This CNN analysis from Frances Townsend tells us that…
…the homeland security adviser must have direct and immediate access to the president. Ultimately, if terrorists successfully strike the United States, it is the president, and not his staff, who will be accountable to the American people for the failure.Oh, did I mention that Townsend was formerly Dubya’s homeland security adviser (who, judging from what she tells us today, superseded cabinet secretaries; I mean, she basically tells us that “operational decisions (were) taken and communicated” to these people – maybe they didn’t have input???...color me shocked on behalf of Condi and Bob Gates, among others).
The homeland security adviser must be able to get to the president quickly without clearance from his or her colleagues on the White House staff.
Unfortunately, there will be times when American lives are at stake and the president will need to be advised and operational decisions taken and communicated to the relevant Cabinet secretary in real time. These sorts of crises do not lend themselves to the normal bureaucratic process.
We also learn the following from Townsend…
…the homeland security issues faced by our government are diverse and many. They range from preparedness and response to natural disasters (ice, flooding, fires and wind) to pandemic planning and biological and nuclear threats. These issues are often distinct from the more traditional foreign policy issues faced by the National Security Council and require experienced staff with significant expertise.Was it your “significant expertise” that was responsible for a report on Katrina and its aftermath that could at best be called “incomplete” based on this highly interesting post (both “red” and “blue” bad guys alleged here, by the way)?
And as noted here, we learn the following about Townsend (a "refresher" of sorts)…
Promoted to domestic security adviser in 2004, she became a loyalist and said she was leaving wearied by the acrimony that hangs over Mr. Bush’s last year in office.As I noted at the time, what was “offensive and crippling,” was her proclamation here that Osama bin Forgotten is “virtually impotent” and “can do little more than send videotaped messages” (the post provides evidence to the contrary, by the way). She also received a pass when she rightly said, actually, that the U.S. should attack Pakistan if it meant getting bin Laden (of course, Barack Obama said the same thing and got drilled, but as always, IOKIYAR).
"I find it both offensive and crippling," she said. “When both career people and political people are worried about getting subpoenaed, it’s hard to get a lot accomplished.”
And as long as Townsend was oh so bothered by those “offensive and crippling” subpoena threats, I should link once more to this post by Steve Benen, who reminds us that, when the Repugs were in charge of Congress under Bill Clinton, “The House Government Reform Committee issued 1,089 subpoenas during the six years that Dan Burton served as chairman from 1997 through 2002. During this period, 1,052 of the Committee’s subpoenas - 97% - targeted officials of the Clinton Administration and the Democratic Party; only 11 subpoenas related to allegations of Republican abuses.”
Oh, and did I mentioned that Fran did her whole “Ooga Booga!” bit here, warning that those “dern terrists” were going to attack at the time of the ’08 election (fat lot of good that did for John W. McBush and Just Plain Folks Sarah Palin, you betcha!).
Besides, what is there that remains to be said about a woman who (noted here) said, of Dubya, that "In 1937, the playwright Maxwell Anderson wrote of President George Washington: 'There are some men who lift the age they inhabit, til all men walk on higher ground in their lifetime.' Mr. President, you are such a man."
(God, I may retch! And Fran's letter looked so polished and professional, by the way.)
From a governmental policy point of view, I have no idea how helpful Townsend’s fatuous recommendations may actually be to Gen. James Jones, the current national security adviser to President Obama. However, since the grownups are now back in charge in the White House, my guess is that they figured out all of this stuff long before Townsend got the inclination to say anything.