Crude Manipulation

In Katrina's wake, the supposed oil shortage and suspicious gas price hikes

During the morning, the president calls Chertoff to discuss not the storm, but immigration. According to a White House account, Bush says, "I knew people would want me to discuss this issue [immigration], so we got us an airplane on, a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him. I said, 'Are you working with the governor?' He said, 'You bet we are.' " At 11 a.m., Bush is in Arizona, talking about Medicare drug benefits. By late morning, the "hurricane-proof" 17th Street Canal levee gives way. At 10:30, FEMA's Brown asks DHS to send 1,000 employees into the region. He gives them two days to get there. Brown's memo to Chertoff describes Katrina as a "near catastrophic event." At 4 p.m. Bush is at a California senior center to talk about the Medicare drug benefit. That evening, Rumsfeld, who is in charge of the Army Corps of Engineers, takes in a San Diego Padres baseball game.

Tuesday, August 30: Bush speaks at the naval base at Coronado in San Diego. By midday, Chertoff first becomes aware a levee in New Orleans has been breached. "It was on Tuesday that the levee—may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday—that the levee started to break," he later told Meet the Press. "And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city."

Additional reporting: Isabel Huacuga

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