Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced today a star-studded roster of conservative shot-callers that he has acquired to advise him on national security and foreign policy issues.
For opponents of the George W Bush administration, however, you might want to stop reading right now.
Among those that grace the list released by Romney’s camp today are former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and ex-Blackwater exec Cofer Black. All three appointees have played crucial, and often highly critiqued, rolls within the administrations of George W Bush.
Chertoff, America’s second Secretary of Homeland Security, was appointed to that title by George W Bush in 2005, and during that tenure played a pivotal role in putting together the USA PATRIOT Act. He was also sharply criticized for the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to prepare for Hurricane Katrina under his watch and for his dismissal of several pieces of environmental protection legislation in his proposal to construct a massive, 700-mile fence along the United States’ border with Mexico.
General Michael Hayden served as both the director of the national Security Agency and as director of the CIA. Most famously, however, Hayden is perhaps remembered best for his insistence that warrantless wiretapping in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks was necessary for the security of the United States. Before Congress, Hayden defended his case that the White House needed to override the legislative branch in order to conduct domestic spying on suspected terrorists.
Joining Hayden is a fellow CIA cohort, Joseph Cofer Black, who in addition to serving as the State department’s coordinator of counter-terrorism was also chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions, an offshoot of Blackwater. Under his command, Blackwater offered private contractors to go overseas to protect the US military to much criticism. With the CIA, Black was responsible for programs that dealt with the interrogation and questionably-legal detention of suspected terror suspects.
Despite a resume that some will say is on pay with a prison rap sheet, Romney today says that he is grateful for the team he has on his side. In an announcement today, Romney said, “I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts, and statesmen.”
“Their remarkable experience, wisdom, and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st century is another American Century,” said Romney.
Also revealed to be joining Team Romney is well-known neo-conservatives Robert Kagan and Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor. Kagan co-founded the Project for the New American Century, who many say helped usher in the American invasion of Iraq. Senor himself had ties to the downfall of Saddam Hussein and Iraq, and was awarded the Department of Defense’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his role there with the Coalition Provisional Authority, the transitional government that America put in place to replace Hussein’s regime.