Exclusive: Video shows Bush, Chertoff warned before Katrina:

Watch as President Bush is briefed on the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, in this video obtained exclusively by The Associated Press. Hear what aides told him just before the storm hit the Gulf Coast.

First broadcast - AP - 03/01/06

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 Bush 'was warned about impact of Katrina'

By Alec Russell, Washington Correspondent

03/02/06 "
The Telegraph" -- -- President George W Bush was warned a day before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could swamp New Orleans, it was claimed last night.

Leaked video footage and transcripts of top-level briefings in the six days before the storm showed federal officials telling Mr Bush the storm could breach levees and overwhelm rescuers.

He did not ask a single question in the final briefing on Aug 29 last year, the day before Katrina made landfall. But he told officials in Louisiana: "We are fully prepared".

The footage, obtained by the Associated Press, appears to contradict Mr Bush's announcement four days after the storm that he did not think "anyone anticipated the breach of the levees".

The disclosures suggest that, while they had anticipated the disaster, federal officials were too slow in appreciating they were underprepared.

They also suggested that Mr Bush's confidence on Aug 29 bore no relation to the dire warnings of his officials.

Michael Brown, the then head of Fema, the federal emergency relief agency, told Mr Bush and the homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there were not enough teams to help evacuees.

"I'm concerned about. . . their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe," Mr Brown told his superiors before Katrina struck.

Officials from the homeland security department have said that the "fog of war" blinded them to the scale of the crisis. The new disclosures show officials appreciated that Katrina would wreak havoc.

Mr Brown has borne most of the criticism but last night he said: "I don't buy the fog of war defence. It was a fog of bureaucracy."

The inept initial handling of the disaster shattered Mr Bush's reputation as a strong and decisive leader.

Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited

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