Panetta at CIA: Third Bad Obama Pick

In announcing his nomination of Leon Panetta as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, president-elect Obama said he is looking to make “sweeping changes” at the agency. When Panetta himself was asked by a reporter whether hands-on experience is necessary for the job – experience that Panetta lacks – Panetta said “I can’t really comment on that.”


Not very encouraging words from either man.


After almost 8 years in which tough intelligence tactics under the Bush administration has kept the US safe from another 9/11 style attack, liberals have insistently attacked Bush’s “politicization” of the CIA while using their own operatives inside the agency to leak huge amounts of classified information in order to harm Bush.


Now the selection of an old Democrat hand like Panetta represents more of the same – complete politicization of the process but with one wrench tossed in: A complete lack of experience. Some even had suggested Panetta as a possible… commerce secretary?!


When president Bush in September 2004 nominated Republican Florida congressman Porter Goss to ‘clean up’ the CIA, Goss failed and resigned less than 2 years later. If confirmed, Panetta would not  be likely to have any more success in dealing with the rogue elements inside the CIA – not the secret ops guys or black-bag jobbers, but the careerist left-wing leakers of classified information out to harm our national intelligence, which is the real crisis at the agency.


Obama’s original pick, John Brennan, a CIA insider associated with Bush policies, was vetoed by the leftists who elected Obama.


Panetta is a former Army officer; former Democrat California congressman (1977-1993); director of the federal Office of Management and Budget (1993-1994); Clinton White House chief of staff (1994-1997); and founder in 1998 of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy. He also is a professor at Jesuit-run Santa Clara (California) University teaching public policy.  In 2006 he served on the Iraq Study Group which issued a report critical of the Bush administration’s handling of the war. Panetta also has been a strong enviro advocate for the world’s oceans.


In his career, however, Panetta has no experience in intelligence. He is a very liberal figure, and the “sweeping changes” that Obama discussed really means a weakening of the agency under the guise of reform as happened under Jimmy Carter and his CIA chief, the dovish military man Stansfield Turner. The taking of American hostages in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan soon followed.


Along with Obama’s plans to nominate Eric Holder as attorney general and Arizona governor Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security, the three make a triumvirate of liberal influence that bodes poorly for our national security.


During the Clinton era, a period when Panetta spent more than 3 years at the pinnacle of White House power, the Clinton administration neglected intel and foreign threats. During that time China made off with huge volumes of secret nuclear information and Clinton in January 2001 even had to pardon his own former CIA chief John Deutch who had been charged with mishandling classified intel.


Clinton-era neglect ultimately led to 9/11 just as Carter neglect led to Iran and Afghanistan. Clinton deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick helped to build the ‘wall’ between the CIA and FBI that prevented the two agencies from sharing information on potential terrorism. Meanwhile in the case of the first attack on the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was parked in the garage underneath and detonated in an attempt to bring down the north tower, the terrorists were prosecuted by the Clinton administration only as American criminals. Prosecuting them as terrorists would have produced the kind of intelligence bonanza and legislative changes that would have led to the tracing of  the 9/11 attackers long before they did their deed.


So now Obama has selected Panetta, Holder and Napolitano for the top jobs  in securing the nation legally and physically. Here are excerpts from two nikitas3.com editorials, first about Holder and then about Napolitano;


Holder: Holder was the driving force behind  Bill Clinton’s pardon of 16 members of the communist FALN Puerto Rican terrorist group which executed an estimated 146 bombings and a string of armed robberies in the US and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983, killing six and wounding many. Their attacks included the infamous January 24, 1975 bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York City which was populated by people out for a meal. The bomb killed four and injured more than 50. FALN took responsibility.


The terrorists in that case were belligerent and unrepentant. Ida Rodriguez told the judge, “You say we have no remorse. You’re right. … Your jails and your long sentences will not frighten us.”


After 18 years in prison, eight of the Fraunces Tavern terrorists were pardoned by Bill Clinton. Clinton’s press people claimed that the terrorists hurt no one, which is untrue. Clinton issued a pardon on August 11, 1999 for a total of 16 terrorists. He did this for one reason alone: To please New York City’s big Puerto Rican electorate in anticipation of Hillary’s first run for US senate in 2000. 


As deputy attorney general at the time, Eric Holder had to sign off on all clemency pleas that went to Clinton. And he recommended for the FALN 16 despite opposition from the FBI and Clinton’s own Justice Department.


Louis Freeh,  FBI director in September 1999, wrote that clemency “would likely return committed, experienced sophisticated and hardened terrorists to the clandestine movement.”


But rather than consult bombing victims and their families, Holder met with members of Congress and then recommended a course of action for the terrorists to take.


Napolitano: Napolitano’s past is not encouraging. While making feints to stem the illegal alien tide, she has not really done so at all.


In July 2007 she signed a sanctions law on employers that hire illegal aliens. While some applauded, skeptics saw this as just another way for liberals to punish business while the same liberals do nothing to stop the flow at the border.


Meanwhile Napolitano also vetoed a bill that would have put restrictions on day laborers, many of whom are illegals.


So in being “tough” on illegals, she offered sanctions for business but not on illegals themselves.


When Arizona House bill 2345 was passed requiring a driver’s license or two forms of ID in order to vote on election days, Napolitano vetoed the bill while supporting legislation to grant driver’s licenses to illegals. It is important to note that all of the 9/11 hijackers had one or more state driver’s licenses, which enabled them not only to board the planes but also to live and travel easily around the US.


Napolitano also supported the US senate legislation that would have, over time, offered amnesty to illegals.


Also in 2007, Napolitano sent Arizona National Guard troops to the Mexican border, as did Democrat New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. Critics claim, however, that these actions were merely grandstanding on illegal immigration in an attempt to embarass president Bush.


Meanwhile Arizona Republican state representative John Kavanagh said that Napolitano has been very weak on “internal enforcement”, having vetoed an Arizona law that would have required local police to enforce federal immigration laws. This veto is seen as de facto protection for illegals.


Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says that “she is probably the least bad person that an Obama administration could have picked.”


Is this the time to pick the least of all bad candidates?


Or a time to pick someone who will enforce the laws?


With the Terrorism Commission warning about an attack by 2013, this is no time to guess about our national security. Napolitano is a bad choice. And our nation will pay the price if she is confirmed. (end of excerpt).

This trio of liberals in critical national security positions is troubling. Obama should have done better, but this is part of another Democrat plan to undermine our defenses and our national security. Senate Republicans should fight all three of these nominations.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more.

Get Alerts