Obama overhauls intelligence panel

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With little fanfare, President Barack Obama has replaced much of a key intelligence advisory panel that he largely cleared out early last year.

The six appointments to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board were buried deep in a routine personnel announcement issued before Labor Day weekend.

“It’s a very sought after job…..I don’t think this president or other presidents have figured out what to do with it,” said Lee Hamilton, a former House Intelligence and Armed Services Committee chairman who served on the panel until last year. “I imagine they’ve done some rethinking about the board. In any case, I hope they have because it needed to be done.”

The White House did not respond to a query about the reasons for overhauling the panel, but several members confirmed to POLITICO last year that they were asked to step down.

Obama called attention to the board with an Oval Office ceremony in 2009 highlighting its bipartisan co-chairs, former Sens. David Boren (D-Okla) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Both men left the board last year, with Hagel becoming Obama’s Secretary of Defense.

Despite the addition of the new members, the PIAB (formerly known as the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board or PFIAB) currently lacks a chair or co-chair, according to a person familiar with the panel.

Joining the council are former Federal Communications Commissions Chairman Julius Genachowski, former Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, United Parcel Service Chairman Scott Davis, Renssealer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson, former Terremark CEO Jamie Dos Santos, and investor James Crown. They join four continuing members of the board: former Deputy White House Counsel Daniel Meltzer, former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen, former Deputy CIA Director for Intelligence Jami Miscik and former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.

Former Deputy Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Morell was named to the panel in 2013 after he retired from government service following Obama’s decision to nominate Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan as CIA director. The White House even congratulated him on the appointment via Twitter.

However, it doesn’t appear Morell ever joined the board. A person familiar with the board said he’s not currently a member. He does not appear ever to have been listed on the panel’s website. (He did serve on a separate, shorter-term group Obama set up to review surveillance practices.)

The dismissal of the bulk of the board’s members in early 2013 left it in an emaciated state just as Obama was dealing with the..

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