Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The mystery headline, continued

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seems to be the latest functionary to remember a headline that never existed. Strange indeed. According the Thinkprogress web site:
Myers claimed that “most of the papers” carried 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.

If the report of Myers's peculiar recovered memory turns out to be bogus--I have not seen it reported elsewhere--I will pull this post, with a note that the words were wrongly attributed to him. But if he really remembered exactly what Chertoff remembered, a totally non-existent headline--indeed, multiple instances of a non-existent headline--it looks very much like FEMA and the military have finally leaped into action, and their joint operation to hide their incompetence, or the incompetence of the President, is one as poorly planned and executed as their response to the disaster itself.
Addendum: The Huffington Post is now reporting that Myers has remembered the same headlines that Chertoff did.

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