Washington, Oct.20 : Aides to Barack Obama and John McCain are being briefed on national security threats well before inauguration day.
For the first time in American history, according to Fox News, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is vetting members of the next administration in an effort to make sure that staff members of John McCain or Barack Obama are ready to handle any national security threats, which ever one of them takes over as president.
Though no specific threats are evident at this time, some members of the intelligence community say terror groups love to target countries during transition periods. They point to terror attacks that came as Gordon Brown took over as Britain's new prime minister, and the Madrid bombings of March 11, 2003, that happened just before a major election there as examples of the vulnerability of new administrations.
White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten reportedly held a meeting this week with senior White House staffers and representatives from both the McCain and Obama camps. The goal was to make sure everyone knows of the latest threats and has the information they need before inauguration day on January 20, 2009.
"One of them is going to win the election, and they will be taking over and having to deal with these issues as they take over office. So, it's only prudent for us to make sure that we get them the information that we think they need," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said during her Friday briefing.
This year, the presidential transition coordinating council-brought together by President Bush-has gotten started at its earliest date ever with the aim of preventing the next president from being caught in the same dilemma Bush faced on September 11. 2001.he incoming administration will have more than 1,100 political appointees that will have to be approved by the Senate. That takes time.
Obama's team has reportedly given special emphasis to not only being ready for national security threats but also being seen as being ready-as a message to anyone who would hope to take advantage of the transition of power.
Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta is heading up about a dozen different groups to organize the future potential administration.
On the other side of the ticket, dozens of potential McCain staffers are also undergoing FBI vetting, though transition planning on the McCain side is believed to be occurring on a much smaller scale than the Obama camp.