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Place your bets

Former colleague L.K. keeps her pimp-hand strong:

I thought you were the one who hated pussy-footing around? Not making picks is “a nice way to never be wrong,” Mr. Make the Hard Calls.

Yes, dear, you are right. So without further ado here are Mike “The Greek” Tanji’s DCIA pics:

3:1 General Hayden. Easy enough since most people are already claiming he’s the nominee. He is also the expected choice since you’d be hard pressed to find an example of a real outsider getting a job like this. Generally speaking (no pun intended) I don’t like the safe picks because they’re just more of the same old, but General Hayden managed to reign in an even bigger and more unruly IC bureaucracy (NSA), which is no small feet, and he’s got the confidence of his current and future boss. Easy money.

7:1 Mary Margaret Graham. DDNI Collection. Late of the CIA doing CI, but is apparently no fan of the discipline if recent reports are correct. Definitely a safe choice and close to the once and future boss, but not known for a willingness to break china.

10:1 LTG (R) Hughes. Former D/DIA, former head of intel at DHS. Old school, which I’m not fond of, but Army, which I am fond of. He gets extra credit in my book for leaving a comfortable retirement to try and square away the fiasco that was DHS intel. You gotta give props to a guy who willingly signs up for ulcers, migraines and insomnia. Not overly political, so confirmation should be fairly easy, but not exactly a name linked to big reform efforts.

12:1 Richard Haver. Late of various high-level Naval, DOD and national intelligence positions. Well respected but generally only known to geeks who follow the business.

15:1 Frances Fargo Townsend. If you think Hayden faces a grilling by Dems during confirmation about his connection to the terrorism surveillance program, what kind of beat-down do you think Republicans are going to be warming up for with someone associated with “the wall?” Politics are iffy since she was once Rudi’s girl, later a Reno pal, and now the President’s homeland security adviser. Mineta in a skirt?

20:1 James Woolsey. First you’d have to talk him out of what is sure to be a fat paycheck from Booz-Allen-Hamilton. Then you’d have to convince him that he’d be able to have a bigger impact on the issues than his previous tenure as Director (no more south-lawn-of-the-White-House-plane-crash jokes). Worked for Dems and Republicans, and has been confirmed before, so probably not much of a challenge there.

50:1 Eliot Jardines. AD/DNI for Open Source Intelligence. Former soldier, successful entrepreneur, forward leaning and most importantly: young. Not hide-bound to the old ways. Works in the discipline that gets shortest shrift, yet produces some of the best results, so dealing with big challenges isn’t a problem. Politics undetermined.

100:1 John Robb. AFA grad, special ops pilot, successful technology analyst and entrepreneur. Politics undetermined. Strategic thinker and something of a futurist who could ruffle a lot of feathers in the cause of getting the CIA to “skate to where the puck will be.” Would have to give up blogging while on the job, which seems a small trade-off over the long term.

500:1 Mark Hewitt. Finishing up Ph.D. Previously most under-utilized and under-appreciated employee of the NIPC and a former Pentagon appointee. Always thinking of the future and trying to get ahead of the curve. Lists to the right but not rabidly so. Unfortunately young and relatively unknown, this means he’s not even on anyone’s selection radar.

1,000:1. Tony Shaffer. Will need to have clearance re-instated. Thinks outside of standard parameters. Military and C/O experience. Knows office politics and life at the pointy-end of the spear. Cares not a wit for rice bowls and propriety if it gets in the way of success. Politics undetermined, but seems to only have right-leaning allies for some reason (ahem). Not afraid to stand up for his beliefs, name names, call spades spades.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.