Friday, September 02, 2005


Lake George: It Wasn't Inevitable

Wonkette gets letters (emphases mine):

That the Bush administration diverted funds from the rebuilding of the New Orleans levees to Iraq is by now well-known. What you might not have heard is that the people cleaning up the mess are really pissed about it. A tipster informs us that down in New Orleans, they have a name for the flood waters that have invaded the city: Lake George.
Email attributed by tipster to "friend at the EPA" after the jump. This is from a friend at the EPA:

We're naming it Lake George, 'cause it's his frickin fault. Have you seen all that data about the levee projects' funding being cut over the past three years by the Prez, and the funding transferred to Iraq? The levee, as designed, might not have held back the surge from a direct Class 5 hit, but it certainly would not have crumbled on Monday night from saturation and scour erosion following a glancing blow from a Class 3. The failure was in a spot that had just been rebuilt, not yet compacted, not planted, and not armed (hardened with rock/concrete). The project should have been done two years ago, but the federal gov't diverted 80% of the funding to Iraq. Other areas had settled by a few feet from their design specs, and the money to repair them was diverted to Iraq.

The NO paper raised hell about this time and again, to no avail. And who will take the blame for it? The Army Corps, because they're good soldiers and will never contradict the C in C. But Corps has had massive budget cuts across all departments (including wetland regulatory) since Bush took office, and now we've reaped what was sown. It really pisses me off to see the Corps get used by the Administration to shield Bush -- they do great work when they're funded. This was senseless, useless death caused not by nature but by budget decisions.
One of the Republicans' key talking points in the past few days has been that the destruction of New Orleans was inevitable -- so why bother spending Our Tax Dollars on it? (This as they cheerfully spend hundreds of billions of Our Tax Dollars on over two years of destabilizing Iraq and its neighbors.) But of course they'd rather spend money to kill brown people, not help them -- and New Orleans was 70% brown people.

I've read that the parts of the levy that failed had nothing to do with this funding.
There's a lot that's uncertain, APO. There are also reports that the places that were breached *had* been repaired. There is a lot of baloney floating around.

But we do know two things: that the Bush Administration did not take this problem seriously and that it is lying about it. When President Bush told Diane Sawyer that nobody imagined the levees collapsing, it was as big a lie as when Condi Rice told the 911 Commission that no one had imagined airplanes being used as weapons (has anyone *not* seen films about the Japanese kamikazes?)

One blogger has documented how the Administration has disappeared a press release announcing the privatization of hurricane response planning

Elsewhere, I said that the Mayor and the Governor also share in the blame for this catastrophe. But I asked people to remember the sign that a real president, Harry Truman, had on his desk:

"The buck stops here."

Bush has never taken responsibility for anything he's done in his life and probably never will.
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