Friday, March 18, 2011

Disaster Queens in Running for FBI Chief

Frances Townsend and Jamie Gorelick are potential nominees to replace Robert Mueller as FBI Chief.  Both played roles in unprecedented disasters.  Fran was Homeland Security Chief during Hurricane Katrina, while Jame served as BP's lawyer for the Gulf Oil Spew.  In addition, Jamie helped set the stage for the financial meltdown as Vice Chair of Fannie Mae during a six year accounting fraud.

Fran refused to testify before Congress on the White House's abysmal response to Hurricane Katrina. She skipped town as the last remaining hospital patients were evacuated after five days in sweltering, putrid conditions.   When Fran returned from delivering a letter on terrorism to Saudi Arabia, she crafted the hapless White House Lessons Learned report. On Katrina's five year anniversary, I wrote:

Townsend's report omitted any mention of Memorial Medical Center, the hospital with the highest patient death toll. Thirty five people perished in Memorial's hellish halls. Twenty five died in the LifeCare unit, which rented a floor in the Tenet Healthcare owned facility. 

LifeCare is an affiliate of The Carlyle Group and is vigorously fighting wrongful death lawsuits.  Six years after Katrina, relatives await justice.  Isn't that the role of the FBI

Jamie turned the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the FAA into BP's private army.  She led BP's risk management effort, which minimized the size of the disaster at every turn.  Jamie ensured BP would keep producing in the Gulf of Mexico by tying victim's payments to future U.S. oil production.  She removed BP's liability for unemployed oil workers in negotiations with the Obama team.. 

Fran and Jamie are dark, dark horses with unprecedented pasts.  The FBI should have thick files on both.