A later article in the Boston Globe, with an almost identical title discusses related matters.
It seems quite clear that President Bush has been lying about his knowledge of the potential dangers of Hurricane Katrine in late August, 2005.
Bush was informed about the possible impact of Katrina on Aug. 29th (according to the newly released transcripts, from a video conference on the day Hurricane Katrina struck), where he said that “the government is fully prepaired” and – sadly enough – four days later with New Orleans completely flooded, the President advised he was doing all he could but that no one could have anticipated the devastation and destruction that the hurricane brought.
You can see the trancript of part of the briefing on Aug 29th here
Could no one have anticipated this? No one? Really?
On Aug. 29th, I posted the following comment on kasperolsen.blogspot.com
“Katrina” Closing in on New Orleans
The hurricane “Katrina” is on its way toward the southern states of the U.S., and is considered one of the most powerful hurricanes ever encountered. Its center seems to be moving in the direction of the city of New Orleans.
After leaving Florida, where 7 people were killed, the hurricane is now moving towards the central Gulf Coast, while it is enhancing its power.
All citizens of New Orleans (around 1.3 million people live in New Orleans and its suburbs) have been ordered to evacuate the city, before “Katrina” is expected to hit some time Monday morning, as New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared a state of emergency Sunday.
The city of New Orleans is mostly situated below the ocean-level, and with top sustained winds near 90 m/s, an average rainfall of maybe 400 mm, and with a predicted storm surge reaching maybe 8 meters (the highest levees around New Orleans are 5 meters high), it sounds very likely that New Orleans could be completely flooded – while wood-frame buildings will be destroyed and high-rise buildings will sway dangerously, some even to the point of total collapse.
Why did the Administration then act so slowly and why did the President have to defend himself, saying that nobody could have predicted that something like this could happen?
I gave a possible answer a few days later on , also on kasperolsen.blogspot.com:
Katrina vs. Iraq vs. Bush
What is the reason behind the Bush-administrations lack of timely response to the horrible situation after Hurricane Katrina’s destruction in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida?
Tens of thousands of people (very likely most of them black and poor) have not been able to leave the city of New Orleans. It was not too difficult to estimate the impact of Katrina on New Orleans, for example, several days before it hit the city. And what did the government do? Why did Bush find it more important to stay on vacation, instead of directing and preparing aid for the possible areas affected by Katrina? Was it more important to keep babbling about how important the war in Iraq is?
The estimated cost of Katrina is now well above $30 billion, but this is of course just a first estimate. In comparison, the cost of the war in Iraq is at least $5.8 billion a month (I found this figure at military.com). So, I suggest, that Bush cuts the war in Iraq by 5 months (and hopefully more), to help the people of New Orleans and other victims of a natural disaster.
A natural question is why tens of thousands of people did not leave the city of New Orleans? (A state of emergency was declared on Sunday). Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff apparently has the answer at hand (from Washingtonpost.com, today):
“The critical thing was to get people out of there before the disaster,” he said on NBC’s Today program. “Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part.”
But actually, there was no help available for citizens to evacuate. Most of them left behind were poor, with no cars or money to take care of their own transportation.