Andy Martin says Leon Panetta is the wrong choice to head the CIA
Barack Obama’s obsession with “image” has no place at the CIA says Intelligence expert Martin; making Leon Panetta head of the CIA endangers every American and will embolden Al Qaeda.
Internet powerhouse Andy Martin on the CIA catastrophe
Leon Panetta for CIA Director? Don’t make me laugh, says intelligence expert Andy Martin
Obama’s biggest critic during the campaign, Andy Martin, is now Obama’s fiercest foreign policy and intelligence critic, even before Obama takes office
“Factually Correct, Not
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ANDY MARTIN SAYS BARACK OBAMA’S POLITICIZATION OF AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE WILL EMBOLDEN AL QAEDA
THE APPOINTMENT OF LEON PANETTA SHOWS THAT BARACK OBAMA INTENDS TO ENDANGER AMERICA, DISMANTLE OUR INTELLIGENCE AND DEFENSES, AND INCREASE THE RISK OF AL QAEDA ATTACKS
ANDY MARTIN BECOMES BARACK OBAMA’S STRONGEST CRITIC ON FOREIGN POLICY, INTELLIGENCE AND DEFENSE ISSUES
(CHICAGO)(January 7, 2009) As regular readers know, I occasionally make appearance on Al-Jazeera English. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected I became his first foreign policy critic. I predicted that we would see Bush III. Indeed. I was partially wrong; we are on the verge of Clinton III.
You can take a look at my first post-election criticism of Obama’s likely foreign policies (note: each program has two parts): http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/2008/11/2008111172138867568.html;
Some readers quarrel with my views concerning Israel’s recent attacks on helpless Palestinians; but you can’t quarrel with my overall grasp of how intelligence analysis is essential to informed decision making. I am not reluctant, moreover, to go on Al-Jazeera and speak truth to our less-than-friendly friends in the world. Unlike Leon Panetta, I actually have a record of intelligence analysis that you can check against real world events. You may not always agree with my conclusions, but they are out there to be measured by subsequent developments.
Bill Clinton’s lack of interest in intelligence matters, and his “Wag The Dog” attitude about using intelligence and intelligence-based attacks to distract from his own personal problems, significantly weakened our defenses. The result: 9/11.
Democrats have been degrading our intelligence services for decades. The result, young Americans die in overseas conflicts to compensate for the Democrats’ poor strategy and weak intelligence.
Jimmy Carter devastated the CIA in the 1970’s. It took the 80’s to rebuild. Bill Clinton devastated the CIA in the 90’s. We have been rebuilding since September 11, 2001. Now Barack Obama wants to appoint a political hack, Leon Panetta, to “manage” and degrade the CIA. How many lives will Panetta’s appointment cost us? Many. Very many.
Does someone have to have been a “spook” to supervise our spooks? Not at all. Prior experience as a spy, or a covert operations officer, is not necessary. Our current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates headed the CIA when I first met him in 1992. Gates never wore a “cloak and dagger” but he understood how intelligence was collected, analyzed, interpreted and evaluated for action.
What was most devastating about the Panetta announcement was that he had been picked in part by Admiral Dennis Blair, who hopes to become Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”). Blair plans to control the CIA by manipulating the man at the top, politician Panetta. You might as well start writing eulogies for the CIA, and start erasing the stars on the walls of CIA headquarters that represent fallen agents.
Blair is yet another former military officer rising to the head of our intelligence apparatus. Military strategy and intelligence analysis should be kept separate. The military mindset is very different than the attitude of an intelligence agency.
The Office of Strategic services (“OSS”). America’s first intelligence agency and precursor to the CIA, was successful precisely because its “officers” were civilians who had come into the military for World War II.
Military minds definitely work differently. General Colin Powell is famous for the “Powell Doctrine:” Go in with a plan, heavy up, and have a plan to get out. Intelligence operations are frequently spontaneous and even haphazard affairs. John McCain was a great military officer, but he turned out to be a lousy commander-in-chief of a political campaign. He had the artillery to use against Obama but badly fumbled his campaign because of his rigid, military, “control freak” approach to campaigning. Barack Obama won with unconventional tactics; he rewrote the book.
