Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Panetta Chronicle
THE FUSS over whether Leon Panetta is qualified to be the next CIA director falls into two camps: some Senate Democrats whose feelings have been bruised by being left out of Obama's loop in the president-elect's choice; Republicans who flat out say Panetta is unqualified. (for historic reference of comparative experience, see George H.W. Bush). Egos are under fire all over the sacred hill. The complaining Democrats are doubtless striving to regain the power of the legislative branch that was virtually eliminated by Cheney-Bush. So be it. But those Republicans who are sniffing about Panetta's lack of experience only serve to recall such "experienced" CIA stalwarts as Porter Goss, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo and George Tenet from the Bush administration. Goss hung around in the job long enough to be considered a disaster by some close observers; Foggo, Goss' major domo in charge of the CIA's daily operations, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison for wire fraud for accepting a bribe from a friendly defense contractor; last but not least, it was Tenet who assured Bush that an invasion of Iraq would be a "slam dunk". Considering Panetta's widely respected previous service in D.C., he would be a hall-of-famer compared to these predecessors.