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Obama to Name Retired Army Gen. Robert Harding as Head of TSA

5 years ago
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President Obama has selected retired Army Gen. Robert Harding to lead the Transportation Security Administration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to make the announcement Monday at DHS headquarters.

The TSA has been leaderless after previous nominee Erroll Southers withdrew in January over allegations that he misled Congress about using government intelligence resources to do a "background check" on his ex-wife's boyfriend. Republicans opposed Southers over the issue of TSA employee unionization, a matter that Harding will have to address.

Union leaders said they had not yet had a chance to vet Harding, but they hoped to meet with him soon to discuss labor issues. "We haven't had the opportunity to research this candidate as we have some of the other White House nominees," American Federation of Government Employees President John Gage told the Washington Post. "However, if the administration believes him to be the best person to lead TSA, we will trust that decision until given a reason not to."

Harding retired from the Army in 2001 after 33 years of service, during which he was the Army's chief of intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency's director of operations. He founded an intelligence contracting company, Harding Security Associates, that now employs more than 400 people.

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