Obama Picks Top Spies
Posted on Jan 5, 2009
The president-elect has reportedly chosen Leon Panetta to head the CIA and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. Both men bring a mixed bag. Panetta is an experienced bureaucrat, but he’s no James Bond. Blair has been praised for his terrorist-fighting skills, but he was criticized for a supposed conflict of interest that benefited defense contractors.
Related: Mark Ambinder dug up Panetta’s thoughts on torture, and AP has the background on Blair.
President-elect Barack Obama is naming Leon Panetta, a former congressman from California and chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, to be CIA director. Obama also has picked retired Navy Admiral Dennis Blair to be director of national intelligence, overseeing all the nation’s spy agencies, a Democratic official said.
The selection pairs a top military man with a quintessential Washington insider.