In the past couple of days, there has been a media frenzy over a video released by the Associated Press showing President Bush being informed that the levees in New Orleans could be “topped” as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Just hours ago, the AP reported that it has another video taken after the hurricane hit wherein Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is heard telling Administration representatives that the levees had not been breached.
The article began: “In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to a new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.”
It then detailed what Blanco said:
“‘We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees,’ Gov. Kathleen Blanco said shortly after noon on Aug. 29, according to the video that was obtained Thursday night. ‘We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time.’"
It’s going to be interesting to see how much press coverage this new video gets as compared to the first one, especially as another AP article published a few hours prior to the Blanco revelations addressed new calls by Democratic lawmakers for an independent investigation into the federal response to the disaster as a result of the content of video one:
“Democratic lawmakers accused the Bush administration on Thursday of withholding information and misleading the American people about the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, following disclosure of a videotape of a pre-Katrina briefing for the president and other top officials.
“The video, obtained by The Associated Press, ‘confirms what we have suspected all along,’ said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, charging that administration officials have ‘systematically misled the American people.’
“Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California renewed their calls for an independent commission to investigate the federal response to the hurricane, which left New Orleans flooded and killed more than 1,500 people in Louisiana and Mississippi.”
What a difference a day makes.