Archive for the ‘Napolitano’ Category

For U.S., Pragmatic Pair Chosen to Confront Terrorism Threat

December 2, 2008

Justice, Homeland Security picks have excellent credentials but not much direct experience.

By Carrie Johnson and Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 2, 2008; Page A11

In nominating former federal prosecutors to lead the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, President-elect Barack Obama yesterday selected two Democrats with sterling law-and-order credentials but less experience in detecting threats and gathering intelligence in the age of international terrorism.

Eric H. Holder Jr., the candidate to lead the Justice Department, served as the law enforcement agency’s second in command during the waning years of the Clinton administration, overseeing pursuits of violent crime, drug cartels and public corruption offenses. Janet Napolitano, who will run the sprawling Homeland Security bureaucracy, has served since 2003 as governor of Arizona, a border state at the forefront of the nation’s immigration debate.

U.S. Attorney General nominee Eric Holder listens as U.S. President-elect ... 
.S. Attorney General nominee Eric Holder listens as U.S. President-elect Barack Obama announces the nominees to staff his national security team, including Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) as his nominee for Secretary of State and Robert Gates to continue as Secretary of Defense during a news conference in Chicago December 1, 2008.REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

Yet neither nominee boasts much direct experience with the most significant and pressing counterterrorism matters that will cross their desks if they are confirmed by the Senate and take office after the January inauguration.

Among them: how to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and assess the danger of detainees; how to reorient a domestic wiretapping program once branded as unlawful even by some Bush administration insiders; whether to expend scarce resources prosecuting the intelligence officers and lawyers who developed the framework for policies that Democrats have roundly criticized; and how to prioritize and allocate resources toward the top domestic threats.

At a news conference in Chicago yesterday, Holder played down the tension between protecting American citizens and respecting civil liberties, signaling that he would work to achieve bipartisan consensus in Congress for policies to attack national security threats.

Napolitano promised that the new Obama team will coordinate across all levels of government to ensure a “fast, sound, level-headed and effective” response to natural as well as terrorist-inflicted disasters.

President-elect Barack Obama (L) listens as Arizona Governor ... 
President-elect Barack Obama (L) listens as Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, his choice for homeland security chief, speaks at a press conference in Chicago, Illinois. The Department of Homeland Security was born in the US government’s greatest reorganization since World War II after the September 11 attacks of 2001 made the threat of terrorism very real.(AFP/Getty Images/Scott Olson)

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/12/01
/AR2008120102892.html?hpid=topnews

Advertisements

Latinos unhappy with Obama picks

November 30, 2008

If there is one message President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team has broadcast about Cabinet picks, it is that ethnicity and gender will not be the first considerations when filling the slots.

Credentials over tokenism, after all, was a fundamental principle of Obama’s presidential campaign that highlighted his ideas and community values over his African-American background. Still, if all goes as planned, Cabinet members with hefty résumés will present a picture of diversity.

Hispanic political leaders agree. Their expectations for seats at the president’s top policy table are not about meeting quotas but about advancing the reality that within this fastest-growing ethnic group are seasoned policy experts who understand the economic, foreign and domestic policy concerns shared by everyone.

Obama promised hope and change, and Hispanics hoped for the usual two Latinos in the Cabinet. And heck, why not three or four? Now that would be a change.

Gebe Martinez, Politico

But at this early stage in the appointments process, there is a trickle of disappointment running through the Latino community.

First, the most prominent Hispanic leader, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, lost the plum secretary of state assignment to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Last spring, Richardson angered the Clintonistas by backing Obama over Clinton during the heated Democratic Primary contest, only to now see her being offered the top diplomatic post.

“There’s nobody more prepared and experienced” for the job than Richardson, said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Richardson was energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration, and he helped free hostages in North Korea, Iraq and Cuba.

Second, grass-roots immigrant rights activists have mixed feelings about Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano being the likely nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security.

President-elect Barack Obama listens to Democratic governor ... 
President-elect Barack Obama listens to Democratic governor Janet Napolitano (L) of Arziona during a economic discussion in June 2008 at the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Napolitano is a breast cancer survivor, mountaineer and Monty Python buff who has been on the front lines of the battle against illegal immigration.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jeff Haynes)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20
081130/pl_politico/15967;_ylt=At
k3r5UkmUacGrtgejl8jUes0NUE

Ariz Gov Janet Napolitano Rumored for Homeland Security Post; Progress on other Cabinet Slots

November 20, 2008

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, an early Barack Obama supporter from the southwestern part of the country, is a leading contender for the job of secretary of homeland security, Democratic officials said Thursday.

These officials caution that no final decision has been made on the position, which involves directing the massive department created by the Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer

In this Nov. 13, 2008 file photo, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano ... 
In this Nov. 13, 2008 file photo, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Napolitano is President-elect Barack Obama’s primary choice to be secretary of the Homeland Security Department, several news organizations reported Thursday Nov. 20, 2008.(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

The officials agreed to discuss the situation only on grounds of anonymity because of the private nature of the screening process for Obama’s Cabinet. Napolitano, who once was Arizona’s attorney general, was among the first of the Democratic governors to commit to him.

Several news organizations reported Thursday that Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, who was Obama’s national campaign finance chairman, is his leading choice to become secretary of commerce.

Among the names being bandied about as the Obama transition team sets up the new government are several people with long careers as Washington insiders, notwithstanding Obama’s clarion call in his campaign for change in the nation’s capital.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081120/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_
cabinet;_ylt=AtY.xNyz4wMX96GZZNZjM3Os0NUE