Posted by: Dark Defender | January 5, 2009

Panetta for DCIA? Really???? wtf? UPDATED x3!

Here comes change, meet the new CIA chief.

Here comes change, meet the new CIA chief.

Soooo The One is going to be nominating former member of Congress and Clinton chief of Staff Leon Panetta to head the CIA.  This raises three questions first, WTF? Second, WTF? Third, huh?

Panetta has no experience in intelligence matters none.  Hes never been in the military, hes never worked for an intelligence agency, as a member of congress he never served on an intelligence committee and his after government private work centered on environmentalism.  

Ok he was part of the Iraq study group, but seeing how they recommend fleeing Iraq in disgrace, a position which given the success of the surge seems ill considered and panicky, probably shouldn’t be using that on his resume huh?

So again WTF? Why cant I be DCIA? I don’t have any experience either, but at least im interested in intelligence matters.

Lets compare his experience to other recent DCIAs:

Currently we have Michael Hayden a 4 star general and 46 year military veteran who was also the longest serving head of the national security agency (appointed by Clinton kept by Bush) in the job.

Prior to Hayden we had Peter J. Goss.  He was actually a CIA agent himself for more than a decade, even being involved in the Cuban missile crisis.  Later he was a congressmen where he served as head of the intelligence committee for the better part of a decade.

Before Goss (our first post 9/11 selection) Clinton had named George Tenet to the job.  Prior to the job he held various staff positions on the Senate select committee for intelligence for more than a decade, before joining the Clinton transition team as national security advisor and then serving on the national security council until being appointed DCI (as it was called at the time) by Clinton.

Before Tenat Clinton appointed Deutch who was indeed as woefully unqualified as Panetta.  His background was in academia and focused on energy issues.  His agenda as DCI mostly consisted of trying to make the CIA more diverse, yes you heard that right as Al-Qaida was gathering strength in the mid 90s the head of the CIA’s primary concern was the diversity of his agents.  If that wasn’t bad enough it later came out that Deutch had regularly compromised security by keeping classified material on an unsecured unclassified laptop.  This was the Clinton administration so naturally Attorney General Janet Reno refused to investigate, but Clinton himself demonstrates how serious the matter is by the fact that he felt the need to issue a pardon for Deutch on his (Clinton’s) last day in office.

So clearly Panetta is nowhere near the caliber of any of our post 9/11 DCIA’s,  he has zero military experience, has no real intelligence experience and frankly has never really shown a real interest in either.

This is definitely change.  It would appear to me that rather than naming a qualified (and potentially independent) DCIA, Obama wants a loyal partisan running the agency.  It would seem competence at this stage is less important to him than loyalty.  Very Bush like really.  If the CIA screws up I wonder if we will get a “your doing a heck of a job Panetty” speech from The One?

Anyways the signal this sends to me is that Obama is going to be exercising political control over the CIA and I expect that political correctness, not protecting America is going to be the priority.  Why else would you appoint a political hack to the job, unless you wanted to exercise political control over the agency?

This is to me a very troubling development and the first substantive (hes not in office yet after all) decision of Obama’s which I think is actually dangerous to the country.

Btw if your interested in the bios of the rest of the DCIs you can find them here.

UPDATE: DiFi  has come out to agree with me..well ok criticize the appointment.

“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director.  I know nothing about this, other than what I’ve read,” said Senator Feinstein, who will chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the 111th Congress.

“My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

Go Difi!  I hope she kills this stupid appointment.  And how about that Obama is making major decisions without consulting Congress..even members of his own party who will have to approve the appointment.  Wow unilateral much?

UPDATE 2: Even Chris Matthews has critcized this pick, at the end of Hardball today he referenced the appointment and after both his liberal and conservative guests expressed doubts he said something to the effect of “Id like to be a police commissioner in a big city, but I dont think im qualified.”

This is encouraging, with the dems controlling the entire federal government it is up to them to keep themselves in check.  It seems they are aware of how bad this appointment is, now we will have to see if they have the courage to act on this knowledge to block it.

UPDATE 3: It seems Penetta actually was in the army for two years in the 60s.  My bad.


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