New CIA Head Has No Spy Experience-Good News?

Leon Paneta, former Clinton White House chief of staff, has been selected by Barack Obama to be the new head of the CIA. Paneta has no experience in the area of secret intelligence and many critics undoubtedly will denounce selecting such an individual to head America’s main spy agency. However, as one reviews the history of the CIA, and its leadership, many questions arise as to the nature of competency. The CIA has been dominated for over forty years by individuals who had the right academic credentials and who supposedly knew what they were doing. But, it was these individuals who missed the downfall of the Soviet Union, misunderstood Saddam Hussein, blundered in Iran and who fouled up all over Latin America, and whose record in Asia is not much better.

During World War II, General “Wild Bill” Donovan headed America’s spy agency, the OSS, and although lacking in any training in the area of espionage, his record matches up against any of those who headed the CIA. Donovan hired prostitutes, baseball players, actors, Socialists, communists, criminals and so on because he believed a spy agency should have a diverse body, not just those who do well in college. Let’s hope Paneta follows the ideas of Donovan over “spy experts” in the CIA.

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  • journeyer58

    The very idea! Choosing someone with absolutely no experience as a spy to head a spy agency? How dare he?
    Well, maybe just maybe, Mr. Panetta, whom everyone knows, is politically astute and understands the ins and outs of Washington, will do such an absolutely fabulous job as DCIA, that all heads will spin in comparison to the job, that the last two heads of CIA will pale in comparison.
    Furthermore, Mr. Panetta, is without doubt going to be his own person, not beholden to the powers that be and will make the case for what he sees as true intelligence and not the false intelligence that has been given to the president for the last eight years.
    Given all the factors that go into the DCIA, I for one will be glad that a man’s man, a person, that is his own person, and can make independent decisions is in place at such a suspect agency.