Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Another Investigation is Business as Usual

The White House is, once again, refusing to cooperate with an investigation of executive incompetence surrounding the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. This is exactly the same behaviour it exhibited with the 9/11 commission when that panel was investigating executive incompetence surrounding the failure of the upper management of various intelligence agencies to "connect the dots," despite there having been a hell of a lot of dots. The White House does not like people prying into its incompetence and always claims executive privilege in order to keep the inner workings of that obvious incompetence a secret.

The White House is denying congressional requests for executive branch communications before and after the hurricane, citing the usual confidentiality requirement. Just what could be so secretive about conversations regarding disaster response is anyone's guess. I might suggest that such communication would reveal just how lax this administration was regarding the disaster.

We all remember at the time that Bush was on vacation and remained there, Cheney was on vacation and remained there, Chertoff appeared to have no idea what was going on, Condi was up in New York buying shoes until some woman accosteded her for her inattention, and Brown was busy rolling up his sleeves, making dinner reservations and doing ... nothing else. I'm sure those communications would be quite revealing. And lest we forget, these are the same top level officials who tell us their "first priority" is the safety and security of Americans. After Katrina, I cannot believe people buy that bilge.

But of course, the White House is now saying, just as it did about it's stonewalling the 9/11 commission, that it is acceding congressional requests even though it is not:
The White House and the administration are cooperating with both the House and Senate.
-- White House spokesman, Trent Duffy.

There has been a near total lack of cooperation that has made it impossible, in my opinion, for us to do the thorough investigation that we have a responsibility to do.
-- Joe Leiberman
Joe Leiberman said that, for god's sakes. Given his usual obsequious position with the White House, this has got to prick one's attention. That and the historic behaviour of the White House should make it obvious which statement is closer to the truth.


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