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    Thumbs down Clueless in Washington...

    The Truth Surfaces-

    From the April 2006 Edition of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS)

    On Sept. 1, 2005, President George W. Bush appeared on Good Morning America and said, “I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees” protecting New Orleans. He stuck by that story for six months, repeatedly insisting that no one had foreseen Hurricane Katrina's disastrous consequences. The president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also blamed then FEMA Director Michael D. Brown for the late and wimpy federal response to Katrina.

    But video footage released by the Associated Press (AP) March 1 tells quite a different tale. That video shows Brown and National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield briefing Bush and Chertoff via videophone about the impending disaster as the president and secretary sat in a room in Crawford, Texas. The briefing took place on Aug. 28—19 hours before Katrina walloped the Louisiana coastline.

    During the briefing, Mayfield said he had “very, very grave concern” about the ability of the levees to withstand the storm. “I want to make it absolutely clear to everyone that there is a potential for large loss of life.”

    “This is, to put it mildly, the big one, I think,” Brown warned. He noted that the Superdome, where many New Orleans residents had taken shelter, was 12 feet below sea level with a roof that might not hold, adding, “I'm concerned about the [National Disaster Medical System medical and mortuary teams] and their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe.”

    Bush and Chertoff didn't ask a single question. But during the videophone briefing, the president did say, “I want to assure folks at the state level that we are not only fully prepared to help you during the storm but also will bring in whatever resources we have at our disposal after the storm.”

    AP publicized the videos two weeks after House Republicans released a report slamming the Bush administration for responding “so ineffectively to a disaster that was anticipated for years and for which specific dire warnings had been issued for days.”

    According to the report, FEMA learned early on Monday, Aug. 29, that a major section of levee had ruptured, confirmed the information and informed the White House later that day. But it wasn't until Wednesday, Aug. 31, that the president declared a massive response and relief effort. And it wasn't until Friday, Sept. 2, that the official deployment of ambulances began.

    After Katrina, New Orleans EMS Director Jullette Saussy, MD, summed it up best when she said, “One thing I know for sure is that this nation is lacking leaders; we have plenty of politicians, very few of whom possess leadership quality."
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    While I fully agree that the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana had a less than stellar response to this, this is rediculous.
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    Default Can we leave it alone please?

    President Bush IS NOT IN CHARGE of everything or can he know it all. If he did, he would never sleep. He is briefed on I would assume thousands of issues & ideas weekly...maybe even daily.

    New Orleans was a terrible tragedy, but there were among hundreds of others, two other people that "dropped the ball", the mayor of N.O. and the Gov. of LA.
    Both of them are democrats. How come no one drags them down?

    The President and his cabinet can be paritally blamed, but there were a lot of mistakes made...on both the liberal and conservative side.

    2008 is two years away.

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    My main problem with this situation is that Bush CLAIMED he knew nothing about any problems with levee's when he in fact did. IMO there is no excuse for that. If they werent prepared enough thats one thing, just admit it though, no need to make excuses.

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    I think I missed the part where this related to Firefighting.



    But, I realize bashing Bush has become a pastime of those that have nothing better to do with their days.

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    Hey, the FD's knew, they just didn't let EMS know.
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    Eh, like it was going to change anything. The levees were at risk the day they were completed.

    So now we get to rebuild them so it will happen all over again.
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    I did read somehere where they are trying to require they be built at least 3 feet higher, due to the flood elevations. That has been in effect for my town for a couple years now. Makes for some odd looking streets where all the ranch houses are at ground level and the 1 rebuilt in the middle is now 30+ feet tall.
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    If they knew 19 hours before the hurricane that the levies might fail, sure seems to me that the sorry-*** excuses for mayor and governor sure should have done something. If they were looking to the federal government that close to the disaster, all was already lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none
    President Bush IS NOT IN CHARGE of everything or can he know it all. If he did, he would never sleep. He is briefed on I would assume thousands of issues & ideas weekly...maybe even daily.

    New Orleans was a terrible tragedy, but there were among hundreds of others, two other people that "dropped the ball", the mayor of N.O. and the Gov. of LA.
    Both of them are democrats. How come no one drags them down?

    The President and his cabinet can be paritally blamed, but there were a lot of mistakes made...on both the liberal and conservative side.

    2008 is two years away.
    There is no doubt that the state and local government fell flat on their faces with this disaster. Their sorry-*** excuse of preparation is abhorable...there is no question.

    While the President and the Federal Government cannot be held entirely responsible for their **** poor response to Katrina, that weight of this particular article is in the fact that Bush LIED.

