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White House Tries Again to Get Someone to Head TSA

Airport crowdBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After the first nominee went down in flames, President Obama is once again trying to fill the top spot at the Transportation Security Administration, which watches over our airports.

The White House on Tuesday nominated Robert A. Harding, saying he has spent more than 35 years working in the intelligence community.

Most recently, he served as CEO of Harding Security Associates (HSA), which he founded in 2003 and sold in July 2009, the White House said.

The White House initially nominated former FBI agent Erroll Southers, but his nomination got embroiled in controversy on Capital Hill. He January he withdrew his name.

In a press release on Harding, the White House said: “Before entering the private sector, General Harding completed 33 years in the US Army, where he served in progressively challenging command and staff assignments. He retired as the Army’s Deputy G2 (Intelligence) in 2001.”

“From 1996-2000, he was the Director for Operations at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). There, he was the Department of Defense’s senior Human Intelligence (HUMINT) officer, managed over $1 billion in intelligence collection program requirements and supervised and provided security to the Department of Defense’s Defense Attaches in more than 200 embassies/offices around the world.

“From 1995-1996, General Harding served as the Director for Intelligence for the Army’s U.S. Southern Command where he planned and executed operations designed to increase regional cooperation and exchanges in Latin America.

“He also coordinated efforts between the DIA, DEA, FBI, CIA, and Customs on sensitive interagency counter-drug operations. From 1969-1995, General Harding served in a variety of other command and staff positions around the world. He commanded a HUMINT and Counterintelligence Battalion in Korea, and the Army’s premier Counterintelligence Group, the 902d, at Fort Meade. His staff assignments included intelligence positions in U.S. Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea, U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Army PERSCOM, and the Army Staff.

“Major General Harding currently serves on the board of directors of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

“He has served on the National Counterintelligence Review Group, on DNI’s Diversity Senior Advisory Panel, and as a member of the Obama Administrations Presidential Transition Team, where he focused on the Intelligence community.”

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