Katrina Stonewalling

A boat sits in the street of New Orleans as a utility worker repairs lines Tuesday Jan., 10, 2006. The boat was left in the intersection when the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina were pumped out of the city. The city is due to release a report which will unveil ideas on how to rebuild the city. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
AP Photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

I remember in the first days after the Katrina disaster all the politicians and FEMA flacks saying, "We don't want to play the blame game." Well, now maybe we do.

When we were down there last week, Senators Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman came to visit. They were shocked by the lack of progress. We've been pretty much shocked now for almost 5 months.

The Senate's been looking into the sluggish federal response to Katrina and we learned this week that the feds even predicted — anticipated — the flooding in New Orleans.

The White House will not allow the Senate though to interview White House staffers. They say they want to protect their confidentiality. Fine. So, who was protecting the people of New Orleans?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith