POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Panetta may be the perfect choice for the CIA

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 7, 2009

David Ignatius writes in the Washington Post …

  • On its face, it’s a puzzling choice: Barack Obama selects as his spy chief a former congressman with no first-hand experience as an intelligence professional.
  • Here’s the message, according to Obama’s advisers: Panetta is a Washington heavyweight with the political clout to protect the agency and help it to rebuild after a traumatic eight years under George Bush, when it became a kind of national pin cushion.
  • A quick survey of CIA sources indicated support for Panetta among a work force that is notoriously prickly — and has demonstrated an ability to sabotage bosses it doesn’t like.
  • Obama doesn’t have any background in intelligence, but insiders say that since the election, he has been immersing himself in the murky world of secret operations with his characteristic lawyerly diligence. 
  • He made a surprising decision in picking Panetta, but on balance, a good one.

LMW COMMENT … After my initial negative reaction, I have come to agree with Ignatius and many others; Panetta may be the perfect choice.

Read the entire article at … http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/blair_and_panetta_are_good_int.html



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