Thursday, March 02, 2006

About The Katrina Teleconferencing Videos

Kevin at Wizbang has the details. What exactly did we learn from the AP report? Nothing that we didn't already know, and people are trying to make more out of them than they probably should.

However, it is interesting to see how President Bush was 'vacationing' on his ranch. That's where the teleconferences were taking place. But some folks would much rather believe that being away from the White House means that they're not working. Bunk. Pure unadulterated bunk.

Captain Ed has more, and calls this a media hack job. I'd agree considering that the source material clearly does not state that anyone advising the President considered levee breaches in New Orleans to be a concern, even on the 29th. Overtopping was the primary concern, and even that concern was lessened as the storm track took the brunt of the storm to the east of New Orleans and into the Louisiana/Mississippi border.
Again, the entire briefing that related to levees only focused on the effects of the wind on Lake Pontchartrain and its effect in pushing water over the top of the levees. Mayfield never even addressed the possibility of breaches in the levee walls. And in fact, the storm track shifted eastward in the final hours before Katrina hit, which eliminated much of the predicate for even the worries Mayfield expresses in this transcript.

The media got it wrong yet again on Katrina. The notion that the experts warned of levee breaches is nothing more than a hack job initiated by the AP and continued by the rest of the Exempt Media even after the source material has proven it false.

Paul at Wizbang also picks up on the whole vacationing in Texas meme that the Left wants folks to believe. What's in a word? Quite a bit. All that video undermines the claim that the Administration didn't take the hurricane threat seriously. There's videotape from sessions over the course of six days. Sounds like they took it quite seriously.

The Times Picayune has more, and wonders when the rest of the media will finally debunk the myth that Bush wasn't deeply involved in the Katrina preparations:
On the day that Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, President Bush and a top presidential aide were worried about whether New Orleans' levees had held, according to a transcript of discussions among disaster officials on the front lines of the storm.

Those concerns, expressed about midday Aug. 29, are in contrast to an image of a detached president.
There are plenty of people who are taking the AP to task for the hatchet job, including the following: Flopping Aces, Outside the Beltway, The Anchoress, Instapundit, and others added as found.

And is it a coincidence that the AP report was put together by a staffer who was associated with 60 Minutes 2, which put together the Rathergate hatchet job on President Bush mere weeks before the Presidential elections. Wizbang, The Jawa Report, and Don Surber.

Expose the Left is not a happy camper with the media. In fact, the media has had the transcripts from these videos for six months. They're running them now as though this is some new story. It's not. Patterico takes the LA Times to task for their dishonest coverage. Big Lizards echoes the sentiment. And then posits the key question. Even if Bush did know that the levees were going to be breached, what could he actually do? Stop time? The options available to the President are limited by the US Constitution and federal law. Violate those, and you've got yourself impeachable offenses (Posse Comitatus Act anyone?) The President could only cajole Nagin and Blanco to take steps to evacuate people out of harms' way and neither was particularly effective at the decisive moment. Both failed miserably. They took too much time to make the decision to evacuate, and then when they did, they failed to use all the means to get people out of harms way (Nagin's Memorial Motor Pool).

Jeff Goldstein is not amused. And he notes that the videos show that Michael Brown was doing his job quite competently, but the media ran him out of Washington because they needed a scapegoat. Is it possible that Brown was behind these videos surfacing - both to slam the media types who ran him out, and also to restore his name? It's possible - the Potomac two-step is a common dance in DC.

AJ Strata thinks that the AP has drunk the Kool Aid. Willisms thinks that Wizbang has uncovered Rathergate2, with the dishonest attack piece being cobbled together and taking items from different days to completely rejigger the facts to suit their political tastes, not the facts.

Now, after the news cycle is nearly over for today, the AP runs a story headlining that Gov. Blanco said that the levees were safe. Famous last words?
In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.

"We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said shortly after noon on Aug. 29, according to the video. "We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time."

In fact, the National Weather Service received a report of a levee breach and issued a flash-flood warning as early as 9:12 a.m. that day, according to the White House's formal recounting of events the day Katrina struck.
This clearly doesn't put Blanco in a positive light. She had no idea what was going on, and relayed incorrect information to the President.

Technorati: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

No comments: