But Clapper could face an uphill battle in the Senate, where he has already generated bipartisan skepticism. In May, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) issued a statement urging the White House to select a civilian for the DNI post.Hmm, well, since he retired from the service 15 years ago he IS a civilian. Does she mean a civilian with no military experience like Obama and Biden, or a civilian with military experience like Leon Panetta, who served in the Army in the 60s?
Other opposition comes from Republican Peter Hoekstra of the House, who thinks General Clapper doesn't believe in a Congressional oversight process of intelligence in general (which sounds a bit oxymoronic). That notion seems to have come from a trip he took to Yemen right after the underbomber to investigate the al-Awlaqi connection wherein the congressman claims the US Embassy there was told to dummy up, believing the order came from Clapper's office in the Pentagon.
That would suggest there's something about Yemen they'd rather not see spread around right now, and who better than congressmen to spread things around? Lots of folks have been milling around in Yemen lately.
And here's another interesting tidbit:
Clapper is a personal favorite of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who selected Clapper as undersecretary of defense for intelligence in January 2007. When he stayed on in 2009, he became one of the few holdovers from the Bush administration in a top policy position.So if Hoekstra's tale is correct the order could have come through Clapper from Gates. Anyway, an endorsement from the current SoD suggests Clapper is not prone to outlandish conspiracy theories, giving more weight to his thoughts on the demise of Iraq's WMDs as explained back in 2003, and alluded to in this interview by former DCI James Woolsey:
So you think it is quite possible that some biological weapons haven’t been found?Now, consider the import of this--some of Saddam's weapons in the Bekka Valley of Syria with the powder keg setting up around Israel at the moment. And we have a guy with an apparent affection for secrecy and admiration for tough interrogation (included the enhanced kind) being nominated by a dove president who can't even say the word terrorism or jihad. Hey, just sayin.
You have to distinguish between weapons and agents. Weapons suggests loaded-up artillery shells and rockets and bombs. But you don’t load anything up with biological or chemical agents until the last minute. So most of the more sophisticated discussion about this talks about agents rather than weapons. Kay said that it is possible— indeed, I think he said it was likely— that something connected to WMD may have been smuggled out to Syria. And the same thing was said some weeks ago by James R. Clapper, the head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.