Keeping the Bush Intelligence Team?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Dec 10, 2008 10:07 PM
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes has recommended that the Obama team retain Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Director of the CIA Mike Hayden.
 
Obviously, what Reyes suggests would be good for US national security, and that should be President-elect Obama's primary consideration.  Even so, as the linked piece notes, retaining these men would be controversial with the left, where both are hated -- McConnell, for his outspoken support for some kinds of wiretapping of suspected terrorists and Hayden both for having initiated that program and for having supported the CIA detainee interrogation program.  (Needless to say, those policies may well have helped protect the US from another terrorist strike over the last seven and a half years).

It took some guts on Reyes' part to make the suggestion.  But it also suggests a certain duplicity on the part of at least some Democrats over the last seven years.  They stood by and declined to defend Bush administration policies (presumably for political gain) even though now it sounds as though they are willing to have them continue for some time.  In other words, it seems a lot like it wasn't necessarily that anything was so wrong with the people or the policies -- except that they came from a Republican president's administration. 

As with Obama's upcoming decision whether to stick to his word and sign the Freedom of Choice Act, what he does with McConnell and Hayden will be illuminating.  Will Obama continue to stiff his hardest core supporters on the left in order to try to govern from the center?