Friday, March 03, 2006

Blanco Tape

Governor Kathleen Blanco (D-LA) was taped requesting a search and rescue mission -- even before the New Orleans levee breeches were confirmed.

The Associated Press has obtained another tape of teleconferences over the Katrina disaster (below). This one featuring the governor's voice.

In the tape, Gov Blanco says the state had conflicting reports. She says there were reports the levees had been breeched -- that water was coming over them.

Then she says there had been other, unconfirmed reports, that the levees had held.

She tells federal disaster teams there is flooding in New Orleans and local responders had recieved at least 30 calls from people trapped by flood waters.

Gov Blanco then requests search and rescue operations as soon as the winds subsided and it was safe to launch recovery operations.

Opening the Political Floodgates

The leak earlier this week of FEMA teleconference tapes has reignited debate over handling the aftermath of the the storm and flood.

Transcripts were released last year. But FEMA denied the existence of any tapes when the AP filed an FOIA request for them late last year. FEMA is now refusing to release any of the other tapes.

The images provide powerful ammunition in politics. They drive home points transcripts can't -- showing emotion, uncertainity and other nuances lost in translation to the printed page.

And they can be used in campaign commercials. (WashPost, Tape: AP via Expose the Left)

1 comment:

Ike said...

Not to pick nits, but there is a big difference in water "topping" a levee, and "breaching" it.

I'm not sure Blanco knows the difference.