So just as soon as I write something about Kerik, he goes and withdraws his nomination. The stated reason is hiring an illegal immigrant for a nanny, but there are rumors and reports of other peccadilloes that could just as easily have derailed his nomination. Since a tech policy blog is no place for tales of bigamy, jilted lovers and surreptitious cash payments, I’ll just leave to those to the New York tabloids (which are doing a fine job).
Meanwhile, I promised a follow-up on the cybersecurity provisions of the intelligence bill. My sources say that Robert Liscouski, Homeland’s Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, applied the pressure that ultimately doomed the provision elevating the cybersecurity position. Cybersecurity is currently one of Liscouski’s responsibilities and it is hard to see this as something other than an attempt to hold power. (I was also told that the OMB is against another assistant secretary level position, but that doesn’t seem like enough to get the bill changed.)
The big question now is what, if anything, is the administration going to do about cybersecurity? I think it is fair to say that the White House wouldn’t have let Liscouski’s objection get in the way if it really cared about the issue.