Monday, January 05, 2009

CIA Pick Shows Lack of Commitment in War on Terror

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Are you friggin' kidding me? Leon Panetta?

Mr. Panetta has a reputation in Washington as a competent manager with strong background in budget issues, but has little hands-on intelligence experience. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take control of the agency most directly responsible for hunting senior Al Qaeda leaders around the globe, but one that has been buffeted since the Sept. 11 attacks by leadership changes and morale problems (and one that has prevented a follow-up attack for the last seven years--ed.).

Given his background, Mr. Panetta is a somewhat unusual choice to lead the C.I.A., an agency that has been unwelcoming to previous directors perceived as outsiders, such as Stansfield M. Turner and John M. Deutch. But his selection points up the difficulty Mr. Obama had in finding a C.I.A. director with no connection to controversial counterterrorism programs of the Bush era.

Aides have said Mr. Obama had originally hoped to select a C.I.A. head with extensive field experience, especially in combating terrorist networks. But his first choice for the job, John O. Brennan, had to withdraw his name amidst criticism over his role in the formation of the C.I.A’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11 attacks.
We are in the midst of two war--albeit one seems to be winding down somewhat--and OBH selects a crony who can't even spell intelligence. It was a major CIA op that started the war in Afghanistan and it's an organization that has probably been involved in more black ops against al-Qaeda than will ever be known publicly. We need a man with at least one day of intelligence experience running arguably the largest intelligence organization on the planet, not a man who's claim to fame is attempting (unsuccessfully) to stop another Clinton "bimbo eruption".

I would have felt better if Obama had picked Sandy Berger. Sure, the man stole documents from the National Archive that could have changed every single 9/11 Commission finding but at least he was National Security Advisor.

This shows just how un-serious Obama and his people are about intelligence and protecting the citizens of this country. The Clinton's allowed al-Qaeda to grow and thrive and passed on an opportunity to take bin-Laden out (in part because of Berger) but at least they had a man in the DCI chair--George Tenet--who knew how to gather the intel to find OBL in the first place. I tend to lean toward AP's thinking that Obama wanted someone--anyone that is not a supporter of enhanced interrogation techniques, or what liberals call torture.

Note that senior Dems are even aghast and the effect this will have on a newly revitalized intel apparatus could be devastating.

I was pretty much okay with most of BHO's selections thus far but this one is the most crucial and he blew it.

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