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August 27th, 2010
05:52 AM ET

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Katrina: 5 years later
Five years after Katrina, we're reporting live from the lower ninth ward in New Orleans. How much progress do you think the city has mad since the disaster?

Ex-FEMA chief: 'Fatal mistake' made during Katrina response
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - The Bush administration made a "fatal mistake" by talking up facts and figures without painting a broader picture of the obstacles in its widely criticized Hurricane Katrina response effort, ex-FEMA chief Michael Brown said Thursday.

Brown told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the talking points he and other federal officials used at the time didn't tell the whole story.

"They were factually correct, but weren't in context. We're moving all of this stuff in. We have teams here. Rescue teams are doing this," he said. "But we never explained to the people that it's not coming as fast as we want it to, and it's not enough, because of the number of people that were left behind in the aftermath of the storm."

Not making that clear was a "fatal mistake," Brown said. FULL STORY

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. jim anderson

    So the New Orleans destruction has taken 5 yrs...I think much has been done...look at the big hole in the ground, after 911, ten yrs, ago in New York City, nothing has been done there (forget the current Muslem debate)...these 2 slo-mo delays are just a signpost, that we are now a 3rd Class Banana Republic...we are only #1 in bombs, these days. (sorry, I did this again, as its my first time, & am confused by the instructions)

    August 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Jan

    MISSISSIPPI was hit by Katrina!!! NOT NEW ORLEANS!!! The eye of that storm hit the Mississippi Coast. New Orleans was hit by the Army Core of Engineers. When will people wake up? The Media does not cover Mississippi like they are covering New Orleans. They should be asking the government what they are going to do next to help any of us during the next disaster!

    Tom in OH is right!! The folks in Washington are too worried about political correctiness and money, instead of worring about those of us who pay their salaries.

    August 27, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  3. Dan

    The Federal government is NOT responsible to provide the bulk of natural disaster relief. That should be handled by state government. Look at the historical record please! It is only in the past 25 years or so that people have seemed to think that "big brother" (the Federal government) should be stepping in to "save us". Yes, a modest amount of Federal aid is appreciated, but it is certainly not constitutional to make this be primarily Washington's job. Let's do this at the local and state level. Let Washington help where it can, but only as BACK-UP to the real responsible parties - local and state governments.

    August 27, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  4. pfriday

    tom– I agree, President Bush should have redirected the hurricane away from the city built below sea level.

    New Orleans was never not going to be rebuilt after Katrina, the rebuilding process would never have taken 3-4 weeks – even if the democrats and President Obama were in office.

    and how you linked katrina and the economy is impressive.

    August 27, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  5. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Comment was made (regarding Katrina) what took 3-4 days should have took 3-4 hrs. Sounds exactly like the Gulf Oil Disaster. In other words 'what 3-4 months should have took 3-4 weeks'. We didn't learn a darn thing. Next disaster, my conclusion is that it will be every man for himself. Shameful, just plain shameful. Can't learn from our mistakes. Too much 'politics', not enough engineering. Same can be said of our economic situation. The world is 'laughing' at us. We are doomed if we don't wake up. Note herein that the 109th Congress was in session during Katrina, which was Republican Controlled not to mention the White House. Note also that a very aggressive AND progressive government is our our only hope of getting out of this awful TOTAL mess that we are in. The Republican's are totally against being 'progressive' because they said so and are afraid to do so. The Democrats are most willing to explore possible solutions to our many problems but are too busy trying to 'appease' the Republicans to no avail. The Republicans are virtually ALL rhetoric and 'no substance' and are experts at inserting 'Wedge Issues' into the National Conversation. And the Democrats just fall right in to the Republican traps. This crap has got to stop or we are doomed.

    August 27, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  6. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    When does the media consider that maybe coverage on a story is getting overkill with all the other disasters that have plagued our country Louisiana seems to stay a permanent fixture Louisiana is getting more coverage then New York on 9-11 .

    August 27, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  7. MeLoN

    Good Morning CNN!

    Some progress has been made in New Orleans after Katrina but the city will never be as it was – nor should it be. It needs to be different or it will happen again.I could never understand why build a city below sea level without the proper precautions. Maybe the US should get some advise from the Dutch. They are masters of controlling the ocean.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:18 am |