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Spike Lee's Katrina documentary is awfully good
I watched the first half of the new Spike Lee HBO documentary last night. It is powerful, well done, and very evocative. You can watch it any time on HBO on demand, and I think it is playing again the next few nights.
It is hard to find the words to describe my feelings about Katrina. I've spent time in New Orleans. I know Senators Landrieu and Breaux well, and my wife and even got a little tour of the French Quarter late one night from Senator Landrieu, whose father of course was once mayor of New Orleans. When Katrina struck I was home, on paternity leave, with our new daughter Kate, so I was watching a lot more TV than I usually do. And our whole family watched the incredible drama of Katrina unfold.
The movie reminds all of us, without being clubbing one over the head, that what caused the destruction of New Orleans was not the hurricane itself, but the breaching of the levees sometime after the storm passed. There is an extraordinary scene where a man is running through downtown New Orleans - which is relatively calm at this point - and says to the camera crew that a levee has broken and water is pouring in. They seemed suprised, and said they would look into it.
And then the inaction. The deaths. The suffering. The suffering.
I wrote at the time that Chertoff should have been fired, and I still can't believe he is in the job. His inaction killed people. There is no question, Killed people. And all told there are now 4500 dead and missing, a city destroyed, billions spent and not a whole lot to show for it. It is a shameful and terrible thing, what has happened to New Orleans and her people, and I hope that it haunts Bush and his crew for the rest of their lives.
At the time all this unfolded NDN was very active. One of the better pieces we published you can find here. And we will be having more to say about Katrina and New Orleans in the days ahead.