Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Frances Townsend Becomes CNN Contributor

CNN Pressroom - Top White House Terrorism Aide Offers Insider Expertise across CNN Programming

Frances Fragos Townsend, who recently stepped down as President George W. Bush’s chief anti-terrorism and homeland security adviser, will join CNN as an on-air contributor providing analysis and insight on national security issues, it was announced by Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S.

Townsend, who has spent more than two decades in the fields of intelligence and criminal justice, has served during the past three administrations, most recently as assistant to Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism. She chaired the Homeland Security Council from May 2004 until January 2008. Prior to that, she was a deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism from 2003 to 2004. She has been at the center of America’s effort to fight terrorism through her work in the U.S. Coast Guard, the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton and the George W. Bush White House.

“Fran’s insider experience will bring an informed point of view to topics and issues that many voters care deeply about,” Klein said. “She adds an important dimension to CNN’s coverage of one of the central questions in the presidential election – How safe are we?”

“This is a critical time for our country,” Townsend said. “Having just come off the front lines in the war on terrorism, I’m excited to be able to speak directly to American and global viewers who need to know how serious the threat is, what is being done about it and how much is left to do.”

Townsend currently serves as a consultant to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and as a member of President Bush’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program.

Her early career in law includes service as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., and with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Before joining the Bush White House, Townsend was the first person to serve as assistant commandant for intelligence for the Coast Guard and spent 13 years at the Justice Department in a variety of senior positions, including chief of staff to the assistant attorney general, director of the Office of International Affairs in the Criminal Division, acting deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division and counsel to the attorney general for intelligence policy.

Townsend graduated cum laude from the American University with a bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology and earned her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. She has taught trial advocacy at Harvard Law School and Pace University Law School.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

(photo courtesy

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Blogger PEU Report/State of the Division said...

Fran Townsend joined CNN as a contributor, specializing in homeland security advice. I suggest the following question for her first on air interview. Why did the White House Lessons Learned report on Hurricane Katrina omit any mention of the hospital with the largest number of patient deaths? LifeCare's New Orleans long term acute care facility lost 24 patients post landfall.

While Wolf Blitzer has Fran on air, ask her how her global risk management job search is proceeding? She wanted to work for an investment house. Funny, she covered for a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU) with her LifeCare omission. The Carlyle Group has to be happy about her overlooking that important detail as the company enters numerous wrongful death civil lawsuits. Guess what their lawyers came up with for a defense? It's Fran and company's fault! Maybe, Jack Cafferty can get her on record with some real answers.

She left the White House last November quaking in her heels over subpoenas. It's time she answered questions, preferably under oath. If this is the level of news person CNN chooses to employ, our country is in deep trouble. First 60 Minutes turned into a non-entity, now it's CNN. Who will do investigative reporting? Don't tell me it's up to those terrorist bloggers!

4:39 PM  
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