Intelligence or politics?

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We're going to feel a little less safe after Jan. 20 if Leon Panetta becomes director of the Central Intelligence Agency. President-elect Barack Obama has clearly caved in to the hard left if he follows through on this nomination.

Panetta is a good man and experienced political operative who would be a great appointment for any number of high level posts in the upcoming administration. But heading up the nation's spy agency isn't one of them.

For all of his previous experience in government as both an elected and appointed public official, Panetta has only had a glancing involvement in the complex, high-stakes world of intelligence gathering -- and that was as President Clinton's chief of staff when Clinton let Osama bin Laden off the hook.

It is apparent that Panetta is Obama's choice to head the agency because all the candidates with the requisite spying experience were tainted -- directly or indirectly -- with Bush administration policies that are anathema to Obama's hard left dot.com supporters.

These policies included heightened, rapid response surveillance activities, detention of Islamic terrorists at Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and, on occasion when absolutely nothing else worked, employing coercive interrogation techniques to obtain vital information from key enemy captives -- a practice Bush-haters brand as "torture."

Obama blasted all of these policies during his campaign and promised to clean them up if he won the presidency. It looks like he picked Panetta -- who fully supports those criticisms -- to help him make good on those promises.

The problem is -- as a host of experienced CIA hands point out -- Bush's hard-nosed strategies may sometimes be distasteful, but in a very harsh world they are what have kept America safe since 9-11. Scrapping them in favor of ACLU-type "human rights" policies to protect terrorist suspects from being apprehended, incarcerated or interrogated is not the way to keep our country safe.

Panetta will have a lot to answer to during his confirmation hearings -- and if he is confirmed, we can only hope that we'll feel better about his CIA stewardship than we do now.

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overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 01/08/09 - 06:04 am
0
0
Bush did keep us safe since

Bush did keep us safe since 9/11. I doubt that Obama will be able to say the same considering some of the policies he promised to change and who he is appointing to key posts that are tasked with protecting America and her interests. Go Israel! Death to Hamas and Hezbollah!

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/08/09 - 06:14 am
0
0
Panetta is a fine Democrat

Panetta is a fine Democrat that will do all he can to prevent the various police agencies from conspiring to share information (see Clinton administration) and will make America safe by keeping his nose out of other countries business. UP THE OBAMA!

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 01/08/09 - 07:40 am
0
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Now this is change we can

Now this is change we can believe in. Mr. Panetta would also be an excellent choice to head up the reeling EPA. He is a very practical, conscientious, decent and intelligent man--not at all the partisan hack the wink-tank propagandists would have an ignorant public assume. Obama demonstrates refreshing originality in appointing Mr. Panetta to head the CIA. This agency has been so weakened and corrupted, it needs the shock of scrupulous administration--something none of us has seen in Washington for years.

GACopperhead
6
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GACopperhead 01/08/09 - 07:42 am
0
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I want to know how Bush kept

I want to know how Bush kept us safe. Don't say "WE haven't been attacked since 9/11" since the same can be said about Clinton after the first WTC bombing. What Bush has done is abandon the Constitution by usin unwarranted wiretaps, put in the Patriot Act (Unconstitutional on it's face)and launched an unneeded attack on Iraq, which has allowed Al Qaeda to regroup and strengthen it's attacks in Afghanistan. If you two don't care about anyone listening in on your phone conversations and reading your emails just to see if you're doing something wrong, how about providing me access to all your computers and phone lines just so I can listen in. This idea that giving up your Constitutionally GUARANTEED rights just so you can have the perception that you're "safe" is idiotic. I don't do a dang thing that's illegal, but I won't have the government invading my privacy(voyeurism is getting to be a big thing in this country). It's about time that we will have a President that will nominate individuals to the Supreme Court that will interpret the Constitution, not give a green light to constant abuse by right-wing radicals who want everyone in the world to fit their mold.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 01/08/09 - 07:50 am
0
0
Yes, and lack of rain has
Unpublished

Yes, and lack of rain has kept Lake Thurmond from overflowing too, I think... Chronicle is convinced the more we kill and torture makes us 'safer.' Let's build some pyramids and start sacrificing humans again. That would please Chronicle's 'host of experienced CIA' sources. And why not put Charles Manson in charge to appease the ACES?

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 01/08/09 - 07:54 am
0
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We had this same discussion

We had this same discussion yesterday. We give up freedoms for safety everyday. You guys are just crying about this because President Bush was able to use these policies successfully against the terrorists who want o kill Americans. Had we been hit by terrorists 5 or 6 more times claiming 3,000 live per attack, you would be screaming President Bush did not do enough to protect us. Folks like JRHC and GACOPPERHEAD are really confused about where their loyalties should lie.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 01/08/09 - 07:57 am
0
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This is an excellent choice

This is an excellent choice for the spy agency. If our Senators care about the Constitution, then he would get all 100 votes.

