Talk:Bush's Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence

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This story will break all day today. Please keep it up to date as much as possible. I will also keep an eye on it. -Drew 14:21, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


  • This seems to be directly contradicted by a recording (possible POV?)
  • There should be a link to his previous statement. If there is one. I do think there should be more in this article. I think its too short. Jason Safoutin 11:28, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
The quote in the article is referenced in the article linked on the page. If you don't mean that quote, I don't understand what you're asking one has quoted him as saying anything else, only that he had previously been given information which contradicts his statement. Or, at least, that's how I understand it. Sarah Ewart (Talk) 12:04, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Well he seems to be or he doesn't seem to be...seems is a it is written. To another reader, they might think we are speculating. Also, there has to be a source somewhere out there that has the statement he contradicts. Jason Safoutin 12:08, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Good work. Thank you :) Jason Safoutin 12:19, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

"This seems to be directly contradicted by a recording (possible POV?)"

The word choice "seems" is actually more than fair, considering that the sources very clearly show that the man is either lying or incompetent for claiming no one could have predicted the levees were going to break.

"There should be a link to his previous statement. If there is one."

Both sources cited depict the previous statement. The video link even shows the statement. The print source directly quotes the previous statement. Both sources have links in the article, which I merely followed to verify. Your claim appears to be invalid?

I see no grounds for NPOV. Ergo, it has been removed. (And pardons for the early removal.) (AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 12:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC))

(Also, sorry if I came off grumpy. Time for bed.)  ;) (AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 12:25, 2 March 2006 (UTC))

Re; comments above; I think we can rule out "incompetent" as President Bush has accomplished almost everything he ever set out to do. Neutralizer 13:57, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

lol. I was merely making a statement that contrasted two of the possibilities. Memory problems is another possibility.  ;) -shrugs- I wager that we verge on a debate regarding stated goals and actual results. But I digress. (AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 19:44, 2 March 2006 (UTC))

Actual QuotesEdit

From the video as seen on BBC News Online.

"My gut tells me I told you guys my gut was that this one is a bad one and a big one and you heard max's comments - I still feel that way today" - Michael Brown, former FEMA Director

"As you may or may not know the Superdome is about twelve feet below sea level so I don't know what the - and I also heard about the roof, I don't know whether that roof is designed to stand, withstand a cat 5 hurricane" - Michael Brown

"I want to assure the folks at a State level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with the loss of property and we pray for the no loss of life of course" - George Bush

Statement before the SenateEdit

This press release, from February 15, 2006, may be relevant if anyone has the time to read and digest. Frankie Roberto 16:13, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Nice articleEdit

Think this turned into a well-written article in the end. Well done to everyone who contributed... Frankie Roberto 22:48, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

quote from wikipediaEdit

I don't understand the use of this quote for the article. Please specify or remove. --vonbergm 02:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

It clarifies that overtopping and breaching are different things, which the article otherwise fails to do. 02:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Well if it is such a clear distinction, then the headline is contradictory. All this could be avoided by not using wikinews to editorialise and simply state the two quotes with a NPOV headline. Let people decide for themselves. 03:26, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
The article does not claim or imply that overtopping and breaching are the same things, it merely implies that overtopping leads to a breach (which is correct). The statement about how exactly the levees failed is interesting, but not relevant for the article. And I do not see an issue with the headline either. Bush sais he was not warned of possible levee breaches. The tape shows he was. Thus his statement is contradicted by the taped briefing. Saying that is not POV. In fact, avoiding to say it is. --vonbergm 03:44, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
The problem here is that overtopping never occured, and overtopping does not necessarily lead to a breach. There's only a conflict if overtopping is the same thing as a breach, which isn't the case. 03:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
You are misinformed. In fact, the very wikipedia article you quoted says: "The report found that the storm surges produced by Hurricane Katrina resulted in numerous breaches which flooded approximately 75% of the metropolitan area of New Orleans. Their evidence supports that most of the levee and floodwall failures were caused by overtopping, however other factors were the reason for failure in the 17th Street Canal and London Avenue Canal breaches." Please correct your edit accordingly. --vonbergm 04:27, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing the statement. While factually correct now, I still don't understand why it should be included in the article. What is its purpose? --vonbergm 07:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
my understanding is that the link b/w overtopping and breaches is very clear and uncontested. and "u said overtopping, u didn't say anything about breaches" is no defence for bad flood-planning. imo, the statement in the article that "some breaches were caused by overtopping, but some breaches happened w/o it" is implying that the link b/w the two is weak or unclear. i don't think such a statement is warranted.
this quote might help in the article.

