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Senate confirms Blair as director of national intelligence

  • Story Highlights
  • Retired Adm. Dennis Blair confirmed by unanimous consent
  • Confirmation comes after previous director Michael McConnell resigned
  • Earlier this month, President Obama nominated Blair as chief of intelligence
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate confirmed by unanimous consent retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence Wednesday.

Retired Adm. Dennis Blair answers questions at his confirmation hearing last week.

Retired Adm. Dennis Blair answers questions at his confirmation hearing last week.

The confirmation followed the resignation of former director Michael McConnell, who left the post Tuesday after nearly two years on the job.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama nominated Blair to be chief of intelligence.

McConnell had been expected to remain as DNI until Blair was in place, but a delay in Blair's confirmation prompted him to announce his resignation sooner than that. Blair's confirmation hearing was held last week.

The retired admiral will continue to advise Obama, however, having agreed to serve on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

The defense consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton announced Tuesday that McConnell will return to the company as a vice president. He left the firm in February 2007 to become the nation's second director of national intelligence.

In a farewell letter obtained by CNN, McConnell thanked his colleagues for their hard work and touted some of the accomplishments during his tenure.

At the top of his list: passage of legislation revising the law governing intelligence community eavesdropping and updating the presidential order that outlines the power and authorities of the community.

"These documents lay a foundation to provide the IC the structure and the tools needed to continue our work, while expanding privacy and civil liberties protections to all Americans," wrote McConnell.

The office was created in late 2004 as part of the effort to improve intelligence gathering after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the faulty intelligence on Iraq weapons of mass destruction.

All About Espionage and IntelligenceU.S. SenateBarack Obama

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