Like an imprisoned drug dealer on a witness stand, Michael Brown is not exactly in a position to give credible testimony. But his latest so-called bombshell–that the White House decided to take federal control of Louisiana during the Katrina crisis in order to control and embarrass a Democratic governor–hits the target.
Anyone with a working knowledge of the Bush White House knew that the administration was playing games with Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco in the days after the storm hit. A smear job of the governor by the White House (most likely Karl Rove) of Blanco was very successful both in Louisiana and nationally. Blanco had won a close election against a former Bush staff member, Bobby Jindal, and many of her contituents readily jumped on a campaign to blame her for the entire Katrina disaster, rather than just for the mistakes she did make.
Brown told outrageous lies about Blanco and the state of Louisiana during the Katrina hearings, and when Blanco released all of her Katrina records, including emails, the lies became obvious (for those few who actually followed the story instead of listening to the White House statements, the lies were already obvious). Now, in light of Brown’s recent statement, Blanco is calling for a federal investigation of the federal response to Katrina.
Here is where it gets sticky. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is a new member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Landrieu was an unrelenting and outspoken critic of Bush during the height of the Katrina disaster, and would no doubt like to see an investigation herself. During the original hearings, the Republican-controlled Congress would not subpoena records from the White House. At the time, Sen. Joseph Lieberman was highly critical of the White House for withholding information from Congress. However, Lieberman, who is now chairman of Landrieu’s committee, says he is not interested in conducting a “witch hunt.”
Unless there is serious pressure placed on Lieberman from both Landrieu and the citizens whom Congress is supposed to represent, the Bush administration will once again be successful in hiding evidence and obstructing the operation of government.