James R. Clapper
File:James R. Clapper official portrait.jpg
4th Director of National Intelligence
Assumed office
August 9, 2010
President Barack Obama
Deputy Stephanie O'Sullivan
Preceded by Dennis Blair
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
In office
April 15, 2007 – June 5, 2010
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Cambone
Succeeded by Michael G. Vickers
Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
In office
September 2001 – June 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded by James King
Succeeded by Robert Murrett
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
In office
November 1991 – August 1995
President George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Preceded by Dennis Nagy (Acting)
Succeeded by Kenneth Minihan
Personal details
Born James R. Clapper, Jr.
(1941-03-14) March 14, 1941 (age 80)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Alma mater University of Maryland
St. Mary's University
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1963–1995
Rank Lieutenant General
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star (2)
Air Medal (2)

James R. Clapper, Jr. (born March 14, 1941) is a retired lieutenant general in the United States Air Force and is currently the Director of National Intelligence. He was previously dual-hatted as the first Director of Defense Intelligence within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence alongside the position of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.[1] Clapper has held several key positions within the United States Intelligence Community. He served as the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from September 2001 until June 2006. Previously, he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 1992 until 1995.

On June 5, 2010 President Barack Obama nominated Clapper to replace Dennis C. Blair as United States Director of National Intelligence. Clapper was unanimously confirmed by the Senate for the position on August 5, 2010.[2][3]

In the media[edit | edit source]

In 2003 Clapper, then head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, attempted to explain the absence of WMDs in Iraq by asserting that the weapons materials were "unquestionably" shipped out of Iraq to Syria and other countries just before the American invasion, a "personal assessment" which Clapper's own agency head at the time, David Burpee, "could not provide further evidence to support."[4]

In an interview on December 20, 2010 with Diane Sawyer of ABC News, Clapper was completely unaware that twelve alleged would-be terrorists had been arrested in Great Britain earlier in the day.[5][6]

In February, 2011, when mass demonstrations were bringing down Mubarak's presidency in Egypt, Clapper told a House Intelligence Committee hearing that:

"The term 'Muslim Brotherhood'...is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," ... "They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera.....In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally." [7]

In March 2011, Clapper was heard at the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services and commented on the 2011 Libyan civil war that “over the longer term” Gaddafi “will prevail”. This position was loudly questioned by the White House, when National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon qualified his statement as a "static and one-dimensional assessment" and argued that “The lost legitimacy [of Gaddafi] matters".[8] During the same hearing he was also questioned when he neglected to list Iran and North Korea among the nuclear powers that might pose a threat to the United States.

Military career[edit | edit source]

File:James R Clapper.jpg

Lieutenant General James R. Clapper, USAF circa 1985

After a brief enlistment in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, General Clapper transferred to the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He was commissioned in 1963 as a distinguished military graduate from the University of Maryland. He commanded a signals intelligence detachment in Thailand (where he flew 73 combat support missions in EC-47s), a signals intelligence SIGINT wing at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, and the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Clapper served as director of intelligence for three of the unified commands: U.S. Forces Korea, U.S. Pacific Command and Strategic Air Command. Also, he served as senior intelligence officer for the Air Force.[9] Clapper's final military post was as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. After this he briefly served as an executive in several private companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton and SRA International.

Appointment as USD(I)[edit | edit source]

After his departure from NGA in June 2006, Clapper briefly served as the chief operating officer for Detica DFI, now a US-based subsidiary of BAE Systems. For the 2006-2007 academic year, Clapper held the position of Georgetown University’s Intelligence and National Security Alliance Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Intelligence.[10] While teaching at Georgetown, Clapper was officially nominated by President George W. Bush to be Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence on 29 January 2007. Clapper was confirmed by the United States Senate on 11 April 2007.[11] He was only the second person to hold this position, which oversees and provides policy, program, and budgetary guidance to the defense intelligence agencies - DIA, NGA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) - and also works closely with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

Director of National Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Nomination[edit | edit source]

