Random thoughts on almost anything and everything, with an emphasis on defense, intelligence, politics and national security matters..providing insight for the non-cleared world since 2005.
The problem is equating a national intelligence operation for a superpower with administering a bureaucracy anywhere else in the executive branch. To assert that somehow as a customer for the intel product, Panetta then qualifies to run the shop shows how ignorant we have become.
Ed--Couldn't agree more; reminds me of some of the debates I had as a young intel officer in a fighter squadron. Not surprisingly, the pilots had strong opinions on intel; a few even suggested on rare occasions that I had my facts wrong. That lasted until (a) we dug out the reference books and (b) I became one of the first intel pukes to be accepted to (and graduate from) the USAF Weapons School. While I appreciated informed opinions from pilots and WSOs who had been there (particuarly those with a Wild Weasel background), I learned there was a quick way to shut up the loudmouths. It went something like this: "So Lt (fill in the name), you think you can give a quality intel brief? We'll, I've read most of the F-4 Dash One and I sat in the simulator once. Do you want me flying lead--or wingman--on your next sortie? As for Mr. Panetta, he is part of an emerging pattern in Obama's national security apparatus; on the DNI side, Blair has no intel experience, except as a consumer. Ditto for Panetta, except his "consumption" is even more limited. Yet, these are the guys who are supposed to lead the IC into the next decade, and arbitrate among the various factions to give Obama (another intel neophyte) the information he needs. Making matters worse, the POTUS-elect is building a justice department that will reimpose informational barriers between the intelligence community and the FBI. It's as if we're trying to turn the clock back to 1998, and pretend that 9-11 never happened.
Great blog and great comments. If he is confirmed I feel he will not be accepted by the rank and file of the CIA.
Ohmigod...I'm dealing with a "target arm". You are, however, a very tactful one! Society of Wild Weasels #2488...
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