    He had been informed of what was potentially going to happen...he chose not act, and then told the public that he had no idea that it would be a disaster of that magnitude.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    Eh, like it was going to change anything. The levees were at risk the day they were completed.

    So now we get to rebuild them so it will happen all over again.
    Kind of like the entire Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Coast. How about San Fransisco or L.A. and the earthquakes ? Bad argument to say it is going to happen again. A lot of things "happen all over again".
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    True, but New Orleans gets socked with hurricanes annually. It is BELOW sea level AND SINKING.

    Why rebuild a place like that? We aren't even taking socio-economic issues into account here. Just logically does not make sense. Yet the Feds do it every year in places that get with Hurricanes.

    Earthquakes are slightly different. They do not happen every year of this magnitude.

    May be a bad argument, but it is how I feel. Rebuild LA or San Francisco.......Well maybe just LA.
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    You have to look at what is "reasonable" <-- I know, foreign concept in many circles today.

    I certainly have a problem subsidizing development on barrier beaches -- as far as I'm concerned, grandfather them so that the next storm that wipes out a coastal more-or-less vacation home is the last. Here's your check for your loss...move inland some more.

    Some vulnerable areas, however, have already been built to such an extent, they can't really be realistically moved. Hartford, CT is protected by levees, and Providence, RI is protected by the Fox Point Storm Barrier, which stops tidal surges coming up Narrangansett Bay. On a little smaller scale, my area benefits from a series of flood control dams that protect a number of mill villages and small cities.

    And some of this isn't necessarily lack of common sense when people built the village originally. George Perkins Marsh wrote what is widely acclaimed as the first book about environmental damage -- in the 1860s! (Yes, civil war era). Back then people where already starting to experience flooding where there was none in memory -- mostly a combination of the obvious (de-forestation) as well as more subtle (silt run off from the de-forested mountains was being deposited and actually raising the level of the rivers higher and higher). Places near me that flooded in 1938 and 1955 might have been very reasonable in 1830 when the farmers who had been there for 150 years already had never seen water where the houses and mills where being built.

    It seems the consensus opinion is being settled in the engineering community that it was a design flaw that led to the most significant levee failure (the 17th Street). I do kind of chuckle since I think in just the government's general "not our fault" knee jerk, the Corps kept denying it was their fault...until somebody finally figured out if you can blame the majority of this on a design flaw...especially one that *wasn't* identified before hand (like several others had been...) that kind of helps the POTUS' argument...

    If it can be reasonably be decided the levees around NO can be properly designed and built, I think it's reasonable to rebuild them. Areas that need a few feet of lift, let them lift the houses. Maybe the most extreme of the deep areas, we turn into golf courses.

    However, look at some of the rural areas around there where it's probably more reasonable to say, no, we won't spend billions on their levees, and indeed will buy out the land to allow the delta to heal itself and/or be used as a "relief valve" to dump flood waters into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster
    There is no doubt that the state and local government fell flat on their faces with this disaster. Their sorry-*** excuse of preparation is abhorable...there is no question.

    While the President and the Federal Government cannot be held entirely responsible for their **** poor response to Katrina, that weight of this particular article is in the fact that Bush LIED.

    He had been informed of what was potentially going to happen...he chose not act, and then told the public that he had no idea that it would be a disaster of that magnitude.
    Nice attempt to rewrite history.

    First of all, this is old news that has largely been debunked, even in the mainstream press, as bineg taken out of context. Secondly, it has been widely documented that the President called the Governor BEFORE the storm and asked her to evacuate the city. She refused. The mayor, similarly refused to use city resources to evacuate his city. Third, it has been widely documented that city and state officials did not play very well in the sandbox in the first 48 hours with the feds. Politicians see accepting outside help as a sign of weakness. Fourth, the federal relief effort in the biggest and most widespread natural disaster to hit this country took three days to intiate and five days to hit full speed. This would not even have been noticed if the city and state had theor act together. How do I know this? One word. Florida.

    The federal response was not perfect to a large measure. It still isn't to this day. But it is intellectually dishonest for a person to attack the federal response without seeing how it was affected by the complete collapse of the local and state effort.

    Also, that quote by the EMS Director is so much of a political statement that it lacks credibility.

    Everyone here kows of your hared for the Pres. You may want to pick a different issue to attack him on because this one ain't it.

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    But Dal, Hartford and Providence are not hit with hurricanes annually. Rebuilding an area that is constantly hit and is below sea level does not make sense. Rebuilding an area that is hit once every 25 years and is below sea level makes more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Nice attempt to rewrite history.

