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21 July 2010


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Phil Giraldi

I personally believe there are too many layers of management and far too much duplication in the intelligence community, but I also believe there has to be an overall manager with full authority over budget and everything else, including personnel and assignments. Clapper had better watch his back. The CIA has been at this game for a long time and is expert at undercutting the opposition without anyone knowing what is taking place. They operate far better in Washington than they do in the field...



Could Clapper be playing the 'tough guy' just for his nomination/confirmation, and after that he 'rolls over and plays dead'? What I find disturbing regarding any who would hold the DNI position, is that the President 'may' back one one day, and pull the rug out from under them the next. That has been the Obama administration's track-record on a number of different issues.

Panetta and his boyz will have their long-knives out, who will Clapper have covering his six?

Patrick Lang


Yes. I expect that Obama is on their "asset list." The question is whether or not he will stay on that list. pl

ex-PFC Chuck
It sounds like I misjudged this situation. I thought Clapper was going to roll over and play dead in this job.
Perhaps it's a bit premature to pronounce yourself wrong re Clapper. Ditto regarding the president's commitment of support, a fact you recognize with your last, conditional sentence.
John Minnerath

To say he had the "horsepower", cojones?,to win in a contest of authority with the director of CIA or other high level bureaucrats? who also think they have the "horsepower" to win in contests of wills probably raised hackles up and down the hallways of agencies across the fairyland of DC.
He's a tough guy, but tough guys can fall hard and he's going to need continuous support from his boss.
I watched part of the hearing too and thought he did a good job.

Patrick Lang


Yes. Early, but there was something about that hearing that was different. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

What should the main action items for Clapper be in order to make a more effective IC from the standpoint of product?

Given the mess we are in globally, presumably we need something more effective than what we have at present.

Of course the consumers can always screw up in policy despite the best product in their hands. Nonetheless, we need the best product possible in the hands of the consumers/policymakers.


If confirmed, Clapper would be a real hero if he seconded all those retired military intelligence officers to the Coast Guard for oil remediation duty in the Gulf.



What I'm waiting for (with baited breath) is for the DNI whomever to do a damage assessment regarding outsourced contractors and their penetrations by foreign hostile intel services. With Government Employees/Military Personnel, things can be more maintained, but with 30% of Intel 'outsourced' to Mercs like BAH and others, the danger of hostile penetrations do not go away. Mercs provide an open door for penetrations which is good for the bad guys, and bad for U.S..


Clapper "... said that ultimately "the common denominator is the money that is appropriated."
... that although it is possible to count government employees doing intelligence work, "counting contractors is a little bit more difficult."

There's the shot across the bow of the beltway bandits. I hope he's well rested and supported by the big O. It is certainly the fight Obama needs to win inside the beltway.

William R. Cumming

CIA still does not get it was had back when decisions made that forced them to beg for SATINTEL and COMINTEL! IMO of course. What they do lead the community in is contracting out. About about this suggestion, only the DNI can approve contracting out for any portion of the INTEL community? Grab them by the shorthairs so to speak?


If Obama tells Clapper to make up an NIE that says Iran is going to nuclear weapons, what will Clapper do?

Patrick Lang


That is not how things are done. It would be more subtle than that. Who knows? pl


Slightly off topic but here's a nice explantion of what's needed in the nuclear fuel processing arena. (Great photo of the inspection of a new fuel assembly, too.)



There is one way to not have to worry about 'outsourcing' Intel -- boot the contractors and hire Retd. Military/Civilians with previous experience and not penalize them for their career Retd. status. The 'double dipping' thang is a dis-incentive for prior experience continuing to provide their previous stellar services to Uncle Sam.

Patrick Lang


I think that the "double dipping" penalties went out a while back. pl



Irregardless of what Clapper wants ["I won't be a hood ornament"], I see Obama pulling the rug out from under 'DNI' Clapper the moment that Panetta sneezes. Obama's word doesn't appear to mean much.

Patrick Lang


We will see. pl


I'm happy to see Col. Lang wanting to give Clappper the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, people do rise to the occasion.

My question is this: how well does Clapper know Chas Freeman and does he respect him? Would the experiences of Freeman help clarify the intentions of Clapper?


NB on contractor follies.. Clapper was instrumental in getting DSS back to being halfway respectable and is still close with the director there.

Elsewhere, in the realm of contractors... I came across this, which the Civil War buffs here may find interesting - link. For those who can't see it, it's an indian head cent token dated 1863 that says, "Millions for contractors / Not one cent for the widows".


from the foreign policy cable josh rogin

""We have a staffer on the National Security Council, who most people in the intelligence community believe acts as the DNI," Bond said, not naming Brennan directly. "He calls the shots and even goes on national television to pitch the administration's viewpoint ... This is not good for the country and is contrary to Congress's intent for the [intelligence community].""



We could re-mint that one.

Patrick Lang


He looked pretty sick, but, why? pl


If General Clapper suceeds, I believe that a major factor will be his long service in the intel community. Admiral Clapper was a brilliant man, but he spent his career primarily as a consumer, rather than a producer of intel. The IC is truly a world unto itself, and if you don't grow up in the culture, it's very diffiuclt to change the culture.



So what do make of Brennan added to the mix of the DNI's 'problems' that include Panetta?

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