Archive for the ‘president elect’ Category

Obama Set To Name CIA, Other Spy Chiefs

December 3, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama faces a dilemma in selecting his top intelligence advisers: finding experienced leaders who understand the challenges facing the various U.S. intelligence agencies — but who are untainted by the controversies and problems that have plagued the intelligence apparatus during the Bush era.

Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency

By Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 3, 2008; Page A02

Obama, who announced much of his national security team Monday, has signaled his intention to end controversial policies on detaining and interrogating terrorism suspects. Yet the nation’s next intelligence leaders will face far more vexing demands. At the top of the list are improving intelligence collection and analysis, and streamlining an unwieldy structure — all without further damaging morale.

Prominent voices in the intelligence community and the Obama camp have argued that a seasoned professional is needed when the country is waging two wars and a campaign against terrorism, and that a newcomer would face an excessively steep learning curve.

“An outsider will get eaten alive,” said Amy Zegart, an associate professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and a former security adviser to both the Clinton administration and President Bush‘s 2000 transition team. “The next CIA director has to walk a fine line between taming the building and transforming it. He’s got to ….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/12/02
/AR2008120203193.html?hpid=topnews

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Candidate Obama Made Fun of Hillary’s Foreign Policy Experience; President-Elect Plans To Hire Her

November 29, 2008

It wasn’t too long ago that Barack Obama and his advisers were tripping over one another to tear down Hillary Rodham Clinton’s foreign policy credentials. She was dismissed as a commander in chief wanna-be who did little more than sip tea and make small talk with foreign leaders during her days as first lady.

“What exactly is this foreign policy experience?” Obama said mockingly of the New York senator. “Was she negotiating treaties? Was she handling crises? The answer is no.”
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By Nancy Benac, Associated Press
In this Feb. 26, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential ...

In this Feb. 26, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., respond to a question during a Democratic presidential debate in Cleveland. It wasn’t too long ago that Obama and his advisers were tripping over one another to tear down Clinton’s foreign policy credentials. She was dismissed as a commander-in-chief wanna-be who did little more than sip tea and make small talk with foreign leaders during her days as first lady. Now, Clinton is on track to become Obama’s secretary of state.(AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
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That was in March, when Clinton was Obama’s sole remaining rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.
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Now, Clinton is on track to become Obama’s secretary of state.
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And, unsurprisingly, the sniping at her foreign policy credentials is a thing of the past.
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Obama adviser William Daley over the weekend said Clinton would be “a tremendous addition to this administration. Tremendous.”
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Senior adviser David Axelrod called Clinton a “demonstrably able, tough, brilliant person.”

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/main/obama-presidency/article/obama-team-
reinvents-clinton-after-digs/262862

Barack Obama is warned to beware of a ‘huge threat’ from al-Qaeda

November 15, 2008

Barack Obama is being given ominous advice from leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to brace himself for an early assault from terrorists.

General Michael Hayden, director of the CIA, this week acknowledged that there were dangers during a presidential transition when new officials were coming in and getting accustomed to the challenges. But he added that no “real or artificial spike” in intercepted transmissions from terror suspects had been detected.

President Bush has repeatedly described the acute vulnerability of the US during a transition. The Bush Administration has been defined largely by the 9/11 attacks, which came within a year of his taking office.

His aides have pointed to al-Qaeda’s first assault on the World Trade Centre, which occurred little more than a month after Bill Clinton became President in 1993. There was an alleged attempt to bomb Glasgow airport in Gordon Brown’s first days in Downing Street and a London nightclub attack was narrowly thwarted.

Osama bin Laden remains deeply isolated and has been forced ... 
CIA Director Michael Hayden.(AFP/File/Saul Loeb)

Read the rest from The Times of London:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_
and_americas/article5158569.ece

Obama Meets Clinton in Chicago Amid Talk of Cabinet Post

November 14, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has met with his former rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and is considering her as a possible candidate for secretary of state, Democratic officials said. 

