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Panetta Goes Under The Bus

Kim Strassel has a good piece in today's Wall Street Journal that paints CIA Director Leon Panetta as the fall guy in the Obama administration's dilemma of trying to appease the blood lust of the nutty Left and the national intelligence requirements demanded of the CIA.

President Barack Obama fought hard for the former California congressman during his uncertain February confirmation fight. That's about the last thing the president has done for his spy chief. Quite the opposite: If the latest flap over CIA interrogations shows anything, it's that Mr. Panetta has officially become the president's designated fall guy.

The title has been months in the making. Mr. Obama is contending with an angry left that's riled by his decisions to retain some Bush-era counterterrorism policies. He's facing Congressional liberals still baying for Bush blood. He's hired Attorney General Eric Holder, who is giving the term "ideological purity" new meaning. Mr. Obama's way to appease these bodies? Hang the CIA and Mr. Panetta out to dry.

Reversing prior promises not to prosecute CIA officials who "acted in good faith," Mr. Holder appointed a special counsel with the ability to prosecute officials who acted in good faith. This was paired with release of a 2004 CIA report that the administration spun as more proof of agency incompetence. As a finishing touch, the White House yanked the interrogation program out of Mr. Panetta's hands, relocating it with the FBI. With friends like these . . .

If Mr. Panetta has learned one lesson on the job, it's that he's alone. In the wake of the Pelosi blow-up, he took a stab at reconciliation with Democrats, trekking to Capitol Hill to tell the intelligence committees about a previously undisclosed (though hardly shocking) CIA idea for killing al Qaeda brass. His repayment was a letter, leaked to the press, from House Intelligence Chair Silvestre Reyes, claiming the new briefing simply proved the CIA had indeed previously lied to Congress.

There are several things to take away from this episode for those that read between the lines. First, President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have company in their betrayal of the CIA and its Director. The Panetta emasculation is also a Nancy Pelosi operation. Second, Congress (read: Pelosi), which has had its rear end handed to it in the health care debate, wants some payback. How convenient Mr. Panetta is available. Wasn't he the one that stood up to the Pelosi Hubris Brigades? Now that the President has been found to have legislative feet of clay, it is no surprise that the loudest point of contention between Congress and the Executive branch will be silenced. As Strassel notes:

Then came House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's full-frontal assault, claiming the agency had lied to her about waterboarding. This would have been an excellent time for some "vigorous" protection of the CIA, since agency documents flatly contradict the Speaker. But with his (Obama's) domestic agenda in the hands of Congress, the White House was mum. It showed equal interest in defending Mr. Panetta against the threat of congressional investigations.

We may be witnessing the most politically unstable Executive Branch since Nixon, their gutlessness now exhibited by the humiliation of a long time Washington Democrat that actually dared to defend the nation's security interests.


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Comments (37)

No is this administration(i... (Below threshold)

No is this administration(if you can even call it that) is going down, they may just bring the whole Dimo Party down with them. My how things have changed since last November. Too funny.

Leon's been standing at the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Leon's been standing at the curb for a while. It was only a matter of time before Obama gave him the shove.

The lesson learned is that Obama only cares about people as long as they are useful. When you outlive your usefulness you are only useful under the bus.

You can see it in how he handles all his relationships and you can see it in his policy, especially with regard to how Americans are treated.

Now this this administratio... (Below threshold)

Now this this administration(if you can even call it that) is going down and they may just bring the whole Dimo Party down with them. My how things have changed since last November. Too funny.

Democrats are betting they ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Democrats are betting they can appease the far left by neutering the CIA and investigating Bush administration officials while still keeping the nation safe from another 9/11 magnitude terrorist attack. It's a foolish and reckless bet that voter will hold them accountable for.

I've met Mr Panetta and he ... (Below threshold)

I've met Mr Panetta and he seems like a good guy but he's a lifelong Democrat and he knew this was a possibility when he took the job. Or he's not smart enough to be the CIA Director in the first place. Kinda like the last CIA Director a Democrat appointed. His name was George Tenet. Lie down with the dogs, get up with fleas.

I don't think this is about... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I don't think this is about appeasing the far left.

I think that this is about getting away with what they want. Obama wants to gut the CIA. He wants to put republicans on trial. He wants to criminalize conservatism.

Right now he needs to threaten the right because his support is weakening on health care.

Our freedoms are pretty much history already.

With police in Virginia telling Obamacare protesters to take their signs down or face arrest and that "it ain't (America) no more" we should be very worried about our freedoms.

We'll see if Obama allows himself to leave after his term is over. I'm guessing no.

A real shame. Say what you ... (Below threshold)

A real shame. Say what you want about Panetta but he seemed honest and forthright in his previous position dealings.

Obama's support is falling ... (Below threshold)

Obama's support is falling everyday...I don't think he is going to stay after his term ends(please tell us how he achieves this?)....that is just wingnut paranoia that sounds just like the moonbat paranoia of the Bush years. Get a grip.

8 Michael:Maybe he w... (Below threshold)

8 Michael:
Maybe he will try to get Costa Rica to come up with some kinda plan...

You mean Honduras(which doe... (Below threshold)

You mean Honduras(which does not apply)...learn geography.

