Bush & Co. were warned days in advance, and still Bush stayed on his five-week vacation and focused on ignoring the wishes of a mother of a soldier who died in Iraq to meet him.
The day after the hurricane hit, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving thousands more stranded and in danger of dying, Bush spoke about immigration with his Department of Homeland Security director and at a public forum in Arizona, did a birthday cake photo op, and attended at least one political fund-raiser on the West Coast, more than a thousand miles from the Gulf Coast. The next day, Bush tried to play guitar with a country singer as more people in New Orleans died.
Bush didn't even call for a task force to work on the federal response to the disaster until a full two days after the hurricane hit. In his first major address on the crisis three days after Katrina hit, Bush "seemed casual to the point of carelessness" and did not seem to understand the depth of the problem, according to news reports.
Five days after the hurricane hit, when the criticism of Bush's response to Katrina even reached the inner sanctum of the White House, Bush unleashed his campaign commander-in-thief Karl Rove to try to blame the slow response on Louisiana officials. Bush claimed no one knew the levees would break, despite reports from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Orleans for years that would occur. In 2002, Bush's head of the Army Corps even resigned in frustration partly due to Bush's budget cuts for flood control.
The message to this story? If you are hit by a major disaster and clinging to your life as floodwaters threaten to drown you in your home, don't expect any help from the Bush administration. Bush & Co. are too busy going on vacation, attending sporting events, shopping for expensive shoes and homes and trying to hide from the mother of a son killed in a war they started to further their dreams of empire.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
KATRINA, A LEVEL ONE HURRICANE, HITS SOUTHERN FLORIDA, GENERATING HEAVY FLOODING AND KILLING AT LEAST SEVEN [from The Associated Press].
Friday, August 26
GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA AS KATRINA PICKS UP SIGNIFICANT SPEED AS IT HEADS TOWARDS THAT STATE: [Office of the Governor].
GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a Sept. 1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander of the Katrina Joint Task Force, said that the Gulf states began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, Aug. 26 [DOD].
5 a.m. - KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE: [CNN].
GOV. BLANCO ASKS BUSH TO DECLARE FEDERAL STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA: "I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster [Office of the Governor]."
FEDERAL EMERGENCY DECLARED, DHS AND FEMA GIVEN FULL AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO KATRINA: "Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency [White House]."
Sunday, August 28