The WaPo reports on the many sub and sub-sub contractors required to perform contracts in "Multiple Layers Of Contractors Drive Up Cost of Katrina Cleanup". One example they present is that of the FEMA buses.
Now, here's what the WaPo isn't telling you. In the article, they refer to "Spanish-speaking crews" doing roofing work. That's the WaPo's euphemism for "federal money is going to those who have an 80% chance of being illegal aliens".
By using multiple layers of subcontractors, prime contractors are able to employ illegal aliens with an even greater deal of impunity than they would if they employed them directly.
The trickle-down contracting is bad enough, but what makes it even worse is that many of the jobs were given to those here illegally rather than to American hurricane victims.
The Washington Post supported illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs from American hurricane victims, so it's understandable that they would want to avoid discussing this side of things.
Four days after Katrina, George W Bush said:
"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."
However, videos obtained by the AP shows internal Bush administration briefings, including one in which Bush and DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff were told that the levees might breach:
In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.
Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."
The footage - along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press - show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.
Linked by secure video, Bush expressed a confidence on Aug. 28 that starkly contrasted with the dire warnings his disaster chief and numerous federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm...
Shown the tape, Ray Nagin says:
"I have kind of a sinking feeling right now in my gut. I mean, I was listening to what people were saying and I was believing them that they didn't know. So therefore it was an issue of a learning curve... From this tape it looks like everybody was fully aware."
However, DHS spokeshole Russ Knocke says:
"I'm not sure what is shocking about this video. There's really nothing new or insightful from it,"
There's some kind of video here, but I didn't watch it.
UPDATE: I should have watched the video. According to this, the AP report is wrong: Bush was warned the levees might overtop (water flowing over the top), not that they might breach (rupture). Since I still haven't watched the video, I'm forced to take his word for it, and something about breaching might be elsewhere on the tapes available.
UPDATE 2: Here's another video link. And, Dan Froomkin goes around the bend here, tying this latest example of Bush incompetence with his initial response to 9/11. Apparently Froomkin is one of those expecting Bush to immediately jump up and start barking orders, Harrison Ford style.
UPDATE 3: Democratic apostate Mickey Kaus says:
"Is the despised, self-parodying MSM intentionally glossing over this important difference in order to exaggerate the anti-Bush shock value of the video? I don't know--but I do know that the actual "topped" quote was hard to find in print, lending some of the stories an eerie, undocumented quality. Do reporters not print the quote because then they couldn't justify the charge that Bush lied about the "breach"? You make the call. I'm too paranoid at this point. P.P.S.: Shouldn't Bush's press operation, rather than Powerline and Patterico, be forcefully pointing all this out?"
At 1:47 a.m. (Eastern) on Aug. 29 the White House's situation room received an email from the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) containing a dire assessment of Katrina's likely impact, the WaPo breathlessly reports:
The NISAC paper warned that a storm of Katrina's size would "likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching" and specifically noted the potential for levee failures along Lake Pontchartrain. It predicted economic losses in the tens of billions of dollars, including damage to public utilities and industry that would take years to fully repair. Initial response and rescue operations would be hampered by disruption of telecommunications networks and the loss of power to fire, police and emergency workers, it said.
The assessment was 41 pages. In other words, it had probably been prepared well before Aug 29. In other words, it's not like the White House was suddenly presented with stunning new information; that info had been "in the system" for a while.
In a second document, also obtained by The Washington Post, a computer slide presentation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, prepared for a 9 a.m. meeting on Aug. 27, two days before Katrina made landfall, compared Katrina's likely impact to that of "Hurricane Pam," a fictional Category 3 storm used in a series of FEMA disaster-preparedness exercises simulating the effects of a major hurricane striking New Orleans. But Katrina, the report warned, could be worse.
The hurricane's Category 4 storm surge "could greatly overtop levees and protective systems" and destroy nearly 90 percent of city structures, the FEMA report said. It further predicted "incredible search and rescue needs (60,000-plus)" and the displacement of more than a million residents.
That also represented information that was in the system. Obvious to all but the WaPo and Democrats, this was a systemic failure involving all levels of government and not just one specific to the White House.
Manuel Roig-Franzia of the WaPo has a three-screener called "In New Orleans, No Easy Work for Willing Latinos". The first screen is where the sucker punch lands on American workers, and the last two screens are just a long anecdote.
The article explains how those "Latinos" (actually, illegal aliens from Mexico) work in unsafe conditions and, when they get paid at all, are paid a sub-standard wage. They even describe a pregnant woman and her husband "slashing through the cough-inducing mold on walls in flooded Lakeview with only thin masks".
In the WaPo's magical world, all these problems would disappear if president Bush's "guest" worker scheme were enacted. In that world, illegal immigration would magically disappear and along with it low-wages and unsafe working conditions.
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Until illegal immigration is greatly reduced, corrupt employers will be able to undercut legal workers by hiring illegal aliens, prefering them not just because of the lower wage rate but also because they can be abused. The only way to solve that is to stringently enforce the immigration laws.
And, those media outlets that excuse illegal immigration - such as the Washington Post - will still be there and will continue to excuse illegal immigration and all its abuses. The only way to solve that is to completely discredit those sources that don't support enforcing our laws.
The WaPo also does not disclose that many possible American workers have been moved out of the area or out of the state. Not only are they not available to work there, and not only would they be undercut by lower-priced labor if they arrived, but they are basically being paid not to work.
We've got American workers being paid not to work, and corrupt contractors being paid out of federal funds and employing illegal workers who will send a good chunk of their money out of the country. Can the reader envision a more un-American scam?
Note also that on their homepage this newspaper has a link to the article "Analysts: Crackdown Won't Halt ImmigrationAnalysts: Crackdown Won't Halt Immigration" in the same box as the link to the one about New Orleans. That article claims that immigration enforcement doesn't work - and in the very same article informs us that the immigration laws aren't being enforced.
Don't trust what you read in the Washington Post. Please send an email to ombudsman *at* washpost.com letting them know what you think.
UPDATE: I haven't been able to find more information on the article's author other than that here, which does little more than inform us that he is or was the WaPo's Miami Bureau chief.
Last week we had Bloomberg offering "Bush's Attention Wanders From Katrina as Reconstruction Lags". Then came Paul Krugman with "The Promiser in Chief". Apparently new talking points were released, since there are at least two other recent instances of this same line of thought.
For instance, here's Mike Allen of the Washington Post appearing on Meet the Press and intoning (nofollowpolicy):
I'm going to tell you something to amaze you; it amazed me yesterday. The last time the president was in the hurricane region was October 11, two months ago. The president stood in New Orleans and said it was going to be one of the largest reconstruction efforts in the history of the world. You go to the White house home page, there's Barney camp, there's Social Security, there's Renewing Iraq. Where's renewing New Orleans? A presidential advisor told me that issue has fallen so far off the radar screen, you can't find it.
And, of course, see the NYT's "Death of an American City" for yet another in this long series.