Obama Chooses Hagel and Brennan
Counterterrorism chief John Brennan is President Obama's choice for director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Also as expected, he nominated Republican Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary.
As for Brennan,
Mr. Brennan has played a central role in Mr. Obama's most critical and controversial counterterrorism and security policies. He has been a chief driver of Mr. Obama's acceleration of the CIA's drone program and its expansion into Yemen. He also has been central in navigating the politics surrounding the administration's inability to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Mr. Brennan also has served as an emissary to Yemeni officials to manage counterterrorism operations there and in Somalia and has helped steer white House security policy in response to the Arab Spring. [More...}
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. defends the Brennan pick:
"Brennan has been an advocate for greater transparency in our counterterrorism policy, and adherence to the rule of law," he said. "He has spoken out repeatedly about the need for strong oversight and review of our counterterrorism actions and has led efforts within the government to ensure that we put those ideals into practice."
As to Hagel, the Wall St. Journal reports that while many Republicans think he's not strong enough in defense of Israel and he's weak on Iran, he will probably be confirmed. Reuters has more here.
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