On June 4, 2010, multiple news agencies reported that United States President Barack Obama was planning to nominate Clapper as the next Director of National Intelligence.[3][12] Despite the report that Clapper was suggested to President Obama by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, both Chairwoman Diane Feinstein and Vice-Chairman Kit Bond of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had offered reservations regarding his appointment.[3]

President Obama made the official announcement on June 5, 2010 saying Clapper "possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it's not what we want to hear." [13]

On August 5, 2010, Clapper was confirmed by the Senate in a unanimous vote.[2] Lawmakers approved his nomination after the Senate Intelligence Committee backed him with a 15-0 vote. During his testimony for the position, Director Clapper pledged to advance the DNI's authorities, exert tighter control over programming and budgeting, and provide oversight over the CIA's use of predator drones in Pakistan.[14]

New Deputy Director for Intelligence Integration[edit | edit source]

Director Clapper has announced a new position at the DNI, which will serve to integrate the former posts of Deputy Director for Analysis and Deputy Director for Collections, now called the deputy director for intelligence integration. Mr. Robert Cardillo, the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was tapped as the first person to fill this new post.[15][16][17]

Budget Authority[edit | edit source]

In a tentative agreement reached between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director Clapper, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will assume administrative control over the National Intelligence Program (NIP). Previously the NIP was itemized within the Defense Department budget to help keep the line item and dollar amount from public disclosure, the practice of which will now be disbanded. Director Clapper's office publicly disclosed the top line budget late October 2010. Senior intelligence officials believe the budget change will likely strengthen the DNI's authority.[18][19][20][21][22]

Iran[edit | edit source]

Giving evidence to the Senate in February 2012 Clapper told Congress that if Iran is attacked over its alleged nuclear weapons program, it could respond by closing the Strait of Hormuz to ships and launch missiles at regional U.S. forces and allies. Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess tells senators Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict. Clapper says it’s “technically feasible” that Tehran could produce a nuclear weapon in one or two years, if its leaders decide to build one, “but practically not likely.” He says recent diplomatic outreach by Iran to European diplomats could indicate that officials there are reconsidering the program. Both men say they do not believe Israel has decided to strike Iran.

Education[edit | edit source]

Clapper also holds an honorary doctorate in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College, Washington, D.C., where he taught as an adjunct professor.

Major awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Effective dates of promotion[edit | edit source]

  • Second Lieutenant Jun 8, 1963
  • First Lieutenant Jan 8, 1965
  • Captain Mar 16, 1967
  • Major Nov 1, 1973
  • Lieutenant Colonel Apr 1, 1976
  • Colonel Feb 11, 1980
  • Brigadier General Oct 1, 1985
  • Major General Sep 1, 1988
  • Lieutenant General Nov 15, 1991 [23]

Assignments[edit | edit source]

