Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How bout that Panetta?

Scott Horton likes the Panetta selection. I do too. That he chose a former Presidential Chief of Staff suggests to me that maybe Obama wants - needs - someone as savvy as Panetta at the table when he goes about dismantling the Bush intelligence policy with his legal team.

Still, it's quite interesting that Obama did not select from his transition team, which, again, as quoted in Rozen includes:

John Brennan, Rand Beers, "Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, former
senior CIA operations officers Art Brown and Jack DeVine, retired Ltn. Gen.
Claudia Kennedy, retired Ltn. Gen. and former head of the Defense Human
Intelligence Service Donald Kerrick, former CIA lawyer and special advisor to
the CIA director Kenneth Levitt, former CIA general counsel Jeff Smith, former
CIA Near East division chief Robert Richer, and former CIA officer Valerie
Plame Wilson

Back in September, the tone set by the group was as follows:

One participant described the group's priorities for a prospective Obama
administration to me this way: "The intelligence community is a complete mess.
Intelligence reform—try to fix it. Improve morale. CIA is dysfunctional. Rectify
a lot of stuff that was done by executive order in secrecy, and bring more
transparency. Better protection of civil liberties. Improve oversight of CIA on
these activities."

That sounds very much like John Brennan. It very well might have been. Thank goodness, it does not sound like Panetta, who recognizes that it is not about increased oversight of controversial CIA programs - it is about total elimination.

No comments: