Blair Resigns Intelligence Post

Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:33pm

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair announced Thursday that he will resign Friday after serving in the post for 16 months.

“It is with deep regret that I informed the president today that I will
step down as Director of National Intelligence effective Friday, May
28th,” Blair said in a statement.

Blair gave no reason for his resignation but said he has had “no greater honor or pleasure” than leading the intelligence community.

“Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support
for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland,” Blair said of the intelligence community. “You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe. Your work over the past 16 months has made the Intelligence Community more integrated, agile, and representative of American values. Keep it up. I will be cheering for you.”

House Intelligence ranking member Pete Hoekstra reacted harshly to the news, calling Blair’s departure “disturbing and unfortunate” and accusing President Barack Obama of driving him out.

“Clearly, and understandably, Director Blair was frustrated by the White House’s micromanagement and sidelining of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on national security issues,” said the Michigan Republican, who is running for governor. “Blair’s resignation is the result of the Obama administration’s rampant politicization of national security and outright disregard for Congressional intelligence oversight.”

Hoekstra also took shots at others in the administration — Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan — for failing to provide intelligence professionals with needed resources and authority.

“Dennis Blair was the one person you could count on for rationality among Holder, Napolitano and Brennan — and he’s the one the president let go,” he said.