Clintonista Leon Panetta To Be Named CIA Director

Not the most original of headlines, granted, but, gotta love the Change

President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, to take over the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization that Mr. Obama criticized during the campaign for using interrogation methods he decried as torture, Democratic officials said Monday.

Mr. Panetta has a reputation in Washington as a competent manager with strong background in budget issues, but has little hands-on intelligence experience. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take control of the agency most directly responsible for hunting senior Al Qaeda leaders around the globe, but one that has been buffeted since the Sept. 11 attacks by leadership changes and morale problems.

In other words, this is an Obamination pick. He has no experience in intelligence, except when he was in the Army. Between 1964 and 1966. He did not sit on a committee that dealt with the issues. I do like the fact that in private life he has worked for ocean rights, as well with several oceanagraphic institutes, such as the Montery Bay Aquarium. But that has nothing to do with running the CIA.

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. But his selection points up the difficulty Mr. Obama had in finding a C.I.A. director with no connection to controversial counterterrorism programs of the Bush era.

In other words, Barry is looking for a kindler, gentler CIA Director. Barf. Back to the days of treating terrorists and enemies of America with fuzzy-furry gloves. And if Alan Colmes, Talk Left, and the wackos at Firedoglake like himAbandon all Hope of fighting the Islamists.

Captain Ed points out that Panetta’s chief qualification is his bloviation against “torture.”

Fausta digs deep, and finds out that Panetta had a constant battle with the CIA, wanting to reduce their budget.

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