November 19th, 2007
12:34 PM ET
11 years ago

Homeland security advisor explains her departure

Townsend will be joining the private sector.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush's top adviser on homeland security is stepping down after 4½ years on the job, the White House said Monday.

Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend turned in her letter of resignation to President Bush on November 6 and will be looking for new opportunities outside government.

"I'm going to just take another job doing 20-hour days, but this time in the private sector," said Townsend, who has spent 25 years working in law enforcement and government.

Bush praised Townsend's work Monday.

"Fran has always provided wise counsel on how to best protect the American people from the threat of terrorism," Bush said in a statement. "We are safer today because of her leadership."

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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Alan, San Angelo Texas

    I can assure you Fran's hard work never involved addressing concerned citizen's questions. My question about the reason for the complete ommission of the hospital with the largest patient death toll post Katrina from Fran's Lessons Learned report remains unanswered. Why are The Carlyle Group's LifeCare Hospitals twenty four patients deaths completely absent from the "investigation"?

    Now that Carlyle lines up to buy huge nursing home provider, ManorCare, the question is distinctly relevant. If Carlyle can fail patients in one of twenty one LTAC's in a time of disaster, what can they do with 550 mostly nursing home facilities?

    Responsive government is needed, certainly more than the level Fran brought to the table.

    November 19, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Ho hum-another ideologue spin doctor rat leaves the sinking Bush ship. I can't wait until January 20, 2009, when we'll at least have a chance to see some genuine PUBLIC servants running key administration posts instead of the inept pack of far-right cronies we've been subjected to for the past 7 years!

    November 19, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. ronnie knoxville tn

    ...which is why it is a big BIG mistake to let the federal government get into the health care business!

    November 19, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    These departures both fill me with hope, and scare me. For each person who resigns, Bush is just going to fill the empty niche with someone more sinister. Remember who Bush chose to replace Gonzales? No sooner was Mukasey in office, the first thing he did was reopen the still-warrantless wiretap.

    Impeachment is currently our only solution.

    November 19, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. r schier norwalk,ct

    good riddance to another useless crony....

    November 19, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Andrew, NJ

    the rats are abandoning ship

    November 19, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Craig Louisville KY

    Doesn’t she like Michel Scott’s girlfriend from the office.!!)

    November 19, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Mike,Panama City, FL

    Yea that was what I was going to say ,expect more to jump out as we near the end of the Bush Era .

    Good Riddance !

    November 19, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Carol, MD

    TTFN Spindarella.

    November 19, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. joseph, austin,tx

    ronnie knoxville tn

    Look how the gubment runs everything else, iraq, fema, social security, remember how our infrastructure isnt up to code, etc,etc,etc. Thats why we dont want gubment running healthcare.

    November 19, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Chelsea, Columbus, Ohio

    This story needed a copyeditor.

    November 19, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. bob, east ridge, tn

    Another rat leaves the sinking ship.

    November 19, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Jed in Texas

    Mmmmmmm wonder what crimes she committed??? I may have to buy stock in whom ever makes orange jump suits with all these rats jumping ship.And what private company is she taking all this classified

    November 19, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Of course her kids liked running around the Oval Office – there was a big kid there to play with!

    Good riddance – she made a mockery of the position with some of her "educated" remarks, none of which proved correct!

    November 19, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. maurice , nashville, tn

    What is she running from.... she has done will come out soon... just like all the crooks that now reside the the White House

    November 19, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Biden Backer/Seattle

    Good riddance. You suck, Fran.

    November 19, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. anon

    No great loss. Maybe it's time to collect some payoff for past favors. You know,, like all the cool loot collected by ex politicos.

    November 19, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Disgruntled, San Diego, CA

    I agree with Chelsea.

    CNN's articles are obviously not proofread. I find mistakes on a regular basis.

    I tried posting about an apostrophe error last week, but CNN wouldn't post it. That was bad enough, but to make matters worse, they didn't even go back and fix the error.

    November 19, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    My guess is most of you have never heard of her, yet every single comment I've seen at the time of my post is ugly and reminiscient of a bunch of grade school children. Townsend may not be perfect (neither are you people!), but she has undoubtedly sacrificed precious hours with her family/friends to serve our nation in the best way she knows how. Just more examples of Bush Derangement Syndrome at its worst– what, are you rage-a-holics gonna start bashing GW's best friend from 2nd grade too?

    November 19, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Ex-GOP, Houston, Texas

    Not a big surprise given the pattern that has already been established. The big question is whether they can find anyone to actually replace her before they all get swept out anyways.

    November 19, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    Wow the left-wing posters are busy today.

    November 19, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Alan, San Angelo Texas

    To Terry in Lakeland Florida:

    Here's a challenge for you, spend 48 hours in a dead hospital, one with water four feet up the first floor. You don't have to be a patient, how about an employee. Then a year or two later, try to evacuate a Gulf Coast Hospital days before a then record hurricane. I did both, which makes me one of the few people in America to actually read Fran's sorry tome otherwise known as the White House "Lessons Learned" report. As a past hospital disaster chair, I can assure her report qualifies as a non-investigation. A few hero stories are interspersed with "it was an unprecedented disaster".

    You can call me whatever you want politically, but I strongly believe both Democrats and Republicans gorge too much at the campaign money trough. That a concerned citizen can't get their question answered after a year and half doesn't speak well of our "responsive" democracy.

    November 19, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Roger Uville Ohio

    Who will left to turn the lights off in this rotten adminstration?

    November 19, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Larry / Covington, Louisiana

    I have tried to post with a measure of polite respect even for those who don't deserve it, but some of these posters make it mighty difficult to remain a gentleman. These boards are a pathetic commentary on CNN’s lack of standards.

    It is obvious that CNN delights in peddling this antagonistic nonsense. These threads are truly a disservice to decency and thoughtful analysis. Hence, I will never again visit the CNN tickers. It simply is not worth the time to try to raise the bar. The bottom-feeders can have it all and choke on their own vomit. I've seen more class from junkyard dogs.

    November 19, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Alan, San Angelo Texas

    "Class" would be shown by a government that takes its citizen's concerns seriously by responding to their inquiry. "Antagnostic nonsense" could well describe Fran's "Lessons Learned" report. It certainly is antagonistic to the truth. Not only does it leave out Carlyle's LifeCare patient deaths, it fails to mention the group that actually coordinated hospital patient evacuations, The Louisiana Hospital Association.

    The report is nonsense in the same way an officer coming across a huge traffic accident simply writes "it's an unprecedented disaster" in his report?

    As for the future of disaster response, the private sector is where it's at. During the California wildfires, the super rich had trucks show up and spray fire retardant on their property. During Katrina hospital giant HCA hired helicopters to ferry out patients from their for-profit facilities. Sovereign Deed will keep any citizen safe from harm for a fee. Their service includes air evacuation if necessary.

    Open your eyes to more than apparent incivility on a comment board. There is real, actual incivility in the way people are cared for in times of disaster. That it gets covered up in a fat report might bother some people. For others its time to look away.

    November 19, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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