Tuesday, August 29


Greg Palast has a blockbuster of a report on the Bush administration and Hurricane Katrina. No, it's not about the sluggish federal response in the aftermath. It's what the administration knew before Kat struck, what they knew just after, and what they concealed.

(1) The premier hurricane expert of the region briefed senior administration officials, including "someone from the White House" that the levees were 18 inches too short.

(2) Two years ago the administration hired a company with no hurricane evacuation experience (but a track record of donating to Republicans) to create an evacuation plan for New Orleans. Nobody can find a copy of it, including the company and FEMA itself. They DID begin a draft of a plan: it was, basically, for everyone to get in their cars and drive like hell out of there, ignoring the fact that 127,000 residents of the city didn't have a car, or access to a car. (Palast's source, the hurricane expert, knew exactly where those people were and offered the information to FEMA but was rebuffed.)

(3) By midnight Monday the White House knew that the levees had been breached. Unfortunately, they didn't share that information with the state or the city (it had actually been spared by the hurricane itself, which hit wide to the east), so evacuation basically stopped. You'll recall that by Tuesday dawn the city and 1500 of its citizens were drowning.

(4) The administration has hired a company to fix the failed evacuation plan. It's the same company that did, or didn't, create it in the first place.

As Greg points out:

It’s been a full year now, and 73,000 New Orleanians remain in FEMA trailers and another 200,000, more than half the city’s former residents, remain in temporary refuges. “The City That Care Forgot” — that’s their official slogan — lost a higher percentage of homes than Berlin lost in World War II. It would be more accurate to call it, “The City That Bush Forgot.”

I just now heard a clip from the Bush-Gore debate that was used to demonstrate how Al Gore invaded Bush's "space" -- it was in the context of Iran's Ahmadinejad challenging Dubya to a debate. But the timing was ironic -- Bush was saying, "Can you get things done? I believe I can." And now Brian Williams is interviewing Bush down on the Gulf Coast and Bush is saying, "The people down here saw me say in Jackson Square that help is on the way. And I delivered."

The man is clearly a liar, a moron, or both. He lives in an alterate reality that simple cynicism can't explain.

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