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Panetta Picked to Head CIA


Leon Panetta listens to testimony at a 2005 congressional panel. (Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post)

Updated 6:55 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut and Joby Warrick
Leon Panetta has been chosen as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Democratic aides said Monday. Panetta, a former member of Congress who served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, has most recently been the director of the Panetta Institute, a non-partisan policy center at California State University in Monterey. A biography of Panetta, from his institute's Web site, is here.

Obama has also chosen Dennis Blair as his director of national intelligence, two Democratic officials said. Blair, a retired admiral, had long been rumored for the post, but the announcement had been delayed, reportedly because of the extended time it took for Obama to choose Panetta to head CIA.

Panetta, a nine-term California congressman and accomplished deal-maker, will replace Michael V. Hayden as director of the 51-year-old agency and its global network of about 20,000 employees, the sources said. The choice of a longtime Washington veteran with little previous intelligence experience came as a surprise even to some Obama insiders, and Sen. Dianne Fienstein (D-Calif.) said her office had not been informed in advance of the selection.

"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 Feinstein, who is the incoming chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee that will oversee the CIA director's confirmation. "My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time."

In choosing Panetta, Obama, appears to have opted for a fresh start at an agency plagued by numerous scandals during the Bush tenure. Obama bypassed several candidates with CIA backgrounds for a politically savvy manager with personal ties to Obama and to Congress.

Officials familiar with the choice noted that Panetta, as Clinton's chief of staff, participated in the daily intelligence briefings in the Oval Office and had intimate knowledge of the interaction between the agency and the White House. Panetta also was a member of the Iraq Study Group.

"He has sufficient gravitas to ensure that CIA equities are going to be protected, and the agency continues to have a strong voice," said a former senior CIA official told of Obama's choice.

Although Panetta was a surprise pick -- his name was absent from most of the lists of contenders circulating in Washington in recent weeks -- the selection was historically consistent with previous CIA directors, only a few of whom were agency veterans, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"There may be some people at Langley who will look at this and say, 'What?' " he said. "But when they stop and think about it, I think they'll be enthusiastic."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 5, 2009; 2:54 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , B_Blog  
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Comments

I remember when George H. Bush, a lifetime politician but only part time business man, was made head of the CIA under the "great golfer" but poor excuse for President Ford. How exactly was Bush qualified for the job?

Posted by: dennisgarwitz40 | January 7, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Leon may be a good choice for a fresh start in a rotten enterprise. I wouldn't trust anyone who'd been too long steeped in the cesspool of the capitalist KGB.

It's naive and ignorant to think you can spend a century bullying and terrorizing other countries, assassinating popular leaders, destroying economies, replacing democracies with dictatorships, torturing labor union leaders, then bragging about how great you are and not start reaping what you've sown. Of course most supporters of such policies have no consideration for what Jesus said about these practices.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 6, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Excellent choice with Panetta. The operative word here is 'Intelligence;' something sorely lacking in previous appointments and the lack of which - in the agency itself, its various chiefs, and its paymaster for the past eight years - has consigned us to our present, grim predicament.

Panetta is smart, committed, and compassionate. Another resounding goal by Team O.

Posted by: julian6 | January 6, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

You betcha Cronyism and Patronage are damn well alive and well and going full blown in the Corrupt Barack Obama Regime,as the
Democrats and Obama work on turning the USA
into their socialist third world banana republic communist dictatorship for the new Dictator for Life Barack Obama.

As Obama must be saying,"Experience? We Don't Need No Experience To Run The CIA!"

Posted by: Darlene5280 | January 6, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Lanny Davis - not available, so he had to go with Panetta. What a joke.

Posted by: jcn1222 | January 5, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Eli,
Big brother Peyton is watching, not playing! Seem's he had a problem with a 5' 6" black man that would not be stoped!
Whatch your big fat white arse Eli,,you could wind up retired!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Wright just called and said, "gd, where's the hope and change".
Posted by: EliPeyton
____________

Eli,,ya'll better be ready for McNabb,,WHITE BOY!!|

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Wright just called and said, "gd, where's the hope and change".

Posted by: EliPeyton | January 5, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama is making me nervous, whats with all the Clintonistas in his cabinet? Are there no capable new people? What happened to his message of change?

Obama has not had the audacity to comment on the massacres being committed by the Israelis on the Palestinians before Bush leaves office. Thats disgraceful in my book and not what I would expect of Obama as someone we hoped would be very different than Bush.......

550 Palestinians have been killed in Operation Cast Lead

100 of the dead are children

2,500 Palestinians have been wounded

4 Israeli civilians have been killed since the operation began, and four Israeli soldiers. Seventy-seven soldiers have been injured

Source: Gaza medical services, Israel Defence Forces

C'mon Barack, dont be so scared, stand up and tell it like it is, like you used to tell it during the campaign.

Israel is wrong, and should be admonished and forced to pull out. Hamas would not be firing rockets had israel not blocked off Gaza.

Secondly, Sen Fiensteins arrogant remarks about not being consulted smacks of her arrogance, as if how dare that Negro President decide upon the CIA chief without her approval, after all what does he think he is...a President or something?

Finally why are the Israel first senators like Fienstein and Lieberman in charge of the CIA and the Homeland Security commitees?

Posted by: obeeone | January 5, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

LOOK FOLKS,
Barack could appoint Hermit The Frog, or even OSCAR The Garbage Can-----
That would be an improvement over
1----GREAT JOB BROWNIE
2----STUFF HAPPENS RUMSFELD
3----CONDO LIZZARD
4----CHIEF JUSTICE WHITE MAN
5----FREDO "I DONNO NUTTIN" GONZALES
and last but not least all the press reps that just stood up there and told lies that they got paid to tell!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

bit$h supports TORTURE.

"But in an interview with the New York Times ealier this month, Feinstein, who will become chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January, said she would allow interrogators “flexibility” in “extreme cases.”

“I think that you have to use the noncoercive standard to the greatest extent possible,” Feinstein told the Times, and added that an imminent terrorist threat might call for extreme measures.

Posted by: orlsdad | January 5, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

mudbone, looks like you cashed yo' sef' in some 22 oz. King Cobra cans, and bought yo sef' a c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r. You're a credit to Obama and all he stands for.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse


Twin-pin, your mother is another reason for abortion!
BTW Are you my catch for the month or just another used elastic bag floating by?

Mudbone wrote,
"And your mother was his go-to hole!"
____________________________-

You're mistaken. My Mom's not black. Wouldn't work for Rahm.
Posted by: twin_pin |

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, many people who post don't have good memories. It was the Clinton administration that launched missles into Afghanistan and the Sudan to get OBL and the right wing that called it "Wag the Dog"- it was the right wing that kept the country occupied with a impeachment based on a lie about a blow job, a lie that was given in the grand jury part of a civil case rather than real impeachable offenses like suspending imprisonment without rights, wire tapping, etc. that came with the right wing president- who DID NOT do anything to catch OBL.

The right wing and the Obamites who hate the Clintons so much that they feel the need to reinvent history perhaps should read more.

Leon

Posted by: nycLeon | January 5, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

the clintons are playing their IOUs they gathered from obama:

1. Hillary named SOS.
2. Richardson jettisoned for his backstabbin(perceived) of the Clinton brand
3. Panetta = an inside line for Bill

let's hope all those IOUs are done now.

no bill on the supreme court!

Posted by: forestbloggod | January 5, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank gawd for ALL THE CLINTON people. We don't have to worry anymore!!!! I am laughing though, thinking of all the CHANGE Obama talked about.....Is this a laugh or what?! We have a totally Clinton White House........Why didn't we just let Hillary who actually won by HISTORIC VOTES!!!! be the PRESIDENT!

All the trashing of the Clintons that Obama and his people did....It is so funny now! I see absolutely NO CHANGE by this man, and boy am I glad the Clintons and all their people will be taking care of things. Obama was all talk, and I guess THAT was a GOOD thing. We can finally get our country back on track.

Posted by: librairie | January 5, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Just look at Karl Rove,,,,,,REALLY LOOK! If that ain't a friggin "WHITE-WIDE-LOAD QUEER" then gravity has turned up!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

charko825, you're just pissed because the idiot members of the Gay Old Perverts club are being thrown out on their @sses.
_________________________________--- Are You "TAP DANCING" in the Minneapolis airport bathrooom? The WHITE, MALE, REPUBLICAN party is QUEER!! TO THE FRIGGIN "BONE"!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudbone wrote,
"And your mother was his go-to hole!"

You're mistaken. My Mom's not black. Wouldn't work for Rahm.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Camera,
"REPULITARDS" is not going to fly,,it sounds so "RETARDED".
Stick with NEOCONS, it has that "NAZI" ring about it, along with the recent past of theft, murder, and torture .
Just trying to help brother.

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

charko825, you're just pissed because the idiot members of the Gay Old Perverts club are being thrown out on their @sses.

I love to hear you Republitards whine.

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | January 5, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse


SezHere wrote:
Congrats, it took until the third paragraph to make a mistake in this article.
"Panetta, a nine-term California congressman and accomplished deal-maker, will replace Michael V. Hayden as director of the 51-year-old agency.."
As I recall CIA was established in 1947, which would make it 61.
______________________________
THAT WAS TRUMAN's SOS ahole! And you friggin BS , gadget pushing aholes need to learn a language and some math!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Marilyn80, why weren't you whining when Bush and Co. were stomping on the constitution?

You Republitards are all the same; gutless, brainless, and shallow.

Burn in hell Republitards.

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | January 5, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

great choice. useless feinstein does not like it makes it even a better choice. NO TORTURE. NO ABUSE.

Posted by: orlsdad | January 5, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Another really, REALLY bad day for REPUBLITARDS!

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | January 5, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh I'm so glad to see that total corruption
complete incompetence Cronyism and Political Patronage are sooooo alive and well
Posted by: Marilyn80
_________________________
How's about a little blow from ya'll momma ?

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, it took until the third paragraph to make a mistake in this article.

"Panetta, a nine-term California congressman and accomplished deal-maker, will replace Michael V. Hayden as director of the 51-year-old agency.."

As I recall CIA was established in 1947, which would make it 61.

Posted by: SezHere | January 5, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, Rahm Emanuel was Blagojevich's campaign advisor.Posted by: twin_pin
____________________________

And your mother was his go-to hole!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh I'm so glad to see that total corruption
complete incompetence Cronyism and Political Patronage are sooooo alive and well in the new Democratic President Elect
Fake Messiah Barack Hussein Obama,so now where the Hell is all this "Change We Can Believe In" at Mr Obama you lying Chicago
thug? Bill Richardson is a disaster no matter where he slitters his way out of the
sewers and Leon Panetta is just another total worthless Clinton has been and who has no spook experience to run the CIA and
at the most dangerous time in US history.

This all again shows how clueless Barack Obama is about being President and why we
damn well must Impeach Obama and Biden ASAP

Posted by: Marilyn80 | January 5, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse


With each passing day it's becoming obvious that Obama has no freakin' clue of what the hell he's doing...

Check out this hot politician !!!

ya know!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YF_pN8pWvg


Posted by: charko825 | January 5, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

When Clinton was giving 300 million a year to the Taliban, how much do you think was going to Al Qaeda? Let me rephrase that. When Clinton was giving 300 million a year to Al Qaeda, how much do you think was going to the Taliban? Obama has the right idea. Lets castrate ourselves so we won't be so aggressive. Then we can be an eunuch in somebody else's court.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

We thought William Ayres would have been tapped for CIA Director. Perhaps he will be named National Intelligence Director.

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | January 5, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

So Panetta has "little previous intelligence experience." The CIA Director at the time of 9/11 had years of intelligence along with all his underlings but completely missed the 9/11 attack despite numerous warnings. Panetta certainly cannot do a worse job.

Posted by: smi2le | January 5, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Who is the "Owner" of this BLOG?

Posted by: costaricanet | January 5, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, Rahm Emanuel was Blagojevich's campaign advisor. Now he's Obama's Chief of Staff. We elect people by what they say, and then have to live with the consequences of what they do. It's the new America. We go on a 10 year beach party and then something like 9/11 happens. Panetta gives me no confidence whatsoever. It's just more Obama fluff. Just like Pelosi's "hit the ground running." Gawd.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse


Panetta has absolutely no qualifications to be in this position....What the hell kind of weed is Barry smoking??

What about the Richardson appointment? Obama needs to be investigated on this one too.

Posted by: charko825 | January 5, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

costaricanet wrote:
"EVERY SOVEREIGN COUNTRY uses TORTURE"
---WHAT?

to which our resident "SELLER OF EARTH",
Brucerealtor responded:
CORRECT -- THEY ALL JUST DEFINE IT DIFFERENTLY.
___________________________________

Some of you animals called it "HOME EQUITY LOAN"!
DROP DEAD ON YOUR MOTHER'S GRAVE!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Is it true what they say about DIXIE?
Do de sun always shine all de time
Do de sweet Magnolias blossom round everybody's door
Do de folk keep eating possum till dey can't eat no more?
__________________________-

The overeating part is true,,the rest is a friggin fairytale!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone expect the least-qualified, least-experienced, least-accomplished president-elect we've ever had to do any better? Why would anyone expect a Chicago politician to do any different (It's not about qualifications, it's about politics!)

Posted by: lightnin001 | January 5, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

costaricanet wrote:

"EVERY SOVEREIGN COUNTRY uses TORTURE"?
?
WHAT?
---------------------------------------------
CORRECT -- THEY ALL JUST DEFINE IT DIFFERENTLY.

SOMEONE ONCE SAID that in the former USSR you knew that the KGB was going to beat you until you confessed to something and if it made no sense, then you were probably the wrong person -- not that this always mattered,

WHEREAS in the USA, while you might not have been beaten, you were just stuck in a cell with an insane homosexual rapists, so you quickly said whatever it was going to take get you out. Oh yea, that 'insane homosexual rapist'[you thought] actually turned out to be either a cop, or another Defendant who was trying to get a 'sweet deal' for themselves -- at your expense.

Depending on the nature of the allegation and how 'politically sensitive' your information was [i.e., White House Counsel Dean in the Watergate scandal -- the 'threat' of homosexual rape in jail got him to 'sing' against Nixon, whereas Gordon Liddy didn't sing, but had a 'rough introduction' to the federal system.

What is torture for one man, may be nothing for another.

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | January 5, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Rhyer spoke:
"One Nation Under God spews Hellfire I'm white, you ain't. You daid, so what! Cracker Law. I'm white and southern and know exactly how white supremacy works and too much powerade in little Bubba's Dixie Cup. Leon needs to crush it with the heel of his boot!"
___________________________________

Now ain't that the truth Brother?

Old Mudbone
BTW: I hope the good Lord lets me live to see Cheney and Bush swing from a public rope!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone bickering over Panetta... and NOT Blair? Do you people read political blogs? Blair is far scarier.

Posted by: HistoryTchr | January 5, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

This again proves Barack Hussein Obama doesn't have a clue as to what he is doing as President Elect even of the USA. This
Panetta is one too many Clinton Has Been
Mr Obama,so wise up will you?

Besides Panetta has never been an intelligence officer,has no covert operations experience to be CIA Director so
who the Hell does Obama think he is kidding
here with this one? I say Impeach Obama and
Biden and throw Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried
the Hell out of Congress. Thumbs Down on
Leon Panetta to head the CIA!

Posted by: Pam83 | January 5, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

One Nation Under God spews Hellfire Missiles into defenseless Sadr City. What, oh what IS wrong with this sentence Republicans?????One Nation Under God sends an unmanned machine in the shape of a cross from the California desert to murder seventeen innocent Pakistanis at dinner because the bad guy ate early soooooooooo what happens to Peter Goss the head of the CIA? Goss ran home to Florida never to be heard from again. Cracker Law. I'm white, you ain't. You daid, so what! Cracker Law. I'm white and southern and know exactly how white supremacy works and too much powerade in little Bubba's Dixie Cup. Leon needs to crush it with the heel of his boot!

Posted by: rhyer | January 5, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Either a very good move, or a very bad one considering the absence of prior service with DIA, CIA or NSA.

I suspect that it is a very good move, even if it is one that surprised many.

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | January 5, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"EVERY SOVEREIGN COUNTRY uses TORTURE"?
?
WHAT?

The people that founded the great nation of USA created the greatest constitution ever written BUT it was not even they who dercied torture. It was, in part, the Geneva Convention and later various other international tribunals and intenarnational bodies.

I sincerely hope that you or or your children are never subjected to torture because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time or of the wrong religous persuation or from the wrong tribe.

I do not even wish this upon the the true perpetrators of the greatest treason.

The truth will set us free if we only remember how to distinguish truth from lies.

"Judge not lest ye shall be judged..."

Posted by: costaricanet | January 5, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Gee, can't wait. I'm sure Panetta's wife will have plenty of input. "A Mary Kay CIA is the only way!"

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I disagree.

Really, I think it's a load of sh*t.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 8:13 PM

----------------------
Being a sheep all your life without a substantial retort is no way to go thru life son.

Here is a certificate for Lasik surgery so you can finally see the real world... and a razor to shave the wool off your body.

;)

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The US has to be better than those who use torture as a matter of routine.

If we're not, we fail, we fail to progress, we fail to learn, we fail to stay competitive, we fail to evolve, we fail to develop new methods of intelligence, we fail to thrive.

We then fail as a nation.

Cheney showed us what NOT to do, the most inept POS, ever.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The CIA and World Bank work out of the same building. If you want to read a really good book about why Big Oil like Halliburton is moving to Dubai with its bloody war profits while we're up to our eyeballs in bloody debt, is Perkins, 2004, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, excellent book about the CIA and its role retrieving corporate contracts with the World Bank, see (House of Saud, Sept. 13). Great book. They are moving to Dubai folks after they showed you the country of Iraq with the oil wells we had captured on NBC. They showed you the wells we were illegally seizing from the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions. Dumber than a truckload of squirrels! Good luck Leon!

Posted by: rhyer | January 5, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Lets keep this real, EVERY SOVEREIGN COUNTRY uses TORTURE as a method of obtaining information that otherwise would not be obtainable. Some folks are resistant to coercion, drugs, or intimidation. You have to SOMETIMES use physicality. Bad guys do it to Americans all the time, its the way of the world (whether one accepts it or not
--------
I disagree.

Really, I think it's a load of sh*t.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein is wise and forward looking with regards to the DCIA appointment. Panetta will not last no more than 2 months before he withdraws.

On another note, I noticed a lot of back and forth pandering about alleged this and that. Lets make this clear, the Intelligence apparatus is a lot more reformed today than what it was during President Clinton's emasculation of the National Intelligence Community in the 1990s. While it is true with some regards to how the agencies were utilized by the Executive Branch, keep in mind that it is that Branch's perogative on how each and every agency operates (and the Legislative Branch's duty to provide oversight).

Lets keep this real, EVERY SOVEREIGN COUNTRY uses TORTURE as a method of obtaining information that otherwise would not be obtainable. Some folks are resistant to coercion, drugs, or intimidation. You have to SOMETIMES use physicality. Bad guys do it to Americans all the time, its the way of the world (whether one accepts it or not).

The methods of Intelligence Collection is but a pimple on America's ass compared to the execution and running of a National Intelligence apparatus that keeps us safe each and every nanosecond, second, minute, hour, day, week, months, and even years.

Tory, Whig, Repub, Demo, Independent nonwithstanding, every Chief Executive has to take care of his eyes and ears.

Panetta is NOT the choice. Find someone else that makes sense.

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

eight years of GOP rule and all the Republicans here can talk about is Clinton! Why is that? Why hasn't Bush corrected all those faults like that damn budget surplus and peace? Obviously the GOP is still jealous of the sex, he got some and they never do.

