I’ll keep this brief because I’m not the best judge yet about whether or not Leon Panetta is a good choice to take over the CIA under Obama. But it is frustrating to hear him using ‘War’ on Terror terminology, as the new administration is about to take office. I’m aware that Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has expressed concern about Panetta’s nomination, as a CIA outsider:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week begins her tenure as the first female head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she was not consulted on the choice and indicated she might oppose it.
“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA director,” Feinstein said. “My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”
Even she however has since recanted, albeit with reservations:
Feinstein seemed to acknowledge the Obama team’s desire to find a CIA director who would signal an end to the abusive interrogation tactics of the Bush years. “We all want a break with the past,” she told the reporters milling around her in the Senate. “I was the one who went into the conference committee” between the House and the Senate last year with an amendment that would use the Army Field Manual as the universal standard for detainee interrogations, she added.
“I understand the administration’s desire to cut clean and open a new chapter and I support that. Whether those changes can be made” with Panetta at the helm, she added, remains to be seen.