With the Director of the CIA, General David Petraeus, stepping down yesterday after admitting to an extra-marital affair, it is time for the Obama administration to look for a new director. What we know for sure, is that whoever the President chooses to take this post must be prepared to come into the office amid a scandal on Capitol Hill over the Benghazi attacks in September.
It is possible that President Obama could go with someone who has no CIA experience, like he did with Leon Panetta. But here is a list of possible picks for Obama to look at.
Morrell is now the acting director. He served as deputy CIA director to Petraeus since 2010. He has been the agency’s director of Asian Pacific and Latin American Analysis and the briefer of presidents on national security matters.
Jane Harman is the former California congresswoman and was the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee before resigning in February 2011.
John Brennan is The White House’s chief counterterrorism adviser. Brennan served as the director of the National Counterterrorism Center under President George W. Bush and as chief of staff to former CIA Director George Tenet.
Jack Reed is Rhode Island’s senior senator. Reed is a retired Army paratrooper whose name perennially comes up as a possibility for defense secretary. The problem with this choice is that by pulling him from his senate seat, Obama gives Rhode Island’s independent governor the power to appoint the new senator. This could become a problem for Obama’s second-term agenda.
Tom Donilon is Obama’s national security adviser. He does not have military experience but has been closely tied to the president’s handling of the Afghanistan War.
Whoever the president picks, it will surely be someone who not only is qualified for the position, but also plays to the president’s agenda for his second term.