Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Frances Townsend Available to Work for Obama Administration

CQ Politics reported Frances Fragos Townsend's willingness to work in an Obama administration. Fran served as George W. Bush's Homeland Security Adviser. She produced the White House Lessons Learned Report on Hurricane Katrina. The article stated:

As for an appointment in the Obama administration, "it would depend on what department or agency," mentioning that a job in homeland security might be a good fit.

"If they think my experience or participation could help in any way, I'd say, 'Sure, call me.'"

"I wouldn't foreclose any idea they had," she said.

"It's an historic time."

Unfortunately Fran isn't good at capturing history, at least in her Katrina investigative report. Mrs. Townsend omitted the hospital facility with the highest patient death toll post landfall. Memorial Hospital, owned by Tenet Healthcare, rented a floor to LifeCare Hospitals. LifeCare's long term acute care unit lost 24 patients during Katrina. Memorial lost 10 more patients and all power. Caregivers and patients lingered in an overheated, toxic soup for four days.

Other history Fran omitted? The Carlyle Group, a politically connected private equity underwriter, purchased LifeCare just weeks before landfall. They benefit from the fed's silence on their actions, or inaction in saving acutely ill patients.

Tenet settled with LifeCare in a secret judgement regarding the building owner's liability related to the disaster. LifeCare's attorneys blame the federal government for their patient deaths, suggesting patients became wards of the government as soon as FEMA evacuation teams set up in New Orleans.

On the Board of Tenet Healthcare sits one member of the Red and Blue team. Bob Kerrey (D)served on the board of directors since 2001, while Jeb Bush (R) got his seat last year. These facts helped explain the deafening bi-partisan silence given my inquiries to accountable elected officials.

Should President elect Obama tap Frances Townsend for a leading role in his administration, honesty, competence and transparency cannot be the criteria. She's failed on all three counts.

"I'm a patriot and enjoyed serving in government and for the American people." Frances Townsend

A patriot wouldn't jump on a plane to Saudi Arabia while Americans drowned in a toxic gumbo. A patriot would've delivered on the promised "robust" investigative report. Fran's bust of a study did not serve the American people in the least. I'll be disappointed if President elect Barack Obama gives her another chance.

No comments: