"How Bush Blew It;" A Newsweek Expose

On September 11, a Newsweek article hit the Web, eight days before its publication in the September 19 issue. The article is titled "How Bush Blew It," and not only examines the federal government's failure to respond to the Katrina disaster, it examines the inner workings of the senior Bush officials who are directly responsible for the failure. This is the kind of article that, if taken seriously enough by the American people, can lead to the collapse of an administration.

Some highlights:


Of course, the biggest problem with Newsweek's otherwise exceptional article is the assumption that senior administration officials wanted to do a better job than what was done. As Professor Immanuel Wallerstine wrote, "Ten days after the crisis began, the government seemed to get its act together somewhat, but ten days is a long time. This long delay was however not accidental. It is the direct result of how the Bush regime operates -- poor judgment and active indifference to anything that isn't high on their list of priorities. They missed the boat at many different points in the almost five years before Katrina. After Sept. 11, they promised to make sure that the government would be prepared for any emergency. This was in fact the whole point of establishing the Dept. of Homeland Security. Obviously, they did not do it. They proved as unprepared for Katrina as they were for 9/11. Just last year, they urged Congress to reduce the amount of money that could have been used by the US Army Corps of Engineers to repair the levees that were in bad shape. So the Corps of Engineers had to postpone the work. ...[W]hy wasn't the government on the alert? Incompetence and indifference because preventing hurricane damage to New Orleans (and indeed the rest of the Gulf Coast) was not on the high priority list of an administration which wants to fight a war in Iraq, persuade Congress to allow it to drill for oil in Alaska, and repeal the estate tax so that the 2% wealthiest people in the United States can be relieved of this burden."