Admiral Blair encouraged and supported the Commander of the Indonesian Military during the massacres in East Timor in 1999. Given the CIA's long history of supporting massacres, torture, and efforts to overthrow legitimate governments around the world, a person who does not have the moral sense to understand that this is wrong should not be director of national intelligence. Why does Barack Obama not consult distinguished intelligence veterans who have been right all along, like Richard Clarke or Ray McGovern?
If he nominates Dennis Blair to be Director of National Intelligence, President-elect Obama will be making a blunder that can not easily be set aside as a pragmatic choice as can his other nominations of persons who have supported or helped implement the atrocious policies of the Bush administration.
Hillary Clinton’s support for the invasion of Iraq and Tim Geithner’s participation in the quarter trillion dollar gift to major banks with no requirement that the banks use the fortune for making loans are policy positions that can be put into reverse by strong presidential guidance. But condoning and supporting widespread torture and massacres, as Admiral Blair did in 1999 in his meeting with Indonesian General Wiranto while his militias were on a rampage in East Timor , is a policy position on which the president might not be able effectively to override the Director of National Intelligence where covert operations are involved.
Regardless of who is really in charge of intelligence operations, because of the record of the CIA over the past 60 years in training and supporting torturers and death squads, and in fomenting rebellions against Democratic governments, in a dozen or more countries from Guatemala to Angola, it behooves the president to find persons to head national intelligence and the CIA who at least have a moral compass, and who can recognize that promoting torture and death squads, or rebellion against peaceful, legitimate governments is not in the national security interest of this country.
There are distinguished veterans of national intelligence agencies who been right when others have been wrong, particularly with regard to Al Qaida and 9/11, and who also have exhibited a capacity for moral judgment. Best known are Richard Clarke and Ray McGovern. Why does Barack Obama ignore these outstanding experts? If for any reason he finds them not the best qualified to be DNI and CNI, at least he ought to consult with them to find persons better qualified for those posts than those that he already has found.