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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Politicizing Katrina

MSM is crowing about video tapes of President Bush being informed of the impending threat of Hurricane Katrina. These tapes were recording before the hurricane reached land.

The media is trying to make hey with a Watergate-like prosecution of the President -- "what did he know and when did he know it." In doing so, they proved that President Bush was indeed engagied and concerned about Katrina and the risks that it imposed on those in its path. This is in direct contradiction to the accusations that were levied at the President in the days that immediately followed the flooding of New Orleans.

But, what good does it matter if the Governor of Louisiana refuses assistance and the mayor of New Orleans fails to follow rehearsed procedures?

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco refused to allow the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to provide aid to those who took refuge in the New Orleans Superdome. She allegedly feared that assisting those in need would encourage them to stay in the city.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin fled town and left dozens of school buses parked on low ground. New Orleans was a town with many dependent upon public transportation – and their ride out of town was parked and later flooded.

There is nothing that federal authorities can do during impending natural disasters if the state authorities refuse assistance. The focus on federal response to Katrina – in the absences of exploring the state's role – is nothing more than a political witch hunt.

More to the point, is it truly compassionate to seek political benefit on the backs of Katrina victims while doing nothing to bring focus to the flaws in Louisiana's response? If we improve federal readiness, but no improvements are made in Louisiana, will New Orleans be any safer should the son of Katrina strike this summer?

UPDATE:

The media is pretending to have their "gotcha moment" with these tapes. After the storm, President Bush is quoted saying "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees". On the video, filmed prior to the storm, there is discussion about the potential "topping" of the levees. GOTCHA!

Not so fast. There is a world of difference between "topping" and "breaching". Topping is the overflow of water above the levees. But, levees that are only "topped" still hold back water. The "breaching" of a levee is the total failure where a levee is unable to hold anything back.

It is quite logical to ponder the potential topping, or overflow of the levees while still expecting them to hold. This is another example of liberals in the media using canards as weak excuses for logic.

ANOTHER UPDATE:

This morning, Roger Hedgecock reported that these "confidential tapes" acquired by the AP were actually released to the media by the Bush Administration. They were released on Sunday, August 28, 2005 – one day before Katrina reached land.

There was no aggressive reporting from the AP, this story was handed to them six months ago. But, for some reason, at a time when the media pretended that President Bush didn't care about New Orleans, the media neglected to air or report on the contents of this video.

This is also a blatant attempt to perpetuate the myth of the secrecy that surrounds this administration.

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