THE BLOG
09/01/2005 03:50 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Flood of Cassandras

When President Bush piped up on "Good Morning America" today and said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," there was a collective "aarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh" from reporters, disaster officials and bloggers.

FEMA anticipated it as one of the "likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country" in 2001.

The Houston Chronicle anticipated it in 2001.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune anticipated it in extensive detail in 2002.

The US Army Corps of Engineers anticipated it when federal budget cuts stopped work on the hurricane levees in 2004 and again when budget cuts hit the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project this past June.

There have been similar observations from bloggers since Katrina started on her path toward New Orleans (thanks especially to Daily Kos and Political Animal). The condition of the levees has been a major concern since before the storm hit. This is one time that the media -- or at least notable parts of it -- did not fall down on the job.

Oh, and for those wondering who the heck is Cassandra: a Trojan princess to whom Apollo gave the gift of prophecy. When she refused to "lie with" him (hey, I'm cleaning it up), he could not take it back, but he altered it so that no one ever believed her, including her warning about that suspicious large wooden horse that the Greeks left outside the gate. She ended up murdered along with Agamemnon.