Thursday, March 02, 2006

As if proof were needed

How do you know if a politician is lying?

The punchline's probably not necessary.

President Bush seems to have been caught out in a pretty major way. On 1st September last year, four days after Katrina hit New Orleans, he said:
I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded and now we're having to deal with it and will.
New video footage and transcripts have come to light. It turns out that on the 29th of August, Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center told the final briefing before the hurricane that "I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not but that is obviously a very, very grave concern". The President was taking part in this briefing by videolink.

Old news? Bush has already had to correct that statement after it was widely questioned. He has since claimed that he'd meant that no-one anticipated that the levees would be breached after the hurricane has passed. It's a line which has been pushed hard by the Whitehouse. "After Katrina passed, we thought the worst was over. The breaches were a shock to everyone." That sort of thing.

Mayfield, though, in that final briefing, just four days before the President made that remark, explicitly stated that this exact scenario was a cause for concern.
The National Hurricane Center's Mayfield told the final briefing before Katrina struck that storm models predicted minimal flooding inside New Orleans during the hurricane but he expressed concerns that counterclockwise winds and storm surges afterward could cause the levees at Lake Pontchartrain to be overrun.
In short then, when the President said "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," it was not in any way true. And there is video evidence which proves that he knew it was not true. In shorter still, President Bush is a proven liar.

If there is any justice in this world, his pants will spontaneously ignite at his next press conference.

The Washington Post has video footage of the briefing.

Only a cynic would suggest that tonight's ABC News exclusive has any place in this post. These are obviously two entirely unrelated events. Puts it all into perspective though, doesn't it? Here we are idly discussing the fact that Bush is a proven liar when there are scary guys like that out there trying to kill us...

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