Both men have superb reputations — but look who they’re working for.
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Relations between Panetta and congressional Dems sank to such a bad level that, in an unprecedented August 2, 2009 op-ed in the Washington Post, Panetta wrote, “It is worth remembering that the CIA implements presidential decisions; we do not make them. Yet my agency continues to pay a price for enduring disputes over policies that no longer exist. Those conflicts fuel a climate of suspicion and partisanship on Capitol Hill that our intelligence officers — and our country — would be better off without. My goal as director is to do everything I can to build the kind of dialogue and trust with Congress that is essential to our intelligence mission.”
Whatever ill will still exists between Panetta and congressional Democrats, Republicans won’t march to his support when he tries to sell $800 billion in cuts to the defense budget over the next decade, as Obama wants. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon is very dubious about the cuts made by Obama and Robert Gates, and isn’t going to go along with the additional cuts Panetta will try to sell.
Panetta will also have to confront the soured relationship between our professional military and the White House. Not only is there a problem with distrust of the president over Libya, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and a host of other issues, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon is distrusted by many of our military leaders. When Donilon was being considered for the post, according to a Bob Woodward book, then-National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones said that Donilon had no credibility with the military.
It’s understandable why Obama would pick Petraeus and Panetta for their new roles. But the dangers our nation faces will not — cannot — be solved by these men. The problems they face aren’t made insoluble by the terrorist groups and nations that mean us harm. The obstacle to solving them is the president they serve.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?