In what has to be one of the most extreme appointments yet by the Obama Administration, ex-Los Angeles Times columnist and Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks has just been made an adviser to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Fluornoy - a move Brooks describes as "my personal government bailout."
Bailout is certainly the right word for someone who appears to have no relevant national security qualifications for the position. She does though have experience working as Special Counsel for George Soros's Open Society Institute in New York, and as a former adviser to Harold Koh, the hugely controversial nominee for Legal Adviser to the State Department.
Brooks' new boss Fluornoy holds one of the most powerful posts in the Pentagon, and is already playing a key role in shaping the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan as well as the wider war against al-Qaeda. She will also be a central figure in shaping U.S.-UK defence cooperation and Washington's policy towards NATO. As an adviser to Fluornoy, Brooks will wield an extraordinary degree of influence in helping shape U.S. policy. Her extreme views should therefore be closely scrutinized.
Brooks' description of the previous occupant of the White House as "our torturer in chief" is hard to square with President Obama's call for bipartisanship. Nor is her ludicrous comparison of the Bush Administration's legal arguments on the war on terror with Adolf Hitler's use of political propaganda.
She has also accused civilian White House and Pentagon officials from the last administration of being "eager to embrace the values normally exemplified by military juntas," while urging "military personnel to speak out, regardless of the cost, when they think our civilian leaders have gone beyond the pale" - little more than an open-ended call for the politicization of the armed forces.
Writing in the LA Times, Brooks has compared being a citizen in George W. Bush's America "to being a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver," and compared the Bush Administration ("our local authoritarians") to the leaders of North Korea or Iran. Quite what Defense Secretary Robert Gates makes of all this hate-filled talk remains to be seen, especially as he is himself a former Bush official.