Breaking: Blair Announces Resignation
Well, that's one down.
About time some fucking heads started to roll.
Obama Intelligence Chief Blair Announces Resignation
May 20, 2010, 7:57 PM EDT
By Nicholas Johnston and Jeff Bliss
May 20 (Bloomberg) -- National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair is resigning as the top manager of U.S. spy agencies.
Blair offered his resignation to President Barack Obama effective May 28, he said in a statement. A U.S. official said the administration already has been interviewing potential replacements.
“I have had no greater honor or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community,” Blair said in the statement.
Obama, in a statement, thanked Blair for a “remarkable record of service” and said the intelligence community under his tenure “had performed admirably and effectively at a time of great challenges to our security.”
Republican lawmakers have been critical of the Obama administration’s intelligence efforts in the battle against terrorism following two failed attacks: the Christmas Day attempt to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit from Amsterdam and the unsuccessful car bomb attack in New York’s Times Square on May 1.
Pete Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the resignation is a “disturbing sign” of conflicts between intelligence agencies and the Obama White House.
“Blair’s resignation is the result of the Obama administration’s rampant politicization of national security and outright disregard for congressional intelligence oversight,” Hoekstra, of Michigan, said in a statement.
The resignation was reported earlier by ABC News.
Spy Agency Manager
Blair, 63, is a retired admiral who was picked by Obama last year for the job of overseeing the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, which have a combined budget of $47.5 billion. He was confirmed to the position by the U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote.
Congress created the position of national intelligence director in 2004 after the U.S. spy network failed to thwart the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In the Christmas Day terror attack, Obama said intelligence agencies had enough information to thwart the plot but “failed to connect those dots” and prevent Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding the plane he tried to blow up.
In the Times Square incident, government systems to keep accused terrorist Faisal Shahzad from boarding a plane to Dubai failed and he was only captured when Customs and Border Protection officials prevented his flight from taking off.
In recent months, Blair has been largely out of the public eye on major terrorism cases as other national security officials have taken the lead.
“It must have been challenging to be forced on the sidelines by the attorney general but still catch all the blame for failings,” Missouri Republican Kit Bond, the senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.
In the aftermath of the failed Times Square bombing, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters of numerous briefings Obama received from John Brennan, his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism.
Disclosure of the resignation comes two days after the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report that found 14 intelligence failures that preceded the Christmas Day bombing attempt.
Blair also had to contend with internal administration fights. He lost a battle with Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta to name the chief Director of National Intelligence representative at a CIA station.
That task traditionally had been done by the CIA director.
UPDATE -From Astute Bloggers:
THE FACT THAT OBAMA DOES NOT HAVE A REPLACEMENT YET MEANS THAT BLAIR WAS NOT FIRED; HE QUIT. IT CAME ON BLAIR'S TIMING, NOT THE WHITE HOUSE'S TIMING.
WHY WOULD BLAIR QUIT?
- COULD BLAIR HAVE QUIT BECAUSE OF BRENNAN'S OUTRAGEOUS ISLAMO-PHILISM WHICH LED HIM TO CALL JERUSALEM "AL QUDS" AND TO SEEK TO CODDLE HIZBALLAH "MODERATES" JUST AS HIZBALLAH IS ARMED WITH MISSILES BY IRAN VIA SYRIA?
- I THINK SO. BRENNAN WAS HIS CHIEF FOE.
UPDATE: IT LOOKS LIKE A TWOFER FOR THE OBAMA CROWD: THEY GET TO BLAME BLAIR FOR THEIR FAILURES, AND BRING IN SOMEONE WHO WILL TOE THE ANTI-ISRAEL PRO-ISLAM STRATEGY.
BOTTOM-LINE: OBAMA'S NATIONAL SECURITY APPARATUS IS IN TOTAL DISARRAY.
AND BECAUSE OF THEIR INCOMPETENCE & THEIRAPPEASEMENT, TURKEY HAS ENTERED THE SPHERE OF INFLUENCE OF RUSSIA AND IRAN, AND NORTH KOREA HAS TORPEDOED A SOUTH KOREAN SHIP.
IOW: ALL OF OUR FOES HAVE BEEN EMBOLDENED.
THERE IS NO DOUBT: OBAMA HAS MADE US LESS SAFE.
Blair issued the following statement:"It is with deep regret that I informed the President today that I will step down as Director of National Intelligence effective Friday, May 28th.I have had no greater honor or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community.Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland. You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe.Your work over the past 16 months has made the Intelligence Community more integrated, agile, and representative of American values. Keep it up – I will be cheering for you."
Here's a statement from Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.) ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.YOU SEE, I WAS RIGHT! BLAIR WAS FED UP WITH THE OBAMA CROWD AND QUIT!
Hoekstra lauds Blair as "the one person you could count on for rationality among Holder, Napolitano and Brennan."
He says the resignation is "the result of the Obama administration’s rampant politicization of national security and outright disregard for congressional intelligence oversight:"