Obama Finds Intelligence Posts Tough to Fill

Intelligence posts next, but harder to fill
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 1, 2008 8:50 AM CST
James Jones is expected to be formally nominated as Obama's national security adviser today.   (AP Photo/Heesoon Yim, File)
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(Newser) – No surprises are expected as Barack Obama formally nominates his national security team today, leading with Hillary Clinton, Gen. James Jones, and Robert Gates. But the president-elect is having trouble with intelligence positions, the Wall Street Journal reports, as he looks for experienced hands not tainted by service in the Bush administration. Obama's pick for CIA head, a 25-year agency veteran, was dumped because of his role at the agency when controversial interrogation tactics were developed and implemented.

Dennis Blair is a potential pick for national intelligence director, but appointing the retired Navy admiral to the domestic post may ruffle feathers among civilian agents. Blair also has a potential problem with a Pentagon report that found he violated conflict-of-interest standards by being involved in a study of a contract for the F-22 fighter jet while sitting on the board of the company that made the aircraft.