The August 13 Time cover story on Katrina begins:
The most important thing to remember about the drowning of New Orleans is that it wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities and pork-barrel politics.
The primary culprit was the Army Corps of Engineers, together with its congressional overlords. In the Time piece, reporter Michael Grunwald does an excellent job describing the misplaced priorities of the Corps, both pre-Katrina and post-Katrina.
As I've argued, the Corps ought to be privatized. Alas, the Bush administration bungled its Katrina response and has since missed a big opportunity to push for fundamental reforms of the Corps, FEMA, and other agencies.