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Clapper Confirmed as Director of National Intelligence

Alex Wong, Getty Images
Alex Wong, Getty Images

Presidental nominee James R. Clapper was unanimously confirmed by the Senate yesterday to become the next director of national intelligence.

Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who most recently served as director of military intelligence and as undersecretary of defense for intelligence, will take over for Dennis C. Blair and will oversee the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies.

“As we face evolving security threats and continue to build an integrated intelligence enterprise, the Intelligence Community and the nation are extremely fortunate to have such a distinguished leader at the helm,” stated Acting Director of National Intelligence David C. Gompert.

Senate came to its decision following a lengthy confirmation process after The Washington Post published an investigative report claiming that U.S. intelligence services have grown too complex to efficiently serve national security.

Clapper proved he was capable to align the nation’s intelligence efforts during his confirmation hearing in July. He will become the fourth director since the position was created in 2005 and was praised by Department of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates as the right man for the job.

“I think the president could not have found a better person, a more experienced person, or [a person] with a better temperament to do this job and actually make it work than Jim Clapper,” Gates said in early June.

The newly appointed DNI holds 40 years in public service, including a 32-year Air Force career and senior Intelligence Community leadership positions. He previously served as director at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and was the first civilian director of NGA. He retired from the Air Force in 1995

“On behalf of the Intelligence Community, I congratulate Mr. Clapper on his confirmation and welcome him to the ODNI,” Gompert said.

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3 comments

  1. Below is a letter to the editor that I sent to the Washington Post. I never expected it to see the light of day, and as far as I know it hasn’t but it was cathartic never the less to write it.

    I am late in submitting a comment about the 3 part report by Washington Post Reporters, Dana Priest and William Arkin on the extraordinary growth of the Intelligence Community( IC ) following the 9/11terrorist attacks. I initially hesitated in writing because I thought that some IC expatriate would come forward and state the very real fact that several of the 3 letter members of the IC did initially do what they are sworn and paid to do, but for a unbelievable lack of moral integrity and acts of gross dereliction of duty , the biggest “what if” “in American history since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is left unexamined for reasons known only to our policy makers. If every IC member involved In this “what If” had done the “right thing” and passed critical information to each other, and even to their own organization, Priest and Arkin would have had no reason to spend 2 years investigating the bloated growth of the IC because it wouldn’t have occurred ,thousands of people would be alive today, and two wars would have been averted. But for certain members of the CIA, NSA, and the FBI ,who lacking the moral and ethical fiber to rise above their ludicrous and deadly turf wars and blind allegiance to the “law” , and see that their duty to protest the American public is the sole reason for the existence of their respective institutions, 9/11 would not have happened. And this is not hind sight speculation on my part.

    As shown in Lawrence Wright’s book , The Looming Tower and the NOVA PBS documentary that aired February 2nd 2009, specific members of the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI knew that 2 Saudi men ( Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi ) who would eventually help in slamming a jet liner onto the Pentagon ,were in the United States and had recently attended a “terrorist “summit” in Malaysia. Nothing was done to track these men. The burning question is why? I won’t spoil the plot for those readers who may be unaware of the fact that FBI operatives knew they were in the country because the CIA told them they were, but forbade them, yes forbade them. from telling FBI Headquarters and thus precluding an investigation. Why two gun carrying FBI agents would listen to a CIA spook is lost on me. The NOVA documentary answers this question. The senior FBI Agent who listened to the order and participated in the documentary is a brave soul whose public anguish about his lack of doing what I consider the “right thing” in notifying his superiors is obvious. But mea culpas no matter how heart felt unfortunately don’t undo history. He is not alone , but other IC members were just as guilty in following the unwritten IC rule that you are more likely to get in trouble sharing information as opposed to not sharing. One hopes this attitude is changing, or history may repeat itself.

    Congress should have given the IC not a boat load of money, but injected into its members, ( and I apologize to the female members of the IC ) , a shot of human growth hormone to grow a pair you know what. Plus , inculcated the lesson that occasionally you have to risk to do you your job. Sometimes the job isn’t worth your soul.

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