Having been passed over for appointment to head the Drug Enforcement Administration, Deputy FBI Director John S. Pistole today got the booby prize as President Obama’s third-choice nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration.
For those who haven’t been keeping score, retired spymaster and Army General Robert A. Harding withdrew his name from nomination in response to questions about overbilling and cronyism in contracts between his security consulting firm and his former military comrades. Obama’s first choice, former Las Angeles airport cop Erroll Southers, withdrew earlier after apparently lying to Congress about his having used his police connections improperly to get derogatory information from supposedly restricted police files about his estranged wife’s lover.
We have the same questions for Mr. Pistole as we’ve had for the previous nominees for TSA administrator.
As of now, the TSA is still being run on auto-pilot by caretakers from the previous administration. Unfortunately, we don’t see anything in Mr. Pistole’s official biography as a career cop, or the President’s statement about his nomination (which mentions only a desire to “stengthen” screening at airports, and says nothing about strengthening civil liberties or human rights) to suggest any likelihood of improvement in TSA policies.