Washington Post


ON THE DAY before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, federal emergency officials warned President Bush that the hurricane could be “the big one,” the storm the region had long feared; that the Superdome, the shelter of last resort in New Orleans, was below sea level and might well lose its roof; that medical and mortuary teams might not be prepared; and that the levees might not hold back the floodwaters. Mr. Bush, speaking during a videoconference, a tape of which was obtained by the Associated Press, responded by reassuring state officials that “we are fully prepared.”

Without a doubt, the tape provides evidence that the White House received ample warning of the catastrophe. Yet within days of that videoconference, Mr. Bush would excuse the federal government’s extraordinarily poor performance by telling an interviewer that “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” Moreover, at the time of the conference the White House had no idea whether federal emergency services were truly prepared.

Full story


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.