Daily Beast: Leon Panetta’s an incompetent moron who’s jeopardizing U.S. security

posted at 9:51 pm on August 19, 2009 by Allahpundit

The Daily Beast is a center-left/RINO news outlet, so for them to kneecap The One this way is nothing short of shocking. So awful that I don’t even know how to excerpt it. Arguably the most damning story to emerge about Obama’s administrative competence since the inauguration.

Remember a few months ago when Panetta wet his pants about some supposed CIA plan to assassinate Al Qaeda leaders that Congress hadn’t been briefed on (but which had been public knowledge since 2002)? Funny thing:

[A]ccording to a half-dozen sources, including several very senior, recently retired CIA officials, clandestine-service officers, and Cabinet-level officials from the Bush administration, the real story is at once more innocent—Panetta was mistaken; no law was broken—and far more troubling: an inexperienced CIA director, unfamiliar with how his vast, complicated agency works, unable to trust senior officials within his own agency, and desperate to keep his hands clean, screwed up.

The Daily Beast has learned that shortly after his electrifying June 24 disclosure, Panetta spoke personally with each of his three predecessors—George Tenet, Porter Goss, and Michael Hayden—and only then realized the mistake he’d made about the program…

Panetta ordered an internal CIA inquiry into the matter, headed by a widely respected senior official. In his private conversations with his three predecessors, Panetta “as much as admitted” to them (in the words of one CIA insider) that he’d misunderstood. Without explicitly apologizing, he assured the men—whom he’d in effect accused of breaking the law—not to worry: The whole thing would quietly go away. He told them that he’d been pre-briefed by the officer conducting the internal inquiry, and that when the report came out it would indeed back them up. It would come swaddled in vague banalities calling for improving communication between the CIA and Congress. And the whole thing would die a quiet death.

But of course it didn’t. The bell couldn’t be unrung…

Panetta’s big mistake has only emboldened those Democrats in Congress who have been pushing to have all CIA debriefings, even the most classified, videotaped, to avoid future ambiguity. As one very former, very senior Bush administration official said to me in annoyance, “You know what? Let’s videotape them all. And when some important covert action gets torpedoed by the those guys on the intelligence committees and then we get hit again, let’s put those tapes up on YouTube for everyone to see who disarmed us. See what they think. It cuts both ways.”

That’s all I’m giving you. To find out about the alleged cover-up, which involves a glorious lie about how the assassination plot was ready to go active even though it never really was, you’ll have to read the whole thing. So egregious is this, in fact, that author Joseph Finder blames this screw-up for the Obama administration’s renewed determination to hold hearings on interrogation policies. Exit quotation: “Not only has Panetta become deeply unpopular within the agency, but, as these recent events demonstrate, Panetta—honorable, decent, savvy—probably wasn’t the best choice after all.”


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security

Jeff from WI on August 20, 2009 at 7:22 AM

The Peter Principle.

Bru on August 20, 2009 at 7:26 AM

I told Cold Warrior on these threads about 3 or 4 months ago that Panetta was not going to work out.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is at war with this country. Destroying the agency and our intelligence capability is par for the course.

Any chance at a “restart” the agency had was a strong executive to protect it. That chance was either squandered or deliberately squelched by Obama.

Our intelligence capability is being gutted by Obama’s leftist technocrats in the White House and the Justice Department.

Panetta is not a spook he is a partisan hack. The agency would have had problems respecting this man even if he had been competent.

The Agency deserves some of the blame for what’s transpiring. Their turf wars and intelligence failures contributed to a poisonous atmosphere in Washington. Their information war on the Bush White House during wartime was despicable, seditious, and indicative of the leftist bureaucratic rot that exists there. They have sown the seeds of this leftist assault on the nation. Now lets hope the nation doesn’t reap a whirlwind.

Obama is already on thin ice. If there is another attack on the homeland Obama will be unable to hide from his failure like Clinton hid behind Jaime Gorelick. Obama will be held responsible for American blood.

elduende on August 20, 2009 at 7:28 AM

Once again…as if we need anymore…Obama shows how ill prepared he was and is to lead a nation.
He was probably effective for leading a community organization, to take care of 16 blocks of downtown Chicago…but the U.S. and the world, ain’t Chicago.
Often is isn’t how “smart” someone is…it gets down to leadership, some have it, some don’t…he doesn’t.

right2bright on August 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Panetta is an idiot, Axelrod is a crook, Obama is a Commie.
Nice country you picked Democrat scum voters!

