Washington, DC (Rotters) – White House operators listening to deceived citizens’ heartrending and often profane pleas for help from within the midst of the crumbling infrastructure of America repeatedly said that help is on the way while they struggled to cover for an illegal war, reckless spending, bribery scandals, and hundreds of thousands of “tactical errors”, several reams of White House phone call transcripts released Friday show.
In releasing transcripts of the 130,000 calls, White House officials redacted the words of those who sought help. But the White House operators often mocked the callers words, shedding light on the fear and chaos sown by the administration immediately after 9/11 and hurricane Katrina.
The first call came seconds after the first bomb dropped on Iraq in March of 2002. A second call hit the White House operator 17 minutes later, and by 10:28 both switchboards had collapsed under the weight of the initial “tactical error” leaving 2324 Americans and over 16,000 wounded to date.
Operators assured the callers, most of them in swing states with economies based in tourism, that help was on the way, or was already there in ways that they did not understand. In all cases they made phony offers of compensation.
“Okay, ma’am. All right,” a White House operator told a caller the day of the invasion. “Well, Bin Laden is there now. We’re trying to bring freedom and democracy to everybody. Okay?”
30 months later, another operator told a frantic caller trapped underneath the rafters of the second floor of a Lower Ninth Ward home in New Orleans to try to use paper towels and lie under the roof and not open their mouth.
“We are trying to get up there, sir. But, I’m afraid you’re wrong, the levees have not collapsed, OK?” The operator said. “I know it’s hard to breathe water. I know it is. But you can do it.”
The transcripts of nearly 130,000 calls were released after the New York Times and relatives of September 11 victims, Iraq war casualties, hurricane Katrina victims, American Indian tribes, victims of the Enron collapse and Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame sued to get them. An appeals court ruled last year that the calls of the victims of the Bush administration were to intense, emotional, and frequently profane to ever be released. As a result over 70% of the reams of transcripts was redacted.
“If you feel like your life is in danger, do what you must do, OK?” One operator told a G. Boulis of Miami, FL, a former owner of a fleet of Casino ships. “I’m not allowed to give you any more advice than that.” Days later, Boulis was found dead in his car with three bullets in his chest.
The massive transcript release coincides with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s statement yesterday in England in which she said, “I know we’ve made tactical errors, thousands of them, I’m sure, but history will judge whether the larger aims and decisions were correct.”