A chill went down my spine when I heard this quote from President Bush:
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of levees."
-- President George W. Bush, on Good Morning America, September 1, 2005
I flashed back to when I heard Condeleeza Rice say:
“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people…would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile”
-- Condeleeza Rice, May 16, 2002
Of course many people anticipated the breach of the levees. A decades-long project has tried to shore up the levees, and the Bush administration cut the budget for the project in order to stanch the bleeding of the Federal treasury in order to fund the war in Iraq. The Army Corps of Engineers built the levees to withstand a Category 3 storm. The disaster planning community has known for years that a hurricane could mean total disaster if it hit New Orleans. FEMA has ranked New Orleans as among the top 3 disasters waiting to happen. See:
... and this Scientific American article entitled "Drowning New Orleans" from October 2001.
Of course one could've imagined that terrorists might hijack a plane and crash it into a major landmark. Intelligence agency reports warned about the risk long before 9/11. See:
This administration is good at anticipating some things that never happen, as Wolfowitz and Cheney predicted that American troops would be greeted as liberators in Iraq.
But when disaster strikes, why, gosh, no one could have predicted that.