Mike Brown continues to do some major ass-covering of his own role in the Katrina debacle. His comments are still worth noting because he was involved in the briefings and teleconferences now in the spotlight.
"President Bush remained engaged during Hurricane Katrina but was overconfident that the Federal Emergency Management Agency could handle the destructive aftermath based on its record in previous disasters, former federal disaster chief Michael Brown said Wednesday.
Brown described the president throughout the crisis this way: 'I think he was engaged, but I think there was an overconfidence that FEMA had handled Sept. 11, we had handled the California wildfires, we had handled the 2004 hurricanes right in the middle of the presidential elections. Hey, we could do this, too.'
Homeland Security officials have said the 'fog of war' blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But Brown said the transcripts and footage of the daily briefings conflict with that. 'I don't buy the fog-of-war defense,' Brown said. 'It was a fog of bureaucracy.'
He also said Bush and other top officials knew from those briefings there was a serious chance that New Orleans' levees would be breached."
I also have to give Brown some credit for trying to get things moving on the ground.
"Video footage of the Aug. 28 briefing, the final one before Katrina struck, showed an intense Brown voicing concerns from the government's disaster operation center and imploring colleagues to do whatever was necessary to help victims. 'Go ahead and do it," Brown said. "I'll figure out some way to justify it... Just let them yell at me.'
The White House and Homeland Security Department urged the public Wednesday not to read too much into the footage."