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Posted at 3:33 PM ET, 06/ 8/2010

Still available: Seats on W.H. intelligence board

By Jeff Stein

If not Joe Sestak, who?

The White House may have failed to convince the congressman to join the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in lieu of contesting Arlen Specter’s Senate seat, but the panel still has lots of openings.

Seven, to be exact, according to a recent accounting for me by the White House.

The most recent appointments to the PIAB came in December, when President Obama picked a tech-heavy slate to fill seven seats under the co-chairmanship of former senators David Boren (D-Okla.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Both served on the Senate Intelligence Committee; Boren holds the record as longest-serving chair (1987-1993).

The current members are:

• Roel Campos, a lawyer and former SEC commissioner;
• Lee Hamilton, the former congressman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission;
• Rita Hauser, an international lawyer and president of an eponymous foundation which promotes democracy and conflict resolution;
• Paul Kaminski, a longtime military scientist and former undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology in the Clinton administration;
• Ellen Laipson, a former Clinton White House national security council specialist on the Near East and South Asia who is president of the Stimson Center;
• Lester L. Lyles, a retired Air Force general who is vice chairman of the Defense Science Board
• Jami Miscik, the CIA’s first female deputy director for intelligence, from 2002 to 2005.

The PIAB is what the president makes of it, of course.

“In some instances, the Board has played a central role in advising the president and intelligence community … and has made a significant contribution to the country’s national security,” according to a 2008 report by former intelligence officials sponsored by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation. “In other instances, the Board has been ignored and treated as a dumping ground for rewarding political cronies.”

Last December, Obama tasked his own PIAB “to reexamine the DNI statute," The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus and Anne E. Kornblut reported May 27.

“The board's response, according to sources, was that changing the law would be too difficult and that Obama should find a candidate who could get along not only with the defense secretary, who controls a good portion of the overall intelligence budget, but also with the chiefs of key Pentagon-based intelligence agencies," they reported. "That person also would need to have a rapport with the directors of the CIA and FBI.”

By Jeff Stein  | June 8, 2010; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  Intelligence, Politics  
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Next: GAO again slams U.S. national security agencies


Hey, I want to be considered! I probably have better qualifications than at least half of the present members and would work for cheap.

Posted by: TexLex | June 8, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

so.....TexLex, what are your credentials? (Being a lawyer from Texas does not count.)

Posted by: axolotl | June 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I vote for Robert Young Pelton. His HUMINT capabilties exceed those of the CIA much of the time.

Posted by: john_bruckner | June 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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