Sunday, February 19, 2006

More on "What the F#@% is Going on in the White House?"

I don't even need to post a link for Michael Brown or Harriet Meirs. We're all familiar with those two fiascos.

You may or may not have heard of Julie Myers, who has approximately the same level of qualifications as the aformentioned. National Review had the following to say:
Given the importance of the position and a history of mismanagement in the immigration service, Congress took the unusual step of inserting a statutory requirement that nominees have a minimum of five years of experience in both management and law enforcement. Even a cursory reading of her resume reveals that the well-connected 36-year-old attorney’s background fails to comply with this legal requirement

At least she's only in charge of coordinating our nation's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and not something, ya know, important. It's not like anyone would ever try and smuggle terrorists or a bomb into our country or something. Who would even think to do such a thing? How did this young lady get the job? Outside of the White House, no one's really sure.

You probably haven't heard as much of Patrick Rhode, former Acting Deputy Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. After serving as an "associate administrator" at the U.S. Small Business Administration, he was probably slightly more qualified than his former boss, but that ain't saying much. He's best known for characterizing FEMA's response to Katrina as "probably one of the most efficient and effective responses in the country's history." Wow.

How about Stewart Simonson, Assistant Secretary for Public Health and Emergency Preparedness, Department of Health and Human Services? The New Republic had this to say about Mr. Simonson:

According to his official biography, Stewart Simonson is the Health and Human Services Department's point man "on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies." Hopefully, he has taken crash courses on smallpox and avian flu, because, prior to joining HHS in 2001, Simonson's background was not in public health, but ... public transit. He'd previously been a top official at the delay-plagued, money-hemorrhaging passenger rail company Amtrak.

Maybe a lack of knowledge about biology isn't a big deal. I mean, I'm sure he has a crib sheet or something, to remember which virulent pathogens are which. I understand it's not really an important job. It's not like there's any risk of any global pandemics, or as if anyone would ever try to use biological agents against Americans. Who would do such a thing?

As usual, Michelle Malkin pulls no punches:
Old habits die hard, unfortunately. The Bush administration, like the Clinton presidency before it, has continued entrenched Beltway practices of installing no-nothing political seat-warmers in high places within the immigration bureaucracy. Bush appointed Eduardo Aguirre, a banker with zero experience in immigration law, to head DHS's Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Bush has also named several Republican Party operatives with zero experience in immigration law to immigration court posts. It's hack heaven at DHS.
Hey, I understand "politics is politics," and administration appointments are sometimes used to repay political favors. That's just reality. What I don't understand is how this administration, which never stops reminding us (correctly) of the need to remember that we live in a post-911 world, can be so cavalier when it comes to staffing at the Department of Homeland Security. I don't understand how the White House can now be so insistent on allowing the operations of several of America's busiest ports to come under the control of Dubai Ports World, a company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, a country whose citizens' fingerprints were all over the planning for the September 11 attacks.

Now, apparently Michael Chertoff, the same man who hired Michael Brown, Julie Myers and Patrick Rhode, has satisfied himself that this transfer of control presents no risk to national security. Excuse me if I'm disinclined to trust Mr. Chertoff's instincts.


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