    First of all, this is old news that has largely been debunked, even in the mainstream press, as bineg taken out of context. Secondly, it has been widely documented that the President called the Governor BEFORE the storm and asked her to evacuate the city. She refused. The mayor, similarly refused to use city resources to evacuate his city. Third, it has been widely documented that city and state officials did not play very well in the sandbox in the first 48 hours with the feds. Politicians see accepting outside help as a sign of weakness. Fourth, the federal relief effort in the biggest and most widespread natural disaster to hit this country took three days to intiate and five days to hit full speed. This would not even have been noticed if the city and state had theor act together. How do I know this? One word. Florida.

    The federal response was not perfect to a large measure. It still isn't to this day. But it is intellectually dishonest for a person to attack the federal response without seeing how it was affected by the complete collapse of the local and state effort.

    Also, that quote by the EMS Director is so much of a political statement that it lacks credibility.

    Everyone here kows of your hared for the Pres. You may want to pick a different issue to attack him on because this one ain't it.

    Thanks, at least there a few people that see outside the "Republicans v. Democrats" boxing ring. The Bush bashing is getting old.

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    Providence, you have a case since it's only extreme storm surges that put it at risk. However, parts of Hartford would routinely flood without the dikes. Metropolitan District Commission maintain massive storm water pumps on both sides of the river, since during storms they often have to pump storm drain runoff up into the river.

    IF (<-- notice the big...) you can fix the engineering flaws and have reliable dikes around New Orleans, it's probably significantly cheaper to build better dikes than to re-create infrastructure in a new location.

    While you have lots of clean-up and rebuilding, I would think the fundamental stuff like pavement, water and sewer pipes, utility poles, sewer plants, electric transmission systems stayed essentially OK.

    It's not just the cost of rebuilding destroyed homes. IF the dikes can be built better, I'm guessing it's several times cheaper to fix them then to recreate the infrastructure for a city even half the population of pre-Katrina NO.

    While we're certainly in a more active period...the last time a similiar storm hit that area was forty-pushing-fifty years ago IIRC (Camille). Let the dikes and pumps do the job to fight the flooding; rebuild using building codes designed for hurricane winds to help protected the buildings -- although it seems they did fairly well from the wind, and everyone really did breath a sigh of release for a few brief hours until the levees let go.
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 04-14-2006 at 11:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Nice attempt to rewrite history.

    First of all, this is old news that has largely been debunked, even in the mainstream press, as bineg taken out of context. Secondly, it has been widely documented that the President called the Governor BEFORE the storm and asked her to evacuate the city. She refused. The mayor, similarly refused to use city resources to evacuate his city. Third, it has been widely documented that city and state officials did not play very well in the sandbox in the first 48 hours with the feds. Politicians see accepting outside help as a sign of weakness. Fourth, the federal relief effort in the biggest and most widespread natural disaster to hit this country took three days to intiate and five days to hit full speed. This would not even have been noticed if the city and state had theor act together. How do I know this? One word. Florida.

    The federal response was not perfect to a large measure. It still isn't to this day. But it is intellectually dishonest for a person to attack the federal response without seeing how it was affected by the complete collapse of the local and state effort.

    Also, that quote by the EMS Director is so much of a political statement that it lacks credibility.

    Everyone here kows of your hared for the Pres. You may want to pick a different issue to attack him on because this one ain't it.
    I never intended to attempt to rewrite history.

    If this was old news, I am not going to argue that with you. I work nights and sleep during the day, so I don't always get the most current news. However, this article was pulled out of this month's issue of a magazine so of course my assumption was that it was accurate.

    Perhaps I should ask JEMS to post a correction...if this has been debunked. However, upon attempting a search on this topic, I could not find anything that "debunked" this article. I did forget to search Fox News' archives though...perhaps that is where it is...

    As to the rest of your debate...

    The article in question had nothing to do with the local response, how well they played in the sandbox, or even how quickly federal aid arrived. Like I said, there is no question that the situation would likely have not deteriorated quite so quickly had the local governments taken the appropriate actions.

    What struck me about this article was this quote...

    "On Sept. 1, 2005, President George W. Bush appeared on Good Morning America and said, “I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees” protecting New Orleans. He stuck by that story for six months, repeatedly insisting that no one had foreseen Hurricane Katrina's disastrous consequences."

    Then to read this...

    "But video footage released by the Associated Press (AP) March 1 tells quite a different tale. That video shows Brown and National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield briefing Bush and Chertoff via videophone about the impending disaster as the president and secretary sat in a room in Crawford, Texas. The briefing took place on Aug. 28—19 hours before Katrina walloped the Louisiana coastline.

