Thursday, March 02, 2006

Questions About the Katrina Tapes

Video, AP

"It doesn't come as a surprise that there's footage showing…everyone knew everything in excruciating detail. What is a surprise is that given the billions that the government has spent on homeland security and developing all these response-to-disaster plans…nothing worked right." Ivor van Heerden, director of the hurricane public health center, Louisiana State University

I have some fundamental questions about the videos and transcripts of high level government Katrina meetings released by AP. You have many of the same questions I'm sure.

1. Why didn't the president ask any questions in the critical pre-Katrina briefing?

With my own background in politics and media, plus experience in national disasters, I can think of about a dozen. Even without that kind of knowledge, I bet you can too.

I look at that particular tape and see the stark reality many of us have feared since Day 1 -- our president is a puppet. A severely limited non-thinker with an appalling lack of imagination or genuine interest in anything beyond the one-dimensional.

He can't think in layers or wrap his brain around hypotheticals. He certainly can't multitask. And when faced with complex decision-making, he falters. And falls back on cowboy bravado and political platitudes.

If I wasn't scared before, I am now.

2. Why did Michael Brown just bend over and take the blame?

Those tapes and transcripts have been around all this time. Obviously everyone at the meetings knew the content. So that leads to:

a. Did Michael Brown have no friends willing to help him by leaking the tapes when the country was wiping the floor with Brown?
b. Or is this why Brown was demoted but not fired and has been so apparently, arrogantly unrepentent?
c. And why did Brown claim the president "is very engaged, and he's asking a lot of really good questions I would expect him to ask."

3. Why did Michael Chertoff stay so noticeably unengaged and emerge so unscathed?

4. Who is going to get off his/her ass and lead a concerted, long overdue effort to impeach President Bush for this and other crimes against the American people?



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