Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Frances Townsend Lands Spot on National Security Preparedness Group

The 9-11 Commission has been repackaged by the Bipartisan Policy Center. It's now the National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG). The group will further examine the changing threats to the United States.

Note, the Bipartisan Policy Center acts as an incubator for policy efforts that engage top political figures, advocates, academics, and business leaders in the art of principled compromise. Where's the general public? Noticeably absent.

Amongst the NSPG luminaries is Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security Adviser to President George W. Bush and current Partner with Baker Botts LLP.

Fran Townsend knows about omissions. While not the bipartisan 9-11 Commission Report, Ms. Townsend crafted the Bush Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned report. She omitted the hospital with the highest patient death toll post landfall. Memorial Medical Center lost 34 patients, 24 in the LifeCare Hospitals unit and 10 in MMC. Tenet Health owned Memorial, while The Carlyle Group purchased LifeCare weeks before landfall.

None of this information made her investigative tome. How is this competent, much less principled compromise? The political connections to Memorial Medical Center are as impressive as the 9-11 Commission.

Michael Allen will serve as Executive Director for the new effort. He was mentioned in a WaPo article titled "The NSC's Sesame Street Generation." The article stated:

Don't ask the 32-year-old Allen about the era of bipartisanship; he never experienced it.
Maybe this is his chance. In Harry Markopolos like fashion, I've gone "O fer" in my questions to accountable officials, both red and blue. Never the less, Fran's yellow brick road continues. She will co-chair a Homeland Security Task Force charged with a 60-day review of the nation’s color-coded terror-alert system.

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