January 7, 2006

Clapp On--Clapp Off--(clap on, clap off)--The Clapper!!

As we National Geospatial Intelligence employees filed into work yesterday, a news report about our director began circulating amonst us via email.

Now, we all knew the Clapp was going to step down as the director of NGA this coming June. We all assumed this was his decision, that he had served his time and was moving on to other endeavors. What we didn't know, however, was what we all found out yesterday: That as a result of the Clapp's testimony to Congress, back in '04 he had really angered Donald Rumsfeld. As such, ole Rummy refused to renew his term.

This is a bad move. Clapp has taken NGA from an old school Cartography agency--that had very little impact on national policy--to a highly technical Intelligence agency that supports not only the armed forces overseas, but other intell agencies, All the Commands: PACOM, SOCOM, EUCOM, etc., completely overhauled the new analyst training program, the promotion system, signed huge contracts for commercial imagery, implemented the GeoScout Program. Clapper's been a government contracter, and Air Force General, and the director of the DIA. He has a wide range of experience and is really tech savy (despite having no real educational background in it; two degrees in Political Science--he's quick learner though). He would, at least a couple times a month, send emails out to us explaining recent decisions, transformations, polices. Would also conduct employee surveys about what we could do better, etc, read the all, and then actually listened to us and changed some shit around! He even turned down a higher paying gig at the Dept. of Home Land Security to stay with us. We're not just a map factory any more, like we were during the Cold War....NGA is actually a big player in the Intel community now. Seriously, this guy know his shit. It was by no means certain that our agency would be where it is today, had we been assigned someone other than Clapper to be our director. Very few senior Intel officers had the experience and vision of the Clapp...(Our last director was a narrow minded Army General....). He deserved to leave on his own terms.

Clapper had intended to stay and see through many of his decisions...Switching out directors at this point is idiotic. Clapper has his finger on too many button's, this is going to undoubtely set us back a bit because its unlikely we'll get someone with Clapper's extensive Intel know-how.

Man, I'm actually pissed at our Sec Def. I never thought I would be, but here I am!

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