Keystone Cops At It Again!

Is it just me, or does watching the Obama Administration remind you of an episode of the Keystone Cops?

On February 26th, 2009 the DNI, Dennis Blair selected Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr. to be the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC).  In his press release DNI Blair states, “The country is fortunate that Ambassador Freeman has agreed to return to public service and contribute his remarkable skills toward further strengthening the Intelligence Community’s analytical process.”

Then on March 10th, 2009, the DNI releases this press release:

“Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed.  Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.”

Now it seems to me that before DNI Blair issues a statement as matter-of-fact as the one he did on February 26th, 2009 that he and his staff would have done a better job at determining whether or not Ambassador Freeman really wanted the job in the first place!

The post of Chairman of the NIC is responsible for overseeing the production of National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and other Intelligence Community (IC) analytic products, it’s by far not a small job, and one that brings with it some serious scrutiny.

Personally, I feel this is just a another example of the failed vetting process the Obama Administration is becoming notorious for.

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

5 Responses to Keystone Cops At It Again!

  1. EagleWatch says:

    Good point!

  2. jimr says:

    You could very well be correct; however my point was that the DNI’s actions were amaturist to say the least, he of all people should have known better than to state matter-of-factly that Ambassador Freeman was coming out of retirement to take this job.

    And I think I have been proven right in my assumptions as today the DNI announced appointments of both a Director of Communications and a Director of Public Affairs.

  3. Leland says:

    There are vetting problems to be sure. But don’t forget that several nominees have dropped out once they found out where the rules of game lay.

    Many of these people refuse to play party politics with the office they are charged with. That could have happened here too.

    My guess that the President is going to defang our intelligence services in a manner that will make President Carter look like a hawk.

    Perhaps Ambassador Freeman is too conscientious to accept a position where it is impossible to his job effectively.

  4. jimr says:

    Well said! [:)]

  5. EagleWatch says:

    This, I fear, is an omen for our intelligence community. With Leon Panetta at CIA and no one in the West Wing that can vet nominees, I don’t hold much hope of this administration finding hot sauce in Mexico, let alone being able to cope with Chinese industrial espionage.