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DNI nominee comes in for criticism

"The Obama administration, rather than reacting defensively, should seize the initiative by trying to control this behemoth. The paradox here is that a smaller, better-controlled intelligence community will actually make the country safer than the unmanaged sprawl we have now," writes Washington Post international affairs columnist David Ignatius of the intelligence world uncovered by the "Top Secret America" series.

"This is the real mission for the star-crossed Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which was created in 2005 to bring order out of the intelligence chaos. By picking the wrong fights and conducting turf wars, the DNI has made some of these problems worse. The right model is the Office of Management and Budget -- a coordinating staff of experts that can monitor budgets, personnel and performance.

"James Clapper, Obama's nominee for DNI, took some wobbly first steps Tuesday at his confirmation hearing, criticizing "sensationalism" in a Post series that has been widely praised by other intelligence veterans. And he unwisely dismissed the problem of redundancy in the intelligence bureaucracy, which many other experts regard as serious."

Read his whole column »

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 21, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
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Yes, I find the statements Mr Clapper made in recent days very unsatisfactory. You do have to be able to explain things to the public when you're in a high position of government, it's not just about running the office.
I would think president Obama will choose another head of DNI. This man will just make matters worse.

Sociologically the intelligence community can be seen as a religious elite. Their buildings as temples where ordained priests perform secret rituals. All "for the good of the nation" but without significant practical results.
Because there are many factions within this religion we expect to see what always happens in such cases - rival sects will start fighting amongst each other when they cannot expand naturally anymore.
The inner power struggle is already going on and a new secretive McCarthy will stand up shortly.

Posted by: novaloka | July 21, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

What a masterpiece in investigation and reporting you have presented. Congratulations. I see awards in your future.

It is alarming... disgusting, rather, to note all the duplication, power building potential, wasted funds, games... It is all wrong and should be fixed. Close it down and start over with the learning you have witnessed.

Lloyd Winburn

Posted by: lloyd2 | July 21, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

When he said "sensationalism" to the question by Congress which a fall back position rather than take a different tack by means of a club in order to bring order to the intelligence agencies' missions, budget once he is confirmed.

Unfortunately one of the bigger problem is Congress' meddling by supporting contractor corporate donors to provide work which lies in the redundancy. I could do much better job than that however I know I won't get selected.

Posted by: beeker25 | July 21, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Lets face the FACT, as I have been writing for last few years: the never ending Afghan War and the "War on Terror.." are total shams. They are just meant to do Two essential things:
1- Distract Americans people attention to what is really killing them and so wrong with this country.

2- Enrich the War profiteers and War mongers to the tune of 100s of Billions of Dollars of American Tax payers money.

More here:

Posted by: Thinkdeeper | July 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

We can thank Bush/Cheney for this big mess. Wonder who got all the money to build the buildings.

It is a "stimulace" package gone wrong.

The only silver lining is the 800,000 plus folks who are working and have good federal benefits.

Posted by: mmcg8959 | July 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Cheers for General James Clapper: he got it right!
After the criticism of the intelligence community in the Washington Post, he reacted on 20 July with a statement that contained the prediction that North Korea would likely attack again.
"US spy chief nominee warns of N Korea 'direct attacks'"
North Korea's sinking of a South Korean warship may herald a "dangerous new period", the nominee to be US director of national intelligence has warned.

And exactly that was made official today by Pyongyang: "North Korea threatens 'physical response' to U.S.-South Korea military exercise".

Makes me wonder what the leader of the DPRK armed forces Kim Jong-il will decide to do. He surely is a megalomaniac dictator and the US hasn't been kind to China lately (forbidding them to refine Sudanese oil), so....

Posted by: novaloka | July 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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