Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 74

Thread: Panetta as CIA Director

  1. #1
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    currently in Washington DC
    Posts
    321

    Default Panetta as CIA Director

    This is out of left field to me (literally and figuratively). I'll be very curious to know what those who know more about this have to say....

    Panetta to Be Named C.I.A. Director

  2. #2
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Olympia WA
    Posts
    531

    Default

    I know zip about Panetta (and about the same about the C.I.A to be honest) but my experience w/ leaders from the "inside" and "outside" might be useful here. The plus of leaders that rise up from the ranks is usually a smooth transition, i.e. little changes. The negative is that they usually rise up because they have accepted the rationalizations behind an organization’s less functional aspects, i.e. little changes. Leaders from the outside vary greatly and can either create chaos by micromanaging processes they do not understand, or can be effective agents of positive growth by being able to listen w/o the organizational "filters" that many agencies develop and act free of this bias. I can only hope that that this is the intended result from the Obama camp, but the fact that he was part of “fence sitter” Clinton's political team does not bode well in my mind.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  3. #3
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Oh. My. Gawd. Well, that's different...

    Shades of James Earl Carter and Stansfield Turner. Hard to say how this will work out. Panetta did a good job as WH CoFS -- but his politics are decidedly leftish. Could go either way. I suspect Langley will take the attitude I stated...

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    There are a lot of distrubing notes in that article. Some of them are just red flags regardless of the circumstances.

    ... a competent manager with strong background in budget issues, but has little hands-on intelligence experience. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take control of the agency most directly responsible for hunting senior Al Qaeda leaders around the globe...
    Is this really the best that we can do?

    Others passages are disturbing because they suggest that we have lost all sense of proportion and possibly reason.

    ... his selection points up the difficulty Mr. Obama had in finding a C.I.A. director with no connection to controversial counterterrorism programs of the Bush era.

    [Obama's] first choice for the job, John O. Brennan, had to withdraw his name amidst criticism over his role in the formation of the C.I.A’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    ... Representative Jane Harman of California... was considered for the job, but she was ruled out as a candidate in part because of her early support for some Bush administration programs like the domestic eavesdropping program.
    Aren't we carrying this torture and eavesdropping hysteria a bit too far? How many people did we torture? What was it - three, like 6 years ago? And if we're monitoring international calls, then it is really domestic eavesdropping? If it means getting the best possible heads of these agencies, rather than these inexperienced picks out of left field, then I'll forgive someone for a few insignificant breaches of politically correct etiquette, such as the two individuals mentioned.

    Lastly,
    ... Mr. Panetta’s lack of hands-on intelligence experience can be supplemented by others.
    That was the argument that we heard for electing Obama. Now the people who are supplementing Obama's lack of experience need to be supplemented themselves? I don't like where this is going.

  5. #5
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    That was the argument that we heard for electing Obama. Now the people who are supplementing Obama's lack of experience need to be supplemented themselves? I don't like where this is going.
    It is only a matter of time until both candidates will be competing for who is the most freakish.

    Zaphod Beeblebrox 2012!

    The only person who can possibly be elected is the one least qualified.

  6. #6
    Council Member Danny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Posts
    141

    Default Myopic

    Panetta doesn't say it, the article does. But if the view is that by taking over the CIA he is taking over "control of the agency most directly responsible for hunting senior Al Qaeda leaders around the globe," then this is the same myopia that caused the diminution of the CIA under the Clinton administration. Woe is us.

    The goal shouldn't be to "find AQ." This might be one of many RESULTS, but not the MISSION or the GOAL. The goal should be to rebuild our human intelligence resources and assets. There are many dangers, from Russia, to China, to AQ, to TTP, to Hezbollah, and so the cycle goes. UAVs aren't the solution to lack of HUMINT. They can be seen as an addition, but HUMINT is essential, and if Panetta doesn't understand that, then we will see the same ineffective CIA we have seen for years.

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Shades of James Earl Carter and Stansfield Turner. Hard to say how this will work out. Panetta did a good job as WH CoFS -- but his politics are decidedly leftish. Could go either way. I suspect Langley will take the attitude I stated...
    I think you're right here. The CIA has traditionally not played well with outsiders in the top leadership position. It will be interesting to see how he manages the agency and how successful he is. I see the appointment as a bit of a gamble, frankly.

