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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 12, 2013 - 1:30 pm

The deputy director of the CIA is leaving the agency and being replaced by a White House lawyer who has never worked at the agency.

“As much as I would selfishly like to keep Michael right where he is for as long as possible, he has decided to retire to spend more time with his family and to pursue other professional opportunities,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement announcing Michael Morell’s departure. “In many respects, Michael has come to personify the strengths and qualities of this great organization, and it is difficult for me to imagine CIA without Michael’s exceptionally sharp mind, tremendous energy, and absolute dedication to mission. But I am comforted by the fact that Michael will be able to spend more time with his wonderful family.”

Morell has been at the CIA since 1980 and worked his way up the ranks. He was passed over twice by President Obama for the top job despite running the agency for two gap periods between Obama’s three CIA directors.

Brennan said he was “extremely pleased” that Deputy Assistant to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council Avril Haines will take Morell’s place.

The switch seems sudden because Obama just nominated Haines to another post in mid-April, when he named her to be the next legal adviser to the State Department. Before her White House job, Haines was the State Department’s assistant legal adviser for treaty affairs.

“She has published in the area of private international law and the law of war, has taught classes as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law School, and has represented the United States in international negotiations at the Hague Conference, the United Nations, and elsewhere,” Brennan said. She hasn’t served at the CIA.

Morell said his last day will be Aug. 9.

“Whenever someone involved in the rough and tumble of Washington decides to move on, there is speculation in various quarters about the ‘real reason.’ But when I say that it is time for my family, nothing could be more real than that,” he said in a statement.

“…From being the PDB briefer at the side of President Bush on that horrific day in September 2001 to being at President Obama’s side as the United States brought Bin Ladin to justice in May 2011—and all the ups and downs in between—few Americans have been as privileged as I have been to work at, and to represent, such an extraordinary organization.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I've posted elsewhere that while the inexperienced woman replacing Morrell is of course very, very politically correct and appears to have excellent academic credentials, that it's a very safe bet that she will become just another Porter Goss. That is not a compliment.

The C.I.A. professionals who go home at the end of another too-long day must be rolling their eyes.

Washington D.C. must be a very, very nasty place to work. The higher up one goes based upon experience, professionalism and capabilities, the more vulnerable one becomes to the whims of the likes of this empty suit Obama.

Career professionals in our Government must be always weighing unconsciously some sort of "point-of-diminishing-returns" when it comes to continuing in the Civil Service. When is "enough enough?"

Best of luck now to Mr Morell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Obama administration continues its politicalization of the entire Federal government.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh look, the CIA just got its Party Observer ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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"Spend more time with his family".....ok, we're idiots, we'll buy that. 100% pure, uncut bovine scatology; Dear Leader wants to keep him close for when the Benghazi chickens come home to roost. We cannot let up or give in on this one Patriots. Four Americans were murdered when this administration left them hanging out to dry....politics be damned - all Americans should be outraged (if they only knew about it).

I am going to beat that drum every single day until this congress performs its Constitutionally obligated duties. He got away with Fast and Furious, but not this time. I respectfully request that all Americans who are sick of this lawlessness and anti-American thuggery join together by raising awareness so these criminals may be stopped and held to account for their actions. All day - every day!

Remember Benghazi!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yessss! Another lawyer in the ghoul squad whose avoided 15+ years of possible (& needed) promotions, multiple posts/ chief positions to obtain this Deputy Director gig!

Nah I'm sure she's earned this position. Totally..
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah...make that Alfreda E. Newman...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, now we have Alfred E. Newman running the CIA. Good luck!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Having all their henchmen in key places is key to Obama Inc. Whereas Holder's illegally-bent suits should never even be considered, this is not the case with a regime gone wild. And as to Brennan....the skeletons in his closet are more than rattling and must be seen for what they are, especially in light of Benghazigate and NSA's spying - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/06/10/cias-muslim-convert-brennan-his-spooky-skeletons-creep-to-the-fore-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

It is not just about placing an inexperienced hand at the helm, which is bad enough. It is so much worse.

Adina kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The higher up one goes based upon experience, professionalism and capabilities, the more vulnerable one becomes to the whims of the likes of this empty suit ... " Pick the name of the elected or appointed official. The stakes may be higher in DC but every government is the same. I spent every election and transition with my name on a Democrat hit list for twenty years. In the early years I was only doing my job and even that was enough to be on the hit list of unions and Democrat hacks. In the later years I had my own hit list; still do.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've posted elsewhere that while the inexperienced woman replacing Morrell is of course very, very politically correct and appears to have excellent academic credentials, that it's a very safe bet that she will become just another Porter Goss. That is not a compliment.

The C.I.A. professionals who go home at the end of another too-long day must be rolling their eyes.

Washington D.C. must be a very, very nasty place to work. The higher up one goes based upon experience, professionalism and capabilities, the more vulnerable one becomes to the whims of the likes of this empty suit Obama.

Career professionals in our Government must be always weighing unconsciously some sort of "point-of-diminishing-returns" when it comes to continuing in the Civil Service. When is "enough enough?"

Best of luck now to Mr Morell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Once you reach the level of a direct report to political appointees, sometimes even one level below that, you spend a lot of mornings sitting on the side of the bed just after the alarm goes off thinking, "Is this the day?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Obama administration continues its politicalization of the entire Federal government.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh look, the CIA just got its Party Observer ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He quit to spend more time with his family and then went right back to work?

By the way, does his new post place him under Obama's protection against a congressional subpoena via executive privilege?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Where does it say he's going right back to work? I think he's being given the chance to draw the warm bath and slit his wrists so his reputation won't be trashed and his family sold into slavery.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama appointed Morrell to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board...(?) Also, another article notes that Morrell's resignation won't take effect until August 9.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Serving on a board isn't a real job and may not even be paid or you're only paid a stipend for days the board actually meets. The August 9 date may be because he's being allowed to run out leave to increase his service credit for retirement purposes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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