Posted by: cartercamp | January 5, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Realize the following:
1) Obama cannot help us if he is dead.
2) Obama wants to lead by consensus.
3) Panetta is the LEAST offensive possible candidate. Think is he was given a list of choices. Leon is THE MAN! The less evil of the list.
4) Think if he had chosen a CIA insider or an admiral… or decaying spook?

I think that this is A GREAT SIGN. Perhaps all of the Clinton insiders signals that there will be a statute of limitations in cleaning house. That is a GOOD thing. Who wants to hear about Monica or her sister or Oklahoma City etc?

Posted by: costaricanet | January 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing that the employees of the CIA have been so entirely demoralized by how they have been used by Bush, that they will welcome someone who will actually listen to what they have to say.
Remember how Bush used them so unmercifully in blaming them for Iraq? And 9/11? And everything else? Remember how he outed one of their own for his own political purposes and put at risk all the CIA connections that Valerie Plame had made through the years? Maybe getting some of them killed?
Leon Panetta is a very smart choice and will serve the CIA and the nation well.

Posted by: cms1 | January 5, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Did Obama actually interview Panetta? Or was he just put forth by Emanual as a Top Spy candidate?

Posted by: Sigmonde | January 5, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

A longtime Washington veteran with little previous intelligence experience ... now, that was a very INTELLIGENT decision.

Posted by: john_doe_washington_dc | January 5, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I predict that Panetta will withdraw within the week. The CIA chief should not be a politicized position and a novice should not be in this vital position. He won't get the votes.

Posted by: Sigmonde | January 5, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, "US Army Retired", did you know that a US Army officer and noncom were sent to Leavenworth in 1903 for WATERBOARDING Filipino "insurrectos"?

Did you know that WATERBOARDING is banned by your own US Army regulations?

But you obviously support waterboarding since you support the Chimpy CIA.

You're a disgrace to the uniform.

Posted by: Tom333 | January 5, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

savvy guy to run CIA. Smart move.

Panetta would have been a good choice for VP, Secy State, etc. CIA is an agency in need of a savvy/solid/smart leader.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 5, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, they still dont' get it. We are at war with fanatics, and the empty suit rookie wants to put another unqualified rookie in charge of the CIA. Why doesn't he just hand over our defense plans to the terrorists? What a pathetic excuse for leadership.
U.S.Army Retired
--------
So I take it you support Cheney, and his methods?

Take an honest look at the state of the union -- it's not doing too well, and that is national security, too.

Can't fight a war without money, can't fight a war when the guy in charge is too stupid to understand how he's being gamed, (by those fanatics, even), can't fight a war when the guy in charge can't figure out how to fight.

And most tellingly, you can't win a war when the guy in charge can't understand WHY protecting the American Constitution is the only way to go, for the long run.

I think Cheney and the neocons are among the most stupid public officials in American history.

I mean dumb, not smart enough.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The Repukes in here think Panetta is unqualified because he isn't a drug kingpin or a torturer and he doesn't gun up phony intel to justify the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

If Panetta closes down Gitmo, the Repukes in here will really scream. They really do love their torture gulag.

Repukes really ARE the red party. They're no different from Soviet apparatchiks.

Posted by: Tom333 | January 5, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The CIA funded black ops during the Vietnam war by smuggling heroin from the Golden Triangle on Air America planes.

The CIA introduced crack cocaine to the US in order to fund black ops during the Reagan administration.

The CIA engaged in waterboarding torture, a crime against humanity, during the Chimpy regime.

And when Chimpy wanted to invade Iraq and the CIA, through their WMD experts at Brewster-Jennings where Valerie Plame worked, said there were no WMDS in Iraq, Chimpy's thugs committed TREASON by outting the CIA.

The CIA is a criminal conspiracy. And when they actually DO their job, they get outted and shut down by the White House.

I say the CIA should be disbanded, their Langley site bulldozed to the ground, and a new intel agency be constituted in its place...with nobody from the CIA allowed to join.

The US is supposed to be a constitutional democracy, not a criminal conspiracy!!

Posted by: Tom333 | January 5, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Considering who President Bush selected for his Cabinet and administrative posts in terms of lack of experience and apparently more for political rewards for personal friends and rigid ideological commitment that overrode executive branch professionals and scientific opinion, President-elect Obama's choices have been reasonably sound for their solid academic and professional backgrounds.

When it comes to the intelligence agencies, some of the most horrid political controversies have stemmed from the interaction between the intelligence agencies and the current Presidential administration. What appears needed at this time is a person in charge of the intelligence service who can manage and oversee the policy not the intelligence details of the agency. Leon Panetta may be a fine selection.

Posted by: TabLUnoLCSWfromUtah | January 5, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The Post is making a big error in this story when it claims most CIA Directors had little intelligence background. Go back and take a look! Nearly all had military, national security or actual spy agency experience. Its a false statement to say Panetta is a mainstream director, nothing could be further from the truth.

Posted by: dobygillas | January 5, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

clermontpc wrote, "Im sorry but that dude just looks crooked as the day is long! Scary!"

Well that settles it.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 5, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama has virtually no political infrastructure, or "non-podium" experience for that matter. It's like he has walked into a Clinton-era candy shop, and is saying, "I'll take that one, please!" He's just as green as Bush was/is. Richardson is a goof. And Obama couldn't figure that one out on his own. The media did it for him.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

As the book "Legacy of Ashes" tells, the CIA had numerous "intelligence people" in charge of an organization that served not the interests of the people but of itself. They had enormous legal and financial power and went off on junkets to undermine governments they perceived as hostile. Because of their amorality and arrogance, they deceived their superiors, their commander in chief, the congress and the people they were sworn to serve.

The upshot was one fiasco after another, blowing one mission after another, like the Bay of Pigs through 9-11 and ending up with Iraq and Slam Dunk Tenet. Is it any wonder the CIA was demoted.

Their mission is to collect, analyze and report intelligence; not invade other countries or go off like little boys on an adventure.

At first blush, Panetta may seem like an odd choice, but could it get worse? What the CIA needs is more accountability and a leader who will lead with morality, remembering it's not about them.

Posted by: afshome | January 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

By most accounts, Panetta is an intelligent, competent, principled man. But his lack of significant intelligence experience is troubling. I would like to hear more from intelligence professionals about the choice before passing judgment.

" I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time." - Senator Diane Feinstein


Posted by: WylieD | January 5, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

OF COURSE there is not much difference between the Republicans and the Deomocrats.

OF COURSE Obama/Biden would have tremendous pressure to pick from those cleared by the Clinton Team.

The proof is in the pudding and we have to give these people the benefit of the doubt. Their first fifteen days in office will BEGIN to tell the story and if you want to make the CIA accountable, then there is NO BETTER CHOICE than Mr. Leon Panetta as he has no excuse or plausible deniability as he is not of the status quo and, I believe that he may even have contempt for those who chose to usurp the constititution and the will of the people. I may be wrong but I believe this is a GREAT choice and am greatly anticipating the NEXT appointment....

Posted by: costaricanet | January 5, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse


Because 99% of what the CIA does will never be reported in the media, there are just a few places where it needs to maintain friendly relations: the Congress, the White House, and the budget professionals. Panetta can help on the things where the CIA needs help most. Obama can sign an executive order to end torture, but ending the political retaliation from the trenches is something Panetta can help on.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 5, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is acting irrationally already with his Panetta selection. Panetta is a political operative of some skill but he has NO experience in intelligence. Obama is playing Russian Roulette with the security of the US. He did not check this appointment with Sen. Feinstein. I assume he did check it with the ladies at Code Pink. They must be pleased.

Posted by: mhr614 | January 5, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Just like Bush, Obama is picking people who don't have a clue.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 5, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I am becoming more and more convinced every day that there is no real difference between Repukes and Demowussies.

Repukes are crooks who torture and commit treason by lying to start the wrong war and outing the CIA's WMD finders.

Demowussies allowed the Repukes to do this so they are accessories to their crimes.

Obama is now appointing a bunch of Clintonistas. Clinton was Repuke Lite. He signed NAFTA into law. He signed the Phil Gramm Deregulate Wall Street bill into law.

Clinton and Poppy Bush are pals now. That's because they're two sides of the same crooked corporate coin.

And when both parties are representing the same big corporate interests and not representing the common people, what we really have is a one party system.

Just like Hitler and Stalin had.

Posted by: Tom333 | January 5, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"The NEOCONS hate Competence and Accountability".

Call a space a shovel: the neo-con's, and so-called "conservatives" in general, hate America and everything it stands for.

Not one in a thousand would recognize Edmund Burke if he walked up and bit them on the ankle.

Posted by: seattle_wa | January 5, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

At long last- a CIA Director who does not approve of torturing prisoners. And even better, one who belonged to the Administration that tried to kill Osama Bin Laden BEFORE September 11th.

t looks like Obama has finally done something right.

Posted by: Bartron | January 5, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Meet the new boss.

Same as the old boss.

Posted by: Tom333 | January 5, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice job BoBo, it appears your lack of "intelligence" is significant, but what should I expect from someone who's only success has been based on his "affirmative action" status.

Posted by: cschotta1 | January 5, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Odd appointment, Panetta. Odd appointment, Clinton. Odd appointment Richardson.

Posted by: georgejones5 | January 5, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sofla- with all your concerns about our image- just where is it all these so called concerned folks run to to save their butts because they are too cowardly to save themselves- the good ol' USA. If they hate us so much, I guess it's time to tell them to go punt the next time their cowardly butts are in a sling!!! Oh yeah, I forgot- you win wars by surrendering and begging your enemies to play nice!! Fool!!!!

Posted by: yankee11 | January 5, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes!
Leon Panetta is the best choice that Obama could have selected, under the limitations imposed upon him. I am VERY ENCOURAGED by this choice as Leon is on of the finest and most righteous people given the level of clearance necessary for this position.

