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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - DEVASTATING news for Republicans; Six-Hours of Tape showing Bush, Chertoff Warned Before Katrina
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wolvesslasher
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#1 Posted on 1.3.06 2311.19
Reposted on: 1.3.13 2312.15
This is an absolute BOMBSHELL for the staggering Bush White House.

Bush, Chertoff Warned Before Katrina

WASHINGTON -- 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 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.

"I'm concerned about ... their ability to respond to a catastrophe
within a catastrophe," Brown told his bosses the afternoon before
Katrina made landfall.

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."

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said his department would not
release the full set of videotaped briefings, saying most transcripts
from the sessions were provided to congressional investigators months
ago.

"There's nothing new or insightful on these tapes," Knocke said. "We
actively participated in the lessons-learned review and we continue to
participate in the Senate's review and are working with them on their
recommendation."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, a critic of the administration's Katrina
response, had a different take after watching the footage Wednesday
afternoon from an AP reporter's camera.

"I have kind a sinking feeling in my gut right now," Nagin said. "I
was listening to what people were saying _ they didn't know, so
therefore it was an issue of a learning curve. You know, from this
tape it looks like everybody was fully aware."

"We're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only
in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this
event," Brown warned. He called the storm "a bad one, a big one" and
implored federal agencies to cut through red tape to help people,
bending rules if necessary.

"Go ahead and do it," Brown said. "I'll figure out some way to justify
it. ... Just let them yell at me."

Bush appeared from a narrow, windowless room at his vacation ranch in
Texas, with his elbows on a table. Hagin was sitting alongside him.
Neither asked questions in the Aug. 28 briefing.

"I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully
prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in
whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the
storm," the president said.

A relaxed Chertoff, sporting a polo shirt, weighed in from Washington
at Homeland Security's operations center. He would later fly to
Atlanta, outside of Katrina's reach, for a bird flu event.

One snippet captures a missed opportunity on Aug. 28 for the
government to have dispatched active-duty military troops to the
region to augment the National Guard.

Chertoff: "Are there any DOD assets that might be available? Have we
reached out to them?"

Brown: "We have DOD assets over here at EOC (emergency operations
center). They are fully engaged. And we are having those discussions
with them now."

Chertoff: "Good job."

In fact, active duty troops weren't dispatched until days after the
storm. And many states' National Guards had yet to be deployed to the
region despite offers of assistance, and it took days before the
Pentagon deployed active-duty personnel to help overwhelmed Guardsmen.

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.

Other officials expressed concerns about the large number of New
Orleans residents who had not evacuated.

"They're not taking patients out of hospitals, taking prisoners out of
prisons and they're leaving hotels open in downtown New Orleans. So
I'm very concerned about that," Brown said.

Despite the concerns, it ultimately took days for search and rescue
teams to reach some hospitals and nursing homes.

Brown also told colleagues one of his top concerns was whether
evacuees who went to the New Orleans Superdome _ which became a symbol
of the failed Katrina response _ would be safe and have adequate
medical care.

"The Superdome is about 12 feet below sea level.... I don't know
whether the roof is designed to stand, withstand a Category Five
hurricane," he said.

Brown also wanted to know whether there were enough federal medical
teams in place to treat evacuees and the dead in the Superdome.

"Not to be (missing) kind of gross here," Brown interjected, "but I'm
concerned" about the medical and mortuary resources "and their ability
to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...0101996_2.html

The tapes are being shown on BBC World News. Anyone else think
Brownie might have released these tapes?
Promote this thread!
Eddie Famous
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#2 Posted on 2.3.06 0001.56
Reposted on: 2.3.13 0002.14
Why is this DEVASTATING again?

The feds and locals weren't ready for the magnitude of destruction of the biggest, worst-placed storm in modern history. We know that.
CRZ
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#3 Posted on 2.3.06 0016.34
Reposted on: 2.3.13 0016.51
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    Why is this DEVASTATING again?
'cause he's from Canada!!!!!! This is a BOMBSHELL!!!!!!

I dunno...I saw plenty of clips played on tonight's local news (I missed the national news, but after a quick visit to nightly.msnbc.com I will venture a guess that they have played there as well) so it's not like this is some sort of damning secret knowledge that I could only have learned about from the Politics forum.

