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September 14, 2005
President Says He's Responsible in Storm Lapses
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and RICHARD W. STEVENSON
WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 - President Bush said on Tuesday that he bore responsibility for any failures of the federal government in its response to Hurricane Katrina and suggested that he was unsure whether the country was adequately prepared for another catastrophic storm or terrorist attack.
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Mr. Bush said in an appearance in the East Room with President Jalal Talabani of Iraq. "I want to know what went right and what went wrong."
In response to a reporter who asked if Americans, in the wake of the hurricane, should be concerned about the government's ability to respond to another disaster or a terrorist attack, Mr. Bush said: "I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm? And that's a very important question."