The CIA has relentlessly battered al-Qaida and Taliban forces with a relentless campaign of aerial drone attacks under the leadership of Leon Panetta, according to The Washington Post, killing numerous terrorists in the remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The effort has been a surprise to some since Panetta didn’t seem to be the ideal candidate to lead the spy agency when President Barack Obama named him to the job last year.
“Apart from a brief stint as a military intelligence officer in the 1960s, little in Panetta's résumé appeared to merit his nomination to become the 19th director of the CIA,” the Post reports, “but his willingness to use force has won over skeptics inside the agency and on Capitol Hill. Said one former senior intelligence official: ‘I've never sensed him shirking from it.’”
The story details Panetta’s unflinching call to kill Pakistani terrorist Baitullah Mehsud on the roof of his house as his wife was giving him a massage.
In fact, the Post reports, Panetta is now considered part of the CIA’s hard-hitting culture now because of his strong defense of its officers.
”The stepped-up drone strikes, Panetta's opposition to the release of information about CIA interrogation practices, and his resistance to greater oversight of the agency by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) have prompted criticism that he is a thrall of the agency's old guard,” the Post writes.
Read the entire story at The Washington Post Web site.
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