The nomination of Vice President Dick Che-ney's son-in-law as top lawyer at the Department of Homeland Security, coupled with the appointment of Cheney's daughter to a senior State Department post, are a strain of nepotism not usually seen in American government.
... Last week President Bush nominated Philip J. Perry, Elizabeth Cheney's husband, to be general counsel at Homeland Security.
... Elizabeth Cheney also feeds at the government trough. She is currently principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs and coordinator for broader Middle East and North Africa initiatives. She was appointed to that post in February by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
At the same time, this effort to ''take care of the vice president's family'' is way out of line with the concept that merit should be the principal criterion in U.S. government appointments. A lobbyist for a major Homeland Security contractor shouldn't have a friendly insider at the department, and someone with no background in the subject shouldn't be in charge of U.S. initiatives to improve relations with the Middle East and North Africa.
Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
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