On the eve of Hurricane Katrina's fateful landfall, President Bush was confident. His homeland security chief appeared relaxed. And warnings of the coming destruction — breached or overrun levees, deaths at the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelming needs for post-storm rescues — were delivered in dramatic terms to all involved. All of it was captured on videotape.
The president didn't ask a single question during the briefing but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."
The footage — along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by AP — show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.