A happy new year to friends, family and readers. Hope the holiday season was a joyous one.
In a surprise today President-elect Barack Obama appointed former Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta to head the Central Intelligence Agency. My initial reaction to this was "HUH!?" A bureaucrat to run CIA strikes me as unseemly as one would seem logically want someone with INTELLIGENCE background to head the agency.
Why Panetta? For one thing it may indicate that there might not be a long list of willing but qualified appointees - George Tenet is out of course - but it may also suggest that Team Obama has realized what a nasty sharkpit the CIA has been to George W. Bush and has decided that more than anything they want a LOYAL BUREAUCRAT who is willing to ensure that no backbiting occurs.
Apparently Dianne Feinstein the new Senate Intelligence chair didn't know about this either but hard to see at the moment how any legislator or group of legislators will deny the Messiah. The downside to this if CIA misses anything big there will(and ought to) be hell to pay.
Thankfully Obama's choice for Director of National Intelligence, Retired Admiral Dennis Blair, formerly CINCPAC, is well regarded.