Clinton was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the top U.S. diplomat in an Obama administration. The talk resumed Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort. 

A Democratic official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said the two met Thursday afternoon in Obama’s Chicago office. 

Clinton’s motorcade — she receives Secret Service protection as a former first lady — was seen leaving the office complex shortly before Obama left for the day. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines would say only “Senator Clinton had no public schedule yesterday,” and referred questions to the Obama transition team, which said it had no comment. 

From Fox News

Read the rest:
http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/11/13/officials-obama-
considering-hillary-clinton-secretary-state/

Hillary Clinton For Secretary of State?

November 14, 2008

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the candidates that President-elect Barack Obama is considering for secretary of state, according to two Democratic officials in close contact with the Obama transition team.

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

Clinton, the former first lady who pushed Obama hard for the Democratic presidential nomination, was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the nation’s top diplomat in an Obama administration.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, Sen. Hillary Rodham ...
In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton D-NY addresses the press after she voted in Chappaqua, NY. Clinton is among the candidates that President-elect Barack Obama is considering for secretary of state, according to two Democratic officials in close contact with the Obama transition team.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The talk resumed in Washington and elsewhere Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort.

The two Democratic officials who spoke Thursday did so on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Obama and his staff. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines referred questions to the Obama transition team, which said it had no comment.

Other people frequently mentioned for the State Department job are Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and New Mexico‘s Democratic governor, Bill Richardson.

US general urges Obama to keep missile defense

November 13, 2008

The Air Force general who runs the Pentagon’s missile defense projects said Wednesday that American interests would be “severely hurt” if President-elect Obama decided to halt plans developed by the Bush administration to install missile interceptors in Eastern Europe.

This 2008 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency ... 
This 2008 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) shows a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) being launched off the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Pentagon’s missile defense chief Trey Obering said Wednesday he looked forward to reporting to Barack Obama that the US anti-missile system is “workable,” and to setting the president-elect’s mind at ease.(AFP/HO USMDA/File/Ho)

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, told a group of reporters that he is awaiting word from Obama’s transition team on their interest in receiving briefings.

During the campaign, Obama was not explicit about his intentions with regard to missile defense. The program has tended to draw less support from Democrats over the years, particularly during the Reagan presidency when it was seen as a “Star Wars” effort to erect an impenetrable shield against nuclear missile attack from the Soviet Union. More recently the project has been scaled back, although it has again created an East-West divide by stirring Russian opposition to the proposed European link.

Obama has said it would be prudent to “explore the possibility of deploying missile defense systems in Europe,” in light of what he called active efforts by Iran to develop ballistic missiles as well as nuclear weapons.

U.S. Missile Defense Agency Director Lieutenant-General Henry ... 
U.S. Missile Defense Agency Director Lieutenant-General Henry Obering is seen during the Czech Republic – U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Industry Research and Business Seminar in Czernin Palace in Prague in this January 16, 2008 file photo.REUTERS/David W Cerny/Files

But Obama expressed some skepticism about the technical capability of U.S. missile defenses. He said that if elected his administration would work with NATO allies to develop anti-missile technologies.

Obering, who is leaving his post next week after more than four years in charge, said in the interview that his office has pulled together information for a presentation to the Obama team, if asked.

“What we have discovered is that a lot of the folks that have not been in this administration seem to be dated, in terms of the program,” he said. “They are kind of calibrated back in the 2000 time frame and we have come a hell of a long way since 2000. Our primary objective is going to be just, frankly, educating them on what we have accomplished, what we have been able to do and why we have confidence in what we are doing.”

Asked whether he meant that Obama or his advisers had an outdated view of missile defense, Obering said he was speaking more generally about people who have not closely followed developments in this highly technical field.

