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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Haley Barbour

The Governor seems very comfortable in his MEMA Polo shirt, surveying damage and speaking good words regarding the Federal response to the catastrophe. Of course, when pushed by Miles O'Brien on CNN, the Governor chooses to lie (or hide behind incredible ignorance):

M. O'BRIEN: Let's talk about the response and what was put into position in advance of this storm. We knew about Katrina. We knew it was a strong storm developing for several days before it ever made landfall. Do you have the sense -- because it's quite clear that state and local officials cannot handle this on their own. This is too overwhelming. Do you have the sense that the federal government has dropped the ball here, sir?

BARBOUR: I really don't. And I think it's very unfair for the federal government, for you to say we knew this was a great powerful storm. This was a category 1 hurricane when it hit Florida. Now that's the truth.

M. O'BRIEN: Governor, it was a category 5 storm.

BARBOUR: The federal government...

M. O'BRIEN: A category 5 storm when it was...

BARBOUR: No, it was a category 1 -- it was a category 1 storm when it hit Florida. It was a category 5 storm a few hours before it came ashore.

M. O'BRIEN: No, no, Governor Barbour...

BARBOUR: The federal government have been tremendous partners in this. They have helped...

M. O'BRIEN: Governor Barbour, surely there was enough knowledge in advance that this was a huge killer storm a matter of days, not hours, before it ever struck landfall. And it seems to me the military...

BARBOUR: Now, Miles, if this is an interview or an argument, I don't care. But if you want to let me tell you what I think, I will.

Though he's obviously resistant to answering, I'd still like to ask the Governor a few simple questions. Perhaps an enterprising reporter could pass them along:

  1. After ordering the mass evacuation, what plan did the Governor set in motion to extricate the poor, the infirm, and the elderly?

  2. What specific information and/or assistance was given to Mississippians other than "grab what you can and make for the northern hill country!"

  3. What, if any, forethought was paid to those who were unable to get out on their own? Or were those without the means to evacuate simply left to die?

I'll be interested to hear his response. Of course, there will be none forthcoming. He's too busy singing the praises of the Federal response.

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