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Leon Panetta
  • From the Pork Barrel: Verses

    * New Jersey vs. The Gays.

    *Jerry Falwell vs. George Washington.

    * Barack Obama vs. Fox News.

    * Jay-Z (featuring Drake) vs. Bill O'Reilly & Rush Limbaugh.

    * Leon Panetta vs. Accountability.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly, CIA, Fox, George Washington, Jerry Falwell, Leon Panetta, LGBT, Marriage Equality, New Jersey, Pork Barrel, Rush Limbaugh, Torture
  • Dick Cheney Still Being Secretive About His Top Secret Secrets

    Over the weekend the New York Times dropped this bombshell: Seems former vice president Dick Cheney had, for eight years, told insiders at the CIA to hide a "secret counterterrorism program" from, let's see here… everybody on earth.

    CIA chief Leon Panetta just found out about this thing a couple weeks ago, and he finally gave Congress the heads up, but even Leon Panetta won't/can't tell us what, precisely, Cheney's "secret counterterrorism program" entailed — though it was most likely part of an effort to kill Al Qaeda operatives. (Perhaps by draining their bodies of life-force before moving on to the next host?)

    So, um, anybody want to comment?

    Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful. [...] An intelligence agency spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, declined on Saturday to comment on the report of Mr. Cheney’s role. [...] Bill Harlow, a spokesman for George J. Tenet, who was the C.I.A. director when the unidentified program began, declined to comment on Saturday, noting that the program remained classified. [...] [Cheney's legal adviser David S.] Addington could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

    If I didn't know better, I might say that Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) sounds a bit frustrated…

    Mr. Hoekstra, the intelligence committee’s ranking Republican, said he would not judge the agency harshly in the case of the unidentified program, because it was not fully operational. But he said that in general, the agency had not been as forthcoming as the law required.

    “We have to pull the information out of them to get what we need,” Mr. Hoekstra said.

    Right! If only we had some sort of organized program for advanced interrogation techniques that are designed to extract critical information from high-level suspects.

    Oh, but what are the odds of that.

    Tags: CIA, Dick Cheney, Leon Panetta, New York Times, Pete Hoekstra
  • CIA Nominee Leon Panetta Opened His Mouth, Raked in $700,000

    The Wall Street Journal reports today that Leon Panetta, Barack Obama's choice for CIA director, made buckets of cash last year. And he did it in the most bizarre way…

    The White House's nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta, has earned more than $700,000 in speaking and consulting fees since the beginning of 2008, with some of the payments coming from troubled financial firms and from a firm that invests in contractors for federal national security agencies, according to financial disclosures released Wednesday.

    That's right, he gave speeches and held vague "consulting" positions that involved contact with major financial insitutions, private equity firms and other organizations, some of which have ties to major defense contractors and/or lobbying groups!

    These types of connections are highly unusual in Washington, so the Senate Intelligence Committee will have plenty to chew on when they interrogate Panetta later this morning.

    Which is just as well, since the questions about his actual intelligence experience will only take five minutes, tops.

    Tags: CIA, Leon Panetta, Senate
  • Barack Obama Names Some Guy Head of CIA

    Barack Obama has a new choice for Director of Central Intelligence, and it's somebody you never would have thought of.

    Most likely because it's someone you never ever think of ever…

    President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, to take over the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization that Mr. Obama criticized during the campaign for using interrogation methods he decried as torture, Democratic officials said Monday.

    Oh, so first Obama criticized the organization and now he's appointing people to direct it. Typical political posturing.

    Mr. Panetta has a reputation in Washington as a competent manager with strong background in budget issues, but has little hands-on intelligence experience

    Aides have said Mr. Obama had originally hoped to select a C.I.A. head with extensive field experience, especially in combating terrorist networks.

    Unfortunately, it's probably pretty difficult task to find anybody with any decent amount of CIA experience and no record of performing or supporting torture.

    They don't exist.

    Tags: Barack Obama, CIA, Leon Panetta, Torture