MEA CULPA: CNN is reporting that President Bush has come right out and said he’s responsible for the failure of the federal government to prepare and react quickly and effectively to Hurricane Katrina. Of course, he still didn’t say he was sorry.
President Bush on Tuesday acknowledged “serious problems” in the government’s response to emergencies, and said he takes responsibility for the federal government’s failures in responding to Hurricane Katrina.
“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said during a joint news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
Bush was responding to a reporter’s question about whether Americans should be concerned that the government is not prepared to respond to another disaster or terrorist attack after it took several days for aid and troops to arrive in New Orleans and other areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
The presence of Iraq’s president at the news conference led this observer to conclude that while Bush was “taking responsibility,” he was also attempting to connect the Iraq War, and by extension, Osama bin Laden, to Hurricane Katrina.