"Most of the levee and floodwall failures were caused by overtopping, as the storm surge rose over the tops of the levees and their floodwalls and produced erosion that subsequently led to failures and breaches."

- from Hurricane Katrina: Performance of the Flood Control System, Testimony of Raymond B. Seed, Ph.D. professor of civil and environmental engineering, University of California, Berkeley, on behalf of the NSF-sponsored Levee Investigation Team, before the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, U.S. Senate.
Agreed. but why not simply remove the sentense "Overtopping consists of water overflowing the top of a levee, which may or may not cause that levee to breach. While overtopping was found to be the cause of many of New Orleans levee failures, other levees were breached while water was still two feet away from overtopping them." as it disrupts the flow of the article and seems without a purpose. The links to wikipedia provide plenty of information for people who want to read more about overtopping or otherwise breached levees. That way the article stays focused on the main point. --vonbergm 07:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
replace with "Overtopping consists of water overflowing the top of a levee, which can undermine/erode the levee and cause a breach"? Doldrums 08:21, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Still very awkward wording, taking the sentense out until there is a good substitute/reason for it. --vonbergm 20:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

The Subject of This ArticleEdit

Some others have stated this point, I'm restating for people who seem concerned about overtopping vs breaches, etc.

Bush made the statement that no one predicted levees would breach. Bush was briefed that levees might breach. (The footage shows specific comments regarding certain levees breaching because of overtopping.)

Some of the levees breached from overtopping, apparently, while some breached for other reasons. That does NOT change the fact that Bush was briefed about concerns that the levees would fail.

He did not state, "I don't think anyone could have predicted that the levees would have overtopped".

Regardless, this article is about two things. Bush's statement, and the taped briefing that appears to contradict that statement. Information not directly related to those two things, does not belong here.

This is an article about an event, NOT some sort of forum where people gather evidence to defend or attack Bush.

(AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 21:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC))

To correct myself, I think that the subject is simply Bush's credibility in the case of this particular statement.  :(
(AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 01:26, 7 March 2006 (UTC))

AP issues correctionEdit

AP issued a correction saying that Bush was warned of overtopping, not breaching, and that the original AP article should have made that clear.

Good to know. This article is not based on the AP report, but based on the video footage provided by AP so this mistake was not repeated in this article. --vonbergm 05:01, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Whether or not they issued a correction, Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, was quoted as saying, "Brown and other top federal officials were briefed as much as 32 hours in advance of landfall that Hurricane Katrina's storm surge was likely to overtop levees and cause catastrophic flooding"
(AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 01:20, 7 March 2006 (UTC))

Where is the link for that correction, by the way? (Thanks...)  :)

(AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 01:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC))

New article?Edit

Ack! Should I have just split off a new article? Hmmmm. Let me know. I'll just move the info to a new one.

Too many movesEdit

"Bush's Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence" might now be more descriptive title, but that's only after the article has evolved with the story, some week or so later. Would have been better to leave it where it was and to create a follow-up story IMO if there was new stuff to add. Frankie Roberto

I guess if the time/date of information was the important thing to me. The whole thing is tricky, I think.
The article was doing an incomplete and arguably insufficient job, based on the information that was available *at the time* the article was being developed. Any "follow-up" story would have basically been the same article, only more complete. I.E., redundant. Seems to me that someone would come along and say, "one of these articles needs to be deleted because they cover the same event and cite the same sources". So we are skipping a step here, maybe.
Obviously, news breaking after the date of an article, warrants a new article, perhaps a follow-up article, if the breaking news is related a previous article....
But in this case, (to me) the question becomes: "Why not just do it right the first time?"
(AntelopeInSearchOfTruth 21:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC))
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