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What Panetta Can Look Forward To

After thinking of George Tenet last night, I flipped through the man's recent memoir At the Center of the Storm, and stumbled upon this surreal passage about a spring 2000 trip Tenet took to Moscow to meet with the head of the Russian security service:

[O]ur hosts offered us a tour of the American section of the prison museum, which includes, among other artifcacts, the silencer- and poison needle-equipped pistol that Gary Powers carried when his U2 spy plane was shot down over the USSR in 1960. We declined--we weren't there to play tourist--so our hosts hurried us off for a dinner--and that's when things got really weird.

Waiting at the top of the stairs at the Praha Restaurant entrance was a very tall, voluptuous blond woman. At her side in attendance were two dwarfs, neither much more than three feet tall. As we reached the top of the steps, our hostess turned, the dwarfs turned with her, each taking one of her hands, and the three of them then paraded side by side down a long hall, leading us into the restaurant proper.

You would think that a meal that started so, um, uniquely might at least have led to a little conviviality, but that wasn't the case.

Don't get too excited, Leon: Being CIA Director isn't all blondes and dwarves! But it still sounds like it can be pretty fun.

--Michael Crowley