Friday, March 03, 2006

Blanco said levees were intact. Will that get some air?

The media has certainly made sure to sow the AP non-story about the briefing on the New Orleans levees as widely as possible. When the facts of the transcripts were made available the conclusions made by the AP in determining that the President was warned of the levee breaches were shown to be the unsupported Bush-bashing we’ve come to expect from the media these days. The AP’s video hack job is just the latest Memogate. Follow that link to Captain’s Quarters and read all about it.

What’s not unsupported is video now coming to light that shows Louisianna Governor Blanco assuring everyone that the levees were still intact - hours after the National Weather Service had received reports that there were, in fact, breached.

As Hurricane Katrina loomed over the Gulf Coast, federal and state officials agonized over the threat to levees and lives. Hours after the catastrophic storm hit, Louisiana's governor believed New Orleans' crucial floodwalls were still intact.

"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 — the day the storm hit the Gulf coast.

"We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee," she said on a video of the day's disaster briefing that was obtained Thursday night by The Associated Press. "I think we have not breached the levee at this time."

In fact, the National Weather Service received a report of a levee breach and issued a flash-flood warning as early as 9:12 a.m. that day, according to the White House's formal recounting of events the day Katrina struck.

Not until the day after Katrina roared ashore did the White House confirm that its surge had, in fact, breached the levees — a delay that critics charge held up repair efforts and allowed the deadly flooding to worsen.

I wonder how much air time this video will get?