Obama picks defense lobbyist as deputy defense secretary

From

President-elect Obama's campaign speeches often mentioned reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interests on the federal government.

President-elect Obama’s campaign speeches often mentioned reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interests on the federal government.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama, who campaigned on lessening the influence of lobbyists in government, has chosen a defense expert who is currently a vice president and lobbyist for one of the country’s biggest defense contractors to be his deputy secretary of defense.

Obama’s transition office announced that William Lynn, an undersecretary of defense in President Bill Clinton’s second term, is nominated to Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ deputy.

Lynn is currently a senior vice president at Raytheon, which has billions of dollars in Defense Department contracts and is the maker of the Army’s Patriot Missile system and the Tomahawk missile used by the Navy. The company is also developing a global positioning satellite communication system with the Air Force.

As deputy secretary, Lynn would be involved in the process of budgeting and acquisitions, in addition to running the day-to-day operations of the Defense Department.

Obama’s transition office acknowledged that appointing a lobbyist did not, on the face of it, seem in line with the president-elect’s ethics stance but that Lynn’s qualifications and the recommendations that came from both Republicans and Democrats made him the top candidate.

“Because Mr. Lynn came so highly recommended from experts across the political spectrum, the president-elect felt it was critical that he fill this position,” said Obama transition spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Vietor said Lynn and the transition team would create guidelines that would fit the ethics standards of the new administration.

“We are aware that Mr. Lynn lobbied for Raytheon and are working with Mr. Lynn to craft a role for him that is consistent with the president-elect’s high standards while balancing the need to fill this critical national security position,” Vietor said.

During the campaign, candidate Obama took a hard stance against the influence of lobbyists in Washington. His campaign Web site included a promise that “no political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

Creating that distance could be difficult given that Gates, who was appointed by President Bush, is making cutting the Pentagon budget a priority and Lynn would be involved at some level.

The announcement noted that Lynn’s experience both in the public and private sector means he can make “the tough choices necessary to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely.”

Lynn’s supporters, including Sen. Jack Reed, R-Rhode Island, and Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts — whom Lynn worked for on Capital Hill — said in statements that Lynn’s experience both in public and private sector make him a strong candidate.

“He’s a proven leader in both the public and private sectors of the national security community and his previous service in the Department uniquely qualify him to help the Department run more efficiently and effectively,” said Kennedy.

The transition office also announced other Defense Department nominations, including former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Robert Hale for undersecretary of defense and Michele Flournoy, who was part of Obama’s Pentagon transition team, for the undersecretary devoted to policy. Gates interviewed Lynn and the other appointments, according to the Pentagon
spokesman.

“He interviewed each of them, came away impressed with their personal character and professional credentials, and recommended the president-elect hire them,” said spokesman Geoff Morrell.

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    • KZ-In-Gaza
    • January 10th, 2009

    What was to expect? The only change is having an African-American as President with “white” and “supreme” ambitions.

    This is La-la-Land.

    • WarDog
    • January 10th, 2009

    Neo Con’s do so well with weak minds

    • Ger
    • January 10th, 2009

    It again looks like the Obama government is going to be just a repeat of the past governments and that the promised changes in government policies as stated on the campaign trail was strictly deliberate hyperbole.

    • Kim
    • January 10th, 2009

    LOL! Hillary didn’t need to win the presidency. It’s all Clinton re-treads in the White House all over again. Reagan(Bush)-Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton……..

    • chabuka
    • January 11th, 2009

    Starting to look like Obama will be the second black President….Bill Clinton being the first… Bill was also a GOP lite President..will we ever get a real progressive..? No, probably not, the corporate media will never allow a Kucinich type progressive..closest we will get is a Republican lite…masquerading as a Democrat

  1. Part and parcel of the entire cabinet selection. Vilsack is one of Big Ag’s greatest propenents, Duncan’s not averse to educational privatization, Gupta digs Big Pharma … but to be honest, this one is most distressing. The military industrial complex–cliched as the term sounds, it’s more real now than it was when Eisenhower warned against it–is sinking this country; Obama was elected in part to guard against these excesses, not to put foxes in charge of the hen house.
    I almost wish I could say that I’m disappointed, but I never saw Obama as anything other than a staunch defender of the status quo. Still, this practically an overt slap in the face to a very sizebable plurailty of his supporters. Meet the new boss ?same as the old boss…

  2. Disappointing.

    • Clevelandchick
    • January 12th, 2009

    Obama said during the campaign, more than once, that no lobbyists would be in his administration. This is very, very depressing. I truly feel like we’ve been had.

    Way too many of his picks have been right of center and throwbacks to the Clinton era (laissez faire not fair trade, no regulation) who because of their desire to please Republicans are responsible for the economic state we’re in.

    It looks like with Obama we’re getting Clinton-lite instead of the real change we need which would more resemble Teddy & Franklin D Roosevelt.

