January 25, 2006
Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead (and Screw You Congress)
The Bush administration, citing the confidentiality of executive branch communications, said Tuesday that it did not plan to turn over certain documents about Hurricane Katrina or make senior White House officials available for sworn testimony before two Congressional committees investigating the storm response.What could they possibly be hiding? Hmmn. Perhaps the fact that Bush is a big, fat LIAR? Oops, too late:
The White House this week also formally notified Representative Richard H. Baker, Republican of Louisiana, that it would not support his legislation creating a federally financed reconstruction program for the state that would bail out homeowners and mortgage lenders. Many Louisiana officials consider the bill crucial to recovery, but administration officials said the state would have to use community development money appropriated by Congress.
The White House's stance on storm-related documents, along with slow or incomplete responses by other agencies, threatens to undermine efforts to identify what went wrong, Democrats on the committees said Tuesday...
"The White House and the administration are cooperating with both the House and Senate," (deputy White House spokesman Trent) Duffy said. "But we have also maintained the president's ability to get advice and have conversations with his top advisers that remain confidential."
...Other members of the committees said the executive branch communications were essential because it had become apparent that one of the most significant failures was the apparent lack of complete engagement by the White House and the federal government in the days immediately before and after the storm.
"When you have a natural disaster, the president needs to be hands-on, and if anyone in his staff gets in the way, he needs to push them away," said Representative Christopher Shays, a Connecticut Republican and member of the House investigating committee. "The response was pathetic."
The White House was told in the hours before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that the city would probably soon be inundated with floodwater, forcing the long-term relocation of hundreds of thousands of people, documents to be released Tuesday by Senate investigators show.I am getting soooooo sick of writing "Worst...President...Ever."
A Homeland Security Department report submitted to the White House at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, hours before the storm hit, said, "Any storm rated Category 4 or greater will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching."
The internal department documents, which were forwarded to the White House, contradict statements by President Bush and the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, that no one expected the storm protection system in New Orleans to be breached.
"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," Mr. Bush said in a television interview on Sept. 1. "Now we're having to deal with it, and will."
(Image courtesy of chrisheijmans.nl weblog - but I have no idea whether she made it or stole it from someone else. Fair use, baby. Fair use.)