TRADING A LIAR FOR A DISSEMBLER?

TRADING A LIAR FOR A DISSEMBLER? With reports of the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales barely an hour old, wags were already naming Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security, as the likely nominee for Gonzales's replacement.

For Democrats -- and the American people -- this should be the perfect week to shoot down that idea. Marking the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, scrutiny of the government's abandonment of the people of New Orleans should be turned on Mr. Chertoff. A former prosecutor and judge, Chertoff either misled reporters in 2005 or displayed an unforgivable lack of understanding when he asserted that no warnings had ever been served by scientists of a storm with the force of Katrina approaching New Orleans. Here, from CNN on September 3, 2005, just days after the storm:

WASHINGTON (CNN) --Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued Saturday that government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur.

But in fact, government officials, scientists and journalists have warned of such a scenario for years.

A replacement, perhaps, in the spirit of the Gonzales appointment.

--Adele M. Stan

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