Brian Bennett
latimes.com
March 7, 2014

The Senate confirmed Gil Kerlikowske on Thursday to be the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, allowing the White House “drug czar” to take on his new post overseeing the Border Patrol.

Kerlikowske came to the White House as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the job commonly known as “drug czar,” after serving as chief of police in Seattle from 2001 to 2009.

He will take over an organization under fire on several fronts, including secrecy surrounding incidents in which agents shot people suspected of throwing rocks at them from the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Lawmakers have criticized Customs and Border Protection officials for not fully disclosing when border agents are allowed to use deadly force, and what disciplinary actions, if any, have been taken against agents who violated existing policies.

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