Also that VA op who would n... (Below threshold)

Also that VA op who would not allow the sign was a high school rent a cop, not a real cop.

Michael,Paranoid? ... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Paranoid? Maybe. But when he refuses to appoint positions that require Senate confirmation and instead appoints czars and special advisers, who are accountable only to him...When he uses the Atty Gen office to negate probes into his friends and allies...When he fires the IG for doing his job...When he is on record that the constitution is seriously flawed and wants to change it...When he encourages the use of threats and aggression to quell dissent (SEIU and other union thugs)...When he supports the effort of the president of Honduras to subvert their constitution so he can remain in power there and establish a dictatorship...

What should we think? The constitution doesn't apply to him. The law doesn't apply to him. The constitution needs to be changed.

We're fools to not be concerned.

Already it's clear that the tax laws apply to us but not to him and his friends. Already he has shown that he can circumvent our bankruptcy laws. Already he has called for snitches to report dissenters.

Yeah people said crazy things about Bush. Did he seek to have dissenters arrested or threatened? No.

Did Bush try to appoint 30+ cabinet level officials with no Senate confirmation? No.

Did Bush use the Patriot Act to gather information on dissenters? No.

Bush passed some laws that people feared would be abused but didn't abuse his authority in that regard. Obama has committed specific acts and made specific statements that are of direct concern.

Concerned yes...going overb... (Below threshold)

Concerned yes...going overboard no. This massive nationwide protest of Obamacare has completely thrown Obama and his cronies off their game.
Given the public mood and Obama's falling support, he and his Dim cronies are in no position to do anything let alone subvert the Constitution.

Michael,Costa Rica... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Costa Rica tried to broker a deal for Zelaya. You are the one wrong in this case. It's not about geography it's about politics.

Secondly, the point is not so much whether it was a cop in Virginia or a school security officer (some in Illinois are armed so what's the difference?) The real point is the 'this ain't America no more' attitude.

The attitude of Obama's supporters that the rules and the constitution no longer apply.

One black rent a cop is not... (Below threshold)

One black rent a cop is not a symbol of imminent dictatorship. This kind of thing is strewn all throughout our history...it is not new. What about MacArthur's attack in 1932 against the Bonus Marchers in D.C. That did not lead to a dictatorship. The government subversion of the Vietnam anti-War movement did not lead to dictatorship. You need to step back a little.

"The attitude of Obama's su... (Below threshold)

"The attitude of Obama's supporters that the rules and the constitution no longer apply."

Who cares what their attitude is...let them be delusional and make stupid statements like "this ain't America no more"...they sound and look stupid ...because the Constitution does apply and they can't change that no matter what they say or do. Have some faith in your fellow Americans and in the Constitution.

FYI : <a href="http://lucia... (Below threshold)

FYI : http://lucianne.com/article/?pageid=free_speech

That's the 'cop' referenced above by jim m ... fairly chilling that he can assert his power of authority over a citizen expressing his first amendment rights.

Much like any stateist in this current administration telling the wage slaves to snap to it and shut up..

But I digress...

Yes, Leon is heading under the bus because he pissed off the powers that be and he's in their crosshairs. He accused SanFran Nan of being a liar and dared her to prove otherwise because he has the meeting records.

I personally think he was placed at the head of the CIA much like Clinton used Sandy Berger to 'check' files in the National Archive. He's not entirely clueless about intelligence and how it works but he's in deep over his paygrade and he's easily expendable.

Also let us not forget the ... (Below threshold)

Also let us not forget the massive blowback on Mr. fascist rent a cop....you think that this incident is going to play well to Americans?...I certainly don't and the Obamabots are probably wishing the idiot had kept his mouth shut. This moron has the potential of becoming the poster child of the Obama fascists. Not good P.R.

The real entertainment will... (Below threshold)

The real entertainment will come via Hillary.

Will Obama toss her under the bus over some foreign policy failure, or will she seize an opportune moment to resign in protest over some Obama failure?

I have never been a fan of ... (Below threshold)

I have never been a fan of Obama but I figure how bad can he really be and if he is a goof up, midterm elections will counter that. However I never thought he would be as incompetent as he has been. I just hope we can make it to midterm elections before it gets too far out of hand or something terrible happens.

Oooooo. Hillary will not g... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oooooo. Hillary will not go under the bus quietly.

She's more likely to defect from the administration than to allow that to happen. It would be fun theater if he tried though.

DavidtI wondered abo... (Below threshold)

I wondered about that dynamic myself.

There has been some tension and backslaps in that area. How long and how much will either of them tolerate each other is a big question.

If the midterm elections go... (Below threshold)

If the midterm elections go worst than expected for the Dems and\or Obama's rating are low, I suspect she will resign and start running for President again around that time.

You'll notice that Hillary!... (Below threshold)

You'll notice that Hillary! hasn't been wearing high heels when around The One. Makes it harder to knock her under the bus when she's not looking.

Must be real hard working as Sec of State for a President you never voted for.