  • May 1963 - March 1964, student, Signal Intelligence Officers Course, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
  • March 1964 - December 1965, analytic branch chief, Air Force Special Communications Center, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas
  • December 1965 - December 1966, watch officer and air defense analyst, 2nd Air Division (later, 7th Air Force), Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam
  • December 1966 - June 1970, aide to the commander and command briefer, Air Force Security Service, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas
  • June 1970 - June 1971, commander, Detachment 3, 6994th Security Squadron, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
  • June 1971 - August 1973, military assistant to the director, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
  • August 1973 - August 1974, aide to the commander and intelligence staff officer, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
  • August 1974 - September 1975, distinguished graduate, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
  • September 1975 - June 1976, chief, signal intelligence branch, Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
  • June 1976 - August 1978, chief, signal intelligence branch, J-23, Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
  • August 1978 - June 1979, student, National War College, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
  • June 1979 - January 1980, Washington area representative for electronic security command, deputy commander, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
  • February 1980 - April 1981, commander, 6940th Electronic Security Wing, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
  • April 1981 - June 1984, director for intelligence plans and systems, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  • June 1984 - May 1985, commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
  • June 1985 - June 1987, assistant chief of staff for intelligence, U.S. Forces Korea, and deputy assistant chief of staff for intelligence, Republic of Korea and U.S. Combined Forces Command
  • July 1987 - July 1989, director for intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
  • July 1989 - March 1990, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
  • April 1990 - November 1991, assistant chief of staff for intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  • November 1991–1995, director, Defense Intelligence Agency and General Defense Intelligence Program, Washington, D.C.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ""Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to be Dual-hatted as Director of Defense Intelligence," ''DNI News Release'', May 24, 2007" (PDF). http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20070524_release.pdf. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "James Clapper Confirmed as Director of National Intelligence". Wall Street Journal. 2010-08-05. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/05/james-clapper-confirmed-director-national-intelligence/. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Montopoli, Brian (2010-06-04). ""James Clapper to be Tapped as New National Intelligence Director," ''CBS News'', June 04, 2010". Cbsnews.com. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20006867-503544.html. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  4. ""THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: WEAPONS SEARCH; Iraqis Removed Arms Material, U.S. Aide Says," ''New York Times'', October 29, 2003". Nytimes.com. 2003-10-29. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/world/the-struggle-for-iraq-weapons-search-iraqis-removed-arms-material-us-aide-says.html. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  5. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/national-security-leaders-discuss-ongoing-terror-janet-napolitano-dhs-homeland-politics-12453917,retrieved 12/21/2010
  6. Stein, Jeff (2010-12-21). "SpyTalk - Clapper flunks ABC's quiz on London terror case". Voices.washingtonpost.com. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/12/clapper_flunks_quiz_on_london.html. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  7. Gerstein, Josh (2011-02-10). "DNI Clapper retreats from 'secular' claim on Muslim Brotherhood - Josh Gerstein". Politico.Com. http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0211/DNI_Clapper_Egypts_Muslim_Brotherhood_largely_secular.html?showall. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  8. NY Times: U.S. Escalates Pressure on Libya Amid Mixed Signals
  9. "United States Air Force Biography". Af.mil. http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=5005. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  10. ""Professor in Practice of Intelligence Established", ''Georgetown University''". Explore.georgetown.edu. http://explore.georgetown.edu/news/?ID=19761. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  11. ""DoD Announces Clapper as the New Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence", ''M2 Presswire'', April 16, 2007". Goliath.ecnext.com. http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-6437933/DoD-Announces-Clapper-as-the.html. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  12. "AP source: Pentagon official tapped as intel chief," Washington Post, June 04, 2010[dead link]
  13. "Obama nominates Clapper to head spy agencies, ''MSNBC'', June 05, 2010". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37526849/ns/politics/. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  14. Washington Post, DNI nominee vows tighter reins on intel programs, 20 July 2010
  15. CNN, Director of national intelligence names deputy to boost collaboration, 20 August 2010
  16. The Washington Post, Clapper's people, 23 August 2010
  17. Got GEOINT?, Monday Morning News Kick Off: Robert Cardillo to Boost Collaboration for ODNI; Clapper Brings Sense of Humor to Job; SAIC Wins TASER Contract, 23 August 2010
  18. Washington Post, Control of intelligence budget will shift, November 3, 2010
  19. WIRED, One Spy to Rule Them All: Top Spook Launches Push for Real Power, November 3, 2010
  20. Federal Times, Intelligence director says he will get control of funds, November 3, 2010
  21. Executive Gov, Clapper Seeks Authority over Intel Budget, November 3, 2010
  22. ODNI, DNI Releases Budge Figure for 2010 National Intelligence Program, 28 October 2010
  23. "Usaf.Mil-Biographies: Lieutenant General James R. Clapper Jr". Af.mil. http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=5005. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Dennis Nagy
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
Succeeded by
Kenneth Minihan
Preceded by
James King
Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Succeeded by
Robert Murrett
Preceded by
Stephen Cambone
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
Succeeded by
Michael G. Vickers
Preceded by
David Gompert
Director of National Intelligence
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Ron Kirk
as Trade Representative
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Director of National Intelligence
Succeeded by
Susan Rice
as Ambassador to the United Nations


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