Entry for December 03, 2005

Connie Mabin of the  Associated Press reported shortly before 7 p.m.  today that documents just released to Congress  show that as Katrina hit,  ” a political storm was brewing in the Louisiana governor’s office and the White House.”

100,000 pages of memos, handwritten notes, e-mails and phone logs Lousiana governor Kathleen Blanco “turned over late Friday to congressional committees investigating failures in the government’s disaster response shed more light on what happened behind the scenes in the frantic days surrounding the Aug. 29 storm.”

The day before the hurricane hit,  Blanco sent the president a letter:

I have determined that this incident will be of such severity and magnitude that effective response will be beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance will be necessary.

Three days after the storm, Blanco wrote Bush “asking that the 256th Louisiana National Guard Brigade be sent home from Iraq to help.   The governor also asked for more generators, medicine, health care workers and mortuaries.”

Five days later, Bush assistant Maggie Grant e-mailed Blanco aide Paine Gowen

We found it on the governor’s Web site but we need ‘an original,’ for our staff secretary to formally process the requests she is making. We are on the job but appreciate your help with a technical request. Tnx!

Blanco also forwarded Congress  a timeline put together by Blanco’s staff detailing “the state response; notes expressing frustration about missing items such as a communications center for police and rescuers promised by FEMA and e-mails working out logistics for New Orleans visits from Bush and cabinet members.”

“On Sept. 5 Blanco was initially supposed to visit evacuees in Houston, but Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher emailed Kopplin that didn’t like the idea of Bush being in the state when the governor wasn’t.”

 Reinforces the notion that she’s not in charge and LA needs to be federalized

Blanco stayed to meet Bush.  The Democratic governor’s staff also “griped that Republicans were attacking Blanco.”  A September 3 email from Kopplin to Mann said,

Rove is on the prowl

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