The news broke within the last few minutes. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because Morell was the guy who signed off on the now infamous edit of the CIA’s Benghazi talking points that removed references to previous warnings about jihadi activity in the area. Is today’s resignation related to that, or is it related somehow to the NSA/PRISM/Snowden clusterfark?
Fox News is quoting his statement as saying “It’s time for my family,” but I can’t remotely believe this guy would quit now in the middle of a Category Five natsec hurricane knowing how suspicious it would look if he didn’t have a more compelling reason than that. Is he being squeezed out because there’s some more damning leak to come and the White House wants to get out in front of it by dispatching with the person or persons responsible?
Stand by for updates.
Update: The person set to replace Morell as deputy is — ta da — a White House lawyer who’s worked on national security issues. Is she being chosen because new CIA chief John Brennan knows/respects her from his time working with her in the WH or because O wants a tighter hold on the CIA and needs loyalists in charge there to make it happen?
Update: If O wanted a scapegoat for NSA snooping, which would be really weird given that he’s been defending the snooping himself, he’d can the NSA’s director, no? Morell seems a bit far afield to blame for that unless there’s something we don’t know.
Update: I thought he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Morell, widely admired both within the intelligence community and Capitol Hill, is a veteran of the CIA’s analytical division, rather than undercover espionage, and had worked at the agency for 33 years.
He will join the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the White House said.
O might want Morell out but he doesn’t want him disgruntled. An honorary position on his intel board might keep him happy, no? Then again, if Morell’s moving over to the IAB, presumably that means there’s nothing scandalous about him coming out. No point in cutting him loose from CIA to distance the White House from him if you’re going to appoint him to a presidential board instead. Maybe this really is an exceptionally ill-timed resignation for personal reasons.