Tuesday, September 13

"How Bush Blew It"

George Bush, who prides himself on ignoring the mainstream news media, had to watch a DVD to catch up Katrina coverage more than four days after the hurricane laid waste to New Orleans.

Aides "made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning (Friday) on Air Force One," Newsweek's Evan Thomas reports in his story, unambiguously titled "How Bush Blew It."

How this could be — how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century - is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.

After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him. Bush can ask tough questions, but it's mostly a one-way street. ... When Hurricane Katrina struck, it appears there was no one to tell President Bush the plain truth: that the state and local governments had been overwhelmed, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was not up to the job and that the military, the only institution with the resources to cope, couldn't act without a declaration from the president overriding all other authority.

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