Tags: panetta | CIA | politics

Political Payback Distracting CIA, Panetta Warns

Saturday, 01 Aug 2009 07:13 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

WASHINGTON -- CIA Director Leon Panetta warned in an article published Saturday that the country's premier intelligence agency has been hurt by a climate of recriminations in Congress over its past practices.

"I've become increasingly concerned that the focus on the past, especially in Congress, threatens to distract the CIA from its crucial core missions: intelligence collection, analysis, and covert action," Panetta wrote in an op-ed piece published in the online edition of The Washington Post.

Some members of Congress have pressed for a fuller investigation of the past practices of the intelligence agencies during the George W. Bush administration's war on terrorism.

But Panetta, a former California congressman and critic of the CIA's interrogation programs, argued for a truce in the political battles.

"The time has come for both Democrats and Republicans to take a deep breath and recognize the reality of what happened after Sept. 11, 2001," he said.

"Intelligence can be a valuable weapon, but it is not one we should use on each other. As the president has said, this is not a time for retribution," he added.

Panetta said the agency has ended controversial interrogation and detention practices authorized by the administration of president George W. Bush.

"Yet my agency continues to pay a price for enduring disputes over policies that no longer exist," he wrote.

"Those conflicts fuel a climate of suspicion and partisanship on Capitol Hill that our intelligence officers — and our country — would be better off without," he wrote.

Panetta cited an uproar that followed a briefing he gave last month to congressional overseers on his decision to cancel a classified anti-terrorist program.

Newspapers have reported that the program involved the formation of special units to assassinate al-Qaida leaders in foreign countries that was authorized by the Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but never became fully operational.

Rather than setting a precedent for closer cooperation with Congress, Panetta said his briefing "sparked a fresh round of recriminations about the past."

"Debates over who knew what when — or what happened seven years ago — miss a larger, more important point: We are a nation at war in a dangerous world, and good intelligence is vital to us all. That is where our focus should be."

Copyright 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

-

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

GOP: Raise Minimum Wage, Vote for Common Sense

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 00:18 AM

Democrats in the Senate, and President Obama, have expressed support for raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an  . . .

Ed Royce: 'Are We Doing Enough' to Stop Terror Attacks?

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 22:40 PM

Rep. Ed Royce said he thinks laws will be changed in Great Britain and Canada to stop the sort of homegrown terrorist at . . .

Ebola Death Toll Rises to Almost 4,900

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 22:28 PM

The number of people with Ebola is set to hit 10,000 in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, as the scramble . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved