Leon Panetta to Brian Williams: Waterboarding led to OBL kill

Not the answer the lefties were hoping for, and there will still be the deniers, but Obama’s head of the CIA confirmed last night with Brian Williams on NBC that yes some of the information used to capture Osama bin Laden was gained through the use of waterboarding. All of the humanity. Read more

Update: Is Panetta a good fit at CIA?


Probably not if you come from the Mitch Rapp school of action, not appeasement. Some feel that the media should not question Obama appointments, but plenty of questions are being asked concerning Obama’s current selection to lead the CIA, Leon Panetta – including big Democrats.

Update: Jim just let me know that Peter Brookes, former CIA intelligence officer and currently a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, will be on the show tomorrow (Jan. 7).

Update 2: From a former intelligence and security analyst for the CIA:

Director, CIA is not a “learn on the job” kind of position. Without the respect of the people beneath him (which he won’t have without experience in intelligence) it will be difficult for him to have any positive impact.

From Hot Air. …

The US is currently fighting an asymmetrical war on two hot fronts, but more to the point, in every corner of the world. We need our best people at the helm at Defense and in the intelligence arenas, people with insight into the problems and challenges facing America at war. Barack Obama either doesn’t understand that or cares less about security than he does about politics.

Jim Geraghty has six comments about the appointment. …

The CIA is the only government agency where the public expectation is to know everything about everything, from how many tanks Russia could put into Georgia in 24 hours to what is going on in the head of a jihadi in the mountains of Pakistan.

Does Panetta know enough about the intelligence arena? Most doubt it.

John over at Powerline Blog brings up an important factor to the liberal left. They don’t want anyone that had anything to do with – their definition of – torture within ear shot of Obama. They are afraid advisers might let him know that extreme measures actually do provide us with good, actionable intelligence.

Obama preferred someone with intelligence experience, like John Brennan. The problem is that just about everyone who fits that description had, like Brennan, some involvement in devising the intelligence strategies of the last seven years. Those strategies, including but not limited to the interrogation of terrorists, have been spectacularly successful. Normally, participation in them would be a major plus in a candidate for CIA director.

But the Democrats have committed themselves, for political reasons, to harsh criticisms of these and other aspects of the Bush administration’s anti-terror campaign. So Obama had to abandon Brennan’s nomination, and he is now stuck with someone who not only had nothing to do with the Bush administration’s highly successful policies, but was adamantly opposed to them. Panetta fits the necessary political profile, so he will be CIA Director even though he has no experience in intelligence.

Sister Toldja is convinced that it’s a political pay off, pure and simple.

So lemme see here: We’ve got an inexperienced president-elect who has appointed a woman with scant foreign policy experience to the Sec. of State position, and shortly after that, picked two people with virtually no intelligence experience (save a year) as the head of the CIA and director of national intelligence respectively. Sounds like Blair has had a distinguished military career, but just one year experience in the CIA?

Dunno about you, but this gives me so much hope about our future foreign affairs/counterterrorism efforts that I could just burst. /sarc

Since Panetta has to be confirmed, I have an exit question. Has Obama put Panetta into play to employ a reverse strategy? Panetta suites the left since he can go in to clean house and has no ties to previous extreme measures. But if the appointment fails and someone with more experience ends up leading CIA, will the left keep their mouth shut thinking The One tried?