Glenn Greenwald nailed it today:
Few things could reflect better on Panetta's selection than the fact that Feinstein and Rockefeller -- two of the most Bush-enabling Senators -- are unhappy with it.
And color me skeptical, but I don't believe for a second that Senators Feinstein and Rockefeller are objecting to the Panetta nomination out of concern for U.S. intelligence policy, or even more laughably because they feel left out of the process.
They're not just unhappy, they're worried. And they have good reason to be.
In this case, being a Bush-Enabler just might turn out to be an indictable offense. It's been clear for a while that members of the Democratic congressional leadership may share culpability for illegal acts committed by the Bush Administration.
And, really, we know enough about the Obama transition to recognize that the lack of consultation with Lady Feinstein wasn't an oversight. Her heart must have skipped a beat when she heard about Panetta. Government officials who were aware of illegal acts, who may have even expressed consent, are in deep doo-doo if somebody outside of the intelligence community, outside of the closed loop of those who know better, takes the helm of the CIA. And Feinstein must be wondering just why Obama didn't discuss the Panetta nomination with her. Well, he probably didn't discuss it with Cheney either.
Panetta's prior statements about torture and wiretapping make me hopeful that accountability is on the way. But Feinstein and Rockefeller's reactions make me downright optimistic.
I'm reminded that Senator Feinstein voted for all of Bush's nominees to run the CIA, including the hapless Porter Goss, and of course illegal-wiretapping advocate General Michael Hayden.
When it was President Bush appointing an idiot like Goss, here's what Feinstein thought:
I believe the President should have the prerogative to appoint who he wants to be the DCI, or for any other senior position, subject only to the requirement that the person be qualified for the job.
If you have time for a quick freep, go vote in the CNN poll asking if Panetta is a good choice to head the CIA.
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