Barack Obama will stick with the front-runner and name retired Admiral Dennis Blair to be his go-to guy on spying as director of national intelligence, reports the Washington Post. Blair, the former commander of naval forces in the Pacific, is generally well-regarded. Some in the civilian intelligence community grumbled about a second consecutive Navy boss, but Blair has shown knowledge and innovative ideas about intelligence issues.
Controversies dot Blair’s record, however, including a conflict-of-interest fracas and his support of a violent Indonesian military action. Obama took a longer time to make this choice, possibly reflecting his own unfamiliarity with intelligence issues. Likewise, nobody is quite sure where Obama is headed on choosing a CIA chief. His expected choice ruled himself out under charges he was too closely linked with Bush policies such has harsh interrogations.