Why The Pentagon Should Read My Blog

Ken AshfordBush & Co., DisastersLeave a Comment

Via Think Progress, we learn that Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers, in a live press conference moments ago, repeated Michael Chertoff’s debunked claim that newpapers on Tuesday had said, “New Orleans Dodged a Bullet.” But then he went a step further — Myers actually claimed that “most of the papers” had that headline on Tuesday, and that the Defense Department’s response to Katrina was developed with “those words…in our minds”:

The headline, of course, in most of the papers on Tuesday — “New Orleans Dodged a Bullet,” or words to that effect. At that time, when those words were in our minds, we started working issues before we were asked, and on Tuesday, at the direction of the secretary and the deputy secretary, we went to each of the services. I called each of the chiefs of the services. One-by-one I called them and said, we don’t know what we will be asked for yet. The levees and the floodwalls had just broken and we know some of what will be asked because we had some requests for assistance already. There is probably going to be more.

It’s surprising (and indeed, defies belief) that the top civil emergency administrators and Pentagon brass get their information from reading morning newspapers.  Those papers "go to bed" (in newspaper parlance) at midnight to 2:00 a.m.  Reading them in the morning is like reading information that is five to nine hours old.

Anyway, may I interpose a modest request to the Pentagon big-wigs?  After you read the morning newspaper, get on the Internet.  The break of the levee was pretty big news. 

For example, I had a "headline" on Tuesday morning about New Orleans’ "dodging a bullet".  It was posted at 10:43 a.m. and was entitled: Dodged A Bullet?  Not So Much.

Sadly, the New Orleans Times-Picyuane noted the break of the levee in its Tuesday morning paper, too.