Bush Katrina Briefing Video

We take a break from our deep reflective practice to consider the implications of the just-leaked video of Bush’s Katrina briefing. This is going to be very big news for the next few days, well into the Sunday talk shows.
The video presents a sequence showing FEMA’s Michael Brown and various experts specifying the dangers and warning of the storm. It shows Bush assuring state officials that everything is under control. It then shows Bush on the tee-vee several days later saying that no one could have predicted the levee breech. This is an awe-inspiring a made-for-TV credibility crisis. Actual video, with his own words used against him. The liar exposed. Masterful.
Now, let’s think about this. The video is from the secure communications room at Bush’s Crawford TX ranch, and appears to be official. First of all, THEY ARCHIVE ALL THAT STUFF?!?!?!? Are you kidding? Supoena all of it, Iraq, NSA wiretaps, covert CIA agent blown cover, Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, et al. A video archive from the Texas ranch? Who knew? And what the hell else is being recorded?
Next, let’s think about who exactly has access to this video archive, dealing with national security, from one of the most secure locations in the USA, and why this series of clips was leaked. Bush’s poll popularity dropped precipitously in the past few days. Who has the knives out for Bush? Republicans worried about Bush baggage in their local elections? Career bureaucrats tired of political appointees overruling their deep expertise with shallow ideology? Is this Cheney, undercutting Bush and asserting his own authority? Is this Rove, breaking bad news on his own terms, when he thinks is best? Is this former intelligence officials throwing their weight around as long-term payback for gutting the Agency while destroying US moral standing in the world? Whoever it is, they are damn well-connected to have their hands on this video and get it to the media.
Finally, the timing. Bush is in India and Pakistan these few days, after a surprise stop in Afganistan. That’s supposed to be the big news cycle for the end of the week – freedom on the march and terrorists on the run and all that crap. But now Bush has to fight this dramatic news, which will cancel his own story. The timing couldn’t have been better, or worse, depending on your perspective.
This is the most intriguing United States political event since I’ve been alive. If the MSM is worth anything at all these days, I want to see some deep analysis on what this means. Background sources, off-the-record quotes, multiple plot-lines converging against hypotheses, the whole monty. There are a very small number of people with access to this video, and they’re not grunts.
Morning update: No surprise, but it looks like the White House is trying to spin this as a positive.

Some congressional investigators say it now seems somewhat ironic that having belatedly found the Aug. 29 conference-call transcript, the administration is now touting it as evidence of deep presidential—and White House—involvement in the crisis.

It’s hard for me to see how spinning that Bush was seriously engaged in the Katrina disaster is good for him, but I don’t understand much of the world today anyway.