Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Frances Townsend Confessed

Mexican Swine Flu tests America's crisis response plans, last tested in a major way by Hurricane Katrina. Bush developed a National Pandemic Flu plan in 2005-2006. It didn't come close to addressing the needs of the country, should anything similar to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic occur. WaPo reported:

In some ways, such a scenario would combine the test posed by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which occurred eight months into the administration of former president George W. Bush at a time when many key Justice Department and intelligence positions were vacant, and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, which struck just one year after a national response plan was overhauled.

"The fact is it didn't measure up," former Bush homeland security advisor Frances Fragos Townsend said in a Feb. 2006 review of the Katrina response, saying the confusing and overly bureaucratic National Response Plan "came up short."

What did Fran do during Katrina? Not much, other than return from vacation. She forwarded a few phone calls, took messages and flew to Saudi Arabia to deliver a letter on Katrina to King Abdullah. Congress asked for Fran's e-mails, along with Andy Card's, and got a stern "No" from George W.

But Mrs. Townsend did write a report. "Didn't measure up" and "came up short" describe Fran's investigative tome, aka another Bush whitewash. Memorial Medical Center lost 34 patients. Who leaves out the hospital with the highest patient death toll from a Katrina Lessons Learned report? Ms. Townsend did and Bush's friends and family benefited. She's now creating whitewashes for Baker Botts, the law firm of James A. Baker, III. Baker did a similar fluff piece on the BP Texas City explosion which killed 15 people. The Carlyle Group benefited from Fran's and James' work.

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