(CNN) –- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate’s incoming Intelligence committee chair, slammed President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Leon Panetta as director of the CIA Monday.
“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director. I know nothing about this, other than what I’ve read,” Feinstein said in a statement. “My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”
A Feinstein spokesman told CNN’s Dana Bash that the California senator found out about Obama’s pick after her staff showed her a New York Times report.
"The President-elect will now have a chance to make his arguments,” the spokesman said. “Her next move is to listen."
Feinstein is the new chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. While Panetta’s political career - as a congressman, and as President Clinton’s chief of staff - spans three decades, he has little hands-on intelligence experience.
–CNN’s Pam Benson contributed to this report.
President-elect Obama demonstrated his judgment, intelligence, and political skills in running the best election campaign in history, defeating the Clinton machine and rising above everything the Republicans threw at him (or made up about him).
He's now applying his intelligence and skills, in consultation with knowledgeable advisers, to the decisions he has to make. Everyone from Dianne Feinstein to ignorant bloggers are second-guessing his decisions, thinking they know better, before he's even taken office.
Rather than bicker over every move Obama makes, let's give him our support at this critical time in history and wait to see how he and his staff go about running the country.
I suspect that most of the critical comments on these blogs originate with Republican talking points or Republican hostility toward Democrats in general. We have become a very angry, divided country over the last eight years.
Geez...usually HISTORY dictates whether a president is great or not...NOT bloggers.
I concur that Leon Panetta, although I like him personally, doesn't have the know how to be CIA Chief.
What a time for inexperience....with all of his good picks, this one is not only surprising, but worrisome.
Democrats eviscerated the CIA and the result was 9-11. So let's appoint a political operative who knows nothing about the Intelligence world to head the CIA.
Still mad that her choice( Hillary) didn't win. Why would anyone make her head of the intelligence committee anyway?
And - let's see. Bush made ALL the right cabinet choices, right? Remember him? The guy who's STILL in office and STILL in charge and STILL responsible for all things that happen (i.e. "the buck stops here - unless I'm a Republican"). It seems Bush had to REPLACE WRONG CHOICES several times during the past 8 years. Too many to count. Those who weren't replaced mucked up so badly they needed to be replaced.
Give Obama a chance. Stop being the armchair quarterbacks it seems ALL of you think you are. As one brilliant poster said here - if you know so much, why didn't you run for president? You might have gotten 2 or 3 votes - if your relatives are allowed to vote.
Democratic Voter, what's wrong with transparency? Isn't that what the Obameister wanted. Well, he got it!
Good. Bring back the check and balance between these two branches. We missed that during the Bush administration..
Oh dear, Panetta is fine for the position. We need someone who can manage and coordinate these departments. Panetta will do a great job. Obama has three strong KNOTS backing him up (Gates, Jones and Clinton) already. There is nothing to fear. He cant be any WORSE than that other previous director that had gottena MEDAL from Bush.
This is coming from the woman who rolled over time and again for Bush... Go away lady!
Welcome back to the Clinton Administration! No fooling around with cigars Mr. Obama
Please, you must not question the GREAT ONE.
I agree with Feinstein. We are in precarius times. We can't have someone "making it up as he goes". This was a poor choice for the head of the CIA.
Besides, terrorists first bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. Clinton's watch. They failed and spent the next 8 years perfecting the next attack, which sadly, went off without a hitch. These people did not just wake up on 9/11/01 and say, "Let's go hijack some planes."
I for one would feel alot safer with another choice in the CIA who will keep us all safe from future attacks.
Go ahead Proud American. Call me an Idiot.
TIME TO UNCHAIR THE OLD CROW.
THEN SHE CAN GO IN THE FIELD WITH THE OTHER
CROWS & CROW AS MUCH AS SHE WANTS. ALZHEIMERS
SETTING IN. WE ELECTED OBAMA PRESIDENT, NOT HER.
SHE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE FOR SENATE TERM LIMITS.
Difi just wants someone she and her husband know in that position so they can funnel more intel money into her retirement account.
Leon Panetta is a decent and honourable man, exactly what the CIA needs.
Obama just needs someone to collect information for him. The CIA Director does not have the final say. It's Obama.
Or.. in the words of Jerry Seinfeld... the very fact that you're opposed to this makes me think it's a good idea.
It is bizarre to watch PE Obama filling the cabinet by shoehorning Clinton retreads into positions for they are poorly suited. These clearly are not the best that can be had and it just emphasizes that these appointments are being made as political horse trading and payback. I had hoped for a merit based approach, but those hopes are fading fast. We will all suffer for this continuation of politics as usual.
Who is she (or who does she think she is) to demand that she know in advance and approve of an appointment?
Not long enough...but thankfully, he gets to try for another 4 as well.
Go Senator Feinsten!
Barack Obama promised to reach across the aisle to make important decisions. Surprise, surprise. So far he's only demonstrated that he willing to across the aisle to appease Republicans while giving the back of his hand to his own party (as in Feinstein) or throwing them under the proverbial bus (as in the GLBT community and the selection of Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration).
Those who are criticizing Feinstein should check their constiution. Panetta must be approved by the Senate – and, along the way, by the Feinstein's Intelligence Committee.
Is this the change that was voted for? Is this the reaching across party lines we voted for? Even Dems are posting here in a very divisive way further demonstrating it is D v R. Well done, President Clinton...I mean Obama. Blind loyalty yet again.
In response to some posts here – the senate must approve cabinet level appointments as well as certain agency appointments – this is to balance the power between the Legislative and Executive branch – it is scary how people feel qualified to dismiss what Senator Feinstein states when she is only doing her job – without senate approval no high ranking cabinet, etc. appointment can be made – It is even scarier how little so many Obama supporters know about how our founding father's set up our three branch system of government and how the "process" actually works
Who care what Feinstein say she need to get kick out door feinstein need to be in the unemployment line who do she think she is.
Why can't everyone just chill and give Obama and his cabinet picks a little time. I mean after all some of you idots gave Bush a second term.....so shut up!!!!!!
Respect isn't handed out. It's earned. And I think with her lifetime of experience, she has every right to chastise the incoming President elect. His total lack of respect for her, is evidenced in his lack of communication.
David Axelrod can run your campaign, but now you've got to run your administration.
When will he be vetted?
Giving pretty, rhetorical speeches on race will earn my attention...but not my respect.
You're no messiah.