Washington (CNN) – Now that Dennis Blair has packed his bags after 16 months as the nation's chief intelligence officer, finding a new director to lead the 16 agencies of the intelligence community is turning out to be a tough sell.
CIA Director Leon Panetta is a top choice of the Obama administration for the new director of national intelligence, said administration officials, but with three directors coming and going within five years, some, including Panetta, appear wary of the position.
Panetta would likely face little opposition on Capitol Hill. Key congressional leaders who would have to sign off on a new DNI have been singing his praises. Panetta had been a controversial choice to lead the CIA because of his lack of intelligence related experience. However, intelligence committee leaders on both sides of the aisle have singled Panetta out for his leadership at the CIA and working closely with Congress.
But Panetta is "very happy" at the CIA, finds the job "rewarding and challenging" and has told the White House he has no interest in becoming the director of national intelligence, said a U.S. intelligence official, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to talk about the issue.
Another prominent name on the list is retired Lt. Gen. James Clapper, the current undersecretary for intelligence at the Defense Department. But his prospects appear pretty dim on Capitol Hill.
(CNN) – President Obama soon will nominate a new director of national intelligence, a position originally envisioned as overseer of the entire U.S. intelligence community.
Dennis Blair, a retired Navy admiral, resigned as Obama's intelligence director Thursday.
In the days before his resignation, Blair had responded to a Senate committee report's criticism by saying that "institutional and technological barriers remain that prevent seamless sharing of information" among the 16 agencies he oversaw.
And that's the problem, a former White House homeland security adviser said Friday.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair has resigned. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) – The president's top intelligence adviser, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, has announced his resignation, effective Friday.
Blair, a retired four-star Navy admiral, has served in the post since January 29, 2009. His office oversees 17 federal agencies of the U.S. "intelligence community," including the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
Word of Blair's resignation comes just two days after the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that sharply criticized the National Counterterrorism Center - overseen by Blair's office - for failing to properly coordinate intelligence activities to detect the botched Christmas Day airline bombing in advance.
The report said the center, created after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to coordinate U.S. intelligence efforts, was "not organized adequately to fulfill its missions."
In addition, the report said other problems allowed suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab to board a flight bound for Detroit, Michigan, in December with an explosive device that failed to detonate. AbdulMutallab was detained when other passengers noticed his clothes burning from his attempt to set off the device.