Tuesday, 6 January, 2009

Obama’s pick for spy posts

January 6
PRESIDENT-ELECT Barack Obama has signalled a clean break from Bush administration policies with surprising appointments for the top intelligence jobs.

Former Clinton administration chief of staff Leon Panetta is being tipped to head the CIA, while retired admiral Dennis Blair is the choice to be director of national intelligence.

US spymasters were taken aback with the news of the appointment of two men short on direct experience in intelligence gathering.

But the selection had been expected for weeks, claimed two Democrats who spoke anonymously because Mr Obama had not officially announced the choices.

Mr Obama is sending an unequivocal message that controversial policies approving harsh interrogations and warrantless wiretapping are over, say officials. Neither Mr Panetta nor Mr Blair are tainted by associations with Bush policies.


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