Director of National Intelligence

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Osama's Will Reveals How He Wanted His Millions Spent

Secret docs reveal fears of drones, tracking devices

(Newser) - Osama bin Laden set aside money for his relatives, but the majority of his fortune—including $29 million in Sudan—was to be spent "on jihad, for the sake of Allah," according to his just-released will. The handwritten document was one of hundreds seized during the 2011 raid... More »

PRISM Not Used to Target US Citizens: Spy Chief

Companies firmly deny involvement in PRISM

(Newser) - As news of the government's PRISM tech surveillance program makes waves, officials and companies are responding, with the Director of National Intelligence attempting to put the story in perspective. "The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for... More »

Yet Another Tsarnaev Warning Went Ignored

Customs official told of Russia trip may not have informed FBI

(Newser) - Yet another warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev was apparently issued to US officials, this one just nine months before the Boston bombings. The alert that Tsarnaev had returned to the US after a seven-month-long trip to Russia was sent to a US Customs and Border Protection officer working on Boston's... More »

Ex-Spy Chief: Get Ready for 'Cyber 9/11'

Mike McConnell says we've had our warning

(Newser) - First, it was defense secretary Leon Panetta warning of a " cyber Pearl Harbor ." Now, the former director of national intelligence says it's time to prepare for "the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack," the Financial Times reports. Recent attacks on big banks like... More »

Petraeus Breaks Silence: I Didn't Pass Classified Info

Meanwhile, report surfaces that Petraeus wanted to go public regarding Benghazi

(Newser) - David Petraeus has finally spoken to the media, telling an HLN reporter that he had not passed any classified info to Paula Broadwell and that his resignation had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack. The interview was off-camera, but reporter Kyra Phillips says that he "told me he... More »

Intel Chief Defends Shifting Libya Accounts

But GOP ramps up pressure on White House over attack

(Newser) - The nation's spy chief took the unusual step yesterday of issuing a statement to defend the shifting US position on the Libya consulate attack, reports the Washington Post . Yes, said national intelligence director James Clapper, the assault initially seemed to be a spontaneous response to that anti-Islam movie , but... More »

US Intel Spending Breaks $80B

Spending revealed for first time this century

(Newser) - American intelligence spending hit $80.1 billion, or some 12% of defense spending, for the just-ended fiscal year—more than what was spent on either the Department of Homeland Security ($53 billion) or the Justice Department ($30 billion). It's triple the $26.7 billion that was budgeted in 1998, the... More »

Obama to Tap Clapper as Spy Chief

Dennis Blair replacement experienced, seen as combative

(Newser) - President Barack Obama has settled on James Clapper, the Pentagon's top intelligence official, as his pick to oversee the nation's 16 spy agencies. Obama planned to announce the nomination of Clapper, a retired Air Force three-star general, as national intelligence director in a White House Rose Garden ceremony today. He... More »

Intelligence Chief Dennis Blair Resigning

Move comes after criticism of Christmas Day bomb plot

(Newser) - President Obama's national intelligence director, Dennis Blair, says he is resigning after 16 months in the job. In a message to his work force, Blair says his last day will be May 28. Blair's tenure was marked by intelligence failures—he took criticism over the Christmas Day bomb plot, in... More »

Next al-Qaeda Attempt 'Certain' Within 6 Months

US remains focus for bin Laden, top deputy, intelligence chief says

(Newser) - An attempt by al-Qaeda or one of its affiliates to attack the US is “certain” within the next six months, the director of national intelligence told a Senate committee today. As long as Osama bin Laden and his top deputy are on the loose, Dennis Blair says, US targets... More »

Underwear Bomber's Treatment a Travesty

Detroit suspect read Miranda rights without counter-terror chiefs' approval

(Newser) - Charles Krauthammer finds the Obama administration's handling of accused bomb plotter Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab more scandalous with every new bit of information that emerges. The Justice Department decided to read the underwear bomber his Miranda rights after just 50 minutes of questioning and they didn't consult with the heads of... More »

Obama's Intel Chief: Interrogations Yielded 'High Value Information'

(Newser) - President Obama's own intelligence chief said harsh interrogations of terror suspects yielded "high value information" that "provided a deeper understanding" of al-Qaeda, the New York Times reports. Dennis Blair made the statement in a memo to his staff last week, the same day the Obama administration released the... More »

Report Slams Spy Agencies

Internal probe finds intelligence agencies have failed to streamline under DNI

(Newser) - America's 16 spy agencies have failed to stop infighting and fix weaknesses identified after 9/11, according to an internal report released yesterday. The report sharply criticizes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for failing to streamline intelligence analysis and spur cooperation and information-sharing among agencies, as it was... More »

Spy Chief: Economic Crisis a Greater Threat than Terror

Security assessment warns that downturn could cause widespread instability

(Newser) - The new director of national intelligence warned Congress yesterday that the global economic crisis poses a graver and more immediate threat to the US than international terror, the New York Times reports. The crisis could undermine national governments and cause widespread civil unrest as it spreads and deepens, causing serious... More »

Retired Admiral Will Be Next Spy Chief

Blair gets national intelligence post; CIA spot still open

(Newser) - 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... More »

Five Best Jobs Left in Obama Administration

Highest-profile unfilled slots are energy, intelligence positions

(Newser) - State and Defense are taken, but Barack Obama has yet to fill several high-level administration positions. Politico looks at the top five open jobs:
  • Energy Secretary: Sustainable energy will remain a priority, despite the attention the economy will draw away. Key candidates: Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; Dan Reicher and
... More »

White House Order Ramps Up Spy Boss Powers

Historic overhaul signed by prez

(Newser) - A sweeping overhaul of spy powers will give the director of national intelligence broad new authority, reports the Wall Street Journal. Mike McConnell will be able to command information-sharing between agencies, hire and fire agency heads, and make major purchase decisions under a new executive order signed yesterday by President... More »

Quick Iraq Exit Would Trigger New 9/11: Bush

It would 'embolden' US enemies, prez says

(Newser) - A withdrawal from Iraq next year would be a disaster that would likely trigger another 9/11, President Bush warns in an interview with Politico. "It would shake everybody's nerves. It would embolden the very same people we're trying to defeat" and "would eventually lead to another attack on... More »

New Iraq NIE Likely to Remain Secret

Officials keen to keep report classified after Iran estimate flap

(Newser) - Intelligence officials may keep the results of a new assessment on Iraq confidential when it's completed next month, the Washington Post reports. The new National Intelligence Estimate will be given to Congress, but intelligence officials are gunshy about making it public because of the brouhaha that erupted when they released... More »

Stalling Spy Bill Hurts Intel, Admin Asserts

Letter pushes House Dems to pass new wiretapping rules

(Newser) - As House Dems refuse to pass the Senate’s wiretapping bill, the administration is heaping more pressure on them to change their minds, reports Muckraker. A letter to the House intelligence committee from top administration officials claims that the failure to pass the bill is causing “lost intelligence information”... More »

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