Since a tangential topic reared its head here, I will add that I *did* see Brian Williams' interview with Brownie on last night's NBC news and I got a worse impression of the administration from THAT than from the video that came out today. Still, even then it's easier for me to blame Chertoff than W.

    Originally posted by wolvesslasher
    Anyone else think Brownie might have released these tapes?
Now THIS is something I'll go along with you on. Not necessarily Brownie, but somebody with some sort of axe to grind. It'll be interesting to see if we ever find out how exactly The AP got a hold of this video.

On the third hand, you have to wonder if somebody went back on a promise to reward Brownie for being the scapegoat since he's really been noisy this week. Ah, politics.

(edited by CRZ on 2.3.06 0018)

EDIT 2: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9973419/ - tonight's netcast

(edited by CRZ on 2.3.06 0026)
wolvesslasher
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#4 Posted on 2.3.06 0102.24
Reposted on: 2.3.13 0102.42
It's (DEVASTATING!!)because Bush was saying that noone could predict that the storm could breach the levees, and lied about not being warned about the devastation of the storm until later.
JayJayDean
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#5 Posted on 2.3.06 0810.29
Reposted on: 2.3.13 0811.30
    Originally posted by wolvesslasher
    This is an absolute BOMBSHELL for the staggering Bush White House.


Aw, CRAP. Now, there's NO WAY he'll get re-elected. Oh, wait.
DrDirt
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#6 Posted on 2.3.06 1030.23
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1032.48
    Originally posted by wolvesslasher
    It's (DEVASTATING!!)because Bush was saying that noone could predict that the storm could breach the levees, and lied about not being warned about the devastation of the storm until later.


This had been said for years. Two things. People become numb to doomsaying after a while and cease to pay attention. Two, since the Reagan administration, scientists and science in general has taken hit after hit. Scientists are the next best thing to satan or bufoons. They have been a favorite target of the neocons. Why would you expect pols in D.C.to take them seriously unless they said what the pols wanted.

Finally, Iraq and terror far outweigh this and make it ver hard for this to gain traction.
Big Bad
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#7 Posted on 2.3.06 1242.28
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1242.40
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
      Originally posted by wolvesslasher
      This is an absolute BOMBSHELL for the staggering Bush White House.


    Aw, CRAP. Now, there's NO WAY he'll get re-elected. Oh, wait.


Well, given how Bush's approval ratings are now in the low 30's, it makes things bad for Republicans running in the 2006 midterms. It has just been one blow after another for the Repubs since the summer of '05, with the only good news being the confirmation of Alito to the SCOTUS. It's very possible that the Dems can regain the House in the fall, and they're basically guaranteed to take 3-4 more seats in the Senate.
DJ FrostyFreeze
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#8 Posted on 2.3.06 1340.51
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1340.51

    This is an absolute BOMBSHELL for the staggering Bush White House.
Did this remind anyone else of Grimis, or just me?

I always thought those "LOOKIT THIS ARTICLE I HAVE C&P'd BELOW THAT TOTALLY BASHES THE PARTY/CANDIDATE/ELECTED OFFICIAL I DONT LIKE! HELL YEAH!!" posts were pretty funny.
CRZ
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#9 Posted on 2.3.06 1342.27
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1343.02
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze

      This is an absolute BOMBSHELL for the staggering Bush White House.
    Did this remind anyone else of Grimis, or just me?
Wrong extreme.

    I always thought those "LOOKIT THIS ARTICLE I HAVE C&P'd BELOW THAT TOTALLY BASHES THE PARTY/CANDIDATE/ELECTED OFFICIAL I DONT LIKE! HELL YEAH!!" posts were pretty funny.

You were the one? Check.
redsoxnation
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#10 Posted on 2.3.06 1359.19
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1402.40
    Originally posted by Big Bad
      Originally posted by JayJayDean
        Originally posted by wolvesslasher
        This is an absolute BOMBSHELL for the staggering Bush White House.


      Aw, CRAP. Now, there's NO WAY he'll get re-elected. Oh, wait.