I was concerned that the ESSENTIAL change and shake up may not occur at the right levels.

Senor Panetta brings clout, respect and perhaps only a cue stick when others are looking for a baseball bat. But, anyone even jabbed by this great Californian's cue stick will WISH THEY GOT HIT by a baseball bat.

Kudos to President-elect Barack, Don Biden and the rest of their transition team for appointing this great man to this position. Now let's see that change we all can believe in!

Keep it coming, it GET'S BETTER ALL THE TIME!

Posted by: costaricanet | January 5, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of baloney. Show me one fact to support this fantasy about how bad America is and how we are hated abroad. This is liberal nonsense, repeated over and over again in the hopes that it will make Obama look better. It's another version of the "Blame America" line.
________________________________________
To start with, you can go to search engine GOOGLE and come up with several thousand hits on the topic "opinion of America foreign countries." Just check out many foreign papers over the last several years till now, and they abound with anti-American sentiment. Or, better yet, travel abroad, as I have, talk with foreigners, and you will see for yourself the horribly negative perception and regard America is now held in, compared to the past. Even the public of Western European countries like the UK have rated Russia and China as better then the USA when it comes to trustworthiness and transparency these days. The problem, America has fallen from such a high pinnacle into the gutter. Why do you think the European countries have been relentless in their criticism of Guantanamo? In now houses mostly just a few goat herders and the USA is being pressed to get rid of it. The negative perception of the USA created by this, Guantanamo, Abu Grahib, extraordinary rendition, etc., has helped Al Queda recruit many converts by publicizing USA hypocrisy. You don't win wars by betraying your fundamental principals, like Bush and friends have done.

Posted by: sofla | January 5, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The naivete exhibited by the PEBO supporters across these various boards is mind boggling. The main concern is our image in the world. How assinine! We happen to be the ones constantly rescuing the ungrateful world from itself year after year.I wonder what our image will be and what you naive clowns will think and feel when a suitcase nuke is detonated in DC or New York while Panetta and PEBO are picking food out of there teeth at some fancy restaurant while your butts are burning! You'll get no sympathy here my friends!!!

Posted by: yankee11 | January 5, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Sheer stupidity!! Putting this Clinton nitwit in charge of the CIA is worse than dumb. First old sleaze Richardson has to quit, because he'll probaly go to prison, and now they plan to put a clown in charge of our primary intelligence service. What a bunch of dumbasses the Obama cabal are.
Clearly, they still dont' get it. We are at war with fanatics, and the empty suit rookie wants to put another unqualified rookie in charge of the CIA. Why doesn't he just hand over our defense plans to the terrorists? What a pathetic excuse for leadership.
U.S.Army Retired

Posted by: LarryG62 | January 5, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Pifunk wrote:
As a previous poster mentioned, it is a bit disappointing to see Barack fill the govt with Clinton people. Oh, well. Go figure, just another politician following an election script.
____________

Hey Pifunk,,,
The year 2000 is what we remember, a darn good year as we recall. Then Holy Hell broke loose,,"UNCLE" Clarence Thomas stopped the vote count and the Cheney/Bush Coup was on. Good buy Savings, Hello "PRIVITIZATION OF THEFT".

BTW,, We don't see you NEOCONS making any traction with the "ANTI-CLINTON" talking points,,but a political herd can live way beyond it's relevance if it howls amonst it's own! SAY WHAT?

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm not even sure what your point is; and I'm sure you don't know my politics.

I'm also sure, from the many comments that you've posted, that you are one of those hacks from the gestapo left - the political world's liberal equivalent of Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh. You've got no point to make, only names to call those who breathe a criticism of Obama.

I'm curious to know how many people who voted for Obama thought that his campaign message of "hope", "change" and fixing a "broken Washington" meant, for all practical purposes, a reversion to Clintonism.

My question is simple: Where are all the Washington "outsiders" we were promised to fix a broken system?

Until I start seeing them in positions of power, I can only conclude that Obama's song and dance about "hope" and "change" was what I though it was: election year rhetoric.

Posted by: p1funk | January 5, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Bubba Junior Oil Boy put Ray Hunt, billionaire Republican oil boy on the Foreign Intel Advisory Bd. two weeks after 9-11 because they were already planning killing Iraqis to privatize its oil worth hundreds of billions in oil contracts for the exploration, development, production and revenue sharing of the second largest oil reserve on the planet. period. These goons in the clown uniforms don't give a flying dead Fallujah baby if a million Iraqis are dead. It was, is and remains about retrieving oil contracts for American Big Oil and if you read the Hydrocarbon or New Oil Law it demanded Iraqis give seventy percent of all oil revenue to American Big Oil companies and allow control of all oil contracts. Sooooooooooooo who's dumb enough to allow the CIA to talk them into killing their sons to retrieve oil contracts in a country with no army, no air force, no navy, no missile system and no aerial defenses. Iraq is not a threat. It was never a threat and did you see one dead body. Of course not because you're smart Americans killing folks for their betterment. Leon will do well!

Posted by: rhyer | January 5, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Who sat there and heard the words: "Al Qaida is planning attacks....." and slept through it?
********************

And the answer is: Bill Clinton. That is after the first attack on the WTC, the Cole, and the Africa Embassies. Oh wait, he wasn't sleeping, he was in the Oval Office with Monica.
----------------------
And how did GWB act on the information that Condoleeza Rice provided him in that high level briefing in 8/2001? That's the one where he learned that terrorists were planning on hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings. What was his administration waiting for? - flight number and departure times?

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | January 5, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

It was Bill Clinton that gave 300 million a year to the Taliban. I can hear it now, "we don't want to hurt anybody's feelings." But, tough guy Bill did bag a couple of Afghan donkeys with a cruise missle after the USS Cole attack.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

To change and repair her image, America does not need anymore secret prisons or torture chambers. We had enough of that under Bush, and where did it get us? Our image is darkly tarnished, and other countries consider our State Department human rights reports to be a joke. Americans can no longer travel abroad, in some countries, without fear of retribution.

*****************************************

What a bunch of baloney. Show me one fact to support this fantasy about how bad America is and how we are hated abroad. This is liberal nonsense, repeated over and over again in the hopes that it will make Obama look better. It's another version of the "Blame America" line.

Posted by: delusional1 | January 5, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse


Being the pride of Chicago politics, why wouldn't Obama want a deal maker? Isn't that what Chicago politics means?

Posted by: bnw173 | January 5, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Who sat there and heard the words: "Al Qaida is planning attacks....." and slept through it?
********************

And the answer is: Bill Clinton. That is after the first attack on the WTC, the Cole, and the Africa Embassies. Oh wait, he wasn't sleeping, he was in the Oval Office with Monica.

Posted by: delusional1 | January 5, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

To change and repair her image, America does not need anymore secret prisons or torture chambers. We had enough of that under Bush, and where did it get us? Our image is darkly tarnished, and other countries consider our State Department human rights reports to be a joke. Americans can no longer travel abroad, in some countries, without fear of retribution. Enough already. Obama is a breathe of fresh air. The Tom Clancy days are over, my friends. Time to start obeying the rule of law. And, if you cannot abide by America's laws and conventions, then you should get the hell out of government, the sooner the better. CIA, NSA, it's time to ferret out the crooks. Illegal wiretaps, torture, scanning everyone's emails for "code words" at the major internet switches, yea, we know all the tricks. Obama's message is pure and simple. You will abide by the law. That's what this is all about. Many of you better run and hide. The days of accountability are here.

Posted by: sofla | January 5, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I see a pattern here. Obama picks those for the most important posts who are totally unprepared for the job, just like himself. Panetta's qualification for this job is "he sat in on the CIA briefings to the President" wow! Wait till the first crisis hits. They'll all be looking at one another and wondering what to do. This is scary!

Posted by: delusional1 | January 5, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"At the CIA, we provide finished intelligence to policymakers for decisions of national importance. Our analysts are skilled subject-matter experts who study and evaluate information from many sources. From this information, they develop useable and meaningful intelligence assessments for the highest levels of government. CIA analysts monitor and assess foreign political developments, leadership, economic issues, military threats and science and technology.


Analytic Methodologist

College Students - Analytical

Counterintelligence Threat Analyst

Counterterrorism Analyst

Economic Analyst

Intelligence Collection Analyst

Leadership Analyst

Medical/Health Analyst

Military Analyst

Open Source Officer (Foreign Media Analyst)

Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program - (PRISP)

Political Analyst

Psychological/Psychiatric Analyst

Science, Technology, and Weapons Analyst

Targeting Analyst

Technical/Targeting Analyst"

WHICH AREA OF EXPERTISE DOES LEON PANETTA HAVE?

Posted by: mharwick | January 5, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

With an intelligence CZAR to whom the CIA answers does not need another intelligence spy expert but a manager with Congressional and Executive Experience who knows his/ her way around Washington. What the CIA has done in the last 8 years does not conforms with the US or International Laws. There is much too much waste and abuse of not only the tax payers money but lack of comprehensive accountability and these so called Intelligence Estimates that led to the fraud war on Iraq and has us involved in the BS untenable war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Panetta is not a Clinton Crony, he was elected to step in as Clinton's Chief of Staff to save the rotten hick Clinton a**.

The CIA at this time and history of this country needs a competent manager rather then a ideology twisted spy or another gun ho military admiral or general.

The CIA has been towing the conservative republican war game and ideology too long and the inform was twisted and fabricated to suit the Bush/ Cheney/ Rumsfeld/ Condi Rice impetus for war and what ever else is going on in the Middle East.

Admiral Blair as the top Intelligence chief can implement and handle all the intelligence and Security issues. Mr. Panetta to change the modus operandi of the CIA including the hundreds of billions dollars that are mismanaged, with no oversight and accountability. The country is top heavy with these intelligence types starting one too many wars and conflicts. Bush and Cheney has changed the CIA as some kind of a conservative republican spy militia.

