For all of you watching the live coverage of the flooding of New Orleans and are puzzled by the name game the anchors are playing with the verbiage there is an explanation you might not be aware of.
The Army Corps of Engineers DOES NOT want the media to call it a levee break or a levee breach. Why does it matter? The upcoming lawsuits. If the levee "fails" then the Corps is responsible. BUT if the repair fails they will try to argue they were not... So here is a brief explainer of the various verbs you're hearing.
* The water "over-topped" the levee. Congress told the Corps how tall to build them. If the water exceed that height, don't blame the Corps, blame Congress.
* The water "Spilled Over" the levee. The same as above with the addition of a laughable visual image. That 20 feet of water in your home? It was just a little "spill" get a "Bounty Quicker Pickerupper" and it will all be OK.
* The levee "broke, breached, failed" etc bad bad bad for the Corps. That means they screwed up. They designed and built something that failed.
* The "repair got over-topped." The Corps says "Well, we did the best we could."
* The "repair failed." See above.
Bottom line??? The Corps is trying to spin this instead of giving people accurate information to people that will use to make live and death decision. I don't care about the name game. I want the Army Corps of Engineers giving people the most accurate information they can. That did not happen and is not happening.
When the Corps of Engineers is looking at a waterfall of water coming into the city and saying the levees are "in tact," it gives people (who are mostly listening by radio right now) a false and dangerous picture of the situation.
Does that get me mad? You betchya.
Update: The moron from the Corps is STILL saying there are no levee breaches on FOXNews as I type. It all depends on what your definition of "breached" is.
Just ask all the know-it-alls in the comments section.