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Obama Will Nominate Jeh Johnson To Head Homeland Security

Jeh Johnson in June of 2012.
Alex Wong
Getty Images
Jeh Johnson in June of 2012.

President Obama will nominate attorney Jeh Johnson to be the next Homeland Security secretary.

Johnson recently served as the Pentagon's top lawyer.

Obama will announce his pick at 2 p.m. Friday, NPR's Scott Horsley tells us.

The Department of Homeland Security is currently without a leader. Former Secretary Janet Napolitano ended her stint six weeks ago. She left to become the president of the University of California system.

ABC News has a bit on Johnson's background:

"For most of Obama's first term, Johnson served as the Defense Department's general counsel, reviewing and approving military operations before they were sent to the Defense Secretary and president for final decisions.

"Johnson has called working for the Obama administration 'the highlight of [his] professional life.'

"'I have been on an incredible journey with Barack Obama ... going back to November 2006 when he recruited me to the presidential campaign he was about to launch,' Johnson said in a speech at Yale Law School last year. 'I remember thinking then, 'This is a long-shot, but it will be exciting, historic, and how many times in my life will someone personally ask me to help him become president.""

On this blog, we covered Johnson back in 2012, when he delivered a legal defense of the administration's targeted killing program.

Johnson argued that the use of lethal force against the enemy is a "long-standing and long-legal practice."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.