It is a good move on Obama's part to clean up the mess created by 8 years of Bush / Cheney perpetuation of all the lies that the CIA has been responsible for.

Posted by: winemaster2 | January 5, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse


Did the Clintons really win? Heh heh. Wonder what that Chicago politician sold out for? heh heh. Boy, I'll bet those crazy Obamanuts are peod> heh heh.

Posted by: bnw173 | January 5, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse


gee. silly me. i thought you would WANT someone with intelligence experience to lead an intelligence agency. i guess i was wrong.

the story reads, "Panetta, a nine-term California congressman and accomplished deal-maker.."

well, i guess that says it all. obama wants a DEAL-MAKER to lead the cia.

why?

panetta: "hello mister terrorist."

terrorist; "hello mister panetta."

panetta; "i want to make you a deal."

terrorist; "a deal?"

panetta; "yes, a deal. i want you to tell me where osama bin laden is."

terrorist; "what's in it for me?"

panetta; "here's my deal, cuz i'm a deal-maker. i'll give you a nice 10 piece fruit basket if you tell me."

terrorist; "does it have oranges in it?"

panetta; "no, but i'm sure we can throw an orange in."

terrorist; "you strike a hard bargain."

panetta; "yes i do. but i'm fair."

terrorist; "well.. if you give me the nice 10 piece fruit basket, and throw in one orange, you got a deal. i'll tell you where osama bin laden is."

panetta; "thank you mister terrorist."

terrorist; "thank you tough deal-maker."

-------------

congratulations, mister panetta!

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

and well.. now you know how obama's mind works. he's awesome.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | January 5, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Who sat there and heard the words: "Al Qaida is planning attacks....." and slept through it?
Now, one of you dumb-a** SOBs tell me again how W has "kept us safe"....
YOU PEOPLE ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE BUT YOURSELVES ABOUT THAT.
W is a complete failure. You 20-whatever percent that approve of the job that he has done should go ahead and move to Alaska so you can be governed by more of the same: VAPID STUPIDITY.
GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!
The Democrats have two choices: Approve what Obama wants. OR if they are obstructed in that, then INVESTIGATE WHAT W DID.

Posted by: TOMHERE | January 5, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse


This is indeed a sad day for America knowing that instead of a career professional in our most important intelligence post we see that Obama chose a political hack. This during a time of war. This makes America not safer but much more likely to bare another attack on US soil. Where is the "Change" ??? Panetta served under the Clinton administration where for eight years they failed to provide good intelligence - which directly lead to the attacks on 9-11. This is such a bad appointment that it really shakes the faith I have in Obama. He has let all Americans down today. Obama made our great country weaker today. God help us, as we don't seem to learn from our past mistakes.

Posted by: Jaymand | January 5, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

If Leon can't carve the evil from the monster, it will continue to run amuck as an economic engine overthrowing regemes with party favors for corporate consumption. The CIA referred to bin Laden attacking America as blowback because we helped train him and other Islamic extemists in 79 to kill Russians. Some may refer to this as stupid, not unlike Ernest T. and the Bassettes selling the A Bomb to Pakistani tribesmen. Brilliant. I suggest Leon nip it in the bud and concentrate on allowing the Mideast to breathe with the Pentagon jumping on its chest to privatize its oil for Jesus. Enough. Good luck Leon!!

Posted by: rhyer | January 5, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

LEON PANETTA NOMINATED CIA DIRECTOR WITH LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE TO QUALIFY HIM FOR THE JOB. WE HAVE BEEN FREE OF ATTACK ON U.S. SOIL SINCE 9/11. WHAT IS OBAMA THINKING?
During his time in Congress, his work concentrated mostly on budget issues, civil rights, education, health, and environmental issues, particularly preventing oil drilling off the California coast. He wrote the Hunger Prevention Act (Public Law 100-435) of 1988 and the Fair Employment Practices Resolution. He was a major factor in establishing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

His positions included:

* Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Budget
* Chairman of the Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nutrition
* Chairman of the Administration Committee's Subcommittee on Personnel and Police
* Chairman of the Task Force on Domestic Hunger created by the U.S. House Select Committee on Hunger
* Vice Chairman of the Caucus of Vietnam-Era Veterans in Congress
* Member of the President's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies.

Posted by: mharwick | January 5, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Will Panetta authorize spying on civic organizations? Will government still be a puppet for right-wing political agendas to crush left-wing dissent? (Many of the above posters are still in town on Bush's dime, which is why they are so right-wing. And this town is CRAWLING with CIA guys-worse than spiders up your arms). Look at how Homeland Security has WASTED our tax dollars targeting Amnesty International, while the REAL terrorists plot undetected, because Bush politicized every niche of the federal government. If the CIA is busy suppressing political points of view it doesn't like in totally pacifist civic groups in the U.S., why does anyone believe it has a real interest in real terrorists? Bush senior was wining and dining the Bin Laden family, schmoozing lucrative business deals on 9/11. We EASILY could have had Bin Laden numerous times. The war in Iraq was not about terrorism, or Bin Laden, but about LARGE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS BEING PAID OFF BY BUSH AND CONGRESS.
So who cares who is directing the CIA, or that the CIA exists. They are "covert," so we have no record of what service they have provided our country, but thank goodness we have the Post to provide incontrovertible evidence that absolutely powerless, asset-less Americans, who have nothing but principles and a bit of spare time to devote to issues of REAL JUSTICE, ARE MONITORED, INTIMIDATED, AND TERRORIZED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. If people were truly human they would denounce spying of all sorts, be it impersonal via corporations like Google, or for political agendas totally based on bias and get-rich-schemes, like the CIA, NSA, TSA, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security.

Posted by: Bushedoubt | January 5, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Panetta was my congressman for over ten years. He is WAY outside the envelope as a politician: savvy, clear-thinking, straight-shooting, a fiscal conservative with strong progressive social justice attitudes. Dismissing him as a "Clintonite" ignores the fact that he called for Clinton to resign during the Lewinski debacle, made his name long before Clinton hit the national scene, and decided against (!) using his Washington clout as a platform to run for California governor. This is a case of a first-rate political mind, with a strong sense of social responsibility, being brought in to oversee one of the most abused agencies in government at a time when intelligence - not torture and black ops - should be the name of the game. Bravo, Obama: you're putting together one helluva team.

Posted by: mykencasey | January 5, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

No experience in the intelligence field WTF?? Well he should get the job then in this time of terror and war.

Posted by: cr10 | January 5, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Another Clinton guy?

I have nothing against Panetta, and he might be a fine director, but the President-Elect is being a little tone deaf when it comes to his base. Although I believe he will bring change from the top, some "change" needs to be reflected by his appointments and it is not coming through. Maybe he can use Interior to address it (perhaps RFK Jr, now that the EPA spot is filled -- by a Clinton person).

Posted by: MShake | January 5, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

There is one big difference between the Cole, and the first attempted attack on WTC and the "9/11".
________________________________
Clinton was POTUS and he did not use the American people as sheep to be fleeced,,

Cheney and the PHAROAH's son DID!!

May the Lord grant me the vision of them both swinging at the rope's end before I die!

Old Mudbone signing off here!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

""He has sufficient gravitas to ensure that CIA equities are going to be protected, and the agency continues to have a strong voice," said a former senior CIA official told of Obama's choice." What a load! With all the holdovers Clinton failures who missed all the terror attacks on US Embassies, ships and assets is anyone surprised that a Clinton hack would go there? How else can Hillary be Secy of State without someone flying cover for her and Bills scandals all over the globe with their money grubbing and offshore stashing of ill gotten gains? This is laughable! Obama's not even in office yet and he's been played like a cheap guitar! George Soros must be orgasmic over the choice of Leon! Who will head the FBI, Al Franken?

Posted by: vgailitis | January 5, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

We'll get torn to shreds. We need a "spook" spymaster of the secret world, not some bimbo that runs a think tank with his wife. It was Clinton, after all, that emasculated our capabilities in that department.

Posted by: twin_pin | January 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

As best I've got it,,20% of Americans think George Walker Bush is OK! I don't think that will budge short of "SHOCK THERAPY". We are so-o-o-o in our ways.
Here's Old Mudbone's remedy:

1---GOOD HEART,,STAY DRUNK
2---BAD MOFO,,SOBER UP!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Our allies must be stunned and our enemies thrilled. PEBO is even more incompetent than I thought. What's next, Simon Cowell in charge of Central Command??? I guess the idea is that by putting enough clueless people in key positions, it eliminates the possibility that the guy supposedly at the top will not look dumber than everyone else.

Posted by: yankee11 | January 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Ther is one big difference between the Cole, and the first attempted attack on WTC and the 9/11.
________________________________
Clinton was POTUS and he did not use the American people as sheep to be be fleeced,,Cheney and the PHAROAH's son DID!!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Lure1,
Are you dinking son? Your last post had this:

Obama leaves boxer and feinstein in dark but just as against goss. How anyone with common sense can ignore the fact, that conpliteli rookie witch is Clinton clan another push for position in CIA is just a schame on DNC and the whole Democratic Party

My suggestion to you is call Limbaugh and ask for the stuff that in-large's your pecker!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

As for being a "Clintonite," so what? That was the last successful Presidency that we had.
---------
Someone else made a post delineating the terrorist attacks occurring under Clinton, but failed to note the disasters allowed by Cheney, and Bush.

We've had 9.11, lost two wars, and our greatest military asset, our economy, has been trashed due to delusional policies and GROSS mismanagement.

Any problems under Clinton were child's play next to what the big dumb oaf Cheney brought to us.

Just because the neocons are delusional doesnt mean the rest of the country can't see at least somewhat straight.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

What a disappointment! Panetta is first and foremost a politican...and a very good one.Porter Goss was another politician who had a brief and undistinguished role at CIA.You combine a rookie President with no global experience or background with an amiable but inexperienced CIA Director and we have reason to be concerned.

