From Jon Garcia —
President Obama's Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism officially got permission today to head up the terrorism watchlisting system review Obama assigned to him on Sunday. John Brennan, a former CIA official, needed an ethics waiver to do his job because he was also president & CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a private national security consulting firm that does business with the government.
Under government ethics rules, Brennan needs permission to participate in the review because it may "eventually include specific attention to government contracts with, or services provided by TAC." Obama's ethics counsel Norman Eisen granted the waiver today, adding that Brennan no longer has financial ties to The Analysis Corp.
"By virtue of his long experience in government and the private sector, John brings a unique mixture of know-how and understanding to this assignment," Eisen wrote. "We have done that analysis and have determined that, as set out in the authorization and waiver, it is in the public interest for John to proceed."
National Security Chief of Staff Denis McDonough added: "The applicable ethics rules recognize that when the public interest outweighs other issues, an official should be authorized to proceed with an assignment, particularly in the national security arena. Our counsel have determined that to be the case here."
Brennan can proceed "with the understanding that others will review specific issues relating to TAC should any arise," McDonough said.
If The Analysis Corp. sounds familiar, that may be because they were in the news during the presidential campaign last year, when it was revealed one of their employees snooped into the passport files of then-Senator Barack Obama.