National Security Network

Rand Beers Heading Obama's Homeland Security Transition

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News The Washington Independent 13 November 2008

National Security Network rand beers

Good news for people who don’t like their airliners hijacked or their chemical plants blown up. Rand Beers, longtime counterterrorism aide to presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, is heading Barack Obama’s transition team for the beleaguered Dept. of Homeland Security.

Mark Hosenball at Newsweek reports:

Obama’s transition team for Homeland Security will only meet for the first time later this week, according to a Democrat close to the Obama campaign who would speak about the decision-making only on condition of anonymity. The person reportedly heading the team is Rand Beers…

I can advance the story maybe a millimeter! Beers definitely is heading the transition team. My understanding is he’s got about 15 people on that team, although he himself isn’t directly in charge of personnel.

And all to the good. Few people know more about homeland security than Beers, who, as Hosenball notes, was part of former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke’s brain trust that spent the mid to late 1990s obsessed with Al Qaeda. He resigned from the Bush administration in protest of the invasion of Iraq, became Sen. John Kerry’s national security adviser for the 2004 campaign, and then founded the National Security Network, a liberal group that mentors Democrats on security issues.

Beers was iffy on the creation of the mega-department, and, judging from, say, Katrina, his skepticism has been well founded. It’ll be interesting to see what issues he targets for the transition to stop the department’s laughing-stock-caliber dysfunction.