Posted by: bowspray | January 5, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ne_voice | January 5, 2009 5:26 PM What do you folks have against people who served under Clinton? Obama wants people who understand how to get things done in Washington.
+++++

Believe it or not, some of us were originally for Obama because of our opposition to not simply the Clinton themselves but the 'bad' things they were responsible for during the 90's. Picking a Cabinet (irrespective of their experience) that looks like a restoration will make many people uncomfortable. This is notably important because Obama campaigned on not just changing the way things work in Washington, but the people in charge.

The only change right now is that he's the president and not Clinton. It's ok if people are against that since we all our own reasons in voting for him.

I'm sure those who voted for his 'vision' would be upset if his vision included Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin.

Posted by: dcis1 | January 5, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant. What do you folks have against people who served under Clinton? Posted by: ne_voice
_______________________________

THE SURPLUS?

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Sofla,

Do you treat this as another "OFFICE POOL", something that "MANAGEMENT" can manage. Look,,this is the friggin CIA! These people carry guns, the barrels never, never cool, and the poison,,,so many ways to silence opposition. It's called "COVERT" operations!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant. What do you folks have against people who served under Clinton? Obama wants people who understand how to get things done in Washington. The only democrats you will find who fits that discription are either in congress or served in Clinton's administration. Everyone knows it will be the deputy who manages the day to day operations. Just like at the Pentagon. Besides, all the experience of Tenet, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were useless in preventing 9/11, finding Bin Laden, or providing accurate intelligence in the run up to Iraq.

Posted by: ne_voice | January 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama leaves boxer and feinstein in dark but just as against goss. How anyone with common sense can ignore the fact, that conpliteli rookie witch is Clinton clan another push for position in CIA is just a schame on DNC and the whole Democratic Party. Since known name is more important then experience. It is publicaly spitting against both as Goss and Hayden . Not to long ego we were witnessing endless attack on those men, for any reason. Dosens of reportes and spyes were fallowing Goss and Hayden , starting especjally from;MoveOn,Progressive Radio with Ed Shultz on top of, CNN with Anderson360 or Campbell Brown,MSNBC,ABC. All those Media hienas, were after them, and Obama trash them himself, now Panetta is good id great above all other candidates. This is discrace by DNC. Obama has no experience,Panetta at all, but looks that they are above all!!! I just hope that Mr.Jones has much more common sense then those who are puishing for complitely inexperience Panetta to be a part o USA CIA. What an such absurd we are witnessing.
Feinstein supporter from Bakersfield, California

Posted by: lure1 | January 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I think one big mistake that george bush made was to pick a bunch of oldy moldy deadbeats from his father's regeime (era, whatever). George's choices showed his inexperience and incompetence. Cheny turned out to be a real bomb.
I hope Oboma did not make the same mistake.

Posted by: killthemessenger | January 5, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

It must have been difficult deciding whether to name Panetta as head of the CIA or as head of the Brain Surgery Department at Walter Reed; he appears to be equally well qualified to serve in either capacity.

Posted by: smithjcn | January 5, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

DID YOU GUYS READ THE ARTICLE? ? I THINK NOT ! !

It says, and I quote - "... the selection was historically consistent with previous CIA directors, only a few of whom were agency veterans, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Next.

.

Posted by: swanieaz | January 5, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Good pick Obama. This guy should work well with the other agencies and he's not one to operate outside the law or act as a "cowboy." Being close to the President is good as he will know what Obama considers important and translate that knowledge into actionable intelligence. And, that's something currently lacking from the current CIA. As for being a "Clintonite," so what? That was the last successful Presidency that we had. America will have achieved much if we can return to 50% of what we have lost, in stature and economically, since those days.

Posted by: sofla | January 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

lure1
With Obama as the president it will be on the job training, why not the CIA chief?
_______________________________

The only person that Bush started with and is still there is his original security officer --Condeleeza Rice--who ran around screaming--"THE SKY IS FALLING..THE SKY IS FALLING" on September 11, 2001!
This was a "COUP DE ETAT" perpetrated on the People of this great country. They brought in their "HOUSE NIGRA" to stop the Soveriegn State of Florida from counting votes, after that,,people thought it was "POLITICS AS USUAL"---THINK AGAIN MY COUNTRY PEOPLE,,we were bamboozled by a bunch of thugs! HANG THEM!!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The last politician to be DCIA(the one before Hayden) was not up to the task and he was chairman of the House committee if I remember right.

The number of professional politicians in Obama's team is troubling. Would like to see more who actually knew the subject.

Does Panetta have the guts to pull the trigger? Or, will we have the Clinton style which resulted in the USS Cole, the Embassy bombings and etc.

Posted by: donbl | January 5, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, so much for making appointments based on experience and competence. Panetta's a good policy guy, but there is nothing to suggest he knows anything about intelligence aside from sitting in on the President's morning briefings. The intelligence community is a different breed and in much need of repair. That is not going to happen under someone who hasn't earned the respect of the community by being there and doing that. This is the first real mistake Obama's made so far.

Posted by: Dakota6 | January 5, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Cheney has used the CIA, as a "GESTAPO" that rides the FBI and the Pentagon! Cheney ,,and his close lover, Rumsfeld,,are world class criminals!
-----
It's been my impression those who supported Cheney were none too bright.

They may have been Gestapo like in thought, but they were, oh, who is the dumbest and most paranoid, the biggest failure in the history of the world?


Anyway, in execution, they were THAT guy, and THAT guy doesn't keep a nation safe, THAt guy can't even stay sane.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Im sorry but that dude just looks crooked as the day is long! Scary!

jess
www.web-privacy.pro.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | January 5, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Mudbone.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama Clinton. Clinton Obama.

Who's the president again?

It gets confusing.

Posted by: dcis1 | January 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This is what he calls "change?"

LOL!

Now we really don't have a hope, not for a secure nation anyway!

Posted by: NeverLeft | January 5, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

lure1
With Obama as the president it will be on the job training, why not the CIA chief?
_________________________________

How many years has Bush's (aka Cheneys Charley McCarthy) latest CIA deictor had ,,who before,,who before that?

Lure1,,
Cheney has used the CIA, as a "GESTAPO" that rides the FBI and the Pentagon! Cheney ,,and his close lover, Rumsfeld,,are world class criminals!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

With Obama as the president it will be on the job training, why not the CIA chief?

Posted by: lure1 | January 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The confirmation of this appointee will provide good theater. The man had better have self confidence and guts because his life is going to be difficult.
----------
He's not stupid, though, so off the bat, that's a plus.

And hopefully he won't simply act the part of a crazy VP's constable, one can wish, at the very least, he will respect the LAW and the Constitution.

I guess we'll see.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

HA Feinstein just indicated that she was not "informed" about Panetta's appt!!

She is PO'ed and will probably move to block the appt!

HA HA

This was just reported by CNN..

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Old Mudbone here,,

Personally I like the idea of bringing in someone who has not "TORTURED" people or went along with the "PROGRAM".

Seem's to Old Mudbone that is precisely what is needed!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by: whocares666 | January 5, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Leon Panetta may not (and who knows what goes on behind closed doors) or probably knows more than all these GOP idiots are wasting time writing a bunch of garbage.

Would these dumb non-thinking Rep. prefer Jeb Bush - or some freaking idiot who approves of cruelty beyond our Democratic laws just like Georgie Boy and his Mob!

Quote from a poem:Democracy,sweetem me again"

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Jaymand wrote:
This is unfortunate. Everyone saw what happened when Bush--,,Blah, blah,,blah..
__________________________________

The last Karl Rove pitch:
IT"S JUST LIKE BUSH!

Jaymand, I would just hide if I were you.

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The correct decision would be to disband the agency. The vast majority of actionable intelligence is gathered by communication intercept (NSA and the three armed services intelligence agencies). Analysis? Remember 911 and Iraqi WMDs. Their only true successes have been to keep friendly dictators and their thugs in power. Remember the assisnations of Diem and Allende? Drugs for Guns? Its our own little home grown mafia organization.

Posted by: sakbakkan | January 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Panetta seems like a nice guy, BUT he is either a dummy or just another politician who will "just follow orders".

Think back, when Clinton got caught with his pants down--Panetta led Sec State Halfbright and the rest of the cabinet in a press conference where they all made the identical robotic statement ie "I talked to the President and I believe he is innocent of these ridiculous charges."

Later, when the facts came out, Panetta wiggled around like a worm trying to explain his (lack of) powers of observation and ability to penetrate stonewalls of lies and deceit.

This is an excellent picked by Obama.

Panetta will do whatever he is told, believe all he's told, and will deny everything.

The videos showing Panetta's echoing, imbecilic defense of Clinton should begin appearing soon on YouTube.

Posted by: chazz60 | January 5, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Panneta is smart, worldly and a good administrator. His number one subordinate better have the confidence of the average CIA employee. I do not subscribe to the position that the leader has to be an intel insider but I do subscribe to the position that the leader has to have the confidence of his subordinates.

The confirmation of this appointee will provide good theater. The man had better have self confidence and guts because his life is going to be difficult.

Posted by: Gator-ron | January 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

HassanAliAl-Hadoodi?

That is SOOOOO LAME! Try again you friggin NEOCON that had a Mother that layed eggs under rocks in the swamp!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Yay! Obama is serious about taking control of the federal government and all intelligence agencies! Go Go Obama!

Posted by: Crunked | January 5, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This is unfortunate. Everyone saw what happened when Bush brought in his political hack to run the CIA. It nearly destroyed the agency. Now Obama attempts to do the same thing. This is really really a bad move.

He should keep Hayden on - a real career professional in the intelligence world and has done a great job at both the NSA and the CIA.

This is clearly Obama's worst appointment. In this time of war this country needs people like Hayden - Not political hacks!

Posted by: Jaymand | January 5, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, Obama's picks get better and better. He'd better watch out otherwise Hillary might take him out so she can claim the White House...I mean, her staff is practically running the Administration already!!!
Posted by: WildBill1
_______________________

WildBill,,seem's to me a little sex in the "WHITE HOUSE" is nothing compared to the Murder and Theft that Cheney/Bush have perpetrated. Limbaugh types need to be exterminated if the human species is to survive. YOU BETCHA!!!

