Last night the Associated Press released secret transcripts and video footage they secured showing President Bush being personally briefed the day before Hurricane Katrina hit land. The predictions he heard were shockingly precise and accurate—including the vulnerability of the levees. He knew exactly what was coming.
The article is a smoking gun on Bush's unpardonable failure to keep us safe. The White House will be filling the airwaves with spin, but the actual proof of what he knew can be found in the AP news reports.
At the August 28th briefing, the president was told exactly what to expect:
- The chief scientist of the National Hurricane Center warned that a major levee breach was "obviously a very, very grave concern." Bush lied to the entire nation about this point just 5 days later.
- Michael Brown told the president that if New Orleans flooded the Superdome emergency shelter would likely be under water and short on supplies, creating a "catastrophe within a catastrophe."
- Experts and officials implored the President to prepare for, as the AP described it, "devastation of historic proportions."
President Bush didn't ask a single question during the briefing. In the next two days he campaigned, attended birthday parties and played guitar while the worst natural disaster in American history killed over 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
The survivors of Katrina deserve to know why the president left them to suffer the storm. And the people of the United States deserve leadership we can trust to keep our families safe.