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. joshua

    um, does he have any experience in Intel? I kind of think that would help, maybe... oh wait, thats right, this is a new era, one where experience in a given field doesn't really matter...sigh

    January 5, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Noah in Philly

    Wow, a Kevin from PA and a Kevin from Ohio making nearly identical posts at the same time. Amazing. This pick stinks, but for the guy who was babbling about, "OH WOW YOUR KIDS WILL GET KIDNAPPED BY TERRORISTS," your fear mongering garbage has had its day. 350 million people lose their rights so a hypothetical kidnapping can be prevented. You're a genius.

    January 5, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. geecee827

    Sorry for all you critics, but if Clinton appointees just happen to be the best people still available to get the job done in the Obama administration, then so be it. It is what it is!!

    January 5, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. 15 Days To Go

    I did some research...sounds like a wonderful choices....

    January 5, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Gordon Shumway

    This is a joke, right? Obamessiah cannot be serious!

    January 5, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Mike

    ummm....this man has no experience in the intelligence business?

    He is a budget director.....does this pick not concern anybody?

    January 5, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Brandon

    Why do people like Dave in CA always call liberals wimpy for believing in the principals of human rights when they are always so scared for their safety? It is obvious to me that liberals are acting out of principal and those who are pro torture are the wimps that are acting out of fear. I bet Dave drives 45 mph on the highway as well... dou che

    January 5, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Rick

    Another horrible choice.

    January 5, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Fred the moderate

    It sure would be nice "not" to have anymore Clinton admin. staffers in your admin. President Obama. Choose your own people. Give us real change. If we wanted Clinton, we would have elected her. All we are getting is the Clintons including a Clinton. I did vote for this!

    January 5, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Fred the moderate

    It sure would be nice "not" to have anymore Clinton admin. staffers in your admin. President Obama. Choose your own people. Give us real change. If we wanted Clinton, we would have elected her. All we are getting is the Clintons including a Clinton. I did'nt vote for this!

    January 5, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Jenny

    Is this a joke? If so, it is in very poor taste. My background is in criminal justice and intelligence gathering, so I am shocked that someone with actual training and experience in intelligence wasn't selected.

    Hello...this guy's specialty is economics...what is he going to do, threaten sanctions against criminals? Geez...and this is Obama's idea of who needs to lead our country in intelligence gathering...what is he thinking?

    January 5, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Bruce

    And THIS is the change he wants? An old Clintonite who has NO Intelligence experience? It seems to me Obama is showing his LACK of intelligence with this pick. This is truly worrisome, but then agaion, the American people will get what they voted for.

    January 5, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. susie

    It is just like the Clinton years again.

    January 5, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. beachgirl

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?????????????????????

    Thank God for the Clinton era eh???????? pretty smart to surround yourself with intelligent people that will TEACH you how to do your job.

    Let's hope Obama will be another BILL CLINTON to revive the country!

    January 5, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Empty suit, empty promises

    You morons call this change?

    What are his qualifications to head the CIA, he has dirt on the Clintons?

    Sandy Burglar will soon be picked for something as well.

    Oops, I let the cat out of the bag.


    January 5, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. DAVE IN CA

    re noah: you must be the biggest bleeding heart liberal in the world..... your president has chosen a man who thinks that a little conversation with terrorists will have the same result in getting key information that will save american lives..... please inviting these s.o.b's to a sit in and roasting marsh mellows with an encore of koombya while our borders are wide open to every extremist who decides they want to blow some stuff up and kill some people.... you just better hope that it is not PHILADELPHIA they choose to target now that when they are caught they will be given more rights than yourself is afforded, while they await the ACLU to come rescue them from any harsh treatment.... Time to wake up

    January 5, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. TCM

    Gina in Atlanta....gee, it would be nice if he actually had some EXPERIENCE on how to run something; anything! Heck, he couldn't even qualify to be a fry cook at the Krusty Krab.

    I wonder if this "Clinton retread,' is the same brain child who, under clinton's direction, had the opportunity to take out ol' Bin Laden...but the administration failed to do so....

    There's no change here...more Chicago corruption!

    January 5, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Proud American

    DAVE IN CA – Let's hope they pick you and hold you hostage. Good Lord your stupid

    January 5, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Tim from Hershey,PA

    Does this guy have any experience besides giving Clinton his daily briefing? Was he in the military or intelligence community at any point in his life? They said his organizational skills and economic prowness are the only qulifications to run the most important front on the war on terror. He's not going to have the respect of his peers and the people he will depend on for important intelligence. Obama should have chosen someone who worked their way up and has the stomach to make unpopular decisions. Being the head of the CIA should not be a political favor. Anybody else feeling safe yet?

    January 5, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Democratic But Not Sold

    I support Obama, like Panetta, and tend to vote Democratic . . . but this pick doesn't make much sense to me. It would be better to appoint someone with a background in intelligence, military, law enforcement, or judiciary. Panetta's a solid public figure, but there are probably many other positions that would be a better fit.

    On the other hand . . . other CIA directors have served without prior intelligence background. For example . . . George Bush Sr. And at the time, Bush had a far less distinguished career in public office as well. So, it's possible that Panetta will work out. I do regard him as someone with common sense.

    January 5, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Jonathan in PA


    Weakening of US Defense!
    Fighting Terrorists in America!

    January 5, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Soccer Nana

    Give the incoming administration a chance people.

    Has anyone posting here questioned the current administration why they stopped looking for Osama Bin Laden? Or why Cheney is so involved with Halliburton and not being held accountable in anyway? Why wasn't he asked to resign after his indictment?

    January 5, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. geraldine

    Beyond being Clinton's Chief of Staff, I don't know much about him. But, a quick scan of his public bio indicates he has no security or intellingence experience and a common thread of civil rights activism.

    That's change, all right. I like civil rights as much as the next woman, but do we really want an DC-lifer with a thin resume and bleeding heart in that job?

    Seriously – is this appointment a joke? Did Jane Fonda turn down the job? Whew.

    January 5, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. David

    Obama- you are now too obvious. You are just a posterboy.

    January 5, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Tim

    Change you can believe in.

    There is now no experience required to become eligible for a high ranking seat (including the top seat) on the Obama team.

    January 5, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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