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

This is a quite a surprise because Believers for Obama had anticipated one of our own for this post. Nevertheless, we are confident Commerce will be headed by Dr F Fawzi Mafooz, philanthropist and President of the Chicago/Cook County Outdoor Merchants Association.

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | January 5, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Because they were in under the Clinton administration don't presume he had a security clearance! What I found Most disconcerting about Slick Willie was that he selected a group of inexperienced smiling faces that were politically popular but were NOT the experts in the field and had NO experience! Likewise they did Not all have the backgrounds to get the highest security clearances that they needed... Yes, other CIA directors were "politically favorable" but didn't have the expertise to do the job well... anything that wears the Clinton "stain" will not sit right with me.

Posted by: surf2canada | January 5, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The NEOCONS hate Competance and Accountability...look at their pathetic posts..

OBAMA will do what a good Leader is expected to do.

AND
the Conservatives as they call themselves will rant and rave to find a position the uneducated can understand...

Oh I can See Russia??

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | January 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

One of the main national security problems the United States has had in recent years is using intelligence-gathering as a way of covering the military's adventuring and mistakes. That led to the Iraq War, in case people have forgotten. We exactly need someone who can stand up to the generals and spymasters and hold them accountable behind closed doors.

Leon Panetta is another excellent selection by the President-elect. Obama is choosing people who won't be intimidated by the bureaucracies so that they can implement real change. We need people who can find the Bush/Cheney moles who have burrowed into various agencies to continue Republican policies behind the scenes.

Posted by: lartfromabove | January 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Let us be clear these appointments are those which have been cleared via Hillary and Bill. Panetta's selection has made it clear that any real experience in the intell business is an illusion so do not be surprised when 9/11 round two shows up the ineptness. BO should know by now that the reason the Blair House was not available is that the Clinton's were already there. The only real 'change' is a trade for one politican for another. I thought thta Yale and Harvard where for the smart people? Thse past few years have shown otherwise.

Posted by: KBlit | January 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

This is only proof that obama is not in charge, rahm is...

Posted by: DwightHCollins | January 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, Obama's picks get better and better. He'd better watch out otherwise Hillary might take him out so she can claim the White House...I mean, her staff is practically running the Administration already!!!

Posted by: WildBill1 | January 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Was there something wrong with Wesley Clark or even John Kerry for that matter?

I swear this administration is looking eerily similar to the Clinton's. The major difference is that Obama is now the Head Man in Charge.

Posted by: dcis1 | January 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame that people who know the intelligence gathering business can’t be considered because the traitors on loony left have determined that anyone who doesn’t coddle terrorists shouldn’t be there.

Posted by: lure1 | January 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

==================
You are RIGHT..!!
SO when do you want to be taken out
Since you are a Neocon Terrorist!!
Would you like a nice trip to a sandy beach in Cuba? We will be glad to have you apply and answer questions. We can play Waterboarding!

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | January 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Funny reading most of these posts.
People don't seem to get, that rarely have CIA heads had an intelligence background.
Especially, after the mess of the Bush years, an outsider is needed to independently appraise, and fix, the CIA.
A person WITH intelligence, is far more important than one coming from an intelligence background.
Besides, most of those criticizing the appointment, would criticize Obama had he appointed James Bond. Nothing Obama could do, would be satisfactory with these folks.

Posted by: burf | January 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse


Panetta stood by (with Clinton and Monica) as Bin Laden planned his 9/11 attacks.

Obama's irresponsible decision will cause millions of American deaths.


Posted by: Leftie | January 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

If Ocrapa had ever been serious about "change" he was get rid of this evil, 1/2-rate agency all together.

Posted by: torro67 | January 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

George "Slam Dunk" Tenet's experience cost us billions of dollars, and thousands of lives. Somebody should give him a medal...oh, I forgot...

Posted by: aaq226 | January 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame that people who know the intelligence gathering business can’t be considered because the traitors on loony left have determined that anyone who doesn’t coddle terrorists shouldn’t be there.

Posted by: lure1 | January 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

This is the second unworhty appointment (the first being Richardson) that President-elect has made. Paneta (and Ombama) would be much better off if Leon headed Commerce (recently vacated) or at best as DNI (a largely honorific position now that the current SecDef and DCIA have quietly averted its authorities in practice). This from someone whose has operated during the last 30 years in,out,and in service to the agency. CIA needs reform yet Panetta will be forced to depend upon the Deputies who will actually run the place. A 'good guy' yes, a good pol as a congressman, a Clinton ally, but hardly the stuff needed at CIA. AS a Nation, we may sufferfrom this appointment in terms of needed intellgience, information to avert another terrorist attack, and making GPS work for the rest of us.

Posted by: jmorgens | January 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

In his campaign for president, Obama proclaimed a change for America and Washington. Why then, is Obama bringing back all the old Clintonites into his administration? I'm beginning to worry that he is not as able or confident as I thought. Is he that unsure of himself that he needs these "seasoned people" to buffer and reassure him in times of decision making, vs true visionaries who represent the real change that we need and want in America?

Posted by: tpagotie | January 5, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but it seems most of the folks commenting on this article have no practical historical knowledge about most of the past holders of the job, or the optimal background necessary. To say it would be best to have someone who is already or has long been in the intel community is what telegraphs this lack of knowledge.

Posted by: Fallen1 | January 5, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Just great, a man with zero experience,(Obama), appoints a man with no experience (Panetta).

The attacks on our country will re-start, because we have elected Nitwits to govern.

Sorry folks, this is one position, that on the job training just wont cut it.

Posted by: dashriprock | January 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

One more Democrat hack added to an already pathetic list proving that Obama has no credible original ideas of his own. This is going to be an administration of mediocrity and paybacks. This isn't what we need to get through this crisis.

Trust me, Americans are going to be poorer and much more vulnerable in a world filled with dangerous thugs as the years pass.

Posted by: onecent100 | January 5, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Has BO picked any leftovers from the Lincoln admin yet?

Posted by: srb2 | January 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama's irresponsible decision will cause millions of American deaths.

Go back to posing for naked beach pictures.

Posted by: Leftie | January 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

lure1 wrote:
Leon Panetta knows as much about covert operations as Arabian horse expert Michael Brown new about emergency management.
____________________________

The only thing one must know abou "COVERT" operations is "IT'S A FRIGGIN SECRET"!
Given the fact that any country that could build a bicycle the last sixty years has a Nuke with a Ballistic delivery system what's the friggin secret.


Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

So the answer to supposed politicization of intelligence is to appoint a politician with no intelligence experience to run the agency? Makes total sense. Hope and change!

Posted by: bgarst | January 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

A career Pol running the IC is the last thing we need right now. This is nuts. Business and Politics as usual folks. Change? Nope. Change we can believe in? Hell no.

Posted by: TheDubb | January 5, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama isn't naive - he knows the CIA is a politicized (inside & out) mess with low morale. He picked a trusted agent accustomed to backstabbing DC-style to execute policy while revitalizing the enterprise... AND watch out for s!!htstorms rolling across the Potomac.

Posted by: ked22 | January 5, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Sandy Berger is next.......

Posted by: georgedixon | January 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a horrible choice! I do not think the chief of staff under Clinton, nor a member of the 9/11 commission, constitutes enough intelligence experience to bring back this historic agency. Does anyone else remember that Presideny Clinton didn't think we actually needed the CIA anymore..?? If this is where Mr. Panetta's thoughts are (being he was one of Clinton's top advisors), I am not sure the people is supposed to support will care for that attitude. Especially during this point in our nations history, we need more than ever someone who knows how to navigate working with the various intelligence agencies, at home and abroad. I am worried his only charter is going to be to find ways to cut the CIA budget as part of Obama's "cutting programs that don't work" policy. It is going to be interesting to see how a man with little to no actual intelligence background is going to evaluate the strategic direction the CIA must take in order to fight terrorism...

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | January 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I've lived in Monterey County my whole life. So you Washington ppl aren't the only ones going: HUH?!
We're kind of wondering what the heck is going on too...
Anybody have a clue?

Leon's a good man but CIA? That's a leap.

Posted by: cindaflame | January 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Another Clintonista!

Who'd have thunk that? ;~)

Barry O'Bomba-Nation;

PINO! :-/

Posted by: SAINT---The | January 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Now I've heard everything. Just when I was starting to become impressed with Obama's picks for top positions, he selects a person with zero intelligence experience to lead our premiere intelligence agency. Supposedly Obama said he had hoped to select someone with more intelligence experience but this was all he could find when his first choice (John O. Brennan) withdrew his name.

WHAT?!? This is all our nation can come up with? He goes from a choice with solid intelligence experience to a choice with no intelligence period. A former Whitehouse Chief of Staff and a Congressman. Nice.

This is not an issue as some might say of Panetta being unfamiliar with an agency, it's an issue of him being unfamiliar with an INDUSTRY. He does not understand the intelligence community and cannot, no matter how hard he might like to, understand the ramifications of his decisions across the agency and community. He will forever rely on those beneath him and therefore, that's where the real decision making will occur.

Oh, and unlike most of the posters here, I've been in the intelligence community since 1995 so at least I have a clue.

Posted by: NavyWings | January 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Pifunk wrote:
As a previous poster mentioned, it is a bit disappointing to see Barack fill the govt with Clinton people. Oh, well. Go figure, just another politician following an election script.
____________

Hey Pifunk,,,
The year 2000 is what we remember, a darn good year as we recall. Then Holy Hell broke loose,,"UNCLE" Clarence Thomas stopped the vote count and the Cheney/Bush Coup was on. Good buy Savings, Hello "PRIVITIZATION OF THEFT".

BTW,, We don't see you NEOCONS making any traction with the "ANTI-CLINTON" talking points,,but a political herd can live way beyond it's relevance if it howls amonst it's own! SAY WHAT?