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 01/08/09 - 08:09 am
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The Chronicle = Pro War

The Chronicle = Pro War Criminals

fd1962
26
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fd1962 01/08/09 - 08:11 am
0
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Nobody has realistically
Unpublished

Nobody has realistically blamed Predident Bush for the Twin Towers attack any more convincingly than ideologs have demonstrated that these harsh policies have 'prevented' additional terrorist attacks. To build real confidence, BushCo COULD have better used resources to begin inspecting MORE than the 4% of shipping containers which enter this country everyday. Americans could understand a policy based on sanity.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 01/08/09 - 08:12 am
0
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Nice dot.com link. I found

Nice dot.com link. I found lots of anti-American, subversive, leftist behavior there. Be scared... be very scared.

christian134
1
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christian134 01/08/09 - 08:14 am
0
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This is supposed to be a

This is supposed to be a surprise in Obama's choice? Please...If this is the plan then we had all better be prepared for extreme unpleasantness down the road...Where you ask? Here in our nation is where...

TechLover
15
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TechLover 01/08/09 - 08:15 am
0
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Maybe the editor should allow

Maybe the editor should allow himself(or herself) to be exposed to the "coercive interrogation techniques", then decide if they are considered torture. I look forward to the story, with pictures, of him being in a pile of naked AC editors, threatened with dogs, waterboarded, electrocuted, etc. Evidently the editor thinks "human rights" are something the US shouldn't stand for. In WW 11, it was left to Germany and Japan to mistreat and torture prisoners while ours were treated humanely. My-O-My how we have changed. I can't seem to find the stories of foreign attack on our soil during the Clinton administration after the first WTC attack. Perhaps the editor can point them out in future editorials ( or perhaps the resident know it all PT can).

effete elitist liberal
3191
Points
effete elitist liberal 01/08/09 - 08:17 am
0
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Mike Ryan again tells only

Mike Ryan again tells only half the truth. The policies adopted by Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld were indeed "distasteful." They were also ILLEGAL. The same U.S. Supreme Court that cast the final votes making George Bush President also found his determination to keep detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo without charges, torture them, or "rendition" them to be tortured by other countries all violated the U.S. Constitution. The SC found that all ALL detainees have habeas corpus rights and are covered by the Geneva Convention. This is no liberal Court. Its last two justices, including the Chief Justice, were hand picked by Bush! It sure made you conservatives happy when it struck down the DC gun law. In the Boumediene and Hamdan cases, it established findings which could, and should, be used to bring war crimes charges against Bush and his cronies.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 01/08/09 - 08:29 am
0
0
But EEL, didn't you feel
Unpublished

But EEL, didn't you feel safer when BushCo spent 10 Mil on 'capturing' those abberant, cross-dressing, mental retard 'suspected' Coptic terrorists in North Miami a while back, before they succeeded in releasing toxic fumes from exploding their barbie pit? You'd begrudge a victory like that?

Little Lamb
48900
Points
Little Lamb 01/08/09 - 08:31 am
0
0
I, for one, WOULD like for

I, for one, WOULD like for America to keep its nose out of other countries' business. It's time to stop being policeman and Santa Claus and nursemaid and nanny for the world.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 01/08/09 - 08:33 am
0
0
Humans exhibit violent

Humans exhibit violent behaviors and war. Obviously it is good because it is a part of our biological nature and it serves an evolutionary function-just like religions and science. Notions of non-violence, peace, and altruism are myth mumbo jumbo. We compete for resources-to the victor goes the spoils. Human rights like animal rights don't exists in the biological world. Although I understand the zebras in Africa now have a union and demand fewer losses from lion attacks. hee,hee,heee.

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 01/08/09 - 08:33 am
0
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I4Putt, I didn't address this

I4Putt, I didn't address this yesterday, but will today. The "freedoms" we give up to laws are PRIVILEGES, not RIGHTS. You have the right to travel, but driving is a privilege. The rights that are being STOLEN from us are guaranteed specifically in the Constitution of the United States. The Fourth and Fifth amendments guarantee the right to NOT incriminate oneself, and the freedom from unwarranted search and seizure. You scream and whine all day long when your right to bear arms is jeopardized. Why are the rest of you rights not as sacred to you? TechLover make sure that you specify ON AMERICAN SOIL, or else they'll call up the Cole, etc. These BOOBS don't have a clue. They are no different than the Germans who idolized Hitler for touting the improved security he was providing by taking away their rights. As I said yesterday, why don't you people go to China, North Korea or Russia if you prefer security over your Constitutionally GUARANTEED RIGHTS!

