News / USA

Obama Picks Pentagon Spy Chief to Lead US Intelligence

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen the Defense Department's head of intelligence to oversee the nation's 16 intelligence agencies.  Retired Air Force General James Clapper is the president's choice to be the new Director of National Intelligence.

President Obama says General Clapper is one of the nation's most experienced and most respected intelligence professionals.

"He has improved information-sharing, increased intelligence support to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, upheld civil liberties, and he played a key role in our effort to update and reorient our intelligence community to meet the threats of our time," said President Obama.

If approved by the Senate, Clapper would be the fourth Director of National Intelligence.  Retired Admiral Dennis Blair resigned last month after a series of conflicts with the White House.

Mr. Obama introduced his nominee Saturday in a brief speech in the White House Rose Garden.

Clapper spoke for only 40 seconds, saying nominees for Director of National Intelligence (DNI) are "better seen than heard."

"We have the largest, most capable intelligence enterprise on the planet, and it is the solemn, sacred trust in the DNI to make that enterprise work," he said.

Clapper has spent several decades in military intelligence.  He led the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which analyzes images taken from above.  He also headed the Defense Intelligence Agency, which often works closely with the CIA.

Clapper is known for being blunt and direct.  His manner has won praise in the military, but some of the lawmakers who will decide whether he is confirmed say he is not cooperative enough.

President Obama says Clapper's no-nonsense style will be an asset in his new job.

"He possesses a quality that I value in all my advisors: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know, even if it is not what we want to hear," added President Obama.

Mr. Obama admits that coordinating the activities of 16 U.S. spy agencies is a major challenge, but he believes Clapper will be able to do so.

"In short, our intelligence community needs to work as one integrated team that produces quality, timely and accurate intelligence.  And let us be honest, this is a tough task.  But this will be Jim's core mission, he is eminently qualified, and he has my complete confidence and support," Obama explained.

The president says the U.S. intelligence community has vastly improved since the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon in 2001.  But he says December's incident in which a Nigerian man boarded a jet headed for Detroit with explosives hidden in his underwear shows that more work lies ahead.

Mr. Obama is calling on the Senate to quickly approve General Clapper's nomination.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid