US Senate c'tee approves Dennis Blair as national intelligence director

The US Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday voted to approve retired Adm. Dennis Blair as the new US national intelligence director, committee spokesman Philip LaVelle said. The full Senate is expected to confirm Blair later by a wide margin. He would be President Barack Obama's top intelligence adviser, overseeing a budget of nearly $50 billion across 16 intelligence agencies. Blair would replace Michael McConnell who resigned the post Tuesday after nearly two years in the job.