Friday, February 11, 2011

Comments by CIA Director Panetta Saying Strong Likelihood Mubarak Steps Down Stokes Worldwide Furor



What do you expect from a reject that came from the Clinton Administration? Another inexperience person doing a job that is beyond his comprehension. Panetta needs to step down as director of the CIA because Obama doesn't need someone to make him into a fool. Obama is doing just fine without anyones help.

(Washington Post) CIA Director Leon Panetta helped touch off an avalanche of erroneous expectations Thursday when he testified that there was a "strong likelihood" that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would step down by the end of the day.

Within minutes, senior aides to Panetta sought to tamp down the impact, saying he was merely referring to media reports. But by then, the comments had ricocheted around the Internet, underscoring U.S. confusion about events unfolding in Egypt, as well as the perils of publicly weighing in on such developments while serving as director of CIA.

Panetta acknowledged the daunting aspect of that assignment in testimony before the House intelligence committee, saying that for spy services, "our biggest problem is always: How do we get into the head of somebody?"

Panetta, who had little intelligence experience before taking the CIA job two years ago, has been praised for his skill in leading a notoriously temperamental agency, and for handling public controversies with a deft touch.

Unlike other senior intelligence officials who were more circumspect in their comments on Egypt, Panetta did not hesitate in offering assessments of the rapidly shifting events.

After the committee chairman referred to media accounts predicting that the Egyptian president would step down, Panetta said, "I got the same information you did, that there is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening, which would be significant in terms of where the hopefully orderly transition in Egypt takes place."

Shortly thereafter, a U.S. intelligence official said that Panetta "was clearly referring to press reports alluded to" by the panel chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).