November 05, 2008

The Obama Campaign’s Intelligence Advisors


Intelligence and security weren’t major themes in the U.S. presidential ballot. Even so, a number of experts dealt with the issues for the Democrat candidate.

Alongside the very official Senior Working Group on National Security of the Democrat campaign an informal group came together to handle intelligence questions on behalf of the Democrat candidate for the presidency, Barack Obama (voting in the election was still underway when Intelligence Online went to press). First identified by Mother Jones’ national security correspondent Laura Rozen (IOL 579), the group has been coordinated by a former National Security Council staffer, Rand Beers (see our graph below). The lack of any burning debate on intelligence matters during the campaign rather limited the work of the members, who didn’t meet that often. Some of them could be appointed to posts in a future Democrat administration, but they won’t form part of the transition team-in-waiting on intelligence for Obama if he is elected. Numerous other figures are candidates for high-level intelligence jobs in a Democrat administration, such as the former representative of the 36th district of California, Jane Harman, who was ousted in 2006 from the post of chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence by the Democrat speaker in the House, Nancy Pelosi.

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