View all newsletters
Have the short, sharp Spear's newsletter delivered to your inbox each week
  1. Wealth
February 12, 2009

Number one at the CIA

By Spear's

Shooting from the lip is not a quality admired in the leaders of major intelligence agencies

Several past Directors of Central Intelligence have been drawn from outside the intelligence community, and the businessman John McCone is a good example.

Questions now arise about President Obama’s second choice as his nominee for CIA Director because for his declared income from speaking engagements and work for lobbyists.

The fact that some of his fees came from banks such as Wells Fargo and Wachovia, who had just been enriched with federal bail-out funds may not have helped his cause, but his testimony during his confirmation hearing raised many eyebrows.

Panetta, it will be recalled, was President Bill Clunton’s chief of staff during a period when an estimated eighty suspects were the subject of “special rendition”, meaning abduction and removal to a third country for interrogation.

Having agreed that he disapproved of torture as an interrogation technique, Panetta stunned senators when he claimed that the targets of rendition had been subjected to torture after they had been delivered by the CIA to unnamed countries.

Challenged on this extraordinary disclosure, Panetta backtracked, claiming that he was relying on newspaper reports and had no evidence that any CIA prisoners had been tortured in foreign countries. So why did he make the remark in the first place?

Shooting from the lip is not a quality admired in the leaders of major intelligence agencies, and many of those who were willing to give Panetta the benefit of the doubt now doubt the wisdom of his selection. As his supporters point out, at least he paid his taxes!

Content from our partners
HSBC Global Private Banking: Revisiting your wealth plan as uncertainty abounds
Proposed non-dom changes put HNW global mobility in the spotlight
Meet the females leading in the FTSE

Select and enter your email address The short, sharp email newsletter from Spear’s
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network