    • Craig R. Lane
    • January 13th, 2009

    Aren’t you all so glad that you voted for change???? I am not voting for any politician ever again. Not until I see EVEN ONE who will, IN FACT, represent HIS/HER/IT’S constituency. Pretty much all in line with what Noam Chomsky talks about in some of his essays about how alot of third world countries have leaders that do not represent either the will of the people, let alone any will to truly endeavor themselves to representing what is best for the welfare of the people and the land. How does the third world feel on you folks? You good capitalists!! Why should a little thing like the fact that in order to maintain our capitalist structure, our alleged democracy must ensure ONLY INequality. Funny how leaders attack their own people, (gotta keep em in line!!!), just to stay in power. Eat a huge dick Robert Mugabe!!! I find it strange that the equation of people happy with their overall state/well-being + their overall representation of their wishes by the government that they have duly elected=Peace, prosperity and re-election. I guess power and wealth unmitigated continually trump such ridiculous ideas. Silly rabbit, tricks are for dictators!!! Unfortunately, the fourth estate is truly dead in this country. With it’s demise any hope for a true democracy, (FOR LACK OF AN INFORMED ELECTORAL PROCESS), fade as well. I had hope for the internet but it is man’s total idiocy that I will now and finally lament as the cause of all our downfalls. Einstein called this problem “man’s predatory phase”. This is why I am not voting for any more politicians. The choices we are given have been provided to us by a broken press that is now owned by those that wish to control and censor their own constitutional responsibility for the possibility of a bigger market share. Like a lot of people, when I looked at the list of douchebags that were contending for the highest office in the land, (except for Dennis Kucinich, I would have voted for him JUST because the press ACTIVELY engaged in censoring what he had to say—loved the part where he wouldn’t even be allowed to participate in any debates–gotta love that “free-speechin’ democracy” of ours, huh?), I was sickened! Many folks wrote stuff like, “is this REALLY the best list of folks we can come up with here?” This nation is ripe for the change that only TRUE revolution can bring. But even writing that is illegal according to HR1955. Weird that now if we express dissent we can be thrown in jail forever without any legal recourse, not only that but we can have all of our assets frozen if we just protest the war. TAKE THAT OSAMA, IN YOUR FACE SADDAM!!! It seems that there are some that hate OUR freedom’s even more than Osama bin Laden, unfortunately those folks used to work FOR us in the “press” and ever worse the rest now act as our paymasters and lease-holders of our freedoms in our ALLEGED United States Government. Remember when the former idiot running the HSD, (Mr. Ridge),exclaimed how happy he was to give us such freedoms like that of speech. HAHAHA!!! Yeah, it seems that now WE work for the idiots becoming enriched by their gubmint positions. We begin to walk with a palpable, trepidatious fear in the hopes that we won’t ever be noticed. Let me be the first to extend the first of many outstreched middle fingers to you Mr. Obama. Here is something Mr. Obama said that was really kinda cute for an idiot: “When it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past.” I guess he never heard the ole- adage about those who refuse to remember the past are condemned to re-live it. I like Rage Against the Machine’s take that “He who controls that past controls the future”.

    • scott
    • January 13th, 2009

    We all got had. Wanna see something funny/sad? Go to change.gov and do a search for “Gaza”.

    • Walking Turtle
    • January 13th, 2009

    Erm… Add fox to chicken coop. Prepare adequate thick ‘n’ pretty PR quilting; nail/cement/screw quilted pad onto exterior of chicken coop with a glue composed of 20% gall, 30% lies, and 50% Israel(FNORD!) warpimp “Defence”(FNORD!) funding .

    Follow that tried-and-true recipe to the letter, Barracks/schools/homes O’Bomber! You shall just produce such *believable* “change”!

    A generous bindle-sack full o’ Spare Change for the Pentagon Global Beggary Propagation Command, more like than not, that is. Every Disaster Capitalist within Learjet distance of the DoD and/or its occupation forces worldwide is certainly to be well cared for by such means as this. Halliburton on down, BlackFilthyWater included.

    Um, so by the end of this day, has any normal human person left standing on the ground with even one leg intact got any eggs left? At all???

    Advice to All the World+Dog: Reject all terror. Also all terrorists. Starting from within one’s own terror-sponsoring country. Genuinely beneficial-to-all Regime Change starts with honesty, integrity and decent genuine compassion toward one and all, deliberately actualized all throughout The System.

    Not what we have got on deck here and now, masked-up and played off on us all with this evidently doubleminded twatdangler from Heavy Industrial Hell, I wot.

    Fooled again. All fooled but for half the Paulines and nigh all Naderites! (Damn.)

    • Walking Turtle
    • January 13th, 2009

    Not to mention 100% of the Kucinichers. FREE DENNIS KUCINICH! DO IT NOW!

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