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.
In an age of blackberries, instant messaging, and other forms of instant communication, it?s embarrassing that our senior political leaders are not taking advantage of these technological advancements to literally save people?s lives.
Chertoff testified yesterday that DHS is instituting changes to prevent another Katrina: ?We are acquiring more satellite equipment and more communications equipment to be able to deploy to our state and local emergency operators so they can communicate with us.? What good does it do if people on the ground have the best communications equipment but the decision-maker isn?t getting their communications? Rumsfeld and Chertoff need to step into the 21st century and experience all the wonders of the internets.
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