    Part of the calculus for choosing a complete outsider may have to do with the political necessity of finding someone who was not involved in any way with some of the controversial activities the CIA has reportedly engaged in in recent years.

    It's also important to note that a lot of the CIA director's powers were stripped and given the the DNI as part of the 1994 intel reforms. The position of CIA director is therefore not nearly as important as it once was.

  8. #8
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    currently in Washington DC
    Posts
    321

    Default

    Panetta is considered to be one of the most ethical people in government. I suspect that's a big reason for this. This should also help quiet some of the fears about torture and ethics among some critics. This nomination will reassure some.

    If the Director role is largely about politics and management/administration in a large government bureaucracy, then he fits.

    Some may call him a fence-sitter, but others say that he was adept at playing both sides, at going over both sides of the fence. Fence-sitter implies inaction and ineffectiveness and I don't think that's true.

  9. #9
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default It probably is

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubalicious View Post
    ...If the Director role is largely about politics and management/administration in a large government bureaucracy, then he fits.
    true today in the touchy feely we're nice USA that exists in the minds of some -- however, I believe the issue with that is -- Should it be true?

    One could argue that the relative ineffectiveness and politicization of the CIA today can be directly laid at the feet of Nixon and Schlesinger, Carter and Turner plus the Rockefeller and Church Commissions -- all designed to get the Agency to play well with others and to identify it as just that, a large government bureaucracy. Bad thing is that the Agency in in a field where others do not play and a large government bureaucracy is not what's needed for the job.

    All that paragraph means, among other things, is that the 'concern for torture' bit can be directly laid at the feet of those who sought to make the Agency play nice as they saw it. Unintended consequences can bite...

    I have to agree with Schmedlap:
    "...Aren't we carrying this torture and eavesdropping hysteria a bit too far? How many people did we torture? What was it - three, like 6 years ago?
    Way overdone idiocy, a great deal on the part of well meaning useful idiots.

  10. #10
    Council Member Dr Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    86

    Default Language Emphasis

    Panetta was very active promoting language training - his district in California when he was in the House of Representatives included the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey and he was a big supporter of promoting greater language capability...

  11. #11
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    Aren't we carrying this torture and eavesdropping hysteria a bit too far?
    Considering that most interrogation experts say torture produces bad intelligence, and therefore eliminating torture will produce better intelligence, it seems like a reasonable objective for an intelligence agency.
    Last edited by Rank amateur; 01-05-2009 at 10:52 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  12. #12
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    currently in Washington DC
    Posts
    321

    Default

    According to Wikipedia Panetta served two years in the Army...

    In 1964 he joined the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. There he received the Army Commendation Medal, and was discharged in 1966 as a Captain.

  13. #13
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Define "is."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Considering that most interrogation experts say torture produces bad intelligence, and therefore eliminating torture will produce better intelligence, it seems like a reasonable objective for an intelligence agency.
    No quarrel with your statement, I agree on practical and moral grounds that torture is bad and should not be practiced or condoned. It is correctly against federal law and is well described LINK. The UCMJ is, correctly, even less tolerant of any abuses along that line.

    The issue is what constitutes torture. Lot of varied opinions on that. A whole lot...

    The Schmedlap statement, though was directed properly at the hysteria over the topics, plural, not at the actions themselves. Perhaps you'd care to address that issue?

  14. #14
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Considering that most interrogation experts say torture produces bad intelligence, and therefore eliminating torture will produce better intelligence, it seems like a reasonable objective for an intelligence agency.
    "Eliminating" torture? Are you implying we are currently torturing to get intelligence? What source are you basing this on?

    And while you're at it, When did you stop beating your wife?

  15. #15
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    The Schmedlap statement, though was directed properly at the hysteria over the topics, plural, not at the actions themselves. Perhaps you'd care to address that issue?
    I don't know much about wiretapping, and even though that rarely stops me, I will let it stop me from commenting this time.

