Mar 02 2006

AP Drinks Katrina Kool Aid

Published by at 10:22 am under All General Discussions

The AP has to be one of the dimmest bulbs in the news media these days.  In a piece straight out of Orwell’s 1984 they attempt to rewrite the history of Katrina regarding who was sounding the warning bells and who was ignoring the threat.

On the eve of Hurricane Katrina’s fateful landfall, President Bush was confident. His homeland security chief appeared relaxed. And warnings of the coming destruction – breached or overrun levees, deaths at the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelming needs for post-storm rescues – were delivered in dramatic terms to all involved. All of it was captured on videotape.

The Associated Press obtained the confidential government video and made it public Wednesday, offering Americans their own inside glimpse into the government’s fateful final Katrina preparations after months of fingerpointing and political recriminations.

“My gut tells me … this is a bad one and a big one,” then-federal disaster chief Michael Brown told the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29.

The president didn’t ask a single question during the briefing but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: “We are fully prepared.”

The footage – along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by AP – 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.

Actually, it shows people resigned to the realities that Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco left them with – 10’s of thousands of people in harms way in downtown New Orleans.   Bush had to push both of them to declare emergencies and call for residents to evacuate – way too late.  The timeline is here and here.

Folks, there is a simple test to who is at fault for Katrina.  I have meant to post on it for a while, but there never seems to be much point.  The AP has given me an opportunity to demonstrate the simplicity of all this.  Katrina is a political disaster because of what happened in New Orleans.  The other areas were devastated, people killed, etc.  But they are not considered disasters from an immediate response perspective because all possible steps had been taken – people were evacuated to safety.

The answer is simple for New Orleans.  If we did not have a week of desperate people stuck in the Superdome and horror stories coming from the masses at the convention center, the story would have been one about those poor souls who stayed in harms way (like the other regions).

Picture this scenario: Bush calls Nagin and Blanco and suggests they evacuate the city immediately.  They agree and we see buses used to get the poor and infirmed to high ground like we did in Texas a few weeks later.  We see hospitals cleared of patients and we see the Red Cross providing food and supplies to the refugees at evacuation centers as the levies break and water floods the city.  The few stragglers who stayed behind are rescued by the Coast Guard in the day or two afterwards.  All according to established plans.

See, if people followed the Administration’s suggestions the story would have been completely different.  And we know who refused to evacuate until it was too late, who refused to use available transportation to move people from harms way and rising flood waters (which took a day to peak), and we know who held the Red Cross back from moving supplies to the Super Dome.  And their names are Nagin and Blanco.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “AP Drinks Katrina Kool Aid”

  1. HaroldHutchison says:

    It is just amazing. What it also shows is that the media, when they decided to go full-tilt, managed to successfully cover up the way that Blanco and Nagin made Frank Jack Fletcher and George C. McClellan look like shining examples of leadership.

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  3. retire05 says:




    Governor Blanco? This is George Bush.

    Hello, Mr. President.

    Governor Blanco, as you know this storm is going to be really bad. I suggest you get your people out.

    Yeah, I was told that by the national weather people.

    Governor Blanco, you need to make an announcement for your people to evacuate. We have our people in place and are ready to help whenever you give us the word.

    Well, Mr. President, I was thinking of making an announcement but I was trying to decide what to wear. One of my staffers suggested a casual look, you know, like I am ready to roll up my sleeves. What do you think of Eddie Bauer. Think that would give the right impression?

    Governor, we have our people ready. You need to turn it over to them. There are National Guard from Texas already in Shreveport just waiting on your orders. Just turn it over to us. We’re ready to go in.

    Mr. President, there is no way I am going to turn MY state over to you. After all, you ARE a Republican. And as far as the TXNG are concerned, I have my own damn Guard. Just send them back from that damned little illegal war you started and we will be fine.

    Governor, the clock is ticking. Release authority to the feds. We are ready. Get Ray Nagin to evacuate his city.

    Mr. President, I can’t even find Ray Nagin. He is not answering his phone or his e-mails. And besides, it isn’t his state, IT’S MINE.

    Madam Governor, impliment your emergency evacuation plan for your state. Houston is ready to take them.

    HOUSTON? Houston is NOT a party town. We are. What would our people do in Houston? Besides, I was reading Cindy Sheehan on Huffington Post. Like she said, it is just a little wind and water. What do you think about Eddie Bauer clothing? Is that casual enough for my press release?

    Governor Blanco, I cannot stress enough the urgency of this matter. Get your people out. Utilize your emergency plan that was filed with FEMA. Do it now.

    Mr. President, do not be telling me what to do with my state. It is my damn state and I am boss here, not you. So you just keep your stupid Republican opinions to yourself. Remember, my people voted for me, not you. And I will make the calls. Not you. And you are not taking over my state because of a little wind and water. I will talk to you in a few days.
    Good bye, Mr. President.

    Anyone want to take a guess that while this may not have been the conversation, the attitude existed?

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