies by the Asso Propaganda.

Yawn. Katrina is so yesterday..”

“Come down here to the Mississippi coast and tell us that.”

“It kept the crime down.”

“*yawn* I saw Mayfield tell me the same thing on The Weather Channel – he was rather blunt about it. And? People stayed, some paid the price, and short of declaring martial law, the federal response was appropriate and timely.

“This is much ado about stuff we already know…AND—it was a HURRICANE FGS… and I know that even the “experts” never know exactly what will happen!!!”

“And so was everyone in NO.”

“If I’m the President, and someone warns me about a huge hurricane approaching Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, I tell them to make sure all the information we have is forwarded to the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama state officials.”

“Then, having gone above and beyond the call of duty, I immediately return to taking care of my own responsibilities.”

[Pam: and further down the page, this is the actual picture one of them ran as his/her comment]

39 posted on 03/01/2006 3:14:15 PM PST by Perdogg (“Facts are stupid things” – Pres. Ronald W. Reagan)

“Yep, expect to hear this over and over. They are putting the tape against GWB’s statement a few days later that no one anticipated the levees being breached…ya know, more of the “dishonesty” of this admin. Only problem I see is that the weather dude in the video spoke about water coming OVER the levees. There IS a difference between storm surge causing water to top the levees and breaks in said levee. This will, of course, be ignored.”

“And the AP obtained this material how? Smells of a security breach of some sort.”

“Not in the Houston area. The dumbest thing elected officals could have ever done was bring all those folks here.”

“Perhaps Louisiana’s corrupt officals who stole levee money to pay for casinos should share part of the blame…the rest of the blame falling onto local and state officials (as well as New Orlean’s residents themselves) for not evacuating…the storm was the sole item on the news for 4 days prior to making landfall, so people knew it was coming (and if everyone knew about the levee’s then they hardly have an excuse for staying).”

“It’s also worth noting that New Orleans was hit by the weaker West side of Hurricane Katrina. Mobile and Biloxi were hit by the more harsh East side of the storm, yet for “some reason” they managed their part of this crisis a bit better… 17 posted on 03/01/2006 2:56:04 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro “

“I am disappointed, Texans should know how to handle troublemakers. Where is your cowboy spirit?”

“Actually, crime increased with the shootings at the rescuers.”

“I guess Bush should have driven the buses.”

“You know, I like it much better and find it totally re-assuring when my President is running around, screaming and crying like a sally-boy in the middle of a crisis. /sarcasm Shades of how they picked on him while he remained calm on the outside and didn’t panic a bunch of little kids on 9/11. I hate the b@stards in the MSM.”

“I just saw some of the tape. I don’t think you all are really focusing in on just how damaging this is going to be. I often deal with the media, the Democrats and worse and the subject of Katrina keeps coming up. I was at a holiday gathering of professionals in December and an hour was spent on it. The people who move things and who communicate things are going to be all over this. It could be spun, but Bush clearly was alerted that this was going to be a disaster. The spin would be that, yea, we saw it, thank God, coming and our preparation was as good as humanely possible. As I glance around the ‘net, this is exploding. This is going to hurt more than you can grasp at this moment. Bush needs to roll heads as a diversion. A lot and I do mean a lot is going to be implied.”

“Yes, he was…what this is about is that the Dems and the MSM think they have found a GOTCHA (ya know, proof of their incessant “BUSH LIED!!” mantra) – I have heard the word “misleading” several times already just flipping the channels…it makes me ill”

“Bingo…I remember the President on national news the weekend before the storm hit urging everyone in its’ path to evacuate inland. What a load of crap…the only thing I don’t understand is why the White House lets this false picture be painted. What was he supposed to do…send the Secret Service war wagons down to the ninth ward to drive these unmotivated folks out of harms way.”

“Houston took in the worst from New Orleans. It has gone up in Houston. New Orleans has one of the highest crime rate in America.”


Remember to read my post from yesterday about Katrina recovery and The Mardi Gras Index (of fallout) caused by the lack of preparedness by this Administration. It has even more relevance after this A-Bomb from the AP.

Jane @ Firedoglake smacks it all down, and The Moderate Voice has a good roundup.

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Pam Spaulding

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