Leon Panetta vs. David Blair – The Two Most Powerful Players in the US Intelligence Community : Welcome the Light
admin | Dec 28, 2009 |
[It is important here to note the last paragraph HERE about David Blair and the recent Chris Story article HERE about Leon Panetta. Review those before continuing forth in this post and you'll understand the REAL power struggle going on here and what's it's really about - DISCLOSURE. Tony]
A White House intervention for bickering leaders of U.S. intelligence
A classified order is issued to defuse tensions between Dennis Blair, head of national intelligence, and the CIA’s Leon Panetta. It deflects a power move by Blair but keeps him closely in the loop.
By Greg Miller
December 28, 2009
Reporting from Washington – The White House this month issued a classified order to resolve mounting frictions between the nation’s intelligence director and the CIA over issues including how the agency conducts covert operations, U.S. officials said.
The intervention reflects simmering tension between the two most powerful players in the U.S. intelligence community: Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta.
The memo maintains the CIA’s status as the nation’s lead spy service on covert missions, rejecting an attempt by Blair to assert more control. But the document also includes language detailing the agency’s obligation to work closely with Blair on sensitive operations.
The two sides have sparred in recent months over the CIA’s role in Afghanistan, officials said, with Blair voicing frustration that the agency had given too little attention to supporting U.S. efforts to strengthen the existing government in Afghanistan and reduce the power of Taliban insurgents.
In meetings, Blair had pushed an effort “to turn the CIA around, ” said a senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. In particular, Blair has prodded the agency to curtail support to discredited warlords who may help in the hunt for Al Qaeda but also contribute to corruption in Kabul.
Senior lawmakers and U.S. military officials also have voiced concern that the CIA’s mission is too narrow.
“Right now, the CIA is focused on the counter-terrorism-only mission, ” said Sen. Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Unless the CIA does more to help stabilize local provinces, “all the work they do hunting bad guys is for naught when the Taliban can come in at dark and wipe out anybody” trying to help the United States.
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