WASHINGTON â€” Despite all the speculation and rumor as to who will be the next chief of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, word has it that the acting chief Michele Leonhart is still on track to get the nod from the White House for the top post.
Maybe the DEA is so diseased that it would be cruel to waste the career of someone good administering it, or maybe it’s so messed up that you can’t get someone with a shred of integrity to take the job. But… really? Michele Leonhart?
Michele is a career DEA agent, with a long history. Read my article about her written back in 2003. The part that really stuck with me was her relationship with super-snitch Andrew Chambers, who was paid over $2 million by the DEA to testify (and lie) for the DEA. He was finally discredited and removed.
What did Michele think about his lying to help them get convictions?
â€œThe only criticism (of Chambers) Iâ€™ve ever heard is what defense attorneys will characterize as perjury or a lie on the stand.â€
She continued by saying that once prosecutors check him out, theyâ€™ll agree with his admirers in DEA that heâ€™s â€œan outstanding testifier.â€
Perfect choice for head of the DEA. Someone who doesn’t even know that perjury is wrong.
The DEA has way too much power in this world â€” over doctors, over medicine, over research, over local law enforcement, over public policy â€” to leave in the hands of someone like Michele Leonhart. If Obama puts her name forward, it seems to me that we should work toward making sure there is a political price to pay. I don’t see any backhanded strategic benefit to keeping here there (if you see one, let me know).
Michele Leonhart also has some detractors in the DEA, although for much different reasons. From hard-liners at DEA-watch:
It is, of course, very distressing that Obaholder is reaffirming the Bush nightmare years by retaining his worst appointees.
When a bad appointee is re-appointed they view their re-hire as a re-affirmation of their bad management and incompetence. They not only continue to do damage but they do more damage because they tell themselves that if they were re-hired then they must have been doing everything right… which in our agency’s case means the drug cartels will be given another three years of enjoying no heat from us and record income.
Leonhart means Christmas is every day to the drug cartels… this agency definitely needs to get back its ‘Jason Bournes’ who can simply eliminate the problem makers in Afghanistan, Colombia and everywhere else they lurk… No Taleban drug leaders means no need for troops to be kept in Afghanistan… no South American Drug cartel bosses means billions spent on drugs by our citizens will go to buy products we grow and make here at home. Its not the enemy ‘soliders’ we need to eliminate, it’s their senior leaders… duuuuuuuh!
Uh, yeah. Sure.