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22 May, 2010 00:25

White House should have let Blair do his job

On May 20, Dennis Blair resigned from his position as the US Director of National Intelligence after being highly criticized by the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

The office oversees 16 federal agencies including the CIA and Department of Homeland Security. Blair served in the position since January 2009 and said his resignation was effective as of May 28.

It was inevitable” said Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. “He had no authority really, no real authority other than his own character to oversee these 16, 17 entities in the US intelligence community,” said Wilkerson.

Blair was seen as out of step with the White House and sought the proper authority to do his job, but it was never given, which eventualy led to his decision to step-down.

In order to have real power in Washington you have to have power over people, and that’s your issue of appointing intelligence personnel, and have control over money, dollars. He doesn’t have control over the people, obviously [Leon] Panetta won that argument, and he doesn’t have real control over the dollars because the secretary of defense has about 75 to 80 percent of those dollars. So, if you don’t have the money and you don’t have the people how can you do your job?” said Wilkerson.