This is truly damning of President Bush and his Administration. It’s akin to the recent report that the Pentagon KNEW about Mohamed Atta, one of the terrorists who attacked the Twin Towers, ONE WHOLE YEAR BEFORE the 11th of September 2001, but did nothing about him.
This is apart from the fact that before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency had forecasted an attack on New York as one of the 3 catastrophic disasters most likely to confront America.
The other two catastrophic disasters that the Agency listed were a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. In fact, of the 3 disasters, the Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001 that the New Orleans hurricane scenario would be the deadliest of all.
Remember, the forecast was way before 9/11 of 2001. In other words, the New Orleans disaster was predicted with amazing accuracy nearly 5 years ago.
There are now questions as to why the authorities have been so unprepared? For years, universities and scientists have predicted the disaster through computer modeling. The catastrophe that would follow a breaking of the levees was even analysed.
The finger has pointed to 9/11, where the Bush Administration has exploited the disaster of the terrorist attacks to push questions of such nature on to the back burner in the name of national unity, and as the reporter put it, then buried them under a thick coat of whitewash.
One of the most vexing question has been the unacceptable long delay in aid arriving at trouble-hit spots. The USA is a 1st world nation yet the response has been pathetic, like 3rd world nations. The blame that thousands refused to move has been incorrect as there was no transportation to take them away. Some were too poor or too sick to move without assistance.
Evidence points, above all, to the Federal Administration’s amazing lack of preparation and urgency in its response. There are now queries as to why military already in the right areas weren’t ordered to move in to assist. The Bush Administration had thought the local National Guard could keep order and deliver relief, withouit realizing that they were already deployed in Iraq.
It seems once again the Iraqi connection has popped up again.
Wait, there’s more.
In terms of strengthening the levees, the Army Corps of Engineers had to withdraw its work on them in 2003 because of mounting spending pressures due to the war in Iraq. The chief of the Army Corps of Engineers criticized the administration's proposed cuts in the corps' budget, including the reduced flood-control spending. He was forced to resign.
Looks like Iraq has siphoned off funds that could have been used to shore up the levees.
There have been warning signs last year that the emergency services weren’t able to cope if such disasters were to break out.
The reporter put it as more than a simple tale of incompetence. He said that America's current leaders just aren't serious about the essential functions of government. They like to go to war but don't know how to govern for nuts. For example, when conducting war, they don't provide security or spending on preventive measures. He likened the neglect of flood control to the failure to provide adequate armour to troops in Iraq, or allowing the rampant looting of Baghdad after the capture of the city.
Then worst of all, Bush lied again, that nobody anticipated the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.
The reporter bemoans that America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job.
The consequences of those excuses have resulted in Americans dying, as they have in Iraq.