David Sanger ruminates about possible new heads fot the CIA, and reminds us that we really have Moved On:
Several current and former officials of American intelligence agencies said they believed that Mr. Obama might move quickly to nominate Mr. Petraeus’s deputy, Michael J. Morell, as his replacement. That would put the agency’s most respected intelligence analyst at the head of the organization. Mr. Morell is of the “light touch” school, and clearly the favorite inside the headquarters of the agency in Langley, Va.
The president could also choose the man inside the White House who is considered by many to be overseeing the entire American intelligence infrastructure from his basement office in the West Wing of the White House: John O. Brennan, a retired C.I.A. operative who once headed the agency’s station in Saudi Arabia.
By all accounts, both Mr. Brennan and Mr. Morell have developed strong relationships with Mr. Obama over the past four years; both were central players in the operation to find and kill Osama bin Laden, and both have been at the core of the covert program to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.
Here is the plot twist:
Mr. Morell is a soft-spoken onetime intelligence analyst. He was President George W. Bush’s intelligence briefer, and he was omnipresent in the White House after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He frequently could be spotted at a Starbucks in Waco, Texas, near Mr. Bush’s ranch, sipping his coffee between briefings.
If Mr. Morell was omnipresent at the White House after 9/11/2001, then he was omnipresent prior to March 19, 2003, when the US led the invasion of Iraq. And now Obama is going to appoint to run the CIA the guy who helped Bush lie us into war? I'm shocked.
And needless, to say, this need not be exclusively about mssing WMDs; Brennan has baggage, too:
Mr. Brennan would be more controversial. He was considered for the job four years ago, when Mr. Obama was first elected. But he withdrew when some human rights advocates accused him — unfairly, he said — of supporting or tolerating the use of torture while he was a top aide to George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director from 1997 to 2004. Similar accusations have dogged many other agency veterans.
If that is a problem for Mr. Brennan then how does Bush's briefer escape any taint from missing WMDs, torture, secret prisons, or Gitmo? Once again I am reminded that I will never be smart enough to be a lefty. Nor could I succeed as a Times editor, since these points are not even raised.