Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why some of Bush's intel professionals are now working for Obama—and how they'd reform the CIA

Laura Rosen, in MoJo, here
"...Aside from Brennan, the campaign's intelligence working group (which is coordinated by former National Security Council official Rand Beers) spans a range of national security professionals who have served in senior leadership, operational and legal positions in the National Security Council, CIA, and defense intelligence agencies, including many who served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Among them: Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, former senior CIA operations officers Art Brown and Jack DeVine, retired Ltn. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, retired Ltn. Gen. and former head of the Defense Human Intelligence Service Donald Kerrick, former CIA lawyer and special advisor to the CIA director Kenneth Levitt, former CIA general counsel Jeff Smith, former CIA Near East division chief Robert Richer, and former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. Former CIA lawyer and Clinton-era NSC official Mary McCarthy has stepped back from her previous role coordinating the group due to private sector work demands. One participant described the group's priorities for a prospective Obama administration to me this way: "The intelligence community is a complete mess. Intelligence reform—try to fix it. Improve morale. CIA is dysfunctional. Rectify a lot of stuff that was done by executive order in secrecy, and bring more transparency. Better protection of civil liberties. Improve oversight of CIA on these activities."

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