Thread: Bush has finally impressed me...
09-14-2005, 05:13 PM #1
Bush has finally impressed me...
I may not like him, but for once I think he did "the right thing"...
Katrina: Bush takes blame
President says crisis shows U.S. may not be ready for terror attack
CanWest News Service
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
WASHINGTON - In a blunt assessment of errors made in the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush yesterday acknowledged deep flaws in the country's ability to respond to domestic crises, and said he accepts personal responsibility for failures in his administration's handling of the disaster.
After insisting for days he wanted to avoid the "blame game," Mr. Bush said the hurricane not only exposed problems in domestic preparedness, but raised questions about whether the country is capable of handling another major terrorist attack.
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Mr. Bush said at the White House.
His comments came a day after Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was forced to resign for botching rescue and relief efforts.
The White House announced that Mr. Bush, back in Washington after a two-day tour of flood-ravaged New Orleans, will address the nation tomorrow night from Louisiana about the pace of recovery and plans for long-term reconstruction in the region.
"I want to know what went right, and what went wrong," he said when pressed by a reporter about whether the disaster revealed vulnerabilities in the U.S.'s domestic defences.
"I want to know how to better co-operate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked -- are we capable of dealing with a severe attack, or another severe storm?" he said.
"That's a very important question. And it's in our national interest that we find out exactly what went on, so that we can better respond."
Mr. Bush's popularity has sagged in the two weeks since Hurricane Katrina roared through the U.S. Gulf Coast, leveling the Mississippi cities of Biloxi and Gulfport and overwhelming protective levees in New Orleans.
Rescue efforts for about 100,000 people in New Orleans alone were hampered by communications breakdowns between local, state and federal officials.
Former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, who chaired the independent commission into the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, said this week the response to Katrina was derailed by the absence of a coherent command structure.
"The same mistakes made on 9/11 were made over again, in some cases worse," said Mr. Kean, a Republican.
"Those are system-wide failures that can be fixed and should have been fixed right away."
Democrats have criticized Mr. Bush for underestimating the crisis in the first days after the hurricane. He initially said no one had anticipated the failure of New Orleans' levee system, despite widespread reporting on its vulnerabilities by media and emergency officials.
Mr. Brown, the FEMA director, was also unaware for days that 25,000 refugees were stranded without food or toilets at the New Orleans Convention Center, the emergency shelter that has become symbolic of the breakdown in civil order.
"I'm not going to defend the process going in, but I am going to defend the people who are on the front line saving lives," Mr. Bush said. "Those Coast Guard kids pulling people out of the floods did heroic work. The first responders on the ground, whether they be state folks or local folks, did everything they could."
More than 14,000 U.S. troops are now deployed throughout New Orleans alone, and flood waters continue to recede as pumps empty 6.5 million gallons a day from city streets.
The number of casualties is now expected to be far below the 10,000 initially predicted by Ray Nagin, the New Orleans Mayor.
As of yesterday morning, the death toll across five states hit by Katrina was 512, including 45 bodies discovered in an abandoned hospital on Monday.
In a separate incident, the owners of a nursing home where 34 people were found dead after the hurricane were arrested and charged with 34 counts of negligent homicide for not evacuating the patients.
Mable Mangano, 62, and Salvador Mangano Sr., 65, the owners of St. Rita's nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, "did not follow the standard of care that a reasonable person would follow in similar circumstances," Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti told a news conference.
Mr. Foti said the Manganos declined an offer from St. Bernard Parish authorities of buses to evacuate the residents, on top of a contract with an ambulance service they already had but did not use.
"The pathetic thing in this case ... is that they were asked if they wanted to move [the patients].... They did not," Mr. Foti said.
"Thirty-four people drowned in a nursing home when it should have been evacuated. I cannot say it any plainer than that."
There were other tangible signs of progress in recovery efforts. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was reopened for its first commercial flight since the hurricane -- a Northwest Airlines jet from Memphis. The first post-Katrina cargo ship was due to make port in the city late yesterday night.
And just days after Mr. Nagin ordered police to begin forcibly evacuating remaining New Orleans residents, the mercurial Mayor told CNN that homes and businesses may be reopened in the famed French Quarter as early as Monday.
But the recovery effort also continues to be plagued by bitter political infighting between Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, and the Bush administration.
The White House was furious that Ms. Blanco initially refused to turn over control of the Louisiana National Guard to federal authorities. She further enraged the administration by hiring her own emergency management advisor after growing unhappy with FEMA's response.
09-14-2005, 05:36 PM #2
Ya its kinda surprising he came out and said that...
09-14-2005, 07:50 PM #3
Go Bush !
09-14-2005, 07:52 PM #4
Now maybe... unlikely though the Govenor and the Mayor will step up the the plate....
09-15-2005, 02:35 PM #5Originally Posted by Jdawg50
09-15-2005, 04:45 PM #6
He had to appoligize and take responsibility. He is the Commander-in-Chief. He is elected to serve The People and if he didn't apologize for obvious poor performance while in office, than there is a big problem.
He's been on thin ice for some time. He better not **** up and lose anymore approval, or he's going to get this country so torqued up they'll put Hillary in office for the Dems.
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