Terror Watch: Rumsfeld’s E-Mail Secrets
Feb. 15, 2006 - The business world and government departments depend upon it, grade-school kids are taught how to use it and Osama bin Laden's followers have become skilled practitioners. But congressional investigations of government responses to Hurricane Katrina have revealed that two of the nation's key crisis managers, the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, do not use e-mail.
When it came to documentation of how Secretaries Michael Chertoff and Donald Rumsfeld responded to Katrina, however, congressional investigators got a different answer from the administration. The House committee established to investigate Katrina was "informed that neither Secretary Chertoff nor Secretary Rumsfeld use e-mail," reported Reps. Charlie Melancon and William Jefferson, two Louisiana Democrats who participated in the inquiry despite a boycott by other House Democrats who felt that the inquiry was too partisan. The Democrats made the disclosure in a report attached as an appendix to a widely publicized investigative report released today by the Republican majority which led the House Katrina investigation. (The Democrats' report added that despite investigators' requests for other documentation, "We received no other records we requested, such as phone logs, e-mail records of assistants, or other internal communications that would show how Secretary Chertoff and Secretary Rumsfeld received information, communicated with other government officials, or gave orders.")
But Dr. Irwin Redlener, a disaster-preparedness expert at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, expressed surprise that two officials in such critical positions would not be adept at routine methods of modern communication. "This can't be true," he said, only half-jokingly. "It's almost inconceivable in 2006 for officials at that level of government not to be directly connected to systems of communications."
Why are we governed by these idiots?