Monday, June 15, 2009

Panetta Should Stay Out of Politics, Especially Partisan Politics

Leon Panetta won respect on Capitol Hill for his decades of service as a Congressman, and his recent appointment to head the CIA seemed a well-earned end-of-career reward.
He started out well by defending the Agency from the absurd and twisted lies of Speaker of the House Pelosi, whose assertions that she was "lied to" by the Agency about waterboarding were contradicted by contemporaneous reports back when she was briefed in 2002-3.

However, Panetta is now venturing into dangerous waters, as he is leaving the realm of intelligence and analysis in order to score political points against a Republican speaking out on serious national security issues. Had Cheney made reckless unsubstantiated attacks against the Agency, I could understand Panetta's attack on him in The New Yorker, a fanatically partisan tabloid which has descended from journalism to hack yellow screeds against Republicans, period.

To extrapolate from Cheney's remarks that Obama's policies are putting American national security in jeopardy to the absurd conclusion that Cheney WANTS the US to be attacked is an absurd egregious solecism and unworthy of a man whose public service up to now has been unmarred by partisan fanaticism. He should be reminded that his job is to offer advice on intelligence and analysis to the POTUS, not engage in partisan brickbats with a politician of an opposition party.

And perhaps Panetta was put up to this by Obama as Cheney's speech [which Obama tried to pre-empt by subsequently scheduling a prequel prebuttal] garnered a lot of interest and respect.

This goes against the nasty agenda Rahm and Axelrod have concocted to demonize Cheney, Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck for being so popular in the national media.

Let Obama do his own dirty work, and leave Panetta to the professional responsibilities of a very important function.

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