Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our Politicized Intelligence Services

In a breathtaking break with tradition, President Obama appointed as Director of the CIA a man whose career was built not in the intelligence services nor even in the Congressional oversight of the intelligence services but as a political functionary and highly partisan elected official without special interest in intelligence.

Leon Panetta, the distinguished gentleman thus designated, is now a chicken come home to roost. Having made a sharply partisan statement very much in keeping with the recent tactics of his party (per the New Yorker, in a response typical of someone whose mind thinks first of the political contest, alleging that Dick Cheney wants a terrorist attack on the United States), his lieutenants are now attempting to distance their boss from so outrageous a statement from someone whose position is supposed to stand above the partisan fray.

In another example of the aforementioned chickens, the foolishness of stone throwing for glass-house dwellers, and other common proverbs, Mr. Panetta has suggested his willingness to politicize intelligence, the very accusation that his party made to such good effect against Mr. Cheney and his benighted boss. What goes around . . .

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