Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The intelligence community is reacting with surprise at the choice of Leon Panetta as Obama's choice for CIA director. Spencer Ackerman, senior reporter for the Washington Independent, surveys the response.


Spencer Ackerman

Comments [21]

Leo from Queens

Have you taken 5 minutes to look at all of the appointees for his cabinet? - a LOT of new real competent dedicated people - There are only a couple of hacks.

Jan. 06 2009 10:28 AM
David Harrington from NYC

Is this the same Spencer Ackerman from Camp Kinderland? Ha.

Jan. 06 2009 10:26 AM
Ramon from New York

When will we stop blaming everything on the CIA and start acknowledging that it was the Bush administration who misled the country on WMD?

Jan. 06 2009 10:24 AM
Karen from Manhattan

I had always been told that George H.S. Bush had been a covert agent while serving as ambassador, et al., and was therefore not an "outsider" to the "insiders."

Jan. 06 2009 10:23 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Experience did NOT prevent the first 9/11. Terrorism has nothing to do with experience.

Jan. 06 2009 10:23 AM
Eric from B'klyn

I think the moral compass comment made on air is interesting. However, it appears that DENNIS BLAIR may be more controversial or ought to be; the journalist Allan Nairn is reporting that Blair was deeply involved in the East Timor invasion

Jan. 06 2009 10:20 AM
Jason from New York

Here is the transcript of the Frontline episode mentioned in #9

Jan. 06 2009 10:19 AM
R. Bennett from Pelham, NY

Historical Irony -- Wasn't George H.W. Bush the outsider brought in by President Ford to head the C.I.A after the excesses and lawbreaking allowed by the Nixon administration?

Jan. 06 2009 10:19 AM
anna from Manhattan

Since when is having relevant expeience in a particular discipline a requirement for getting a position? We have NUMEROUS examples of people who have no experience in working in a particular discipline or organization who are not leading the said organization but also setting policies for all the organizations within that discipline they have no background in.

Just look across the street to the Tweed Courthouse.

I say hire him.

Jan. 06 2009 10:18 AM
Karen from Manhattan

George H.W. Bush had been a spy, my dear.

Jan. 06 2009 10:18 AM
Karen from Manhattan

Obama has chosen insiders in some areas, such as the economy and state department, and outsiders in others, such as the CIA appointment. I think that the pattern signals where he wants to make significant changes and where he wants to work within existing procedures and structures. Clearly, the failure of the CIA/FBI regarding 9/11 shows that we need to overhaul our intelligence services. This can be best done by "Obama's man" -- ie., an outsider -- rather than an insider. That's why he chose Panetta.

Jan. 06 2009 10:17 AM
Samuel from NYC

"Change we can believe in."

In Obama's dictionary change means 'time before last' as in Clinton.

why can't there be some new people in our government. This is insane. Its the same old gas guzzling car with a new paint job in my opinion.

Jan. 06 2009 10:17 AM

(Frontline, re the 1986 "Gallo Ammendment" when Panetta was a congressman)

Jan. 06 2009 10:16 AM
Leonore from Stuyvesant Town

The goal for CIA director is not "efficiency" as in not making mistakes, but not being like the CIA of the 1970s and 1980s - overthrowing foreign governments, supporting deathsquad huntas, etc. Can Panetta set a standard of democratic integrity is the question?

Jan. 06 2009 10:15 AM
karen from NJ

What were George H.W. Bush's credentials when Ford made him director of the CIA? ...He was a former congressman, ambassador and RNC chairman. What was his connection to the intelligence community?

Jan. 06 2009 10:15 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Moral Compass?

Jan. 06 2009 10:14 AM
Smokey from LES

If you really want change, you have to look beyond the usual suspects. I'm willing to give Panetta a chance.

Jan. 06 2009 10:14 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn


I am not a big booster of the CIA but..

1) They aren't to blame for 911...they had the intelligence, but the adnministartion dismissed it.
2) they knew that Iraq had NO WMD, but the admin ignored/lied/fudged the intelligence.

do you NOT remember that?

Jan. 06 2009 10:13 AM

if the main job of cia director will be to fight homeland security for turf, then an experienced bureaucrat makes perfect sense.

Jan. 06 2009 10:12 AM
benjoya from Brooklyn

Feinstein is afraid we'll find out about her complicity in the torture regime. obama told other members of the intel committee, just not DiFi.

Jan. 06 2009 10:11 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Scary choice.

We better brace ourselves for an other 9-11.

Obama is really into recycling.

His administration looks like the Clinton administration.

Jan. 06 2009 09:54 AM

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