Hillary is finished. Obama... (Below threshold)

Hillary is finished. Obama effectively neutered her.

She had all the advantages in the 2008 elections, and still got outplayed. By accepting the cabinet position, she killed her political life.

If the country as a whole rejects Obama (a big if) in 2012, it is not going to turn to another Democrat, even if she challenges Obama in a primary. So Hillary's next chance will be in 2016, when she will be a tired old hag.

Her time is gone.

I agree that 2016 will be t... (Below threshold)

I agree that 2016 will be too late for her. If the situation is right I can see her resigning claiming she took the position in hope of change but that Obama is just too incompetent and that is why the Country needs to elect an experience person like herself as President. Remember this is a Clinton that we are talking about.

"Remember this is a Clinton... (Below threshold)

"Remember this is a Clinton that we are talking about."

Remember she was indeed a Clinton who screwed up the primaries. If I had told you that a candidate would win the primaries in all the biggest states - CA, FL, TX, PA, OH, MA - et al, and still lose the nomination, you'd have called me crazy.

She may resign and say anything to the country, it doesn't matter. Imagine what the mood of the country will be if Hillary is resigning - Obama has screwed up royally and Democrats are in the dumpster, which politically means that they have lost independents. In such a scenario, why would independents then turn around and support another Democrat?

Any candidate's best chance is when he or she is running against another party, not splitting his/her own party.

Hillary ain't done yet.... (Below threshold)

Hillary ain't done yet.

She still wants to be President, and if she can't reach that goal then she will take down the one(s) that defeat(ed) her.

Obama jumped out to a big early lead in the Primary, but Hillary closed the gap after the Rev. Wright thing got play and the SNL joke about the media pampering Obama.

Neither Hillary or Obama had the required number of elected delegates to win the Dem nomination until the Super!delegates, led/bribed/pressured by Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy etc, jumped in to support Obama over her. Obama got the nomination through 'Acclimation', not through the ballot.

Hell hath no fury like Hillary scorned. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the others will forever be on Hillary's shit list.

In exchange for going along with the nomination of Obama through acclimation Hillary took the Sec. of State position(to gain foreign policy credentials for her next run at the prize, and to distance herself from Obama's and the Dem. Congress' domestic policies). Obama made her SoS to position her where he could torpedo her.

If Obama and the Dem. Congress continue to politically erode, and especially if the Dems take a big hit in the 2010 mid-terms because of the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid, then Hillary will challenge Obama in the 2012 Primary. "It would have been different with me!" "We can't win with him!" "He is damaged goods!"

If she is denied again as she was in 2008, she will take them down with her, some way, some how, Scorched Earth.

No doubt Obama and his handlers see Hillary's strategy, and are waiting for the appropriate time to preemptively strike by blaming her for something and then tossing her. No doubt Hillary is expecting this preemptive strike and has contingency plans of her own.

Political Entertainment at its best!

Hilllary is and will remain... (Below threshold)

Hilllary is and will remain an idiot.

When you can't beat a 1/2-term, no experience, street organizer even after winning the biggest states available (CA, NY, FL, TX, OH, PA), you are not smart.

Its kinda hard to beat an i... (Below threshold)

Its kinda hard to beat an idiot when you need said idiots voters who are also idiots to win .

Since its impossible to tell which way the idiot blows on any given issue, it becomes very difficult to captivate the idiots imagination.

Luckily for Obama. He is masterful as a ringmaster of idiots.

Resigning after the midterm... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Resigning after the midterms is a good idea for Hillary. She could put up a strong challenge in the primary.

The problem is that any primary challenger will be called racist by the media and everyone else, and would she accept that?

The same for any GOP challenger. Anyone who dares oppose the One will be called a racist. Heck, a primary challenger in 2012 would probably be considered a hate crime.

#25 sam"So Hillary... (Below threshold)

#25 sam

"So Hillarys next chance will be in 2016, when She will be a tired old hag."

Shes already there.

Remember, these are the Cli... (Below threshold)
Dick Nichols:

Remember, these are the Clintons you're talking about. If I were Obama I would hire a large staff of food tasters.

Forget 2016. If Hillary! s... (Below threshold)

Forget 2016. If Hillary! still has ambitions (and she does), the current mess and dropping approval ratings of 'The One' will give her an opportunity in 2012. Barry is on record saying he doesn't mind being a 1 term president (of course his lying as usual). He pushes on with Cap & Trade, Immigration Reform, Card Check and Education Reform; his numbers will continue to drop. After all, we're not talking about middle of the road, everything he'll propose will be from the extreme left. Hillary! will use that to her benefit in 2012. I can imagine her slogan in the run-up will be "Do you want to keep the White House or not?".

Barry is already on record ... (Below threshold)

Barry is already on record saying His communistic agenda would be posted on the internet for all to see before it is pushed forward like a turd yearning for birth as well.. And that has not happened either. I tink if there were a do over now, Hillary would clean his crooked ass clock.

Thats "think " not tink. <... (Below threshold)

Thats "think " not tink.

ha ha

Panetta goes under the bus ... (Below threshold)

Panetta goes under the bus to search for Obamas communist mandate.






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