Jeff from WI on August 20, 2009 at 7:51 AM

an inexperienced CIA director, unfamiliar with how his vast, complicated agency works, unable to trust senior officials within his own agency, and desperate to keep his hands clean, screwed up.

panetta didn’t know they work with blackwater now to assassinate people.

sesquipedalian on August 20, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Obama views the military and CIA as potential cash cows. He wants them prosecuted, discredited and dismantled and the money moved to his domestic programs. He believes international affairs can be outsourced to the UN. That’s also why he will let the victory in Iraq go to waste and let the pointless war in Afghanistan slide into quagmire. Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton are put in place to take the blame.

modifiedcontent on August 20, 2009 at 8:05 AM

I thought the Daily Beast was Meghan McCain.

Upstater85 on August 19, 2009 at 10:03 PM

+100

WordsMatter on August 20, 2009 at 8:06 AM

Leon Panetta’s an incompetent moron who’s jeopardizing U.S. security

And in other breaking news, the sun will rise in the east…

oldleprechaun on August 20, 2009 at 8:24 AM

right2bright wrote: “Obama shows how ill prepared he was and is to lead a nation. He was probably effective for leading a community organization, to take care of 16 blocks of downtown Chicago…but the U.S. and the world, ain’t Chicago. Often is isn’t how “smart” someone is…it gets down to leadership, some have it, some don’t…he doesn’t.”

With all due respect right2bright, you fundamentally don’t get it! “Community organizing” is basically a code word for astroturfing. It’s a well-described marxist activist strategy. That’s not even a secret. If you had been paying attention, you would have known.

By his own standards and goals Obama is still extremely successful. He controls much of the financial industry and what’s left of the manufacturing base. He has a personal piggy-bank of about a trillion dollars. A continuing crisis atmosphere and social upheaval will only give him more opportunities to play his game.

If he fails on healthcare, nothing’s lost. He will get some kind of compromise through the Democrat-controlled Congress and it will be a first step towards socialized medicine. He will shamelessly rig the 2010 and 2012 elections and get away with it. The Obamacrats will be in every corner of society.

Get a clue before it’s too late – I believe it already is.

modifiedcontent on August 20, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I don’t want to say it. I don’t even want to think it.
I want to believe that these people love their country.

But, from where I sit, it looks as though they hate our country and will do anything to harm her. I wish I’d never watched the news, gotten interested in politics and how the world works. Ignorance would truly be bliss right about now. Should have kept the damn radio on FM!

end of rant… I:

bridgetown on August 20, 2009 at 8:43 AM

The Agency deserves some of the blame for what’s transpiring. Their turf wars and intelligence failures contributed to a poisonous atmosphere in Washington. Their information war on the Bush White House during wartime was despicable, seditious, and indicative of the leftist bureaucratic rot that exists there. They have sown the seeds of this leftist assault on the nation. Now lets hope the nation doesn’t reap a whirlwind.

Obama is already on thin ice. If there is another attack on the homeland Obama will be unable to hide from his failure like Clinton hid behind Jaime Gorelick. Obama will be held responsible for American blood.

elduende on August 20, 2009 at 7:28 AM

The fact that the CIA had people in key positions of the agency who either couldn’t remember or didn’t care about the Church Commission in 1978 earns them if nothing else a huge amount of blame based on sheer stupidity.

By having the liberal-leaning part of the organization (let’s call it the “Valerie Plame Wing” of the CIA) go into attack mode against the Bush Administration based supposedly on maintaining the agency’s status quo, they opened the CIA up for the current attempt to disarm it from the far left of the Democratic Party, which certainly hasn’t moved to the right since Frank Church and his cronies hamstrung the agency during the Carter Administration.

The idea that anyone within the CIA who actually is/was committed to the agency’s mission believed that by putting Democrats back in power their situation would get better is a display of stunning naivety or breathtaking stupidity. I’d like to say they deserve everything they’ve got coming to them, but unfortunately, to do that means opening up the nation to another 9/11 or something possibly even far worse than that involving nuclear or biological terror weapons.

jon1979 on August 20, 2009 at 8:45 AM

I wish I could say that I am shocked, but nothing about the Obama shocks me anymore. All I feel is sadness.

southsideironworks on August 20, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Incompetence in the O’s administration is a prerequisite. The national security of our country is a veil of transparency that can only result in the tragic loss of life. Liberalism is a progressive mental disorder. Panetta is in the latter stages.

volsense on August 20, 2009 at 8:56 AM

jon1979 on August 20, 2009 at 8:45 AM

Completely agree. They have been in perpetual CYA mode for a long time and then aggravated the situation by shooting their own foot off playing partisan politics. (bureaucratic politics is par for the course in DC but not this sort of ideologically motivated subversion which took place)

elduende on August 20, 2009 at 9:02 AM

I think Panetta is one of Inspector Clouseau’s disguises. I’m am shock-ked!

