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Tape: Brown Warned Administration Before Katrina

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posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 06:53 PM
I have just seen a video on the CBS Evening News of Michael Brown warning his superiors, including President Bush, of the threat that Hurricane Katrina posed to New Orleans. He is even shown questioning the wisdom of using the Superdome, which is twelve feet below sea-level, as a shelter and even suggests that the roof might fail. This video give strong credence to Brown's insistence that he has been scapegoated.

In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

The footage _ along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press _ show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

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[edit on 2006/3/1 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 01:21 AM
I'm wondering if Mr. Brown is going to get an apology from the 'Self-Annoited" and "Self-Appointed" ones on capital hill who reemed him out so badly during those hearings in the Senate. Where does Mr. Brown go to get his reputation back. He defended himself pretty well, but he was used as a scapegoat, for that there is no doubt.

Generally, I have been behind this president and admnistration, but they really screwed up and then they had the nerve to throw this guy under the bus to try and cover their tracks. It really is pathetic.

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 06:13 AM
Kudos to you for reporting this Grady. This type of ass-covering performance is in no way limited to either political party, but I know that you're a republican and uncovering this kind of deceit must effect your faith in the current leadership on some level.

I distrust this administration in everything they do, but your posts are always so fair and balanced that I have to pause and reconsider my views constantly. I've often thought that if all the major contributors on this board were given an official tag, you should be the "ATS Voice of Reason".

A WATS for you sir, and please come back to this thread and give us your opinion on this development.

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 06:32 AM

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."

and the governor of LA told the Federal government everything was OK AFTER the storm hit. This is no coverup, except to show that the state of LA was ill-prepared and have incompetant officials.

[edit on 3-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]

[edit on 3-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 12:46 PM

Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
...I know that you're a republican and uncovering this kind of deceit must effect your faith in the current leadership on some level.

First of all, thanks for the compliment and the vote. However, I'm not a Republican. I never have been and I never will be. I approach politics as a consumer. I do my best to look at the issues and choose who I think will do the best job, which isn't always an easy choice to make. Sometimes I am happy with my choices and sometimes I am not.

Posting this story was not that big a deal for me. It is a clarification of the scenario that preceded the storm that devastated southeastern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi and created one of the biggest political scandals of our time.

I really don't know anything about Michael Brown, but I have refused to use him as a sacrificial lamb the way so many here and in the media have. I've been around a long time now and, while I can be dead wrong about some things, I just didn't get the feeling that Brown was the demon he was being played up to be.

When I posted an article about his moving on to the private sector and said that I thought that despite his errors, which even he admits he made, I thought that he was a decent man, I took a lot of heat. Now, we know that he did his best in the face of what he now calls "the fog of bureaucracy."

To your next question, no, I have not lost faith in the administration. Even though in the tapes that have been released, it appears that President Bush was "detached," other reports have confirmed that the tape that was released was the second taped update the President had that day and that he had been in telephone communication with FEMA and other agencies throughout the day and that he was highly engaged. Michael Brown, himself, confirms this.

Emergency response in such matters works from the bottom up. There is plenty of blame to go around and everybody should own up to his share. That's the only way things get fixed.

I lived in New Orleans for 22 years, so I spent an entire night watching the coverage and the same media that was heaping blame on FEMA and Brown later was on the tube the day after the storm reporting that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet" because the French Quarter was not under water. At that same time, I was seeing pictures on the internet telling a completely different story. I sent off a letter to Greta Van Susteren telling her that the story was much worse, even though at the time, I didn't know that the levees had been breached. I just saw parts of the city under about six feet of water.

Today, it is no different in terms of accuracy of reporting. Two levees broke, the London Avenue levee and the 17th Street Canal levee, and they are on opposite side of the city. The London Avenue levee break flooded the lower ninth ward and the 17th Street Canal levee flooded the Lakeview area. Both were equally devastated, although more was left standing in Lakeview than in the lower ninth ward because Lakeview had many brick homes, but even if the damage was less spectacular in Lakeview, the damage was just as devastating in terms of lost property and loss of life, yet on the news, you wouldn't even know that there is a Lakeview neighborhood in New Orleans. You also don't hear about other neighborhoods that were heavily damaged by flooding, such as Broadmoor, where many died in what used to be Baptist Hospital.

The news that people get and base there opinions on in terms of Katrina is highly biased for the most part, in no small measure because the reporters don't know the city, and only those who know what they are looking at can sort it out to some degree. It is true that the media has mentioned these other neighborhoods, but there is never a story about New Orleans and Katrina that doesn't mention the lower ninth ward and the fullness of the disaster, especially as it relates to race, gets lost in the mix.

Furthermore, the Bush administration and FEMA had to rely on information from the media and from the local governments before they could intervene and I think that several factors played into that fiasco. One, is that the storm devastated the infrastructure. The people on the ground in New Orleans were not aware of the extent of the damage and did not seek emergency help soon enough. There was also poor interaction between the Governor's office and the Mayor's office and even some bad blood, perhaps. Moreover, Katrina devastated a much, much larger area than just New Orleans as pictures from the Mississippi Gulf coast remind us. I have heard from those who have been to the Florida parishes of Louisiana north of Lake Ponchartrain and they report damage that no one has heard of in the media. These kinds of conditions also make for logistical difficulties.

Now, I will address the administrations treatment of Michael Brown. Obviously, I don't know the inside story, but I haven't seen any evidence that he was scapegoated by the administration. He was not fired. He was removed from the scene of the devastation, but this was more of a response to the firestorm of controversy. He was still directing operations from Washington, where the administration argued he was needed most.

Brown quit because of the level of outrage from the public, the media, and the Congress. In another time, the members of congress would have drawn and quartered him or burned him at the stake in the public square. He was treated atrociously by kibitzers and he responded in the only way an honorable man could.

Katrina was a disaster of Biblical proportions, as has been said ad nauseum, but remains the truth. All levels of government got the word out to leave the projected path of the storm, so in that regard the government did what it was supposed to do. In the aftermath, the fiasco was a case study in Murphy's law and the reason why so much emphasis is placed each year in the Gulf coast areas to be prepared, to stock supplies, to get the car filled up and serviced in advance, and to be prepared to get out. Hurricane maps are as popular with the public as lottery tickets.

As a veteran, I have dealt with federal bureaucracy for several decades. I know just how slow and out of touch the system can be, but even though I do get frustrated, I always thank God that the VA is there, instead of ruminating on its many shortcomings. In all these years, I have learned that there are plenty of jerks in the system, but overall the agency is filled with committed professionals dedicated to providing the best care they can and the same bureaucracy that weighs heavily upon the veterans also weighs heavily upon the service providers. In the end, we are all just humans doing our best in the face of the system, which, while composed of humans, is somehow always less than human.

[edit on 2006/3/3 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 04:22 PM
Thank you for that breath of fresh air.

I don't think I'm allowed to give you two WATS votes for the same thread, but at the very least that deserves a standing ovation!

Stay well and don't ever change Grady.

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