    Well, given how Bush's approval ratings are now in the low 30's, it makes things bad for Republicans running in the 2006 midterms. It has just been one blow after another for the Repubs since the summer of '05, with the only good news being the confirmation of Alito to the SCOTUS. It's very possible that the Dems can regain the House in the fall, and they're basically guaranteed to take 3-4 more seats in the Senate.







Remember the old Tip O'Neill proverb in terms of Congressional Elections: All Politics is Local. Unless there is a landslide, why kick out a Representative who has 12-18 years service time and has moved up the ranks to the point where they are delivering the pork to your district and replacing that with a person who could be in the minority party and stuck at the very bottom of the committee structure. And, even if the new member helps flip control of the House, they still are at the bottom of the party foodchain behind all of the members who have been waiting to take power while in the minority. The Senate can be fluid in terms of which party controls it, but the House generally stays consistent. People hate Congress as a whole, but they like their particular Representative in the House. Plus, the way redisticting has been done the number of truly contested House seats is in the 20-25 range, and you would need the races to break on a 3-1 ratio to have a chance of flipping the House.
In terms of Bush polling in the 30's impacting House races: In 1972 Richard Nixon won 49 states, and in 1984 Ronald Reagan carried 49 states. In those landslides, neither was able to capture control of the House.

(edited by redsoxnation on 2.3.06 1544)
ShotGunShep
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#11 Posted on 2.3.06 1359.29
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1403.26
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    Well, given how Bush's approval ratings are now in the low 30's, it makes things bad for Republicans running in the 2006 midterms. It has just been one blow after another for the Repubs since the summer of '05, with the only good news being the confirmation of Alito to the SCOTUS. It's very possible that the Dems can regain the House in the fall, and they're basically guaranteed to take 3-4 more seats in the Senate.

The poll you are talking about had many more Dems than Repubs and wasn't even of likely voters. It doesn't mean jack. Look at the Rasmussen poll for a more accurate picture.
Eddie Famous
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#12 Posted on 2.3.06 1404.13
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1404.22
I think the poll was actually taken in Canada.
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#13 Posted on 2.3.06 1522.50
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1523.09
    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    Look at the Rasmussen poll for a more accurate picture.


The DEAN Rasmussen Poll? Yes. Here's how it works: Drink a beer (Old Milewaukee is preferrred). Watch a 7 year old Mexican match between LaParka and Santo. Beer. Watch the Video on CNN of "Brownie" and Dubya. Beer. Draw it up as a Cartoon. Beer. Ogle the wife. Beer. Upload it to DVDDriver.com and the W. Beer. Perhaps 2. Say "Fuck it, Bush knew it, and I don't give a shit". Beer.

Yeah. I like that poll.



(edited by AWArulz on 2.3.06 1623)
Jim Smith
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#14 Posted on 2.3.06 1633.42
Reposted on: 2.3.13 1635.31
    Originally posted by wolvesslasher
    It's (DEVASTATING!!)because Bush was saying that noone could predict that the storm could breach the levees, and lied about not being warned about the devastation of the storm until later.


I've been hearing bits and pieces about this all week. I'm still not sure why the truth (that Bush was warned but did nothing) is more outrageous than his original excuse (that Bush wasn't warned and blindly assumed all was well). Am I supposed to be angrier at apathetic presidents than I am at incompetent ones? Otherwise, the only issue here is that he lied, which isn't a new allegation.

I'm not seeing how this changes anything. People who supported Bush through Katrina won't change their minds now. People who already oppose Bush can't be more upset by this because they were already as upset as possible with the man.
Nuclear Winter
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#15 Posted on 2.3.06 2136.17
Reposted on: 2.3.13 2139.59
DEVASTATING news for Democrats; Tape shows Blanco saying levees are safe (hosted.ap.org)

It would appear to me that nobody, Democrat or Republican, had any idea what was going on.

That said... we should probably say Bush lied and blame it all on him.
Dahak
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#16 Posted on 3.3.06 1811.50
Reposted on: 3.3.13 1812.15
First let me say that I am a moderate Republican. Also Bush has made a lot of mistakes.
These lists of Bush screwups end up just sounding like bitching. Show me why I should vote for whomever the Democrats nominate in 08. Show me the Democrats have a plan to fix things. Show me that all of the cronyism that the Bush administration has been critized for won't happen if the Democrats win the election.
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