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 01/08/09 - 08:36 am
0
0
Oh, TL and EEF, ya know, we

Oh, TL and EEF, ya know, we are the "Do as I say, not as I do" country.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 01/08/09 - 08:37 am
0
0
Itelligence or politics? Who
Unpublished

Itelligence or politics? Who cares, because the non-minority media lacky didn't investigate the firings of US Attorneys. The Bush bunch used politics to hire civil servants. Wow! That taints the entire government and the news watch agencies did not report it. They have failed to inform the American people, thus a failure. In fact experience don't count anyway, cause anyone can write a story or work for gov't... No accountability what-so-ever, (unless a minority), super work hours & free travel. This pick was political and again, who cares?

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 01/08/09 - 08:37 am
0
0
Uhh, great idea, Little Lamb,
Unpublished

Uhh, great idea, Little Lamb, but I thought we were merely spreading democracy to all those countries who had oil resources?! Wouldn't we be welcomed as liberators?

Talkatoast
0
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Talkatoast 01/08/09 - 08:37 am
0
0
Bizarro--that doesn't make it

Bizarro--that doesn't make it right. That's why we have LAWS.

justthefacts
24950
Points
justthefacts 01/08/09 - 08:38 am
0
0
Talk about half truths EEL,

Talk about half truths EEL, the vote was 5-4. Scalia said of the decision: The decision brought biting dissents from the four conservative justices, with Justice Antonin Scalia taking the unusual step of summarizing his opposition from the bench. "America is at war with radical Islamists," he wrote, adding that the decision "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." He went on to say: "The Nation will live to regret what the court has done today." It will interesting to see what state these fine, upstanding, unduly prosecuted Muslins will end up in when they are brought to the U.S. for trial. The U.S. has asked over 100 countries to take them. So far, no takers.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/08/09 - 08:39 am
0
0
Humans having rights. All men

Humans having rights. All men are created equal. What nonsense!!!! Just because you "believe" it so doesn't make it so. Humans are classified as "intuitive" animals not intelligent. It shows too. We have laws and morals because of the influence of religions, spirituality, and myths. There are no right or wrong-it is neutral. Biologically there is no right and wrong it depends on the environment. Because american indians conquered a past civilization, and then we conquered them isn't good or bad-it is just nature.

Talkatoast
0
Points
Talkatoast 01/08/09 - 08:42 am
0
0
Bizarro--just because you

Bizarro--just because you don't believe it doesn't mean you should shove your primitive ideals down people's throats. If people want to believe it, they can. It's better than living as a bitter man like you. Bitterness isn't good for you, you know.

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 01/08/09 - 08:45 am
0
0
TechLover, excellent idea.

TechLover, excellent idea. We need to round up all the cons in this country and waterboard them. Then, we need to strip them naked in front of vicious dogs. See if they consider that as torture.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/08/09 - 08:47 am
0
0
I'm mocking naturalism and

I'm mocking naturalism and humanism Talkatoast. Funny people say the same to me about preaching my christian faith. Oh the irony.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 01/08/09 - 08:52 am
0
0
Bizarro, calling people
Unpublished

Bizarro, calling people intuitive must be some kind of a slur. I should report you to the ACES.

Motorman5039
0
Points
Motorman5039 01/08/09 - 08:53 am
0
0
If you wake up every morning

If you wake up every morning and say "God I am thankful whoever is the director of the CIA" you need something to do with the rest of your day and your life.

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 01/08/09 - 08:55 am
0
0
I understand your point,

I understand your point, Bizarro, but believe that because we are cognitive, thinking creations, we should at all times be better that our primitive instincts. I've been celibate for seven years(honest!). I am able to subject my instinctive desires for sex to INTELLIGENT self-control. The concept of equality in creation is a product of intelligence. It was stated and has been a major part of all advances since it's conception in England that began the end of absolute monarchical rule. We must protect our Constitution and live by rule of law, not by rule of "The Decider".

effete elitist liberal
3191
Points
effete elitist liberal 01/08/09 - 08:56 am
0
0
justthefacts: Scalia's

justthefacts: Scalia's comments reveal a man who has forgotten he's a judge and thinks he's a policy maker. Of course we're at war, and of course one goal of the government, perhaps its most important, is to keep us safe. But if this country stands for anything, it is that the ends do not just justify any means! Scalia talked about more Americans being killed. But many experts, including many U.S. military people, have claimed the detention, rendition, and torture policies used by Bush have been counter-productive and have been the best recruiting tool Al Qaeda has! Scalia would have more accurate if he had said the Court's decision will SAVE American lives. A majority of the justices acted like judges and remembered their job is to uphold the Constitution. And that's the WHOLE TRUTH!

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