Our pal Jim C (2/9/06):
I bet you believe that the government *blew up the levees* on purposeâ€¦.whateverâ€¦
New York Times (2/10/06):
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.
But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department’s headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight.
White House officials have confirmed to Congressional investigators that the report of the levee break arrived there at midnight, and Trent Duffy, the White House spokesman, acknowledged as much in an interview this week, though he said it was surrounded with conflicting reports.
But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had “dodged the bullet,” he later recalled.
Failure to act isn’t the same as committing bad acts, but there’s hardly enough difference to be throwing out disdainful accusations in support of an administration who ignored the danger and then lied about it.