As reported on NBC, John Brennan has taken himself out of any consideration for a position in Pres-Elect Obama’s cabinet.
John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama’s top adviser on intelligence, has taken his name out of the running for any intelligence position in the new administration.
In a letter Tuesday, Brennan wrote letter to Obama that he did not want to be a distraction. His potential appointment has raised a firestorm in liberal blogs who associate him with the Bush administration’s interrogation, detention and rendition policies.
“The fact that I was not involved in the decision making process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored,” he wrote, in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
This is obviously great news, I would say that the criticism from the left played an instrumental role in preventing Brennan from having any position in an Obama administration. Brennan’s position on torture is somewhat, well, tortured. He has come under quite a bit of scrutiny of course, given some of his statements on torture. His position on the issue isn’t really clear (except the fact that he hasn’t really taken a position), but the fact that he leaves himself open for question on the issue was of course a major problem. Unequivocal opposition of torture should be a prerequisite for any intelligence director, or any position in Intelligence or Justice for that matter.
Jonathan Martin at Politico reminds us of one of the signature lines from the primary contest, where in response to a question (and a guffaw from Senator Clinton) about why there were so many Clinton advisers on Obama’s team, President-elect Obama lets loose with possibly the zinger of the election season:
Well, it is now confirmed by multiple reporting sources, so it must be true: the Obama camp is seriously considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State:
Putting Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, in the position could help heal whatever lingering divisions remain in the Democratic Party after her bitter battle with Obama.
Lots of ways to interpret this, but I have to say I’m not an enormous fan of the idea. Here are the pros and cons as I see it: