President-elect Joe Biden has received applause across the political spectrum over his picks for top foreign policy and national security roles in his incoming administration. But human rights groups and progressives have expressed concern about his choice for director of national intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines.
Haines, a former deputy CIA director who would be the first woman to serve as the top US spy chief if confirmed, played a central role in crafting the legal framework surrounding the Obama administration’s controversial, secretive drone war.
As a widely-cited 2013 Newsweek profile put it: “Haines was sometimes summoned in the middle of the night to weigh in on whether a suspected terrorist could be lawfully incinerated by a drone strike.”
“My concerns about her are more my concerns about the Obama administration,” Andrea J. Prasow, the deputy Washington director of Human Rights Watch, told the New York Times. “With these cabinet picks, we are returning to the previous administration instead of making bold and forward-leaning picks.”