Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Panetta Choice

From what I've seen, he'd be an admirable choice. An outsider, yes, but exactly the kind of outsider that the CIA needs to give it fresh eyes and reconnect it with the world outside "the intelligence community." And he's no fan of "coercive interrogation." Far from it.

That's why I'm concerned that Feinstein and Rockefeller are going to scupper the deal. They seem little interested in anything like real oversight, and know that they don't have to worry about challenges from progressives in their states. Sure, Obama has a lot of Dems owing him bigtime, but memories are short in Washington, and Dems' loyalties even shorter.

Even worse, I wonder whether Panetta was a deliberate sacrificial lamb, and that he'll be replaced with something more palatable to the Usual Suspects in that oft-cited "community." I think that'd be a bad idea, making Obama look weak at the moment when he most needs to appear strong, but it's possible. And let's be honest: Obama's got enough friction with the people that got him there as it is.

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