Spooks Scratch Their Heads Over Obama CIA Pick
By Noah Shachtma
The incoming Obama administration has named Leon Panetta, of all people, as its nominee for the Director of Central Intelligence. Some observers are confused, to put it mildly, about the pick. The guy -- a former White House chief of staff and House Budget Committee chairman -- has a reputation for being a tough, competent manager, they say. But can he really be an effective CIA chief, with experience in the cloak-and-dagger world? What about those pledges, to keep the intelligence community out of politics?
"I find the choice of Leon Panetta to head the CIA a curious one," one well-connected former spy tells Danger Room. "On the one hand, if you are looking to pick a nation's top spook, it is generally a good idea to pick someone with more than a cursory exposure to the intelligence business. It is also more than a little annoying that we can't seem to find a CIA chief that hasn't spent all of their adult life playing politics."
On the other hand, if you are truly pushing an agenda of change, Panetta has the political and managerial chops to get the notoriously stiff bureaucratic wheels of the intelligence community moving in the right direction. Not being an establishment CIA or IC guy he is less likely to feel sentimental for the old boys and 'the way we've always done it' routine.
An ex-senior CIA manager tells Laura Rozen that the message of the Panetta appointment was clear: "The message is, 'I don't want to hear anything out of the CIA. Make it go away. No scandals. Keep it quiet,'" the former officer told me. "They put over there a guy who is a political loyalist, who will keep everything nice and quiet, but who won't know a good piece of intelligence from a shitty piece of intelligence, and wouldn't know a good intelligence officer" from a bad one.
An aide to former intelligence committee chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller says much the same thing to CQ's Tim Starks. The Senator, he spills, "has some concerns about his selection. Not because he has any concerns about Panetta, whom he thinks very highly of, but because he has no intelligence experience and because he has believed this has always been a position that should be outside of the political realm."
SpyTalk's Jeff Stein says Panetta "is likely to give Republicans fresh ammunition to reopen questions about the Clinton administration's counterterrorism policies."Time's Joe Klein goes even further, saying the pick "smells a bit of desperation."
On the other hand, new Foreign Policy blogger David Rothkopf sees some wisdom in the selection, too. "It is a safe bet that he will be able to handle the operational challenges at Langley," he writes. "That said, it almost seems that more important than what he is known for is what he is not known for, more important than what is on his resume is what is not. He is not an old IC hand. He is not tainted by any links to Bush policies that were perceived as intelligence blunders or violations of human rights. [And he didn't spearhead any domestic spying -- ed.] He is the classic model of the wise man of great integrity who is called in to hit the restart button."
UPDATE: Rozen gets an e-mail from retired CIA deputy director Milt Bearden, who goes even further. He calling Panetta a "brilliant" choice. "It is not problematic that Panetta lacks experience in intelligence," Bearden e-mailed. "Intel experience is overrated. Good judgement, common sense, and an understanding of Washington is a far better mix to take to Langley than the presumption of experience in intelligence matters. Having a civilian in the intelligence community mix is, likewise, a useful balance. Why not DNI?" That the Director of National Intelligence -- who oversees the CIA, and the rest of the nation's spying apparatus.
Here We Go: Obama Wants CNN Doctor Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General
President-elect Barack Obama's choice for U.S. Surgeon General is reportedly CNN journalist Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a pro-vaccine pusher with ties to Merck.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a strong proponent of the Gardasil HPV vaccine, and the television show he once hosted ("Accent Health") was primarily sponsored by Merck, makers of Gardasil.
Gupta is also well known for his argument with Michael Moore over statements of fact in Moore's health care documentary, Sicko. A YouTube video of that argument is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR2U_SAWHdQ
In April, 2008, NaturalNews readers participated in a survey rating various traits of popular health journalists. Here's how Dr. Sajay Gupta rated:
29% Humble / 71% Not
31% Generous / 69% Not
67% Healthy / 33% Not
37% Authentic / 63% Not
77% Intelligent / 23% Not
32% Honest / 68% Not
23% Informed / 77% Not
In other words, NaturalNews readers see Dr. Gupta as being intelligent and healthy, but dishonest, misinformed, fake and arrogant.
Now he's poised to become the Surgeon General of the United States. Just what we need, huh? Another pill-pushing, vaccine-pimping Washington bureaucrat with ties to Big Pharma. I told you folks that Obama wasn't going to end Big Pharma's business as usual, and this vaccine-pumping choice for Surgeon General is a disturbing example of yet more pro-Pharma decisions to come.
So who should really be U.S. Surgeon General? Well Dr. Julian Whitaker, of course. His knowledge of nutrition and public health is vastly superior to that of Dr. Sanjay Gupta. But Dr. Whitaker would teach the American people how to cure diabetes, heart disease and cancer using nutritional therapies, and then the whole economy would collapse thanks to all the out-of-work disease industry doctors. So they can't let that happen, right?
Then again, Dr. Gupta is, indeed, a bonafide brain surgeon. That might come in handy in Washington, come to think of it. Maybe he can perform a little brain surgery on his fellow Washingtonian bureaucrats and find a way to restore the common sense they all apparently lost when they got elected.
Get ready for a whole new mandatory vaccination push under the Obama administration, folks. It's the same scam that's been running under the Bush Administration, but now it's going to be disguised as "public health policy." Yep, all those vaccines are President Obama's way of caring for the American people, didn't you know?
Big Business always wins in Washington. As long as the corporations are running the lawmakers and the politicians, the People are always going to get screwed. The only thing that changes is the face of the person fronting the scam -- and the name of the political party he belongs to. Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter: Virtually all politicians secretly belong to the same, single party called the Big Business Party, and their decisions are made to please Big Business, not to protect the People.
You might as well start making your vaccination protest banners right now. With Gupta at the helm, America is going to be a whole new Vacci-Nation.