Robert Travis Scott, writing for The Times-Picayune, has the most informative account I have yet seen on what these documents revealed. It's a story which, predictably, is being ignored by the press on the whole.
The extent to which the press was complicit in covering for Blanco, and the extraordinary effort it made to smear the Bush administration, becomes clear in these passages;
.. an ABC News reporter wrote Blanco's press secretary, "2 senior GOP aides have called me to suggest we should be focusing more blame on Governor Blanco." A New York Times reporter wrote an e-mail message saying, "Several officials in Washington are asserting that the Federal Government should have assumed control of the overall operation . . . As it would have meant, they suggested, better coordination of the response."
In other words, when it was suggested to members of the press that perhaps they should do their jobs and expose Blanco's incompetence, they did not do so. Instead they contacted Blanco’s staff to feed them (dis)information about the White House. You have to wonder; how often do the members of the press, when contacted by Democrat officials, call or email Republicans to notify them of the Democrat position? All right, you don't really need to wonder; it never happens.
This is odd.
On the morning of Aug. 31, Blanco was awaiting a television interview when she whispered a comment to Bottcher, saying she should have requested troops earlier. The comment was picked up off-air and cited as an admission by Blanco that she was tardy in her request for ground troops.
It was cited as an admission? It appears to any reasonable observer as an explicit admission. Further documents hint at the insanity that gripped Blanco and her staff.
"What have we done to counter Bush claim that gov delayed relief because she needed 24 hrs to make some decision?" reads an internal e-mail message by a Blanco administration official.
Documents and interviews show that Blanco wanted to avoid conceding her authority, and during the week she argued that a federalization of all military units would compromise her ability to keep law and order.
The impression given by these documents is certainly that Blanco and her people were far more concerned with conducting a PR war against the White House than they were in the safety and wellbeing of the people of New Orleans. And "compromise her ability to keep law and order"? The entire reason she was asking for federal troops was that she was quite unable to maintain law and order.
"By the weekend, the Bush administration will have a full-blown PR disaster/scandal on their hands because of the late response to needs in New Orleans," according to a Sept. 1 e-mail message sent by Blanco communications director Bob Mann. He attributed the observation to former President Clinton's press secretary Mike McCurry.
Kopplin advised the Blanco staff by e-mail that "we need to keep working to get our national surrogates to explain the facts."
Their "national surrogates", of course, were the journalists and reporters of the MSM. As the Democrats expected, they proved quite willing to overlook homicidal incompetence on the part of Louisiana officials in pursuit of their petty vendetta against the Bush administration. Among their number must be counted Mr. Robert Travis Scott, who, in presenting this evidence of political gamesmanship on the part of Democratic politicians, still manages to conclude that Bush (surprise!!) was at fault. For example, although the Guard units from other states could only enter Louisiana under DoD orders, Scott gives the clear impression that this activity was something the States coordinated among themselves, with no Federal involvement.
Other facts which their surrogates did a poor job of explaining to the world were that the city of New Orleans was lawless for several days, and that the only way Federal troops could have restored order was for the President to invoke the Insurrection Act and essentially oust Blanco from her post. If this report is any indication, the dam which the Democratic parties "surrogates" have built to protect Governor Blanco is finally showing a few small cracks.