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A man without any intelligence experience is apparently going to be the next CIA Director.
As befits someone in my profession, I just had to comment on Pres.-elect Obama’s pick of Leon Panetta as the new CIA Director. Obama originally had picked intelligence professional John Brennan but "critics" said "he was too close to the Bush administration's interrogation policies." Now who are these critics and what is their beef? Well, they are the usual morons on the far left who are against the following policies of the outgoing Bush administration:
- extraordinary rendition
- enhanced interrogation techniques
- wiretapping of persons communicating with known/suspected terrorists
So, he gives in to these "critics" and selects a man with NO intelligence experience whatsoever.
In the past eight years, the very items mentioned above are what have kept us safe. Let’s take them one at a time:
- "Extraordinary rendition" – the practice of capturing a perpetrator and extraditing him (forcefully if need be) to another country which, as it happens, may not be averse to using the second of the items to gain information: enhanced interrogation techniques. This practice, by the way, was started by the Clinton administration. (Yes, you read that right.) The reason to do this is, quite frankly, some of the countries these terrorists were operating were either incapable of unwilling to do anything about them.
- "Enhanced interrogation techniques" – this could be waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc. Some people consider this to be torture. Well, this is how we got Khalid Sheikh Muhammad to confess he was behind the 9/11 massacre. This is also how we found out about attacks that didn’t happen because we found out about them in the first place.
- Wiretapping: sometimes intelligence reports have information about someone about to attack something or somebody. There is not enough specific information to obtain a warrant but something has to be done and done fast. So a certain agency listens in on a conversation and the perpetrators are stopped before somebody gets killed or, say, a bridge gets blown up.
I submit that these are the things we MUST do to keep our country safe. I ask you, the reader, would you not rather be safe than sorry? If you knew one of your neighbors was communicating with al-Qaeda, wouldn’t you want someone to know about it? If you were the president, and you knew our intelligence or law enforcement agencies had a man in custody who knew of plans for an imminent attack on an American city with weapons of mass destruction, wouldn’t you do anything to get that information out of him? Well, some people in this country would answer these questions in the negative.
And these people helped pick the next director of the CIA.
UPDATE - I must say I was pleasantly surprised at Mr. Panetta;s recent defense of the Agency against the ridiculous accusations of Nancy Pelosi. So far so good . . .
FURTHER UPDATE - All right, due to the recent actions of Mr. Panetta in the whole UBL affair and his honesty in this matter, I have to say he's apparently turned out to be a much better CIA director than I thought he would be. Now he's going to be SECDEF. Personally I would have made Gen Petraeus SECDEF and left Panetta where he is.
DISCLAIMER - everything here is from open sources and is my personal opinion and is in no way endorsed by any agency of the US Intelligence Community.