    During the briefing, Mayfield said he had “very, very grave concern” about the ability of the levees to withstand the storm. “I want to make it absolutely clear to everyone that there is a potential for large loss of life.”

    “This is, to put it mildly, the big one, I think,” Brown warned. He noted that the Superdome, where many New Orleans residents had taken shelter, was 12 feet below sea level with a roof that might not hold, adding, “I'm concerned about the [National Disaster Medical System medical and mortuary teams] and their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe.”

    Bush and Chertoff didn't ask a single question. But during the videophone briefing, the president did say, “I want to assure folks at the state level that we are not only fully prepared to help you during the storm but also will bring in whatever resources we have at our disposal after the storm.”

    You're right...I don't care much for the President, but regardless of that fact, I'd say he didn't tell much of the truth here.

    To further kill my political aim...

    Consider this:

    AP publicized the videos two weeks after House Republicans released a report slamming the Bush administration for responding “so ineffectively to a disaster that was anticipated for years and for which specific dire warnings had been issued for days.”

    As an observer...I'd say he's really screwed up his term if his own party is turning against him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster
    I never intended to attempt to rewrite history.

    If this was old news, I am not going to argue that with you. I work nights and sleep during the day, so I don't always get the most current news. However, this article was pulled out of this month's issue of a magazine so of course my assumption was that it was accurate.

    Perhaps I should ask JEMS to post a correction...if this has been debunked. However, upon attempting a search on this topic, I could not find anything that "debunked" this article. I did forget to search Fox News' archives though...perhaps that is where it is...

    As to the rest of your debate...

    The article in question had nothing to do with the local response, how well they played in the sandbox, or even how quickly federal aid arrived. Like I said, there is no question that the situation would likely have not deteriorated quite so quickly had the local governments taken the appropriate actions.

    What struck me about this article was this quote...

    "On Sept. 1, 2005, President George W. Bush appeared on Good Morning America and said, “I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees” protecting New Orleans. He stuck by that story for six months, repeatedly insisting that no one had foreseen Hurricane Katrina's disastrous consequences."

    Then to read this...

    "But video footage released by the Associated Press (AP) March 1 tells quite a different tale. That video shows Brown and National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield briefing Bush and Chertoff via videophone about the impending disaster as the president and secretary sat in a room in Crawford, Texas. The briefing took place on Aug. 28—19 hours before Katrina walloped the Louisiana coastline.

    During the briefing, Mayfield said he had “very, very grave concern” about the ability of the levees to withstand the storm. “I want to make it absolutely clear to everyone that there is a potential for large loss of life.”

    “This is, to put it mildly, the big one, I think,” Brown warned. He noted that the Superdome, where many New Orleans residents had taken shelter, was 12 feet below sea level with a roof that might not hold, adding, “I'm concerned about the [National Disaster Medical System medical and mortuary teams] and their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe.”

    Bush and Chertoff didn't ask a single question. But during the videophone briefing, the president did say, “I want to assure folks at the state level that we are not only fully prepared to help you during the storm but also will bring in whatever resources we have at our disposal after the storm.”

    You're right...I don't care much for the President, but regardless of that fact, I'd say he didn't tell much of the truth here.

    To further kill my political aim...

    Consider this:

    AP publicized the videos two weeks after House Republicans released a report slamming the Bush administration for responding “so ineffectively to a disaster that was anticipated for years and for which specific dire warnings had been issued for days.”

    As an observer...I'd say he's really screwed up his term if his own party is turning against him.
    One way to rewrite history is to take one sentence out of an article and attempt to build a story around it.

    Talking about the federal response without putting it in context with the local and state response is as intellectually dishonest as you can possibly be. But that was not really unexpected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    One way to rewrite history is to take one sentence out of an article and attempt to build a story around it.

    Talking about the federal response without putting it in context with the local and state response is as intellectually dishonest as you can possibly be. But that was not really unexpected.
    I didn't use one sentence...I used 12. I certainly didn't need that many to see the point of the article.

    Again, the focus of this article was not on the local response...in fact it had little to do with any response. It had to do with the President essentially lying to the public about what he knew prior to the hurricane making landfall.

