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“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” –Rilke

Leutrell Osborne, Sr. bids for Director of National Intelligence

June 7, 2010. Annapolis, Md. In late May of 2010, President Obama forced out his Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and began reevaluating the post, which is probably best led by a civilian, according to top lawmakers. “The president needs to decide what he wants the DNI to be,” Feinstein said, “and then work with the intelligence committees to see that the necessary authority is, in fact, in law.” It needs to be someone who can work with Directors of CIA, NSA and FBI, as well as the support agencies.

But, as of this writing, the President supports tough-sell candidate James Clapper, with his military background. Since retiring as a US Air Force general, he’s headed the Pentagon’s intelligence operations, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. But, he may lack Congressional support and credibility. Further the function of DNI, who doesn’t actually direct anything, needs to be clarified by Congress. Legislation is required to increase the power of the position.

Clapper is a personal favorite of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who selected Clapper as undersecretary of Defense for intelligence in January 2007. When he stayed on in 2009, he became one of the few holdovers from the Bush administration in a top policy position.

Two former intelligence officials said the nomination of Clapper would send a signal that, by design or default, the administration was accepting a more limited mandate for the DNI than advocates for the position had in mind when Congress created the job in 2004 to address intelligence failures prior to the 9/11 attacks.

While Obama said Clapper would be his principal intelligence adviser, former officials said that task was increasingly in the hands of John Brennan, the White House’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security.

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