Bush politicking delayed troops

Noting that a headline "'Politics delayed troops dispatch to N.O.' doesn't match the evidence in the [N.O. Times Picayune] story," and that, "it was the White House, not just 'politics,' that caused hundreds to die as residents waited for troops to arrive," Chris Kromm makes a case for craven Bush administration behavior.

The emails tell a painful story.

"By the weekend, the Bush administration will have a full-blown PR disaster/scandal on their hands because of the late response to needs in New Orleans," according to a Sept. 1 e-mail message sent by Blanco communications director Bob Mann ...

On the day Katrina hit, Blanco told Bush "We need everything you've got" -- which made Bush's claim a day later that the governor had "not specifically requested troops" look like he was wiggling out on a technicality.
On August 30, after a trip to the Superdome, Blanco's National Guard chief, Maj. Gen. Bennett Landreneau, specifically requested federal military involvement to Lt. Gen. Russel Honore of the federal response task force, and Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
On August 31, "Blanco called Bush at 2:20 p.m. to say she wanted a federal troop mobilization 'today' and asked that someone communicate to her when the soldiers would arrive."
Kromm writes: "So Louisiana asked for troops. The hold-up was about who would be in command: the Bush Administration wanted to "federalize" the operation, including taking over control of the Louisiana National Guard. Blanco and Louisiana officials wanted to retain oversight." Shocking. (FacingSouth)

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