    I don't see how I am being "intellectually dishonest"...I posted an article I found interesting.
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    Default Still Trying To Figure This Out

    I am still trying to figure out why in the heck this is being from up in the firefighting forum. Medicmaster it seems to me that you are so very unaware of what actually happened during Katrina. Not really sure were you are from but I am from Mississippi and I was and still living in the baton rouge area during the Katrina era. The excuse for a governor and mayor were indeed told to evacuate New Orleans in ample time. They both should be held accoutable for the loss of life. I am sorry that you don't like OUR president but it seems to me that you are just attempting to get bull**** started. The fire service imho should not be a place for politics. I fully agree with george on what he posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chief842351
    I am still trying to figure out why in the heck this is being from up in the firefighting forum. Medicmaster it seems to me that you are so very unaware of what actually happened during Katrina. Not really sure were you are from but I am from Mississippi and I was and still living in the baton rouge area during the Katrina era. The excuse for a governor and mayor were indeed told to evacuate New Orleans in ample time. They both should be held accoutable for the loss of life. I am sorry that you don't like OUR president but it seems to me that you are just attempting to get bull**** started. The fire service imho should not be a place for politics. I fully agree with george on what he posted.
    What difference does it make where this is posted...it is a GENERAL forum for firefighting topics. It is an article related to disaster response...a fire service responsibility.

    I'm from Iowa...but I was in New Orleans for an EMS conference when the storm hit. I am aware of what happened there in the 48 hours before landfall. I agree that local government did a deplorable job in responding to this, and yes, they were given ample time to evacuate. They did. 36 hours before the storm hit, they were urging people to leave, 24 hours before the storm hit, they essentially said "leave or die". We got the hell out in a hurry. I honestly don't have a lot of sympathy for those who chose not to leave.

    But we're getting away from the point of the thread here.

    I'm glad to know you don't feel that the fire service is a place for politics, but I see you have 9 posts...do some digging around and you'll see this place is chock full of politics.
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    You "found the article interesting" did ya?

    The Truth Surfaces-
    While I fully agree that the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana had a less than stellar response to this, this is rediculous.
    While the President and the Federal Government cannot be held entirely responsible for their **** poor response to Katrina, that weight of this particular article is in the fact that Bush LIED.

    He had been informed of what was potentially going to happen...he chose not act, and then told the public that he had no idea that it would be a disaster of that magnitude.
    Those are examples of your intellectual dishonesty.

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    While the President and the Federal Government cannot be held entirely responsible for their **** poor response to Katrina, that weight of this particular article is in the fact that Bush LIED.

    He had been informed of what was potentially going to happen...he chose not act, and then told the public that he had no idea that it would be a disaster of that magnitude.

    First off I am not surprised that any politician lied to cover their butt. Politicians lie almost as often as they take a breath, but anyway.........

    I have to ask exactly what else he was supposed to do that would have changed things in 36 hours? This is why disaster response is a local issue for the first 36-48 hours. It takes a long time get the federal stockpiles, agencies, and equipment anywhere, regardless of where the disaster is or what it is. Doesn't matter who is in the Oval Office.

    I suppose the Feds would have gotten all of those flooded school buses driven that the local government neglected to do which is part of their own disaster response plan. But everything going on is the current President's fault.

    And no, I am not a supporter of the current President. Just exercising common sense here. Yes everryone failed, but when the front line fails (the local and state folks) the second line of defense takes a while to make up for the inadequacies of the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Those are examples of your intellectual dishonesty.
    Actually, the first one is from the article itself...that was not mine.

    I still fail to see the "intellectual dishonesty" in the others. But, I should expect no less from you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    First off I am not surprised that any politician lied to cover their butt. Politicians lie almost as often as they take a breath, but anyway.........

    I have to ask exactly what else he was supposed to do that would have changed things in 36 hours? This is why disaster response is a local issue for the first 36-48 hours. It takes a long time get the federal stockpiles, agencies, and equipment anywhere, regardless of where the disaster is or what it is. Doesn't matter who is in the Oval Office.

    I suppose the Feds would have gotten all of those flooded school buses driven that the local government neglected to do which is part of their own disaster response plan. But everything going on is the current President's fault.

    And no, I am not a supporter of the current President. Just exercising common sense here. Yes everryone failed, but when the front line fails (the local and state folks) the second line of defense takes a while to make up for the inadequacies of the past.
    Sharkie,

    I fully agree that Bush really couldn't have done anything differently to change what happened in the first 36 hours. As I have stated, I also agree that there was a serious failure to act at the local level.

    I too am not surprised that he lied...especially given that he has us in a war we can't win, and his approval rating has been less than 50% for some time.

    What I fail to understand is how one can point fingers at the local level and call them out on every lie they've spewed out (and rightly so), but as soon as fingers are pointed higher up the ladder, suddenly "it's not their fault" and its a rush to the post to defend them.
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