As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, January 05, 2009

Leon Panetta, CIA Director

I'm having some computer issues, but I have been able to notice that Leon Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff under Clinton, has been tapped for the CIA Director position. Digby references this article from Panetta from this year:

Even though we now know that there were intelligence officials who questioned the assertion, few leaders were willing to challenge this argument for war because they knew it might undermine public support for the president's decision to invade Iraq.

More recently, President Bush vetoed a law that would require the CIA and all the intelligence services to abide by the same rules on torture as contained in the U.S. Army Field Manual [...]

all forms of torture have long been prohibited by American law and international treaties respected by Republican and Democratic presidents alike.

Our forefathers prohibited "cruel and unusual punishment" because that was how tyrants and despots ruled in the 1700s. They wanted an America that was better than that. Torture is illegal, immoral, dangerous and counterproductive. And yet, the president is using fear to trump the law.

I hope he gets cracking on putting the CIA under the Army Field Manual. That would be a very good start.

As a side note, Panetta has been leading one of the most insufferable organizations in California's history, a high Broderist effort called California Forward, which thinks the biggest problem in the state is that lawmakers from both sides don't have drinks together anymore, or something. At least Panetta's influence on the state will be lessened. He's not my favorite guy by any stretch, but if he can manage to not have the CIA kidnapping and torturing anymore he can hold his head up high.

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