Monday, January 05, 2009

So Why Did Obama Pick Panetta as CIA Chief?

Leon Panetta

Matthew B. Stannard writes in The San Francisco Chronicle:

There is no question the agency is emerging from a troubled period, criticized by many for failing to stop the Sept. 11 attacks, for mistakenly concluding that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and for shipping terror suspects to secret overseas sites to be tortured or worse.

At the same time, there is broad consensus on the need for a robust and effective intelligence service to meet modern national security and foreign policy challenges.

Under changes established after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the job of briefing the president each morning no longer falls to the CIA director. That job now belongs to the director of National Intelligence, who oversees the CIA and other clandestine services. That job reportedly will go to retired Adm. Dennis Blair under President Barack Obama.

Under that structure, Panetta's lack of intelligence and overseas experience might matter less than his managerial and political experience - and his bipartisan reputation for integrity, several analysts said Monday.

More here.


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