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Published: Monday, 1/5/2009

Blair is Obama s choice for intelligence director

WASHINGTON Retired Admiral Dennis Blair is Barack Obama s choice to be director of national intelligence.

Two Democratic officials said Monday that the former head of U.S. Pacific Command was the president-elect s choice for the post. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made.

His nomination has been expected, unlike Obama s other intelligence choice of Leon Panetta to run the CIA. Panetta is a former congressman and White House chief of staff who brings experience in management but not an intelligence background to the post.

Blair served in the Navy for 34 years and he was chief of the U.S. Pacific Command during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Blair is also a China expert, and he was an associate director for military support at the CIA.

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