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The New CIA

Obama's pick of former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta as the head of the CIA is already drawing some heated criticism from people who feel as...


Obama's pick of former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta as the head of the CIA is already drawing some heated criticism from people who feel as though the director of the CIA needs a background in intelligence in order to be successful. Despite Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein's protestations, Panetta seems to be receiving a lot of support from people in the intelligence community, viewing him as some one who can cut through the bureaucracy that has slowed the agency almost to a standstill and get it back in the business of espionage and intelligence gathering. Over at The Corner, there is an excellent Q&A with former deep cover operative "Ishmael Jones," who voices fairly full-throated support of the choice. A key excerpt:Q: More generally speaking: Whomever the nominee, what's the opportunity Obama has to seize when it comes to the CIA?A: The superbly run Obama campaign showed that the Obama people know how to manage an effective organization. Reform of the CIA can begin simply by requiring the CIA to obey existing laws and directives: 1) The CIA must get its clandestine-service officers out of the United States and spying in and on foreign countries. The great majority of CIA employees now live and work within the U.S. 2) Its clandestine operations should move away from embassies because, unlike the old Soviet targets, terrorists and nuclear proliferators do not attend diplomatic cocktail parties. Congress has already funded this move, but the CIA has not complied.Read the whole piece here.
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