My Fantasy Gov Picks

My friend the Frood took a thought-provoking run at some potential national security team picks for President-elect Obama. In the spirit of his challenge, here’s my lineup:

National Security Advisor: Marine Gen. (Retired) Jim Jones.  He saw Rumsfeld for what he was and pushed back when others forgot their promise to never repeat the mistakes of Vietnam. Has an excellent bipartisan network. An apolitical honest broker whose experience as Commandant of the Marine Corps and as SACEUR gave him a firm understanding of our bureaucracy and that of our allies.

Secretary of State: Gov. Bill Richardson. He’s handled some of the diciest negotiations the country has engaged, handling North Korea shrewdly and with discretion. He would make a refreshing break from the moralizing streak in both parties–he embodies Obama’s understanding that diplomacy means talking to people you otherwise are ready to kill.

Secretary of Defense: Colin Powell. He deserves a chance to redeem his failure to stop the Iraq War, and setting his beloved armed forces on an even keel is the perfect way to do it.

Secretary of Homeland Security: Richard Clarke. He did Homeland Security before Homeland Security was cool. No learning curve, and is ready to make sense of the monster right off the bat.

Attorney General: US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Absolutely incorruptible and apolitical, the perfect man for the moment.

Director of National Intelligence: former DDCI John McLaughlin.  He understands intelligence as it should be practiced, meaning that he sees giving the President the unvarnished truth as his highest duty.

Director, CIA: Ambassador Hank Crumpton.  Frood likes him. He’s a Clandestine Service leader, and the Agency needs to see HUMINT collection as its core business.

Director, FBI: Director Mueller says he’s staying for his full ten-year term, which ends in 2011.

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