Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saudi Official Cites Bush's "Sickening Legacy" in the Middle East

The Financial Times reported, Prince Turki al-Faisal said former President George W. Bush left a "sickening legacy" in the Middle East.

"If the U.S. wants to continue playing a leadership role in the Middle East and keep its strategic alliances intact - especially its 'special relationship' with Saudi Arabia - it will have to drastically revise its policies vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine," Turki said.

People got more than one indication of Bush's sick priorities. George W. sent Homeland Security adviser Frances Townsend to Saudi Arabia to deliver a letter. What higher priority called? Saving people after Hurricane Katrina, which happened to be the topic of the letter.

While critically ill hospital patients lingered in a toxic gumbo, Frances was AWOL. She did speak to Governor Blanco by phone early Wednesday morning (two days after landfall). Fran's other accomplishments on the crisis are unknown. The White House refused to release her and Chief of Staff Andy Card's e-mails to Congressional investigators.

A different White House special relationship stayed intact, corporatocracy. Mrs. Townsend made no mention of Memorial Medical Center or its affiliated corporate parents. Memorial rented a floor to LifeCare Hospitals, a long term acute care provider. The Carlyle Group, a potically connected private equity underwriter (PEU), purchased LifeCare just weeks before landfall. Memorial was owned by Tenet Health, a large for-profit hospital chain with a tainted ethics record.

MMC patients lingered in a humid hell for four days. Thirty four patients perished, 24 LifeCare and 10 MMC. Corporately that shows as The Carlyle Group 24 deaths, Tenet Health 10. How does one omit the hospital facility with the highest death toll from a "robust" investigation report?

President George W. Bush sat on the board directors of CaterAir, a Carlyle affiliate, in the early 90's. Brother Jeb landed a $37,000 a day seat on the Tenet Health board. The appointment came a year after Frances Townsend's published bust of a report.

Bush's sickening legacy reeks. Yes Prince Turki al-Faisal, things must change. The people voted for it. But then again, we voted for a "uniter, not a divider."

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