“You already know that I’ve by no means shied away from talking truth to energy. And that will probably be my cost as director of nationwide intelligence. I’ve labored for you for a very long time, and I settle for this nomination figuring out that you’d by no means need me to do in any other case,” Haines stated Tuesday. “And that you just worth the angle of the intelligence neighborhood. And that you’ll accomplish that even when what I’ve to say could also be inconvenient or tough, and I guarantee you there will probably be these instances.”
Some progressives have questioned Haines’ file on delicate points, criticizing her function in the Obama administration’s drone program, which human rights teams say killed a whole lot of civilians, and accusing her of complicity in the CIA’s use of torture or “enhanced interrogation strategies” after 9/11.
However a number of former intelligence and nationwide safety officers who beforehand labored with Haines advised MeSlop she has been a plain speaker all through her profession, together with throughout her time as a prime CIA official and deputy nationwide safety adviser beneath President Barack Obama.
“She is somebody who has a willingness to converse up and converse out if she sees one thing that wants to be stated, so she just isn’t someone who hesitates to be contrarian as needed,” stated Haines’ former boss, CIA director John Brennan.
Former Deputy Director of Intelligence Susan Gordon additionally had excessive reward for Haines, telling MeSlop that she is “a beautiful selection, trusted by the President-elect, whip sensible and — even higher — an awesome consultant for the craft and the people of the intelligence committee.”
“I count on nice issues of her,” Gordon added.
Biden formally launched Haines as his nominee for the highest intelligence job throughout an occasion Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, the place he praised her as “sensible” and “humble,” whereas highlighting her vast breadth of life expertise as an asset to the incoming administration.
“I do know as a result of I’ve labored along with her for over a decade,” Biden stated, including that Haines can “speak literature and theoretical physics, fixing automobiles, flying planes and working a bookstore cafe, in a single dialog — as a result of she’s achieved all of that.”
“Above all, if she will get phrase of a menace coming to our shores — like one other pandemic or overseas interference in our elections — she is not going to cease elevating the alarms till the appropriate individuals take motion,” he added.
A unique path
Whereas lots of Haines’ predecessors had been profession intelligence officers earlier than assuming the DNI function, she took a unique path.
On the College of Chicago, she pursued a level in physics however took a while off to research aviation, studying from an teacher who would later turn into her husband.
The couple opened a bookstore in Baltimore, which might typically host readings of erotic literature earlier than Haines went on to legislation college at Georgetown College.
Her distinctive background additionally offers her a singular perspective that can serve her properly as DNI, in accordance to Brennan.
“Avril will convey to the DNI place a singular mix of nationwide safety expertise from her time serving on the White Home, CIA, Nationwide Safety Council and Division of State,” he advised MeSlop.
“Her eclectic and even bohemian background actually displays her nice mental curiosity about so many issues — whether or not it’s physics or the legislation or managing a e-book retailer or piloting a airplane,” Brennan advised MeSlop.
“Avril simply needs to expertise all features of life, and I feel that background actually offers her, I feel, offers her an incredible perspective so far as the function that the director of nationwide intelligence wants to play in this very complicated, difficult world of ours,” he added.
Haines has labored with Biden for greater than a decade in a wide range of nationwide safety roles however now appears to take over an intelligence neighborhood that has been repeatedly disparaged and sidelined by Trump all through his 4 years in workplace.
“To our intelligence professionals: The work you do, oftentimes beneath essentially the most austere circumstances conceivable, is simply indispensable,” she stated on Tuesday.
After Haines was first introduced as Biden’s pick for the DNI job on Monday, the highest Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee instantly leaned on his Republican colleagues to verify her rapidly.
“Avril is wise and succesful, with a background that can serve her properly as director of nationwide intelligence,” stated Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. “Whereas I count on that she is going to face rigorous questioning from senators on each side of the aisle, the earlier we will get a confirmed DNI in place to begin fixing the harm the final 4 years have achieved to our intelligence companies, the higher.”
However whereas Biden’s transfer to nominate Haines has garnered reward from some Democrats and former officers who labored along with her on the Nationwide Safety Council and CIA, the pick has additionally prompted backlash from some progressives, who accuse her of getting a questionable stance on a wide range of points, together with torture.
Whereas serving as deputy CIA director from 2013 to 2014, Haines determined not to punish company personnel who had been accused of improperly accessing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer systems throughout their investigation into the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation strategies — a dispute that prompted criticism from Democrats on the panel.
On the time, Haines’ help for Haspel put her at odds with many Democrats on the panel, and it stays a sticking level for some inside the social gathering.
“Haines has an unlucky file of repeatedly overlaying up for torture and torturers. Her push for maximalist redactions of the torture report, her refusal to self-discipline the CIA personnel who hacked the Senate and her vociferous help for Gina Haspel — which was even touted by the Trump White Home as Democrats stood in almost unanimous opposition to the then-nominee to lead the CIA — must be interrogated through the affirmation course of,” David Segal, co-founder and govt director of the group Demand Progress, advised MeSlop.