Obama Picks Leon Panetta as CIA Director – Democrat Senators Feinstein and Rockefeller Choke on His Lack of Intelligence Experience

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in Dianne Feinstein, Jay Rockefeller, Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta

US president-elect Barack Obama has chosen former lawmaker and White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, pictured in 2006, to head the Central Intelligence Agency, US media reported Monday

Guess POTUS – Elect did not consult with two senior Democrat Senators on the Senate intelligence Committee before he appointed “OUTSIDER” former Bill Clinton Budget Director and California Democrat Congressman, Leon Panetta as the Direcotr of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta has extensive government experience but virtually none in the intelligence community.

Both Senators Feinstein and Rockefeller were nonplussed and may oppose Panetta’s confirmation.

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week begins her tenure as the first female chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said today that 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.”
  • A senior aide to Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), outgoing chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the senator “would have concerns” about a Panetta nomination.
  • Rockefeller “thinks very highly of Panetta,” the aide said. “But he’s puzzled by the selection. He has concerns because he has always believed that the director of CIA needs to be someone with significant operational intelligence experience, and someone outside the political realm.”

Panetta would report to the Director of National Intelligence, Retired Admiral Dennis Blair who is also an Obama nominee and also faces confirmation by the Senate.

In the meantime, if the President-elect does NOT afford senior California Senator Dianne Feinstein the respect that she feels she is earned, Di Fi may very well return the favor by leaving the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairmanship to run for California Governor in 2010. Her term in the Senate expires in 2012.

Look for increasing crticism of this Obama nomination and its eventual withdrawal. The wrong man for the wrong job here.


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John McCain Watch: Senator Jay Rockefeller Apologizes; Update: McCain – Obama Should Repudiate Rockefeller

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Jay Rockefeller, John McCain, President 2008

*****UPDATE*****

McCain calls on Obama to repudiate Rockefeller immediately

Tells Fox News Channel: “If Senator Obama is going to maintain the type of campaign that he says that he is–a respectful campaign–and this is one of his closest and strongest supporters, than I think he should repudiate Senator Rockefeller. Immediately.”

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US Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) speaks at a Veterans for Rockefeller event in Beckley, WV Friday, Jan. 18, 2008

Today, Senator Jay Rockefeller has apologized to Senator and presumptive GOP nominee for President John McCain for remarks he made about McCain’s military service and character.

Rockefeller criticized Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president. “Senator McCain does have a temper. But today, he speaks in a monotone on the campaign trail.”

Rockefeller believes McCain has become insensitive to many human issues. “McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit.

“What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

Rockefeller, who is running for re-election, also talked about a range of major problems confronting the country.

The Apology:

“I have deep respect for John McCain’s honorable and noble service to our country. I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy and I have extended my sincere apology to him…. I regret my very poor choice of words.”

And, Barack Obama who Rockefeller has endorsed for President has already distanced himself from the remarks.

“Senator Obama has a deep respect for Senator McCain’s service to this country and doesn’t agree with what Senator Rockefeller said.”

But, the fact is this is NOT the first shot at McCain for his military service and it won’t be the last. Senator Lyndsey Graham has it RIGHT:

“John didn’t drop bombs at 35,000 feet in Vietnam. The bombs were not laser-guided,” he said. “I’m glad Senator Rockefeller apologized, but at the end of the day behavior like this basically comes from wanting to win too badly. We don’t need to manufacture issues in this race.”

Stay tuned as more Democrat surrogates take shots at the McCain military gravitas.