The Washington Post

Senate confirms top Pentagon and Justice nominees

President Obama confers with Mark Lippert in 2009. (Pete Souza/White House)

Thursday night, it confirmed former Obama National Security Council chief of staff Mark Lippert as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs.

Lippert left the White House in 2009 amidst much internal friction with former national security adviser James Jones, who accused Lippert of leaking negative stories about him, our colleague Bob Woodward reported in his book “Obama’s Wars.”

The Senate, by voice vote, also confirmed career foreign service officer Adam E. Namm to be ambassador to Ecuador, where the country’s controversial and most annoying socialist president has been cozying up to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and, more recently, the Iranians, and making a habit of kicking out American diplomats.

Two top Justice Department officials were confirmed: Michael E. Horowitz, a former prosecutor who worked in the Clinton and Bush Justice Departments, was confirmed as inspector general, and Kathryn Keneally, a highly regarded tax lawyer in private practice, to be assistant attorney general in charge of the tax division.

Also confirmed were Michael T. Scuse to be undersecretary of Agriculture for farm and foreign agriculture services, and Deborah S. Delisle to be assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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