Friday, May 21, 2010

US Head Of Intel Falls On His Sword

Another one bites the dust. This time, Admiral Dennis Blair, Obama's handpicked director of national intelligence:

Dennis Blair, the president's top intelligence adviser, announced his resignation after 16 months of power struggles, politics and personality clashes.

Blair was the third person to serve as director of national intelligence since the position was created five years ago. His resignation is effective May 28 {....}

Word of his resignation came two days after the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that sharply criticized the National Counterterrorism Center, overseen by Blair's office, for failing to coordinate properly intelligence activities to detect the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing.

The report highlighted 14 points of failure and said that the center was not organized to fulfill its mission.

Blair, who also caught some of the blame for the more recent failed Times Square bombing attempt, responded to the report by noting changes made in response to the Christmas incident, including creation of a National Counterterrorism Center analytical unit dedicated to following up on terrorist threat information. However, Blair's statement noted that "institutional and technological barriers remain that prevent seamless sharing of information."

Although Blair's resignation was not a complete surprise for those in the intelligence community, he was not expected to step down for another month, senior intelligence officials said.

He decided to leave sooner than expected when Obama asked CIA Director Leon Panetta and national security adviser James Jones to go to Pakistan and Blair was not asked to participate, the sources said.

This isn't the first time Admiral Blair took the fall for Obama. As you might recall, it was Blair who took responsibility for the failure of Obama's anti-Semitic nominee to head the National Intelligence Council, Chas Freeman.

Another major dustup for Blair came when two congressmen, Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) are circulated a letter in the House demanding to know exactly why our director of national intelligence testified to Congress earlier this year that Iran had no secret nuclear facilities!

Blair was a questionable appointment by Obama to begin with. Like our head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, his qualifications were more political than anything else. He had little if any intel experience, but he was well connected politically with top Democrats,was an Oxford classmate of former president Bill Clinton, and was a classmate at the Naval Academy of Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.

What happened here is that Obama needed someone to take the fall for our various intelligence failures, and Blair just happened to be the most expendable.

And contrary to what the CNN article above implies, this was Obama's decision, not Blair's. Standard operating procedure in most White Houses is to get a signed, undated letter of resignation from every presidential appointee to be used as needed...and I guarantee you Prez Zero had one from Admiral Blair.

The scuttlebutt around DC is that the top candidate to replace Blair is retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Clapper, the current defense undersecretary for intelligence who at least has a certain amount of professional experience in this area.

Other names that have surfaced include John Brennan, the president's farcical homeland security and counterterrorism adviser and Senator Chuck Hagel.

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independent patriot said...

Bet he picks Hagel. Too much flak lately about Brennan and Obama still needs a good anti-semite in that post. Yes you know, whose daddy was a lutheran minsiter who came to the US after WW2. We can always ask what his daddy did in the war and then summize about some of those father/son conversations.

louielouie said...

Obama's handpicked director of national intelligence:

well, ff has done it again. i'm sure that his essay is informative and accurate. but i just lost all means of focus on the essay upon reading the above phrase at the beginning of the essay. he does this to me all the time.
given the current political climate in this country, the above phrase strikes me as hillarious.
something about a sack and hair comes to mind also.