Panetta the Pinata

January 7, 2009
By

For the record I have been mostly pleasantly surprised by President-elect Obama’s personnel picks to date. While I certainly have differences with some, they are not left wing idealogues but rather experienced pragmatists who will do their best to put country first. (At least as they see it) My confidence in Mr. Obama however was shattered Monday by the news that he plans to nominate Leon Panetta for the directorship of the C.I.A.

I am not against Panetta the individual. (Agree or disagree with his politics everything about the man personally is above board.) But appointing him to CIA is a pure political play. And considering we are a nation at war, a very bad play indeed. (But then again, many on the left don’t consider this a “war” at all, but rather a misunderstanding that will go away if we’d only play nice with the terrorists.)

Unfortunately this appointment has payback to the left wing fringe written all over it. Those nuts who actually believe we deserved 9/11, and that the last few years puts the United States on par with the Nazis and the Inquisition. Panetta’s appointment appears to be just one big giant THANKS DUDES to that wing of the Democratic party, who without their support, Obama would still be just another junior Senator from just another midwestern state.

There is no doubt that Mr. Panetta brings years of experience and government service to the table and would be an asset to any budgetary or economic team, but the CIA is an intelligence team. The man has virtually no first hand intelligence experience.
Obama tried to spin it today by calling him (Panetta) “one of the finest public servants that we’ve had” who “brings extraordinary management skills, great political savvy, [and] an impeccable record of integrity.” Obama went on to point out that as chief of staff to President Clinton, Mr. Panetta was steeped in international affairs as well as crisis management and “had to evaluate intelligence consistently on a day-to-day basis,”

So having politcal savvy and reading a morning report to the President now qualifies one to head up the CIA? Huh? With all due respect Mr. President-elect, how does one so smart become so stupid, so quick? Are your lips so firmly attached to George Soros’ cheeks that your spine is now forever crippled?

Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that Panetta’s turn at Chief of Staff does somehow “qualify” him. That now brings up competence. Where was Mr. Panetta during the Khobar towers attack that killed 19 U.S. military personnel and injured hundreds others? Why did he fail to see the many signs that Islamic fundamentalism was not just on the rise but already at war with the United States. A war that the Clinton Administration turned a blind eye to for a full 8 years, giving Bin Laden and Al-Aqaeda ample time to plan and train the operatives that would eventually cause the horror of 9/11.

Do not mistrew my intent. I am not blaming Panetta for 9/11, but I am wondering how Obama can claim that briefing the President for three years can be a “qualification” without also looking at the attacks that occured during those three years and what Mr. Panetta did to prevent them. Hate Bush and the current CIA all you want, but the fact remains he inherited a CIA crippled by years of Clinton neglect and as of this writing that same CIA has helped prevent a second attack. Something that many experts did not deem possible in the year following 9/11.

I’m not the only one with concerns. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the incoming Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee stated Monday:
“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,”…..”My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

And NBC news reported that day:
“An aide to current Chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, tells NBC News that while the senator has tremendous respect for Leon Panetta, the aide said he believes the CIA director should go to someone who has significant intelligence experience and someone from outside the political world of Washington D.C.”

Feinstein has since back-peddled abit after receiving mea culpa’s from both Obama and Biden and is now saying “I look forward to speaking with Mr. Panetta about the critical issues facing the intelligence community and his plans to address them.”

I don’t know which is worse, that fact that Obam picked Panetta or that both he AND Biden were so caught up in placating the left they completely forgot that it might be a good idea to consult with Senators who actually know the CIA’s operations.

And what is it anyway that the CIA seems to scare the hell out of Democratic Presidents? So much so that for the past 30 plus years they have been doing everything they can to destroy it? From the Church committee in ’73, to Jimmy Carter and Stansfield Turner, to Jamie Gorlick, John Deutsch and Bill Clinton more recently, the United States intelligence gathering capability has been chipped away one Democratic administration at a time. And now it seems Obama wants to carry on in the footsteps of such failures.

And so Mr. President-elect with the above in mind I urge you to reconsider. That even though your friends on the left won’t admit it, we are a country at war. A war we did not start (no matter what they say) but a war none the less. A war our enemies have shown time and time again they are fully prepared to die for. A war that when it comes to the C.I.A and the nation’s safety there is no time for on the job training.

Political payback and pandering may be the street cred of Chicago politics, but it has no business creeping into the Central Intelligence Agency, no matter how many favors are owed.

But don’t just believe me, the best evidence I can provide is that they love Panetta over on the Daily Kos. If the kooks over there think it’s a good idea that pretty much says it all.

http://www.dailykos.com/

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