The Night Beat: Mike Vickers Floated as DNI?
The Night Beat will return sometime next week.
"With a vote of 234 ayes and 194 nays, this amendment passes." Don't Ask, Don't Tell; 17 years of nothing, then tonight. If you're happy with the House vote, then you should thank the following people: Admiral Mike Mullen, Sec. Robert Gates, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed the repeal by a vote of 16 to 12. Some Republicans plan to filibuster the entire DoD authorization.
Gates gets a victory in the Senate: no money for a second Joint Strike Fighter engine in defense approps, but house amendment to cut funding FAILS. ... Added to the Senate mark-up: John McCain's amendment to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the SW border. ... Included in the House bill is the cyber amendment from Reps. Langevin and Watson that establishes a National Office for Cyberspace in the Executive Office of the President.
The Nuclear Proliferation Treaty review conference ends tomorrow. Expect a late, late Friday in the hopes of reaching consensus on some issues. Don't expect huge breakthroughs.
Sestak Statement Expected
General Officer Appointment Of The Day
Missed Story Of The Day
The AP follows up reporting that the White House is backing away from early reports that USD/I James Clapper was the leading candidate to be the new Director of National Intelligence. ... She floats the name of the guy who has this acronym attached to him: USD/SOLIC-IC, which stands for -- deep breath -- undersecretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities. His name is Charles M. "Mike" Vickers. You know him from Charlie Wilson's War, as the CIA officer who orchestrated the campaign to fund the mujahadeen. He's also a Bush-era holdover, but he's widely respected.
In five words, why is Clapper controversial? He was Stephen Cambone's deputy. ... But Clapper's pre-DNI background investigation is still being conducted, I am told. So Clapper remains a candidate.
Those Medicare drug rebates will start hitting seniors mailboxes within a few weeks. $250 checks.
Noted well: Charlie Crist's flip-flop on Don't Ask, Don't Tell is fortifying Democrats in Florida. (On Monday, Crist was against repeal. Now he's not. Just because.)
MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty favors the Arizona immigration law, trashes the administration's response to the oil spill, would keep Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and doesn't really care that his popularity in his state is down. Oh, and he would have also let AIG fail, he said in an MPR interview.
An amusing video: Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, versus the teachers unions. The Director's Cut.
Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas will visit the White House on June 9. From a White House release; "The President looks forward to reviewing with President Abbas the progress so far in Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, and how the United States can work with the parties to transition to direct talks. They will also discuss our continuing effort to work cooperatively to develop the institutions that can advance the aspirations of the Palestinian people, and support the establishment of a Palestinian state."
Look here for an perspective on MMS under the now fired/resigned Liz Birnbaum from American Solutions, Newt Gingrich's policy vehicle.
Awaiting the White House statement on its review of the Joe Sestak allegations. Blogs are a-flutter tonight over reports that the White House contacted Sestak's brother (and chief political adviser). ... Here's what's likely to be in the statement. There was an internal review of the charges. No wrongdoing was found. But guidelines ought to be clarified, and senior officials will receive further training.
General Officer Assignment of the day: Lt. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III, currently the deputy commander for U.S. Special Operations Command, will now be the deputy director for the Strategic Operational Planning Directorate at the National Counter Terrorism Center, Washington, D.C.. This directorate writes the plans for combatting terrorism, and its deputy director is always from the special operations command, which plays a large role in writing andexecuting these classified plans.
A request for department press secretaries: please do what the State Department does and list all the schedules for all of your principals on one document. On its daily scheduling release, State includes info about the day for the secretary, two deputy secretaries, 5 undersecretaries, all the assistants, senior staff members and special envoys. State started this practice a few months ago, helping folks get more visibility. And their press corps loves it. From The Nation's Jeremy Scahill:
Buried within the new Department of Defense Inspector General's report, "Contingency Contracting: A Framework for Reform," is the eye-opening revelation that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service has nine open investigations into alleged "Terrorism-Related Acts" by "U.S. contractor personnel, U.S. Military, Government personnel." No other details are provided. DCIS is the criminal investigative agency working for the DoD's Inspector General
And this follow up from OMB Watch, which noted the following language in the IG's report:
Specifically, management and contracting personnel allowed contractors to administer task orders, determine what supplies or services the Government required, and approve contractual documents. The contractors performing inherently governmental functions did not identify themselves as contractors. For example, in 3 of 46 task orders, valued at approximately $18 million, contractors working for the Special Operations Forces Support Activity signed contractual documents as a Special Operations Forces Support Activity representative
The Night Beat wants to help Robert Stetson get his runway back. So those who read this news digest and who are in a position to help, please contact him. From the Boston Globe:
Robert Stetson was delighted to welcome President Obama to his tiny airport in Marlborough on April 1, when America's chief executive paid a surprise visit to emergency workers responding to the region's worst floods in memory.
But after the president's Marine One and other helicopters flew away, and the Secret Service SUVs, police cruisers, armored limousines, fire trucks, and other politicians' motorcades drove off, Stetson suffered a rude awakening.
The president's entourage wrecked his runway, he said.
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