Joe Lieberman Betrays Hurricane Katrina Victims

By Jane Hamsher
Posted on August 27, 2007, Printed on August 27, 2007

This post, written by Jane Hamsher, originally appeared on FireDogLake

As we approach the second anniversary of Hurricaine Katrina, it’s great that Barack Obama has released as substantive plan to rebuild New Orleans, which includes measures to give the jobs to New Orleans residents and not to the corporations who are presently on the receiving end of BushCo. largesse. John Edwards has also made plans for New Orleans a pillar of his campaign, and it demostrates how both candidates would be substantively different from the present incompetent and apathetic regime.

It’s worth noting, however, that Joe Lieberman, as head of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, promised to investigate the government’s response to Hurricaine Katrina. From January of 2006, when Joe was running for office:

The White House is dodging questions about Hurricane Katrina response and has instructed other agencies to join it in fending off investigators, Sen. Joseph Lieberman said on Tuesday. The White House denies the allegations.

Lieberman went so far as to suggest that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to kill the investigation.

“My staff believes that DHS has engaged in a conscious strategy of slow-walking our investigation in the hope that we would run out of time to follow the investigation’s natural progression to where it leads,” Lieberman said. “At this point, I cannot disagree.”

The Connecticut senator, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, further said no real reason is being given for the administration’s reticence.

“There’s been no assertion of executive privilege, just a refusal to answer,” Lieberman said. “I have been told by my staff that almost every question our staff has asked federal agency witnesses regarding conversations with or involvement of the White House has been met with a response that they could not answer on direction of the White House.”

And once Lieberman was re-elected with no small amount of help from the GOP?

Bush’s Best Democratic Buddy Joe Lieberman gives the president a pass on Katrina.

Jan. 11, 2007 – Sen. Joe Lieberman, the only Democrat to endorse President Bush’s new plan for Iraq, has quietly backed away from his pre-election demands that the White House turn over potentially embarrassing documents relating to its handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans.

Lieberman’s reversal underscores the new role that he is seeking to play in the Senate as the leading apostle of bipartisanship, especially on national-security issues. On Wednesday night, Bush conspicuously cited Lieberman’s advice as being the inspiration for creating a new “bipartisan working group” on Capitol Hill that he said will “help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.”

(As a side note, I think the above paragraph is a pretty clear demonstration of the fact that when Joe says “bipartisan” what he really means is “Karl Rove’s bitch.” Because nobody wants to bring the troops home more than Joe, you know.)

But since so many of our Democratic 08 candidates are current or former members of the Senate, maybe they would like to prod their colleague Joe about his promise to give residents of New Orleans an explanation for the government’s mishandling of the disaster and what happened to their lives?

Also in Katrina news — the Color of Change folks are launching their Voices from the Gulf project. Have a look, it’s an impressive project that seeks to document the experiences of Katrina survivors in their own words.

Jane Hamsher is the founder of FireDogLake. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect.

© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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