Dennis Blair

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US Actually Has History of Being Weak on Leakers

And that's why it's cracking down so hard now

(Newser) - With Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning in the headlines, the investigation into former top General James Cartwright , and now a court ruling earlier this week that a New York Times reporter must testify against a source, the Obama administration has been sending a message: leaking government secrets will not go... 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 »

Underwear Bomber Spilling 'Chilling' al-Qaeda Intel

GOP complains FBI's revealing too much about what he's saying

(Newser) - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is continuing to provide the FBI with vital—and chilling—information now that he's talking, intelligence sources say. Officials say that the underwear bomber, who started cooperating after family members were flown in from Nigeria, has provided details about his al-Qaeda handlers in Yemen. He believes there... 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 »

Subplots to Watch at Obama's Terror Meeting

How tough will the president be on himself and his staff?

(Newser) - President Obama meets with his security chiefs today to dissect the failed Christmas terror plot—and deflect criticism over his initial, tepid response. Politico breaks down the burning questions:
  • Do heads roll? Janet Napolitano and Michael Leiter have both been mentioned as possible sacrifices, but insiders increasingly doubt that Obama’
... More »

You Can't See It, But Cheney's Pants Are on Fire

Ex-veep's speech full of torture distortions

(Newser) - In his full-on assault on the president's conterterrorism policies yesterday, Dick Cheney deployed an arsenal of “omissions, exaggerations and misstatements,” charge Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of McClatchy. Among them:
  • Cheney claimed that harsh interrogations yielded vital, attack-preventing information and quoted Adm. Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence.
... 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 »

Intel Pick's Ouster a Victory for Lobbyists

Loss of excellent public servant a loss for country: Broder

(Newser) - When Charles Freeman withdrew from consideration to chair the National Intelligence Council, the Obama administration “suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the president vowed to keep in their place,” writes David Broder of the Washington Post. Freeman boasted “one of the most distinguished... More »

Obama Loses High-Level Intel Pick

Freeman, criticized as anti-Israel, withdraws from NIC post

(Newser) - Relentless criticism has forced another of President Obama's high-level appointees to drop out, the Hill reports. Charles Freeman, in line to be head of the National Intelligence Council, drew strong opposition for perceived anti-Israel views and financial ties to Saudi and Chinese governments. Freeman dropped out just hours after his... 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 »

'Google-like' System to Link US Intelligence Agencies

Overhaul includes databases, email

(Newser) - The computer databases of the 16 US intelligence agencies soon will be linked, the Wall Street Journal reports. The system comes nearly 5 years after the spy agencies got heat for failing to "connect the dots" before the Sept. 11 attacks. Analysts will be able to search through secret... More »

Obama Unveils Intelligence Team

Panetta, Blair, and Brennan an unusual, controversial crew

(Newser) - Barack Obama rounded out his national security team today, tapping Leon Panetta to head the CIA and Dennis Blair as his national intelligence director. Obama defended the choice of Panetta, which has drawn criticism because of his lack of intelligence experience, calling him "one of the finest public servants... More »

Panetta Tapped to Helm CIA

Former Clinton adviser has little intelligence experience

(Newser) - Barack Obama will name Leon Panetta, a former congressman and chief of staff to Bill Clinton, director of the CIA, the New York Times reports. Observers were split on the choice of Panetta, who is well-respected for his Beltway savvy but has no specific intelligence experience. Panetta will report to... 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 »

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