Scott Ott has provided this accounting of the facts in the Katrina debacle. Seems that the Willie Wonka Mayor of “Chocolate Town” was baffled by the new videos released by AP of the utter confusion at the state and local levels.
(2006-03-02) — Just hours after the Associated Press (AP) ‘shocked‘ New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin yesterday by showing him video of a FEMA briefing during Hurricane Katrina in which government officials speculate about the impact of the expected Category 5 storm, the AP has shown the mayor a second “alarming and disgusting” video.
The first video shows President George Bush, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff and then-FEMA Director Michael Brown, among others, dealing with how to respond to the developing disaster, and what to make of inconsistent reports from New Orleans about the condition of the Lake Pontchatrain levees.
The second video, shot by a parking lot security camera several days earlier, shows row upon row of yellow school buses, sitting idle on a day when thousands of local residents remained in the path of the storm.
“Someone at the White House should have given the order to use those school buses to evacuate the city before Katrina hit,” said the Mayor, who is the top local government official in New Orleans. “It makes me ill to think that the federal government failed to intervene to save these people. George Bush had plenty of time, and he did nothing.”
Mr. Nagin, who is the Mayor of New Orleans, noted that local residents “did just what we have trained them to do in a disaster. They watched the hurricane coverage on CNN and waited for a federal official to knock on the door and rescue them.”
“They followed their training,” said Mr. Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, “but the knock never came. They were helpless, utterly helpless.”
In May 2002, Ray Nagin was elected Mayor of New Orleans, a city which sits below sea level, between the Gulf of Mexico and a large lake.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan today said, “One can always argue after the fact about whether President Bush should have intervened more forcefully to protect New Orleans from this grave threat, but Ray Nagin is the lawfully elected mayor, and whether he remains is not the decision of the President” — Scott Ott / ScrappleFace