I would hate to let John Negroponte's departure as Director of National Intelligence go by without reminiscing about the job's long hours and positively dreary surroundings, as recounted last March by Jeff Stein at CQ:
On many a workday lunchtime, the nominal boss of U.S. intelligence, John D. Negroponte, can be found at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the clubâs library.
âHe spends three hours there [every] Monday through Friday,â gripes a senior counterterrorism official, noting that the former ambassador has a security detail sitting outside all that time in chase cars. Others say theyâve seen the Director of National Intelligence at the University Club, a 100-year-old mansion-like redoubt of dark oak panels and high ceilings a few blocks from the White House, only âseveralâ times a week.
. . .
But there seems to be a new, relaxed John Negroponte. And some close observers think they know why.
Heâs figured out the job. Which is to say, he really doesnât have much control over the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.
So why not hang at the University Club?
Negroponte spokesman Carl Kroft takes serious issue with that portrayal.
âHeâs the hardest working person in U.S. intelligence,â Kroft said. âHeâs hard at work from the early hours of the morning to late every night. The job never ends.â
Negroponte's new digs in Foggy Bottom will be much closer to the University Club than were DNI's temporary offices out at Bolling Air Force Base.