Critic of Obama's New War Robert Gates About To Be Out of a Job
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been a little, uh, unenthusiastic (to put it in non-treasonous terms) about President Obama's new war venture in North Africa, as we noted yesterday. How often does the civilian leader of our nation's military get to say a war is "not a vital national interest to the United States" before he either gets the sack or declares himself "president-general for life of America 2"? Not very long. Granted, Gates was pretty much on his way out anyway. But replacing him will be tricky, because Republicans probably won't approve any appointment who's not a Republican or they're on the record previously allowing to be appointed to a job like this. So, Leon Panetta it is! And then we can start up Gates' war tribunal. Sorry, Gates' "small-scope international-community humanitarian action" tribunal.
Panetta also successfully battled Obama's first director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, the former official noted, to protect "traditional Agency funding and authorities," including on the decision of who--CIA director or DNI--gets to pick the top U.S. intelligence official posted in countries around the world. "Panetta is one of the smartest people in Washington," the former official continued. "He will be able to work with them and work them."
Oh good, a guy who can make the CIA more powerful and block its oversight will now bring the same talents to the military. That's always good for a country. Well, it worked out well in Egypt, at least.
Indeed, the main drawback to nominating Panetta for the job, according to this source, is it opens up the can of worms of who should replace him as CIA director.
On that question, the rumors are hazier. One name that's been suggested is former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), currently the chairman of Obama's President Intelligence Advisory Board, who, said the former senior official, "knows Obama quite well." As a moderate Republican, Hagel may also "help with bipartisanship," the former official said.
Look, just have the Republicans pick a guy and Obama will appoint him. He has re-election to think about these days. Who cares what the CIA does? Have those guys ever abused their power?
Anyway, we are glad Robert Gates will be gone. Because it's hard not to accidentally call him "Robert Gibbs," and vice versa. Why are all white people named "Robert," and why do they all look the same? Also, this guy hates children. [Yahoo News]