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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: White House Swamped by Katrina

“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.
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.”
-Associated Press, March 2, 2006

“But that doesn’t sound like our Fearless Leader. He was engaged in the process. He was informed. He was ready. And, most importantly, this has to be a vicious lie spread by the Democrats or Communists or someone like that because Fearless Leader assured us that no one anticipated the breaching of the levees.”

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 1, 2005

“But these so-called videos seem to indicate that people kind of mentioned that to him..”

"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."
-Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center, August 28, 2006

“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.”
-Associated Press, March 2, 2006

“Yes, I know that this new information is video, but it must me something that those special-effects people in Liberal Hollywood thought up, like they did with Forrest Gump, because it can’t be right. I mean, Fearless Leader was at the heart of it. He was trying his hardest. He was involved and informed. He couldn’t have been that wrong.”

“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.’”
-Associated Press, March 2, 2006

“Odd that this video came out.. It seems that part of the video came from a call that Congress wanted information about, but couldn’t as the recording had been ‘lost’ right up until Newsweek was about to release it, at which point the White House suddenly ‘found’ it again.”

“[T]he administration initially told Congress that the transcript for the Aug. 29 call -- the call congressional investigators were most curious about, given that it occurred as the hurricane was actually battering the Gulf Coast -- did not exist, with officials initially telling Capitol Hill that someone at FEMA or Homeland Security forgot to push the button on a tape recorder.

‘Everybody has been looking for that transcript,’ former FEMA chief Michael Brown said Wednesday.
A White House official unexpectedly e-mailed the transcript to NEWSWEEK earlier today Wednesday morning -- initially without explaining that it was the missing transcript. Two officials familiar with congressional investigations said that the document was turned over to Capitol Hill investigators Tuesday night. Administration officials told both Congress and NEWSWEEK that FEMA officials in Atlanta had taped the Aug. 29 conference call by aiming a video camera at a TV screen rather than following the usual recording procedure. The videotape was subsequently discovered and transcribed.”
-Newsweek web exclusive, March 1, 2006


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