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Jun-06-2010 22:43TweetFollow @OregonNews
Politics and Intelligence Just Destined to Clash!Commentary by Bob Collinsworth Salem-News.com
Gen. Clapper has built a reputation as a straight shooter who speaks respectfully but directly to everyone.
(HARRISVILLE, N.H.) - It seems unnatural to me to use the two words Politics and Intelligence in the same sentence or even the same article but use them together I must.
President Obama has named Lieutenant Gen. James Clapper USAF (Ret.) as director of National Intelligence. Gen. Clapper has had a long and distinguished career, accumulating over 43 years experience in various segments of the Intelligence community including military, civil service, the private sector, and in education. He understands intelligence at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels, having served in all three.
The big question at this point is "Can Gen. Clapper accomplish what his predecessor Adm. Dennis Blair could not?" His first hurdle will be passing muster with the Senate. The Senate confirmation hearings are likely to begin in the near future, as President Obama has stated that he wants senators to act quickly to confirm Clapper, saying that the nomination "can't fall victim to the usual Washington politics."
Adm. Blair resigned last month after multiple clashes with the White House. It has been rumored that Blair was out-maneuvered by a combination of Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, and CIA Director Leon Panetta. Brennan and Panetta have the president's ear, and carte blanche entry to the Oval Office. If President Obama truly wants Clapper to succeed in this position, he will give him the authority he will need to make his position work, along with the responsibility and accountability for that position and make it clear to both Brennan and Panetta that Clapper has it. First, however, Clapper must be confirmed by the Senate and that is far from a guarantee at this point. Politics may well deprive the country of the most capable candidate for the position as head of our Intelligence community.
Gen. Clapper has built a reputation as a straight shooter who speaks respectfully but directly to everyone. He has had more than one face-off with lawmakers in the past. This fact may come back to haunt him during the Senate confirmation hearings. It is strange that while he has worked in intelligence capacities for administrations of both political parties, there appears to be some resistance to him by both political parties. My guess is that politicians simply fear having to deal regularly with anyone who is honest, direct, and up-front about anything. I think that is why most of them would prefer to deal with each other, but . . . that is just my opinion.
Writer Robert Collinsworth is an American who isn't hesitant to talk about the good side of his country, and that is a welcome thing in this day and age. Salem-News.com admittedly, is very critical of both American politics, as well as those of other nations that we perceive is being wrong in their motives and actions. At the same time, within these structures we criticize, are many outstanding people who make each day a better place for all those around them. They embody and personify the American spirit that is sometimes fleeting, but always present. These are some of the things Robert takes into account when writing commentary that is designed reach people, to "get them thinking" in his words, and indeed it does. Salem-News.com's goal is for all people to be on the same page, we appreciate Bob's more conservative approach toward that same goal."
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