Hagel, Boren Join Historically Unimportant Intelligence Board
The White House just announced the leadership of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board: former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), a big Obama supporter, and former Sen. David Boren (D-Okla.), a former intelligence committee chair and mentor of disastrous ex-CIA Director George Tenet. Their reactions, as per a White House release:
“I appreciate the privilege and opportunity that President Obama has given me to co-chair the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board,” said Senator Hagel. “I look forward to working on behalf of our country to help build a more secure America. I am particularly grateful to participate in this effort with former Oklahoma Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman David Boren. His distinguished record of accomplishment and experience will provide strong and enlightened leadership for the Board. Working with Senator Boren and the other impressive members of the board we will make every effort to provide thoughtful, informed and independent advice to the President and his team.”
“I am honored by the president’s appointment to co-chair the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board,” said Senator Boren. “I appreciate the opportunity the president has given me to help in the effort to strengthen our national security. I’m especially pleased that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, for whom I have great respect, will serve as the other co-chair. It is my hope that together, with the other members of the board, we can give candid, thoughtful, and nonpartisan advice, which will be helpful to the country. This part time advisory role, which is uncompensated, will in no way alter my plans to remain as president of the University of Oklahoma. I see this appointment as a chance to perform my duty as a citizen to serve our country.”
Real talk: this board typically does nothing. George W. Bush appointed Brent Scowcroft, a confidante of his father’s, to the position, which offers advice about the quality and usage of intelligence, and then ignored him. It’s an ignorable job! The most important intelligence adviser in the White House, where these guys won’t even typically be — Boren, as he says, will remain focused on beating the University of Texas in football — will doubtlessly remain John Brennan. But we’ll see what President Obama does with it, since these things rise and fall on the strength of their connections to the president, and Hagel certainly has Obama’s trust.