Friday, October 01, 2010

Spike & Fran at WIF

"People are dead now because they did not do what they needed to do."

Spike Lee slammed the Bush administration's hapless response to Hurricane Katrina, only a member of Bush's Homeland Security team was a fellow speaker at the Washington Ideas Forum.

Frances Townsend, Bush Homeland Security Adviser, talked about cyber-security alongside Mike McConnell, former Director of National Intelligence.  The moderator introduced the topic with:

I think the dark and stormy background here is perhaps a fitting motif for this.

While people died, what did Fran Townsend do in the five days after Katrina sideswiped New Orleans?  She transferred a few phone calls before jumping on a plane to Saudi Arabia.  When Townsend returned, she crafted the abysmal White House Lessons Learned report, completely omitting the hospital with the highest death toll.  Interestingly, Mike McConnell's current employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is a member of the corporate family.

Did Spike and Fran cross paths?  Did he ask her any questions about Katrina?  If so, I look forward to hearing the answers.

Update 10-7-10:  Fran was infuriated by an apparent unwillingness to share Homeland Security information.  She said, "It's a failure of policy and a failure of leadership." I share Fran's anger, only it's aimed at her Katrina failures.

Update 10-29-10:  Townsend served on the panel for American University's Excellence in Government Services Award.   The bar falls further.

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