Veteran Former Spy Takes Top Intelligence Slot, Amid Bush Security Shuffle

White House (AP) -- President Bush has appointed a longtime intelligence expert to be the country's second National Intelligence Chief.

Friday, the President named retired Vice Admiral Mike McConnell to the post. The 25-year intelligence veteran will oversee and coordinate the 16 US spy agencies.

The appointment is part of a reshuffling of Bush's national security team. The President also announced that his first top spymaster, John Negroponte, will become Deputy Secretary of State.

At the White House Friday, the President praised the two men, and called it "vital" that they quickly start their new jobs. The two will need to be confirmed by the new Democratic Congress.

McConnell says he looks forward to returning to intelligence work, adding that the threats confronting the US are moving "at increasing speed."

Negroponte calls his new job "an opportunity of a lifetime."

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