Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Admiral Blair Makes Waves with Commonwealth Club Speech

The Huffington Post offers a brief rundown of the news made by last night's Commonwealth Club of California speaker, Admiral Dennis Blair, who is President Obama's director of national security. Blair spoke to The Club on the day of the release of an unclassified national security strategy report. Chief among the headlines made by Blair yesterday were numbers-related: The U.S> spends $75 billion on its intelligence services, and employs 200,000 people in the effort.

See also reports from the Associated Press, the Washington Independent, Fox News, the Federal News Service, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

CIA Director Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller will be making separate appearances at The Commonwealth Club this fall. For dates, details, and to register, go to The Commonwealth Club's web site.


Anonymous said...

Can we please have an open microphone for questions at these kinds of events? Things will be much more lively and still polite.

Commonwealth said...

Thanks for your note.

Many of our programs do have live mics -- most of our Member-Led Forums and most of our Inforum events, for example. The problem with live mics is that the sound quality is often not good enough for later radio broadcast and for transcription. So even with an audience mic, we still often need a moderator to repeat or clarify a question from the floor.

Anonymous said...

I remember attending an event with an open microphone for questions.
The sound quality in the blue room was fine and the event guest understood without the question being repeated.

I hope a technical solution for radio broadcast can be found because the card submitted question and moderator format is inferior.

It is a stunning testament to vigor of American democracy when average folks can directly speak and press the big bosses of the most sensitive national interests. The symbolism of an open microphone is so refreshing that I hope you sacrifice radio sound quality to make it happen when the CIA director visits.

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