Our CIA Chief is a clown, too

February 11, 2011

I wonder if he and Clapper bring rubber chickens and squirting flowers to meetings? After seeing this reassuring bit of news last night, I wouldn’t be surprised:

CIA Director Leon Panetta caused confusion when he suggested Egypt’s president was poised to step down, reinforcing questions about the spy agency’s ability to track unrest in the region.

Amid furious speculation that Hosni Mubarak was preparing to announce his exit in the face of mass protests — which later proved to be wrong — Panetta appeared to endorse the media reports before a congressional committee.

Asked about news accounts that Mubarak about to relinquish power, Panetta said: “I got the same information you did, that there’s a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening.”

But a US official later had to explain that Panetta was merely referring to media reports and not privileged information from inside the Central Intelligence Agency.

Emphasis added, after I was done banging my head on the desk.

So, let me get this straight: the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the guy in charge of the main electronic and human intelligence apparatus of the world’s mightiest power, one that costs us billions per year, in the midst of a crisis says he has no better source of information than CNN? Really, Leon??

Hey, can I have his job? I can turn on a TV, too, and I bet my analysis will be more accurate.

And think about this: We’ve been Egypt and Mubarak’s patron for 30 years. They returned the promise ring to the Soviets so they could go out with us. They’ve worked with us against Iran, Iraq under Hussein, and al Qaeda. Our military and theirs has a close patron-client relationship.

So what must’ve Mubarak and the government there thought when their patron’s top spy publicly kicks the legs out from under the Egyptian by saying he has information that Hosni will be out by that evening? “News to me?? Is this an order from Washington?” And then to find out that Panetta’s source is nothing more than TV talking heads… Well, I imagine he said something like that famous Strother Martin line from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid:

“Morons! I’ve got morons on my team!”

Morons. Clowns. Obama administration. There’s a difference?

PS: Just as I’m writing this, word comes that Mubarak is out in what looks like a military coup. As to what comes next… Maybe we should do like Panetta and just turn on the TV.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A screw-up of colossal proportions

November 9, 2009

Why was this man still in the Army?

Officials: U.S. Aware of Hasan Efforts to Contact al Qaeda

U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) said the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan’s efforts.

This is infuriating. If indeed no one in intelligence told the Army they had a potential jihadi in their midst, then this is the same kind of boneheaded, mindboggling, stupid lack of communication that lead to 9-11. The one major lesson that should have been learned from that atrocity was the need for constant communication and information-sharing between the security services. Instead, we got a new and unnecessary cabinet department in Homeland Security, a reshuffled bureaucracy, and crucial information that sits in some desk-jockey’s inbox gathering dust.

And 12 people are dead because of it; twelve families have had gaping holes ripped in their lives that will never close.

Congressman Hoekstra has every reason to be angry at CIA Director Panetta and DNI Blair for refusing to provide a briefing on what their agencies  knew. I should hope Congressman Reyes, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, is angry, too. It’s time for subpoenas to start flying. If this report is true, or if Intelligence passed on the information and the Army did nothing, then heads should roll and careers be ended.

My God. Will we ever learn? And how many more have to die before we do?

(hat tip: Exurban League)

LINKS: Hot Air, Sister Toldjah.