Deny, deny, deny
Thousands can die -- in New Orleans or Iraq -- but the Bush administration's strategy remains the same: deny, deny, deny. That's exactly what Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff did in his private and seemingly contentious briefing with members of the House:
Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, said the message he took from Mr. Chertoff's comments regarding the relief effort was that "what you see is not really what is."
"People just looked at him," Mr. Thompson said. "He was the first speaker, and it sort of went downhill after that. People felt we are not going to get the truth here."
A few Democrats were so upset by the tone of Mr. Chertoff's remarks that they walked out of the briefing, said Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, who said he stayed for all of the remarks but became increasingly frustrated by what he heard.
"The picture was being painted that things were not as bad as they appeared to be" in news reports, Mr. Cummings said in an interview. "It reached the point where the answers didn't add up." [LINK]