Friday, February 11, 2011

Where’s the Adult Supervision in the Administration?

While the situation in Egypt is admittedly “fluid,” as we used to say about almost every crisis I was involved in while serving at the Pentagon, I find it especially concerning that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency decided to use open source information as the basis of his Congressional testimony the day of Mubarak’s supposed-but-turned-out-not-to-be concession speech. (While news media information is sometimes valuable as a validation source, it is almost always tainted in one form or another and is therefore not suitable as the basis of credible analysis.)

The New York Times noted this fact, but gave it little attention and zero analysis by burying it in their 11 February piece on the Egyptian crisis. “The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, testified before the House of Representatives on Thursday morning that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr. Mubarak would step down by the end of the day. American officials said Mr. Panetta was basing his statement not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts…”

You’ve got to be kidding me—and all Americans! Let me get this straight, Panetta has at his fingertips the global apparatus of one of the best (no longer THE best, thanks to repeated liberal tear downs) intelligence communities in the world and he uses news media information to brief Congress? What? Who is running this insane asylum up there??

We pay billions of dollars and put many American and allied lives at risk annually to produce the best intelligence available. Mr Panetta, and other leaders in the intelligence community, lobby Congress for precious taxpayer dollars using their need to produce actionable information for our national leadership as a requirement.

Do the professionals get it wrong every now and then? Yes, that’s the nature of the business. However, by and large, our national security has rested on valuable and accurate intelligence throughout our history.

In the end, while this is but one isolated incident, I find it symptomatic of an amateur-hour Administration. The world’s current ills and our national security and standing in the world demand an Administration that is up to the task.


  1. Morgansailor, you haven't been following the news, while Egypt was unraveling the administration was protecting us from the risks poised by a major Milk Spill

    "In the end, while this is but one isolated incident"

    No so sure about that, WikiLeaks was a colossal security, if not intelligence failure

  2. What matters today is the military council in place, Mubarek gone, and the Egyptian people free of 30 years of emergency rule, following on the heels of the Yemen and Tunisia. The President of Iran is cheering too, comparing the events in Egypt to the overthrowing of the Shah in the 1970s, and see an end to Western, satanic influences. He suffers from short-term memory loss it seems since the young people organized for the same demands of freedom not so long ago, using those new fangled made in the good ole U.S.A., social media tools (Facebook and Twitter)for the first time to organize. The inspiration came from Iran and then spread with greater success. What the future holds? I still don't own a crystal ball.

  3. I think, based on his facial expressions, Clapper was told to lie. Which he did..and did a very poor job of it.

    Panetta is an administrator...a very poor one.

  4. DFTTS; once the Egyptian People get over the initial jubulation they'll realize that Sulieman is another Mubarack.. A part of the same elite group that's enjoyed and profited from thirty years of absolute control.

    From a strategic point of view, Sulieman is the best outcome we could have hoped for.. He'll continue to take US Dollars and keep the peace.. Had there been a real transformation it's hard to say what would have happened, but I doubt it would be US Friendly

    What will happen if Sulieman simply continues Mubarack's policies?

  5. I've been watching today. It appears the military will run the government for now. I think Suliman is sidelined, at least that is how it looks today. What I also see is the youth of Egypt that respect the army, proud to be Egyptian, and remain determined for a change, not of people, but of how their society operates. Articulate in English too. Average salary in Egypt is $2,000 a year. I have no idea what will happen next. I still don't have a crystal ball. But this massive, peacefully organized, mostly youthful, tech-savvy people ended 30 years of rule.

  6. DFTTS, I think that 2000 might be misleading. It's not so much a queston of how many dollars but what those dollars can purchase. 2000 here would barely feed one person, but mass starvation doesn't seem to be a problem in Egypt.

    I'm not suggesting two grand in Egypt makes a person rich, but I'm not sure it's as bad as it sounds.

    Like you, I don't know what will happen next, I don't think it's over. Egypt isn't the only Middle Eastern country with a problem at the moment. There's trouble in Algers, Jordon and possibly Saudi.. all are US Friendly at the moment.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.