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Thread: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

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    Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Panetta was the former Chief of Staff under Clinton.

    According to Fox News Channel.

    OBL 11/24/02

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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Obama picks Leon Panetta as CIA head: reports

    I'm curious what experience Panetta has that would make him a good CIA director. Not only did he never work there, but he never even sat on a committee that was related to Intelligence.
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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Yet another veteran of the Beltway nominated to a Cabinet position by this administration of hope and change.

    He has plenty of experience in DC, just very little experience dealing with intelligence issues.

    Seems his primary qualification was carping about torture.

    Do any of the Obama voters yet feel as though they ave been lied to?

    Or are simply sticking your fingers in your eyes and shouting, "He's not President, yet, he couldn't have broken any promises"?

    Anyone...

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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    And Diane Feinstein blows a gasket.

    She is pissed she was not consulted and that the nominee has no experience. This could get funny as hell.

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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Quote Originally Posted by JMak View Post
    Yet another veteran of the Beltway nominated to a Cabinet position by this administration of hope and change.

    He has plenty of experience in DC, just very little experience dealing with intelligence issues.

    Seems his primary qualification was carping about torture.

    Do any of the Obama voters yet feel as though they ave been lied to?

    Or are simply sticking your fingers in your eyes and shouting, "He's not President, yet, he couldn't have broken any promises"?

    Anyone...
    For all he's been criticized for choosing cronies and inexperienced people, all of Bush's picks for CIA Director had fantastic resumes:

    Gen. Hayden - Highest Ranking Military Operative in the Armed Forces
    Rep. Porter Goss - CIA Operative for 10 years, Chair of House Intelligence Committee for 8 years
    George Tenet - 6 years of experience in the position under Clinton
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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Another interesting article:

    Obama's intel picks short on direct experience - Yahoo! News

    President-elect Barack Obama's decision to fill the nation's top intelligence jobs with two men short on direct experience in intelligence gathering surprised the spy community and signaled the Democrat's intention for a clean break from Bush administration policies.

    Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, an eight-term congressional veteran and administrative expert, is being tapped to head the CIA. Retired Adm. Dennis Blair is Obama's choice to be director of national intelligence
    Panetta could face tough questions at his nomination hearing about his background in intelligence. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who will chair the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday she was surprised by the pick, and neither was informed nor consulted.

    "I know nothing about this, other than what I've read," she said. "My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time."
    Ouch.

    Veterans of the CIA were caught off guard by the selection.

    "I'm at a loss," said Robert Grenier, a former director of the CIA's counterterrorism center and 27-year veteran of the agency who now is managing director of Kroll, a security consulting company.

    The lack of intelligence experience puts Panetta at "a tremendous disadvantage," Grenier told The Associated Press in an interview.

    "Intelligence by its very nature is an esoteric world. And right now the agency is confronted with numerous pressing challenges overseas, and to have no background is a serious deficit. I don't say that he can't succeed. It may that he can compensate for the obvious deficit."
    Panetta was director of the Office of Management and Budget and a longtime congressman from California. As White House Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration, he spearheaded the internal effort to find a new CIA chief that led to the selection of John Deutsch in 1995. Deutsch served for 18 months. After he resigned, CIA security officers found classified material on his home computer, a violation of security procedures.
    lol
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    This is rather strange. The only reference I could find intelligence qualifications for Panetta in is wikipedia is this.

    Panetta was instrumental in creating CSU Monterey by converting Fort Ord, where he was chief of operations and planning of the intelligence section when he was in the army, into the university.
    In 1964 he joined the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. There he received the Army Commendation Medal, and was discharged in 1966 as a First Lieutenant.
    I would infer that he was an intelligence officer during his service in the army. On, the surface it looks like Obama picked a man with little qualifications. 2 years in intelligence during the 60's is not nearly enough to run the modern CIA. It is possible that Panetta has been involved with intelligence work beyond public knowledge, but that is currently without evidence.

    I'd say it would be more than fair to question why a man with so little experience is being nominated to such an important post in todays world. When military action has been shown to have limited effectiveness against terrorism, boosting our intelligence agencies is more important than ever.

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    What Experience did HW Bush have?

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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Gault View Post
    What Experience did HW Bush have?
    War veteran. Self-made Millionaire. Congressman. Ambassador to the UN. Chairman of the RNC. Envoy to China.

    He was at the CIA for 12 months.
    Last edited by bhkad; 01-05-09 at 11:13 PM.

