Avril Haines is President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to run the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). if confirmed, she will effectively serve as the chairwoman of the U.S. intelligence community. The ODNI doesn’t control the budgets of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, but it does coordinate and set direction. It is not as powerful a job as director of the CIA but it is influential.
Haines transitioned from hipster independent bookstore owner to CIA deputy director in 15 short years. And she is no stranger to Biden, having worn two deputy hats in the Obama White House, as a number two national security advisor and a similar portfolio in the office of the White House Counsel.“She may be too quirky for the 7th floor at Langley, but she’ll land somewhere atop the Biden natsec team,” we wrote. And so it has come to pass.One former DNI, retired General James Clapper, called her “an inspired choice.”“Her character, impeccable integrity, work ethic, selflessness, and humility, and fundamental goodness,” qualified her for the job, Clapper told SpyTalk by email. “She believes in facts and evidence. Leadership in intelligence is fundamentally motivating people to use their intellects. She will excel at that.”
Haines is an unsurprising choice. She served as a senior aide in the Obama White House.She represents a return to the Obama-era status quo, or least an attempted return. On the Paris climate accord, the World Health Organization, and the Iran nuclear deal, she and Biden are in tune. They favor a return to U.S. involvement in all three.
Haines is not identified with the implementation of the Buch-Cheney-CIA torture regime from 2002 to 2008 that brutalized hundreds of suspected terrorists–some of them entirely innocent. Her stance on the torture issue will be an issue in her confirmation hearings.
Among Haines’ private sector experience is a stint with Palantir, a BIg Data firm launched with CIA funding. With Palantir in the news as an enabler of Trump administration policies, Haines scrubbed Palantir from her resume, according to The Intercept. She should also be asked about that in her confirmation hearings.
Source: Haines, Avril Haines – SpyTalk