January 5th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Sources: Panetta is pick for CIA

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/05/art.getty.leon.panetta.jpg caption="Former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta will be chosen to head the CIA, sources say."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Leon Panetta, chief of staff in Bill Clinton's White House, will be President-elect Barack Obama's choice to head the CIA, two Democratic officials told CNN Monday.

The same officials said that retired Adm. Dennis Blair, who formerly headed the Navy's Pacific Command, will be tapped as director of national intelligence.


Filed under: Leon Panetta
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So far it looks like the least experienced member of the team is the quarterback. That's OK is you've drafted the Heisman trophy winner; but nothing in his background says that's true about Obama.

    January 5, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. That Other Jerry

    I'm all for picking experienced people, and I understand that a Democrat President is going to choose Democrats for his administration. But are ya tryin' to tell me the ONLY qualified Democrats in Washington are Clinton-era leftovers? When Obama said his administration would be more focused on the environment, I thought he meant something besides recycled bureaucrats.

    January 5, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. neil

    Can't remember Barack Clinton being on the ballot, I must have been blinded by the halo of some saviour promising change, but he may have meant change in terms of money as in the coins that are in my pocket that he is after.

    January 5, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. DAVE IN CA

    well if you are cheering this pick for the head of the cia, i will pray that your children are not taken in a hostage situation and the cia having some of the culprets in custody..... the new softer interrogation that will now be observed to get information from terrorists will surely bring your children home safely to you... but then again we wouldn't want to hurt a terrorists rights while his colleagues have a gun pointed at your children go get em liberals i really feel safe now.......

    January 5, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. MD

    Another Clinton vet. Why doesn't Obama just resign now and let Hillary into the Oval Office.

    January 5, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. AnaB

    To RJ, Phoenix,
    You haven't actually seen anything yet, since he's not President until January 20

    January 5, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Retired Army in San Antonio

    A couple more solid picks by Obama!!!

    January 5, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. JJ12345

    chris from Ohio January 5th, 2009 3:25 pm ET

    Get over it, change is coming and so far our president elect has done more in the few weeks since the election than Bush did in 8 years.
    _____________________________________________________
    Yeah ok, thats about idiotic.

    January 5, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. simpl

    To R J and Kevin.

    How stupid can you be? Obama is on point with getting his cabinet set up so how in the heck can you say " we seen more of the same" what and idiot. will you morons let the man get into office where he can make a difference and stop spurring your ignorant remarks? good grief!!

    January 5, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. H-ROD

    COME ON ,,, I VOTED FOR OBAMA NOT HILLARY IF IWANTED TO SEE ALL THESE CLINTON ADIMN.. PEOPLE I WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR HILLARY COME ON OBAMA YOU'RE SCARING US AND DON'T GIVE US THAT CRAP ABOUT THESE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN DO THE JOB , YOU WERE NOT PRESIDENT BEFORE AND WE FELT THAT YOU ARE CAPEABALE, I AM SURE THERE CAPEABLE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO WERE NOT IN THE CLINTON ADIMN. THE CLINTON ADIMN. WAS NOT THE BE ALL AND END ALL.OF EVERTHING THOSE WERE THE FOLKS THAT BROUGHT US NAFTRA AND A LOT OTHER CREEPY POLICIES TO USE YOUR WORDS ((ENOUGH)) WITH THE CLINTON PEOPLE !!!

    January 5, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. CanIcallyouJoe

    At least this time there's not a military talking head at the reins. Maybe CIA decisions will have a bit of common sense this time around.

    Also, Kevin in Ohio and Gina in Atlanta-

    Clinton resided over the largest economic growth in America's history. Perhaps you'd like to continue not having civil liberties and economic instability – but I wouldn't. You can barely compare the Clinton presidency and the Bush atrocity.

    And Rj –

    You do realize that right now these people are merely candidates, right? They don't get sworn in until Obama gets sworn in. (It's in that tricky thing called The Constitution) They haven't done anything yet – of course there hasn't been change. Simply intending to change something does not immediately change that thing – you actually have to act on it.

    January 5, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    Bad choice. This appointment is a turkey.

    January 5, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. earle,florida

    Panetta! Yes, the same guy that was involved with "Grasso" ,the controversial chairman of the NYSE that had oversite of his salary ,and the approx. $$$ golden parachute as an acting Board member. Now he's the "CIA", boss? What kind of change is this,...

    January 5, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Doug

    You can't be serious. This is beyond stupid.

    January 5, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. JJ12345

    Wow, someone totally unqualified to head the CIA. He has absolutely no experience in the intelligence world but he was Clinton's Chief of Staff so he should be good. Change, Change, Change...NOT

    January 5, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. get real dude

    To RJ, Phonix,
    Barack encouraged us all to help him bring about change.To start making change right in our own communities and neighborhoods. To volunteer to help somewhere, to help sombody, some child, some senior citizen. With all that said, what the.....(smile) are you doing to help bring about change???? Tell us, we are all waiting to hear......... thought so...now SHUT UP if you are not willing to help bring about the
    CHANGE!!!!!! HOPE THIS LITTLE REMINDER CHANGES YOU.

    January 5, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. David Clark

    wow, I see that my entry was removed for citing the abovious, Debka will have more influnce regardless who Obama picks, hence Emanaul will call the shots. I respct Penta but he has no intelligence experience.

    January 5, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. kate

    I'm an Obama but this Penetta pick is stressing me out! For a guy who is seen as weak on security .. this is not helping!!

    January 5, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. joe smith

    here's one for leon when he gets appointed; what ever happened to the little black book; you know the attorney who was at the center of the scandel never produced the little hot potato, wonder why, well, maybe leon can get to the bottom of it..

    January 5, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Mari

    WHY IS IT THAT PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORD ..........CHANGE?

    CHANGE HAS COME TO WASHINGTON........

    IN THE WAY OBAMA LEADS

    IN THE WAY BUSINESS IS DONE

    IN THE WAY FEAR WONT BE SPEWED

    IN THE WAY WE WONT BE ACCUSED OF BEING UNPATRIOTIC BECAUSE WE DARE TO DISAGREE WITH BUSH!

    IN THE WAY OUR GOVERNMENT WILL CARE MORE ABOUT THE MIDDLE-CLASS & WORKING CLASS THAN THE RICH, OIL CO., AND THE ELITE OF WALL STREET!

    IN THE WAY OUR PRESIDENT WILL BE HONEST AND NOT .......LIE...... LIKE BUSH DID!

    HOPE WON.............HOPE WON............HOPE WON..........HOPE WON!

    January 5, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Mari

    Does not matter whom Panetta worked for! CHANGE HAS COME!

    Another BRILLIANT CHOICE!

    January 5, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. ken

    I am italian and I am happy with this pick!

    January 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Dave in CA

    I'm a big fan of the TV show, "24". I think torture is good and I like to pull the wings off flies.
    Mom, is recess over yet?

    January 5, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Brad

    Panetta sure is old. Whatsa matter, Obama, couldn't find a college recruit who knows anything (those people who voted for you)?

    January 5, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. To Dave in CA

    I would hope the world of moms and dads don't want their kid in a hostage situation

    I was evacuated out by the marines in 1996 during the Clinton years and I think the armed forces do a stand up job no matter who the top guy is

    The problem is not how professional or well they do their job, the problem is how the job that they do is choosen

    Our CIA, Army, Navy, Marines etc are top notch

    Our last 8 years of political direction is a steaming pile of ...

    January 5, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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