    But I will stand by my statement that I don't think it's hysterical to attempt to remove people from an intelligence agency, who endorsed an illegal tactic that produces bad intelligence.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  16. #16
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Question I sometimes wonder

    exactly when the idea of playing nice with others became the standard rather then simply accepting that you don't exist in a vacuum; and acting accordingly.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  17. #17
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Smile Don't really disagree with you here

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    But I will stand by my statement that I don't think it's hysterical to attempt to remove people from an intelligence agency, who endorsed an illegal tactic that produces bad intelligence.
    Never super effective to leave a fox guarding the hen house,
    OTOH also probably not terribly advisable to leave hens guarding the hen house either.

    Don't know much about Panetta but regardless guess we'll find out soon enough
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    But I will stand by my statement that I don't think it's hysterical to attempt to remove people from an intelligence agency, who endorsed an illegal tactic that produces bad intelligence.
    We're in agreement there. But I was flustered about the hysteria, as Ken noted, around the issues. Deliberately or otherwise, a popular perception has been created that the current administration, our intelligence services, and our armed forces are committing atrocities and spying on average schmoes on a regular basis, as a matter of policy. And that is why those perceived blemishes on the records of Harman and Brennan were seen as disqualifiers. That is hysteria.

    If a guy thought it was okay to waterboard KSM 6 or 7 years ago because he had reason to believe that a ticking time bomb scenario was at hand, but he is willing and the most capable of heading the CIA now, then I am willing to let bygones be bygones if he has the mental capacity to understand that we're not going to condone waterboarding in the future.

    It seems that the issue of who is most willing and capable took a back seat to the issue of who is least offensive to people to people who get their news from MoveOn dot org.

  19. #19
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fort Leavenworth, KS
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Pretty sure Schmedlap

    owns the quote (and the question) of the day again:

    Is this really the best that we can do?
    I know we often do not let lack of experience, knowledge, etc. dissuade us from making our choices, however, this is one job where I think both experience, and technical knowledge matter greatly. I also think having someone with a standard issue set of XX intestinal fortitude (preferably of known and demonstrated quality) would come in handy. Also, make this one with an good dose of understanding the politics of intelligence.

    Sorry, Mr. Panetta may be a fine public servant in other capacities, but he is not what I'd prefer to see in the CIA director. Go find Sec Gate's clone - he or she is out there somewhere. If we can't get them to serve, then we should ask ourselves why that is.

    Best, Rob

  20. #20
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Where's the wisteria when we need it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    ...But I will stand by my statement that I don't think it's hysterical to attempt to remove people from an intelligence agency, who endorsed an illegal tactic that produces bad intelligence.
    That's not what you said but I think it's hysterical of some who overstate the case and issue considerably. I'll also point out that it was not deemed illegal at the time *.

    Nor do we know it produces universally bad intelligence; in fact in the case of the people to whom it apparently applies as envsioned in this sub-thread, it seems that two of them produced some good information. Either way, as Scmedlap's latest post says, the issue is not what it is or who did what to who but IS those who get overwrought, wish to believe the worse and get, well, hysterical....

    I'll also disagree with all three of you and with such luminaries as Abu Buckwheat on waterboarding. Like Abu B, I've been boarded but we disagree on the degree of evil that it is. I do not think it's torture and do think it could be appropriate for some being interrogated as a harsh and exceptional technique. I do acknowledge that it can be very psychologically damaging for a few and thus think it should always be medically supervised and should never be used by the Armed Forces due to a propensity to overdo things and sometimes lax supervision -- but IMO, it ain't torture. Since the AG has said it probably is and many agree, I'm not gonna fall on my sword over it but will just say it is apparently NOW illegal; and that's okay, I can accept that -- but there are worse things...

Similar Threads

  1. Extraordinary Rendition
    By davidbfpo in forum Europe
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 04-25-2016, 08:20 PM
  2. CIA to Air Decades of Its Dirty Laundry
    By SWJED in forum Historians
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-22-2010, 10:26 AM
  3. DOJ to Launch CIA Tapes Criminal Probe
    By SWJED in forum Catch-All, GWOT
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-02-2008, 09:04 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •