News Release

National Intelligence Director Nominee

Over the weekend, President Obama nominated James Clapper to replace Dennis C. Blair as U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

MELVIN A. GOODMAN
Goodman just wrote the piece “Pentagon Tightens Grip on the Obama Administration and the Intelligence Community.”
Now a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, Goodman was with the CIA for 41 years, serving as a senior analyst and a division chief. He is author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.

RAY McGOVERN
Obama stated on Saturday when announcing the nomination of Clapper: “He possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it’s not what we want to hear.”

McGovern wrote a few weeks ago: “According to press reports, the leading candidate to succeed Dennis Blair is retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, whose record does not inspire confidence. Clapper has a well-deserved reputation for giving consumers of intelligence what they want to hear.”

McGovern said today: “He [Clapper] now serves as undersecretary of intelligence at the Defense Department, working for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who holds a ‘PhD’ from Georgetown in Politicization of Intelligence under his mentor, ‘Professor’ William J. Casey [CIA director from 1981 to 1987].

“Casey was convinced that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union would never relinquish power; so Gates pedaled that line and missed the big one. The quickest way to politicize intelligence is to put fellow sycophants and careerists in management positions, which Gates was a master at doing.

“The direct result is that when Cheney and Bush told the CIA to come [up] with the intelligence necessary to ‘justify’ attacking Iraq, two decades-worth of malleable managers were on hand to do Bush’s bidding. James Clapper, head of imagery analysis from 2001 to 2006, played by the same script. Clapper made sure that no one found out that imagery intelligence on WMD was actually ‘non-existent’ — a term used by Sen. Jay Rockefeller after an exhaustive study by the Senate Intelligence Committee.”

McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, serving under seven presidents and nine CIA directors. He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Background: “The director of a top American spy agency said Tuesday that he believed that material from Iraq’s illicit weapons program had been transported into Syria … ‘unquestionably … I think people below the Saddam Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse,’ General Clapper [then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency] said …” — New York Times, October 29, 2003

“Another possibility is that some weapons may have been dispersed to other countries, such as Syria, before the war. That was the assessment of General James R. Clapper, Jr. …” — Karl Rove, “Courage and Consequences,” p. 339

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167