Verbatim: Mar. 13, 2006

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"We are fully prepared."

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH, in video footage recorded the day before Hurricane Katrina hit and released last week, after a briefing of state and federal officials in which Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, warned of Katrina's disaster potential

"I think we have not breached the levee at this time."

KATHLEEN BLANCO, Louisiana Governor, in a video of a briefing recorded on Aug. 29, hours after the National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning based on reports of a levee breach

"People have an obligation to report crimes they witness. Is referring a defendant who opened fire at a head of state, no matter what his name is, a crime?"

SADDAM HUSSEIN, at his trial in Baghdad, admitting that he ordered the trial of 148 residents of a town where he survived a 1982 assassination attempt. All 148 were later executed

"Ending the cold war was given as a gift to the United States."

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, former President of the Soviet Union, telling reporters on his 75th birthday that despite the great opportunity that the end of the cold war presented to the U.S. to build a safer and more stable world, it only strengthened America's arrogance and unilateralism

"The contractor is not required to perform perfectly to be entitled to reimbursement."

RHONDA JAMES, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman, on the Army's reimbursement to a Halliburton subsidiary of nearly $2.41 billion under a no-bid contract for work in Iraq despite a Pentagon audit that found $263 million in questionable charges. The Army will pay all but $10.1 million of the contested costs

"I have no animosity toward them at all. I've seen their little villages. They're dirt poor, poor as field mice."

MACON HAWKINS, Texan oil worker in Nigeria, on his militant captors following his release on his 69th birthday after being held hostage with eight colleagues for nearly two weeks

"At 95, who needs term limits?"

SID SMITH, elderly former newspaperman in Texas who is running for the first time as a candidate for the U.S. House

Sources: AP (5); New York Times (2)