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Leon Panetta knows as much about covert operations as Arabian horse expert Michael Brown new about emergency management.

Posted by: lure1 | January 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

If I had wanted a Clinton administration redux, I would have voted for her.

Obama = Clinton Lite

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

Wow, change we can believe in. Not!

Posted by: jrealty | January 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we just put Bill Clinton back in office?
Come to think of it, maybe we did since his wife is sec state.

Change?

Posted by: killthemessenger | January 5, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Panetta is a great choice. That man can organize anything, even the spooks at the CIA.

Posted by: spro | January 5, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

This is Obama's "Change We Can Believe In"?
This Clinton Has Been Simply Is Not One Bit
Qualified To Head The CIA AS He Has No Actual Field Experience Or Any Work In This Field! Stop the Con Job Obama!!!

Posted by: Darleen521980 | January 5, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

TOMHERE

You really should not expose your lunatic irrationality in public so obviously. Have you ever noticed how people do not socialize with you.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This country continues to be handicapped by politicians putting their friends in plum positions that really need specialists.
Obama's selection of Panetta is yet another example of partisan limited thinking.
The head of the CIA needs to have a background in intelligence not in party politics.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | January 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

From these comments, it sounds like Panetta has some big egos to deal with in his rank and file at the CIA.

Posted by: gt92102 | January 5, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

see, people!
there is no difference voting for clinton or obama.
what a change? so far all he appointed are existing governors and lots and lots of old clinton people.
Basically it's the same old people because there is just not enough democrates that are qualify enough to run things.
Well, here is your CHANGE..so far I just see the same old washington.
Thankyou man for voting for the same!
By the way...the economy/housing bubble, it comes for the excess in the clinton year boom that no one checks anything when everyone makes money.

Posted by: andyoo | January 5, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

As a previous poster mentioned, it is a bit disappointing to see Barack fill the govt with Clinton people. I don't think this is what the people were led to believe when he talked about "Change we can Believe in". Especially given how he insinuated the Clintons were part of the broken-down Washington culture in the primaries. Oh, well. Go figure, just another politician following an election script.

On a separate note, I have no idea if Pannetta will be a good choice. When it comes to Nat'l Security, I remember the Clinton people being the ones who let Osama BinLaden run free to begin with. I hope, for America's sake, he does a fine job, though common sense would seem to dictate that someone with some defense/intel experience would be a better choice.

Posted by: p1funk | January 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Amicus,

I concur that the Agency as well as the NIC has been misused as a paramilitary arm in an attempt to expand Executive Power... However, the digression from Intelligence Analysis started in the Clinton era (with two focuses towards the Drug War (remember that Cabinet level was created and seated by Barry McCaffery (I was there the night Bill called Barry to see if he wanted the job)?) and the issue with Somalia (a complete failure)...

I was really hoping someone with experience as a CONSUMER of Strategic and Superior Intelligence Analysis would head up the Agency as well as the NIC. That way we can get back to good ole fashioned business of real Intelligence... Not Covert Direction operations.... (several other agencies handle that).

Panetta just doesnt fit that billing I just outlined.

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

It actually surprises me, Panetta is an ultra-intelligent decent guy and I never thought of him as a spook.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Noooo!!! What happened with Jami Miscik??? She's the one perfect for the position, she's got all the experience needed and then some! What happened???

Posted by: isamar28 | January 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Panetta is a joke. Another Clinton non-change. This is a post that nobody else wanted because they can't use harsh interrogation techniques. Good luck.
Posted by: GloomBoomDotcom
_______________________________

Gomm, when you were a kid did you tear the wings off butterflies trying to make them tell thier secret of flight? George Walker Bush did.

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Big deal, another Clinton appointee.

Posted by: tcdifla | January 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

CHANGE is: same Clinton scandals, same Clinton staff.

Posted by: pgr88 | January 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I for one think that it's obvious that the failings in intelligence that occurred during the Bush administration were due to the head of the CIA not having a strong enough backround in law and finance...

Posted by: devadvoc | January 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Competent? Smart is "in?"
Here's a part of his own bio:

Panetta is currently co-directs with his wife Sylvia the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay...

Nice. Yeah.

He'll be working for the Wizard of Uhhs and his foul-mouthed investment banker lawyer COS, "Rahmbo."

Smart. Yeah.

Posted by: theeasypartsover | January 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope he investigates 9/11.

Maybe he could start with Buzzy Krongard's connections to the insider trading.

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/12_06_01_death_profits_pt1.html

Posted by: Dainin | January 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Well he ain't no "BIBLE BANGING KILL THEM ALL AND LET THE LORD SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE BAD"-- George Bush Loyal Mongrel.

BTW: What's the difference between the CIA, KGB,,and the GESTAPO?? ( Hint--It's trick question).

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

He will do a great job, especially when judged against the morons that W had in there.
NEOCON BASTARDS BURN IN HELL.

Posted by: TOMHERE | January 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I served six years there; I think Panetta is an interesting, positive choice. He'd be a guy I'd pick if I wanted a serious evaluation/overhaul... the CIA is heavily-based on deputies, too, so Panetta would be able to rely on a deputy director (probably promoted from current Agency veterans), and then the Deputy Directors for Operations and Intelligence would manage their own arms. When I served (1988-94, including under now-SecDef Gates) it was an agency a bit adrift, post-Cold War, and I fear that it's been abused for the past eight years as more of a rogue paramilitary arm by a rogue Executive, while the serious practice of intelligence analysis has been stifled or ignored. Interesting choice!

Posted by: amicus | January 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Panetta is a joke. Another Clinton non-change. This is a post that nobody else wanted because they can't use harsh interrogation techniques. Good luck.

Posted by: GloomBoomDotcom | January 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Good choice. Here’s why.
1. Experience - congress, executive branch, private sector. What else do you want.
2. Universally liked and respected.
3. Not Porter Goss. His ego - clearly - got in his way.
4. Outsider - Perfect to reform a place that needs it.

Posted by: housing53 | January 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

well...he is more qualified for this position than Caroline is to be my senator- but that is not a high bar to set

Posted by: nycLeon | January 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

One final note... In my 15 years of working both National and Military Intelligence, folks there are FAR qualified folks to be the head SpyMaster... Not Panetta.... In my earlier post, I named several Military officers who are Dems or Repubs that I have had the pleasure of working for and with. I aint kidding.....

For god sake, ask Colin Powell and see if he would take the job. This must be part of the Clinton backroom dealing that came at the end of the Democratic Primaries...

God Have Mercy on America!! Please Congress stop this appointment, it will blind America!

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

As proud as i am of Barack Obama,this is beginning to look like the Clinton white house three, what does Leon Panetta know about covert operations and how to operate one of the most secretive and sensitive branch's of the federal goverment? and why can't Obama come up with his own people? and why do we the people have to put up with Bill Clinton retreads,i'm sure Mr.Panetta is a "good guy" but why can't the Pres-elect bring someone on board of his own choosing or does Barack not know anyone who can get through the process.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Why all the objections to Panetta due to lack of experience? That didn't stop George Bush Sr. from getting the job.

Posted by: stevenjay | January 5, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

How refreshing! "Change we need" has arrived again with the appointment of another clintonite...remember when we heard ever liberal scream "mc same" would be Bush II. I wonder how the Obamacons will describe the world of the messiah now that he has recommended almost an exclusive slate of clinton lobbyist/crooks..as one contributer so aptly put it "Panetta can lie with a straight face" he did it for billary without even breaking a sweat. What a crew, Lord help us!

Posted by: djudge1 | January 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

AWWNats,
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.

Mr. Deutch, now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Mr. Panetta and Dennis Blair, who was selected by Mr. Obama to become director of national intelligence, were an “absolutely brilliant team,” and called Mr. Panetta a “talented and experienced manager of government and a widely respected person with congress.”

Posted by: mudbone | January 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope Panetta shuts down Langley and sends the spooks scurrying like cockroaches. Let the State Department represent the interests of the USA abroad.

Posted by: stevenjay | January 5, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

strange choice. There is no national security experience in his background and he has no management experience... He seems like a likeable pol but just think this is a really weird pick. I would have seen him more as commerce secretary than CIA. Very strange...

Posted by: RoseL1 | January 5, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I am almost sure that Congress will block this appointment. Panetta has no qualifications necessary to be a SpyMaster... Should have kept Hayden until he found someone else to take care of the intelligence apparatus... You can replace the DNI.. No Problem there, but the Chief Spook is a ultra-sensitive position.

Get on the phone with Wesley Clark, or Robert Harding, or hell Julius Parker.... ... Better yet Ask your head of National Security Gen Jones for a recommendation.. but GOD not Panetta...!

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

No Intell background.

Good grief.

Posted by: AWWNats | January 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The CIA post is a highly political post, and Panetta was on the Iraq Study Group, so he has some expertise in intel matters.
He should choose Tyler Drumheller to assist him.

Posted by: spenceradams | January 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Leon should be a great spy chief . He has proven he can lie with a straight face .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | January 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Does Mr. Panetta have any experience working in the Intelligence Community. Director of the CIA is not just another political position.

Posted by: ssgdsf | January 5, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

That Panetta is scary does not qualify him for chief spook.

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | January 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Leon Panetta? You have to be kidding me.

Posted by: russtom1 | January 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Are you KIDDING ME??? Cmon President Obama..... Get an Intelligence man into the post like Wesley Clark or someone along that ilk...

Leon Panetta ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

We will be BLINDER than the Intelligence Analysts in the Iraq War....

Seriously you need to reconsider this.... This comes from an Intelligence Professional.

Posted by: tstrikegeo | January 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse


YES !!

Welcome back Leon.
Smart man. And not easily fooled.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

An extremely competent and excellent choice for most posts-and obviously had security clearance under Clinton but not sure why he is "head spy"-His global perspective is important but how much does he relate to the "employees" of the agency?

Posted by: nycLeon | January 5, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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