Intelligence personnel frequently have to operate standing off alone, outside the perimeter of military and diplomatic security. A “singleton” can be totally exposed because he (or she) is completely unprotected. Officers working with NOC (“Non-official cover”) wear no uniform, hold no U. S. status and burrow into the societies where they operate without any protection from the local embassy and country team.
As a young college student who was in line to become an officer, I chafed at the mindless discipline and useless conformity of the military structure. As a boy I had been regaled with stories of clandestine operators in the family going back generations. My grandfather was an officer with “El Aurens.” With a family background like that, military uniforms never fit.
CIA case officers during the Viet-Nam era were often dorky. But then there was “Air America.” A “CIA army” brought down the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. The common denominator: intelligence and irregular forces could operate where regular armies could not. I wish that we had those men back. Once the military took over, Afghanistan fell apart.
Let me be clear. Intelligence can often be messy, and sometimes bloody. When intelligence procedures are misused or abused, they can boomerang. Which brings me to the Iraq conflict of 2003.
I was a strong critic of that invasion. George Bush was misled and told he could use torture to prosecute the “war on terror.” He was badly misinformed. The people who gave Bush that advice should be tried and imprisoned as war criminals. Torture never works; torture only boomerangs. The CIA was misused and abused by Vice President Dick Cheney and his henchmen, who manipulated Bush with disastrous consequences. Cheney’s corruption of the CIA opened the door to Barack Obama’s current plans to destroy the agency and undermine our intelligence capability.
Make no mistake: George Bush’s disastrous management of the CIA led to the unwieldy structure we have today, with a DNI “supervising” all of our intelligence agencies. We have adopted a bureaucratic “general staff” approach to intelligence, which is why we still don’t have an adequate ability to monitor and attack our enemies.
Regular readers know I am no fan of the Israeli government. But I am familiar with Israeli intelligence and clandestine operations. Israelis run circles around the Arabs, both Palestinian and non-Palestinian, which have Obama-style politicized intelligence services. Although Israel is small, and has a compact intelligence establishment, that approach works by avoiding bureaucracy and conformity where creativity is crucial to success.
And so as I look at Mr. Panetta I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Panetta is going to be “training” as a “manager” of intelligence during a period when even Barack Obama’s own Vice President Joe Biden has warned we face an enhanced vulnerability to attack. What a stupid choice. Just when we need a strong hand to provide capable leadership, Obama is stacking the CIA with a hack at the top and probably more jokers below. Bill Clinton III.
The last thing the CIA needs is a rookie running the agency. Al Qaeda is watching and salivating at the prospect of a political handyman in charge of our foreign intelligence capacity, with Obama’s new mandate to “break with past practices” that have “tarnished the image” of the US. Yes, Barry Obama knows a lot about “image.” Sadly, that’s all he knows about. The Bush administration’s past practices have already been discredited and discarded. Obama doesn’t seem to know that.
He is obsessed with image. His own. He should be obsessed with keeping America safe. He isn’t.
Leon Panetta? Can’t they dump this decent guy in some other political job, that won’t endanger the life and security of every American? Is Barack Obama playing politics with our safety, or does he have some other, more sinister agenda in mind? Stay tuned for future columns.
Readers of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, say the book is still the only gold standard and practical handbook on Barack Obama’s unfitness for the presidency. Buy it.
Book orders: Amazon.com or http://OrangeStatePress.com. Immediate shipment from Amazon.com or signed copies (delayed for signing) from the publisher are available.
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Please give generously. Our ability to fight and defeat Barack Obama is directly dependent on the generosity of every American.
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Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of broadcasting experience in radio and television. He is currently based in New York promoting his best-selling book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008.
Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He has almost forty years of experience in the Middle East, and is regarded overseas as America’s most respected independent foreign policy, military and intelligence analyst. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York.
His columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com. Andy is the author of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, see http://www.Amazon.com or http://www.OrangeStatePress.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: (866) 706-2639 or CELL (917) 664-9329
E-MAIL: AndyMart20@aol.com [NOTE: We frequently correct typographical errors and additions/subtractions on our blogs, where you can find the latest edition of this release.]