Gregory Craig — deal maker on Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, key architect of Obama’s “engage everyone — even the bad guys” position in the campaign, and the conscience of the the national security staff in Obama’s White House who said that the public really needed to know that American officials waterboarded prisoners 183 times — had his last formal day as Counsel to the President on January 3rd.
Reports are that Greg Craig is now unplugging a bit, relaxing and having a good time “on an Alp” somewhere in the Swiss Alps.
We have just learned that Craig will be added to an already strong roster on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) whose members were recently announced by President Obama.
The roster currently includes attorney and former SEC Commissioner Roel Campos; former House International Relations Committee Chairman and Wilson Center Director Lee Hamilton; national security expert, attorney, and philanthropist Rita Hauser; Former Under Secretary of Defense and technology expert Paul Kaminski; Stimson Center President Ellen Laipson, former USAF general and NASA Advisory Board member Les Lyles, and Kissinger Associates President Jami Miscik.
This is a strong group — which will be enhanced by Greg Craig’s defense and foreign policy credentials and his deep knowledge of the agendas, conflicts, strengths and weakness of key players in Barack Obama’s national security bureaucracy.
Brent Scowcroft was a former Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board during George W. Bush’s tenure but was “not asked to another term” in January 2005 after Scowcroft’s critique of America’s course during the Iraq War. Scowcroft felt “fired” at the time — and this helped lay the groundwork for a more substantial criticism of the Bush administration by the “realist” wing of the US foreign policy community.
Today, the co-chairs of Obama’s PIAB are “national security realists” — former US Senator and Atlantic Council Chairman Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and former US Senator, Governor and University of Oklahoma President David Boren (D-OK).
— Steve Clemons