The word is out. Obama plans to make our homeboy Leon Panetta Director of the CIA. The C-I-frickin’ A!
Guess we’ll have to get used to the idea of actually knowing a real-life CIA Director. Sheesh, back in ’76 when he ran for Congress, all we wanted to do was send someone with a brain to Washington and get rid of that moron Burt Talcott. Who would have thought it would come to this? Leon the Spy-Master. Who would have dreamed he had that in his future?
This seems to be a signal that Obama is actually serious about bringing some competence and accountability to the cloak and dagger crowd … and, given their sorry history, that can only be a good thing.
BUT … back here in the neighborhood we guess we’re going to have to be careful not to say anything about Leon on the phone that we wouldn’t say to his face!
That’s assuming he makes it through the Senate confirmation process, of course, where our dear neighbor to the north, Dianne Feinstein, the new head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is already signaling her displeasure. First, she admits, she’s miffed that Obama didn’t consult her before picking Leon, and then (according to the Washington Independent) she says she wants an “intelligence professional in charge at this time.”
Since pretty much everyone agrees that the CIA is a severely disfunctional agency that “intelligence professionals” have proved completely incapable of fixing, one has to wonder why more of the same would be preferable to bringing in a man widely considered to be one of the most competent agency administrators in the country.
Or by “intelligence professional” does Senator Feinstein mean someone whose moral compass is a bit less precise than Leon’s on the subject of torture? Dianne, let’s not forget, finds it quite difficult to make a clear statement condemning torture, while Leon wrote (in the Washington Monthly last year):
We cannot simply suspend [our beliefs] in the name of national security. Those who support torture may believe that we can abuse captives in certain select circumstances and still be true to our values. But that is a false compromise. We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.
We cannot and we must not use torture under any circumstances. We are better than that.
Go on … read his whole statement. Now there’s a guy who just might be able to help rebuild this nation’s reputation as a beacon of liberty. Get a clue, Dianne ….
Read more on Senator Feinstein’s mindless support for Bush’s failed policies here.