LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former Southern California congresswoman is among a handful of candidates being considered to replace Gen. David Petraeus as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports Jane Harman has been mentioned as a potential successor to Petraeus after his resignation over an extramarital affair.
Harman, who currently serves as president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, announced her resignation in February of 2011 after representing Torrance, Venice, and the rest of the 36th District from 1993 to 1999 and then again from 2000 to 2011 after a failed gubernatorial bid.
Despite the historic opportunity of becoming the first female CIA Director in the Agency’s history, Harman already faces considerable backlash from the international community.
Feldman cites an editorial from an online Arabic news outlet as one example, in which Harman is characterized as a “very, very bad” candidate for the position, labeled an “Iran hawk” and criticized for her traditional support of Israel.
“There’s been a virtual campaign against her on Twitter and across many blogs claiming that she is much too aligned with Israel,” Feldman said. “So Jane Harman, while very qualified, might be a hard sell for the President to get through Congress.”
Other candidates being considered include Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who has been with the agency for over three decades, John O. Brennan, chief counterterrorism advisor to President Obama, and Michael Vickers, the current Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence who played a major role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
But if Harman can weather the international criticism, her nomination would mark a significant shift for the Agency.
“She would, if named, be the first woman to head that agency, which has been typically been a very male-dominated place,” said Feldman.