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Obama names top intelligence chiefs

world Updated: Jan 10, 2009 08:42 IST

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US President-elect Barack Obama on Friday named retired admiral Dennis Blair to be the country's top spymaster as his director of national intelligence and Leon Panetta as the new head of the CIA.

"Good intelligence is not a luxury. It is a necessity," Obama said as he unveiled his nominations to the two key posts.

"The men and women of the intelligence community have been on the front lines in this world of new and evolving dangers. They have served in the shadows, saved American lives, advanced our interests, and earned the respect of a grateful nation."