President Barack Obama has his work cut out for him in selecting a replacement for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus and must go with someone who is bulletproof in terms of confirmation, Fran Townsend, homeland security adviser in the George W. Bush Administration
“Given how [Petraeus] left, the first and single most important quality is someone who’s what I’d call bulletproof in terms of confirmation,” Townsend told Politico
“Not somebody who’s never been confirmed before or somebody who is in any way vulnerable to a confirmation fight, . . . someone who has filled out all the forms and been through this process.”
Experienced CIA officials voice a preference for acting CIA Director Michael Morell, a veteran intelligence analyst. “His choice will be reassuring to the agency,” Michael Hayden, who served as CIA director from 2006 until 2009, told Politico. “He’s a very familiar face in the West Wing because, one, he’s been there a while, and, two, Petraeus traveled so much. Michael’s very much a known quantity.”
Other potential candidates are Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan; his boss National Security Adviser Tom Donilon; former Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.; Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.; and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich..
Obama might be reluctant to appoint another rock star like Petraeus. "I don't think you need to have a major personality at CIA," Reuel Marc Gerecht, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former CIA case officer, told USA Today. "It's not required."
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