Intelligence Panel Approves Clapper; Senate Set to Vote Next Week

Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:34pm

The Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved James Clapper on Thursday to be the director of national intelligence, and the Senate is expected to vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee next week before adjourning for the August recess.

Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) previously had reservations about Clapper, a retired Air Force general, saying that she preferred to see a civilian in charge of the intelligence community. But in a statement after the vote, Feinstein said Clapper’s “long experience in intelligence certainly qualifies” him for the job.

The director of national intelligence oversees the country’s 16 spy agencies. Clapper would succeed Dennis Blair.

Intelligence ranking member Kit Bond (R-Mo.) said in a statement that Clapper “has served our nation honorably for 46 years, and I admire him.” He noted that Clapper assured him that “he does not intend to be a hood ornament, but judging from recent history, my yea vote is really a triumph of hope over experience.”