Wills on August 20, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Like anyone else in the Obama Mafioso; An incompetent thief.

Cybergeezer on August 20, 2009 at 9:14 AM

I don’t care if they write something that seems to agree with more conservative thinking; after all that Megan McCain bullshit you linked to, allah, I won’t click a dailybeast link if you were paying me.

DrRansom on August 20, 2009 at 9:19 AM

With the new Blackwater revelation from an anonymous source, it sounds like the administration is doubling down on Panetta.

BohicaTwentyTwo on August 20, 2009 at 9:26 AM

He was probably effective for leading a community organization, to take care of 16 blocks of downtown Chicago…but the U.S. and the world, ain’t Chicago.
Often is isn’t how “smart” someone is…it gets down to leadership, some have it, some don’t…he doesn’t.

[right2bright on August 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM]

I think if you ask the people there you’ll find they don’t agree with you. Obama hasn’t shown himself to be a leader, much less effective, anywhere.

Dusty on August 20, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Every one of these stories reinforces my belief that Obama just went down a list of friends and supporters and plugged them into vital policy positions. After all, it is the force of his will alone that matters; not the useless bone bags he plants in those offices.

SKYFOX on August 20, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Relax people…the adults are in charge now.

johnnybgood on August 20, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Every one of these stories reinforces my belief that Obama just went down a list of friends and supporters and plugged them into vital policy positions. After all, it is the force of his will alone that matters; not the useless bone bags he plants in those offices.

SKYFOX on August 20, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Rahm Emanuel picked all these people, and most of them are Clinton era retreads. Obama doesn’t know sh!t about hiring people or putting together a team. He probably never met Leon Panetta until he interviewed him at Rahm’s insistence. And I’m quite sure Rahm engineered the “revelation” about the assassination “program” that just happened to save Nancy Pelosi’s career.

rockmom on August 20, 2009 at 12:27 PM

If this wasn’t so serious, it’d actually be funny. I seem to recall writing about his utter lack of qualification for the job back in January. Oh well. As they say: “elections have consequences.”

Send_Me on August 20, 2009 at 12:45 PM

I get Mineta and Paneta mixed up . One is the airport and one is a paper-mache donkey .

borntoraisehogs on August 20, 2009 at 1:14 PM

http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/spytalk/2009/08/report-panetta-wrong-on-assass.html

CIA spokesman George Little said Finder [the author of the Daily Beast article] is wrong.

“This story rests on the mistaken premise that Director Panetta told the Congress the CIA had broken the law,” Little told SpyTalk.

“He did not. It’s also wrong to suggest that the Director said the Agency had misled the Congress. He did no such thing. He decided that the time had come to brief Congress on a counterterrorism effort that was, in fact, much more than a PowerPoint presentation.”

orange on August 20, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Our intelligence capability is being gutted by Obama’s leftist technocrats in the White House and the Justice Department.

Panetta is not a spook he is a partisan hack. The agency would have had problems respecting this man even if he had been competent.

The Agency deserves some of the blame for what’s transpiring. Their turf wars and intelligence failures contributed to a poisonous atmosphere in Washington. Their information war on the Bush White House during wartime was despicable, seditious, and indicative of the leftist bureaucratic rot that exists there. They have sown the seeds of this leftist assault on the nation. Now lets hope the nation doesn’t reap a whirlwind.

Obama is already on thin ice. If there is another attack on the homeland Obama will be unable to hide from his failure like Clinton hid behind Jaime Gorelick. Obama will be held responsible for American blood.

elduende on August 20, 2009 at 7:28 AM

.
Well said.

NightmareOnKStreet on August 20, 2009 at 6:55 PM

I agree, Panetta is way out of his depth. This is the problem with recycling people. At some point, the “Peter Principle” takes effect.

If we were dealing with a local school board, or a commune sponsored vegetable stand, I would not care. But these guys are in charge of our national defense.

I’m worried we’ll end up paying for that. They won’t, but some citizen somewhere will. And Obama and crew will figure out a way to blame Bush.

archer52 on August 20, 2009 at 10:47 PM

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