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Levee Repair Was Staged For Photo Op

from a statement by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La. September 3, 2005

The President has yet to answer my call for a cabinet-level official to lead our efforts.

Meanwhile, FEMA, now a shell of what it once was, continues to be overwhelmed by the task at hand.

I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid.

When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims – far more efficiently than buses – FEMA again dragged its feet.

Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency.

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee.

Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe.

Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.

The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast – black and white, rich and poor, young and old – deserve far better from their national government.

You have been reading excerpts from "Louisiana Senator Disappointed Over President Bush´s Response" by Steve Sabludowsky. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/8te8v. Thanks to bayoubuzz.com.

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