Obama to restructure White House oversight of domestic security



By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Almost immediately following the 9/11 attacks, President George Bush reorganized the White House supervision of domestic security issues by appointing a new Homeland Security Advisor to the President. Shortly afterwards he issued a directive creating a Homeland Security Council operating inside the White House, and tasked it with overseeing domestic security efforts. The main idea behind the reorganization was to allow the National Security Council (NSC) to concentrate on international security issues by transferring responsibility for domestic security to the new Homeland Security Council. Bush’s plan has been criticized as reflecting a simplistic and artificial separation of domestic versus international security. It now appears that US President Elect Barack Obama is intent on scrapping the majority of Bush’s 2001 reorganization, by eliminating the Homeland Security Council and reassigning the task of domestic security to the National Security Council. Furthermore, under Obama’s plan, the Homeland Security Advisor will be replaced by a new National Security Advisor who will be reporting to the President on domestic security issues, as instructed by the NSC. The rumored restructure will not affect the Department of Homeland Security, which was also created by George Bush following the 9/11 attacks. In revealing the plan, The New York Times quotes former Homeland Security Adviser Frances Fragos-Townsend, who claims that the decision to restructure has already been made by the Obama team. “It’s a question of timing and how they’re going to roll it out”, she says. Interestingly, Obama’s leading choice for the new post of National Security Advisor appears to be no other than John O. Brennan. In early November, the US President-Elect was determined to install John Brennan, former head of the National Counterterrorism Center and supporter of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques”, to the post of Director of the CIA. The stir caused by Brennan’s support of torture techniques soon caused him to resign from the candidacy. The New York Times described Brennan’s resignation as “the biggest glitch so far in what has been an otherwise smooth transition for Mr. Obama”. The paper now describes Brennan’s rumored selection for the post of National Security Advisor as “a turnaround” by Barack Obama.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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