    OBL 11/24/02

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    Re: Leon Panetta to be nominated CIA Director

    January 6, 2009
    Panetta Chosen as C.I.A. Chief in Surprise Step
    By MARK MAZZETTI and CARL HULSE

    WASHINGTON — Leon E. Panetta, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, has been selected by President-elect Barack Obama to head the Central Intelligence Agency. The choice, disclosed Monday by Democratic officials, immediately revealed divisions in the party as two senior lawmakers questioned why Mr. Obama would nominate a candidate with limited experience in intelligence matters.

    The job was the last unfilled major post for Mr. Obama, who has criticized the agency for using interrogation methods he characterized as torture. Democratic officials said Mr. Obama had selected Mr. Panetta for his managerial skills, his bipartisan standing, and the foreign policy and budget experience he gained under President Bill Clinton.

    Mr. Panetta has himself been a sharp critic of the agency’s interrogation practices. Some Democrats expressed strong support for the choice, with Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, describing him as “one of the finest public servants I have ever served with and dealt with since he left the White House.”
    Just because the weasel, Harry Reid, likes Panetta doesn't necessarily mean Panetta is terrible. But it is a strong reason to look very closely at Panetta.

    The choice of Mr. Panetta comes nearly two weeks after Mr. Obama had otherwise wrapped up his major personnel moves. It appears to reflect the difficulty Mr. Obama has encountered in finding a candidate who is capable of taking charge of the agency but is not tied to the interrogation and detention program run by the C.I.A. under President Bush.

    Aides have said that Mr. Obama had originally hoped to select a C.I.A. director with extensive field experience, especially in combating terrorist networks. But his first choice for the job, John O. Brennan, had to withdraw his name amid criticism over his alleged role in the formation of the agency’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    As President Clinton’s chief of staff for two and a half years, Mr. Panetta regularly attended daily intelligence briefings in the Oval Office, and he has a reputation in Washington as a skilled manager and power broker with a strong background in budget issues. But he has little direct intelligence experience, and did not serve on the House Intelligence Committee during his 16 years in Congress.
    An early test in Mr. Panetta’s tenure at the C.I.A. would be to determine the future of the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

    “Those who support torture may believe that we can abuse captives in certain select circumstances and still be true to our values,” he wrote in The Washington Monthly last year. “But that is a false compromise.” He also wrote: “We cannot and we must not use torture under any circumstances. We are better than that.”

    Some human rights groups praised the choice. Elisa Massimino, executive director of Human Rights First, said it was important that the new C.I.A. director be someone “who recognizes that torture is illegal, immoral, dangerous and counterproductive.”
    Choosing someone who is an outspoken critic of torture and abuse takes a tool off the table that the enemy need not concern themselves with. It is a terrible strategy to signal the enemy that we are definitely not going to torture, assuming they keep their promises. (And when dealing with Democrats who among us can be certain that they will keep their word?)

    “The best way to change intelligence policies from the Bush administration responsibly is to pick someone intimately familiar with them,” Ms. Zegart said. “This is intelligence, not tax or transportation policy. You can’t hit the ground running by reading briefing books and asking smart questions.”

    As C.I.A. director, Mr. Panetta would report to Mr. Blair. Neither choice has yet been announced.

    The C.I.A. has settled down from years of turmoil after the Sept. 11 attacks and fallout from flawed intelligence assessments about Iraq’s unconventional weapons programs. But the agency’s role among the constellation of spy agencies operating under the director of national intelligence remains ill-defined.

    Mr. Panetta, a native of Monterey, Calif., served eight terms in the House before becoming the chief budget adviser to Mr. Clinton in 1993 and taking over as Mr. Clinton’s chief of staff from July 1994 to January 1997.

    Lee H. Hamilton, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, of which Mr. Panetta was a member, said Mr. Panetta’s good relationship with Mr. Obama could translate into influence within the broader intelligence community.

    Mr. Hamilton said Mr. Panetta could make up for a lack of direct intelligence experience by picking a strong group of aides at the agency.

    “You have to look at the team,” he said. “You clearly will want intelligence professionals at the highest levels of the C.I.A.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/us...pagewanted=all
    Referring to Hamilton's comment, it should be pointed out that former CIA operative and Congressman, Porter Goss, stumbled in his tenure as CIA chief by choosing outsiders as staff members.

    OBL 11/24/02

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