A key question for the new president will be whether to proceed with the Bush administration‘s plans to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic. That system is on track to be ready for use by 2014, Obering said. It is strongly opposed by Russia, which sees it as an unwelcome military threat close to its borders; the Bush administration says it is needed to defend European allies against an emerging missile threat from Iran.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/
missile_defense_obama;_ylt=ApjhXOTUNyCh5xaS0ebJpHSs0NUE

Read CNN’s version of this story:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/12/obama.
missiles/index.html

Bushes and Obamas: All smiles at the White House

November 11, 2008

All smiles and compliments, President-elect Obama and his wife, Michelle, called on President Bush and first lady Laura Bush Monday in a White House visit that was part political ritual, part practical introduction and a striking symbol of the historic transfer of power to come.

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

The president and Obama talked war and financial crisis. Laura Bush and Michelle Obama talked about raising daughters in the nation’s most famous house.

Then Obama flew back to Chicago to work on setting up the new administration that will take over on Jan. 20.

Mrs. Obama came earlier than her husband to the nation’s capital, and stayed after him, hunting a new school for the kids by visiting two of the city’s best-known private schools.

President Bush and President-elect Obama walk along the West ... 
President Bush and President-elect Obama walk along the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, prior to their meeting in the Oval Office.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

If first impressions matter, Obama and his wife displayed one similarity to the super-punctual Bushes, pulling up to the White House’s South Portico 11 minutes early. The couples traded warm and easy greetings in the crisp autumn sunshine, with the wives exchanging pleasantries about the fall hues each wore — Mrs. Bush in a brown dress and Mrs. Obama in a red one.

While Obama and Bush, in business suits, proceeded waving and smiling down the White House Colonnade for nearly two hours of private talks, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush had their own agenda: talk of raising children in most unusual circumstances. Mrs. Bush conducted a tour of the living quarters of the historic mansion and made introductions to the army of residence staff who look after first families.

Michelle Obama had toured the White House before with daughters Malia, who is 10, and Sasha, who is 7. But the two women had never met.

The 43rd president and the man who will be the 44th — and first black — commander in chief met alone in the Oval Office, with no handlers or staff. It was Obama’s first time in the storied workspace, even though he had been to the White House previously for events.

Neither the Bushes nor the Obamas spoke to reporters.

President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the ... 
President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office, November 10, 2008.(White House photo by Eric Draper/Handout/Reuters)

Red the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/ap_on_go_pr_
wh/bush_obama;_ylt=Aj87XtMgBiUksKNvdhbKG5Gs0NUE

President Elect Obama’s Staff Deletes Promises, Agenda from Web

November 10, 2008

Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama scrubbed Change.gov, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site.

Gone are the promises on how an Obama administration would handle 25 different agenda items – everything from Iraq and immigration to taxes and urban policy – all items laid out on his campaign Web site, www.BarackObama.com.

By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times

Instead, the official agenda on Change.gov has been boiled down to one vague paragraph proclaiming a plan “to revive the economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign policy objectives.”

“We are currently retooling the Web site,” said Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro.

The site went active on Wednesday and was available to the public Thursday. The agenda items, which were active for at least part of the weekend, appear to have been deleted by late Saturday.

Read the rest:
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/11/exclusive-obama-
deletes-agenda-from-transition-web/

Obama to get his first look at the Oval Office

November 10, 2008

Barack Obama has never set foot in the Oval Office. Talk about making an entrance. In a sit-down discussion Monday with President Bush, the president-elect will get his first feel for the place where momentous decisions will soon fall to him.

Bush invited Obama for the private talk, a rite of passage between presidents and successors that extends for decades.

The moment is sure to be steeped in history, part of a symbolic changing of a guard to Democratic leadership and the country’s first black president. But it will be substantive as well, as Bush and Obama are expected to review the nation’s enormous economic downturn and the war in Iraq.

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

“I’m going to go in there with a spirit of bipartisanship, and a sense that both the president and various leaders of Congress all recognize the severity of the situation right now and want to get stuff done,” Obama said last week when asked about his meeting with Bush.

