On June 12, 2013, Avril Haines was nominated the Deputy Director of the CIA, replacing Michael Morell who had been serving as acting director. As a woman, I would normally be jumping for joy and declaring that we are winning the War on Women. I was waiting to hear good things, such as Ms. Haines’ achievements and awards. The mainstream folks say she is an attorney in the White House Counsel’s office, overseeing the CIA’s covert action. CIA Director John Brennan said of Haines, “She has participated in virtually every Deputies and Principals Committee meeting over the past two years and chairs the Lawyers’ Group that reviews the agency’s most sensitive programs…In every instance, Avril’s command of substance, sense of mission, good judgment and keen insights have been outstanding.”
I also read that Haines has been deputy counsel for national security affairs since 2010 and previously worked at the State Department and on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She also a physics degree and “has a reputation in Washington as extremely intelligent and capable.”
Haines, however, reportedly has no intelligence experience.
REPEAT: Haines has no intelligence experience.
What I was able to learn about Haines’ past job experience is this, from the Daily Beast: “Two decades ago, when she was in her 20s, Haines occasionally hosted erotica readings at an indie bookstore she owned in Baltimore.”
The Washington Post gave this summary of her “colorful” past: “It’s a quirkier resume than you generally find among Beltway super-achievers of her generation, who often went straight from college to Capitol Hill or Wall Street or Harvard Law. Haines, 43, instead had a stint as an urban entrepreneur, running Adrian’s Book Café … [T]here were the times that Adrian’s welcomed patrons for the occasional readings of high-toned erotica…”
Honestly, I don’t care what she does in her spare time or what she did to help her pay for school as an “entrepreneur”. I actually admire the fact that she ran her own small business as a young woman. However what I do care about are her credentials today, in 2013, and her leadership abilities in a vital command position that will potentially affect the security of our nation.
What perturbs me is that John Brennan said Ms. Haines was an “integral part of the security intelligence team” advising the President/White House. So where was her “substance, sense of mission, good judgment and keen insights” regarding what occurred in Benghazi, and/or what is currently happening with the many cover-ups within the State Department? Haines was nominated to go into the State Department two months ago but it was withdrawn. Perhaps the reason was to coincide with replacing Mr. Morrell, who has taken the bulk of the blame as the “point man” on Benghazi. Or perhaps the postponement was to keep Haines dis-involved from the controversies foaming up in the State Department, because certainly she was involved, possibly advising the President.
It certainly should cause bells of uncertainty to ring in one’s head. Nevertheless, Brennan said of Ms. Haines, “She knows more about covert action than anyone in the U.S. government outside of the CIA.”
Again, questions about Benghazi should come to mind and as one former senior CIA official said, “Sitting in National Security Committee meetings on covert action is nice, but being deputy CIA director involves much, much more that covert action, and she has no known experience in those things.”
Honestly, at this point, I don’t know what to think. Logic tells me there are probably plenty of people out there who have better credentials and have worked in counter intelligence within the CIA than Avril Haines.
Unless, of course, this is a Politically Correct/diversity type of nomination, based on criticism that the administration has received for not appointing more women and that there is a pervasive attitude of chauvinism in the White House.
If true, the mere fact that Avril Haines is a woman should have no credence in her credibility to earn this position.
Perhaps a more sinister approach is that her nomination might have to do with how much she really knows about Benghazi. I won’t meander a guess, but facts are still coming about and we can be assured she knew something about it, as one of the close security advisors to the President. What power did she wield, if any, and what part did she play in this tragic drama?
Meanwhile, instead of looking into Avril Haines credentials, the media is frothing at the mouth about her former career reading exotica out loud. For some reason, the words spoken from another alleged Champion of Women is screeching in my head: “What difference does it make?”
It makes a difference.