Thursday, September 01, 2005

Couldn't See It Coming, eh?

Sidney Blumenthal, former Clinton advisor, fills us in as to the warnings the administration had that just such a disaster would occur in New Orleans:

A year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to study how New Orleans could be protected from a catastrophic hurricane, but the Bush administration ordered that the research not be undertaken. After a flood killed six people in 1995, Congress created the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, in which the Corps of Engineers strengthened and renovated levees and pumping stations. In early 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a report stating that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S., including a terrorist attack on New York City. But by 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent. Additional cuts at the beginning of this year (for a total reduction in funding of 44.2 percent since 2001) forced the New Orleans district of the Corps to impose a hiring freeze. The Senate had debated adding funds for fixing New Orleans' levees, but it was too late.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which before the hurricane published a series on the federal funding problem, and whose presses are now underwater, reported online: "No one can say they didn't see it coming ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

7 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, can't believe that I got beat out in posting to this comment by a spammer.

Regardless, Todd you should be truly ashamed for providing a forum to Blumenthal and his disgusting, cynical exploitation of one of this nation's greatest tragedies for political gain.

It's one thing to rationally look at what happened, what went wrong AND right, and how things can be fixed. Blumenthal only has anger, hate, rank partisanship and blame to offer. He's garbage, Todd, and you lessen yourself as a person to post his comments here.

All you have to do, Todd, is look here to understand just how cynical and exploiting Blumenthal. To summarize, in 1998 the Army Corps of Engineers provided a Draft Request to pursue the protection of noted areas in the Gulf region, to enhance their ability to survive heavy hurricane damage. The project was summarily REJECTED BY BILL CLINTON as not important.

Something that you probably won't hear from the MSM, and definitely DON'T hear from Blumenthal -- who is more interested in waging political war against President Bush and winning elections than dealing constructively with this tragedy. By giving him your site as a forum, I guess that's what you're interested in as well.

If you want a rational discussion of this, along the lines of the email I sent to you, you'll need to find a more reasonable article than this to act as the basis of the discussion.

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