Obama won the presidency in an electoral landslide on Tuesday. He ran a campaign in which he relentlessly linked Republican opponent John McCain to Bush and presented his ideas as a fresh alternative to what he called Bush’s failed policies.

Yet the tone changed almost immediately after Obama’s win.

Bush, who had endorsed McCain, lauded Obama’s victory as a “triumph of the American story.” He warmly invited the Obama family to the White House.

Obama, in turn, thanked Bush for being gracious. The president-elect has made clear to the people of the United States and those watching around the world that there is only one president for now, and that’s Bush. Obama is in the transition to power but does not assume the presidency until Jan. 20.

Josh Bolten, Bush’s chief of staff, said Bush and Obama will be the only ones in the room when they meet.

“I’m sure each of them will have a list of issues to go down,” Bolten said, interviewed on C-SPAN by reporters from The Associated Press and The Washington Post. “But I think that’s something very personal to both of them. I know the president will want to convey to President-elect Obama his sense of how to deal with some of the most important issues of the day. But exactly how he does that, I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody will know.”

Obama and wife, Michelle, are set to arrive at the White House on Monday afternoon. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will greet them.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2008
1110/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_
obama;_ylt=AhvgAhl5AnA1cOfzNRECS3qs0NUE

Testing of Obama Begins

November 10, 2008

It seems we at Peace and Freedom wrote this same article a few days ago!  See:
“Testing” of Obama Has Already Begun

Now, finally, a big-time columnist takes it on….

By Linda Chavez
The Washington Times

If Barack Obama were elected president, he would be tested by a major international crisis soon after taking office. Mr. Biden was wrong about one thing: The test has come even before President-elect Obama is sworn in.

Within hours of Mr. Obama’s impressive victory, another new leader, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, warned that Russia would deploy short-range missiles capable of hitting NATO territory if the new American president goes ahead to build a missile defense system to protect Europe.

President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy ... 
President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy missiles on the EU’s doorstep in a warning shot to US president-elect Barack Obama and Washington’s allies in central Europe.(AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

It’s unclear where a President Obama will come down on this issue. He’s been on both sides during the campaign.

The idea of an anti-missile defense system, of course, is not new. The United States has been working on an anti-missile system to protect our territory since the Reagan administration. The Strategic Defense Initiative – often derisively dismissed as “Star Wars” by its critics – fundamentally changed the way the U.S. approached the idea of nuclear war.

Through much of the Cold War, the United States based its defense almost entirely on a good offense: mutually assured destruction (MAD). We would have so many weapons that the Soviets would realize that an attack on us would be suicidal. If they launched a surprise nuclear attack on us, enough of our missiles would survive to retaliate against them, and annihilation would be the fate of both sides.

But Reagan changed the equation. Essentially abandoning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which allowed the Soviets and the U.S. to set up anti-missile systems to protect only their two capitals, Reagan announced he would explore building a defense shield to protect the entire country.

Some 20 years later, U.S. technology in this area has advanced to the point that we are capable of deploying a limited system to protect our allies. Last year, the U.S. announced that negotiations were under way with some of our friends in Europe to deploy anti-missile systems on their territory. For some of those allies, the primary threat they fear is a nuclear-armed Iran. Although, Poland, with whom we’ve now signed an agreement, also fears a newly belligerent Russia. But the Bush administration has been at pains to reassure an insecure Russia that any American-deployed system would be purely defensive – a so-called “hit-to-kill” strategy in which a missile’s technology would not even include explosives but would rely on intercepting a nuclear missile before it hit its target.

A launcher of short-range Iskander missile rides in a column ...
A launcher of short-range Iskander missile rides in a column of Russian military vehicles, during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in downtown Moscow, in this Tuesday, April 29, 2008 file photo. President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, that Russia will deploy the short-range Iskander missiles to Russia’s Kaliningrad region, which lies between Poland and the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, in response to U.S. missile defense plans. He did not say whether the missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/
nov/10/testing-begins/