Laura Rozen, writing over on her new blog at Foreign Policy, has this withering assessment of Leon Panetta from a "former senior CIA manager":
"The message is, 'I don't want to hear anything out of the CIA. Make it go away. No scandals. Keep it quiet,'" the former officer told me. "They put over there a guy who is a political loyalist, who will keep everything nice and quiet, but who won't know a good piece of intelligence from a shitty piece of intelligence, and wouldn't know a good intelligence officer" from a bad one.
But Robert Baer, a former CIA spook turned writer, offers up some ideas for how Panetta could win over his new employees:
The only question now is whether Panetta will have the portfolio to do what is absolutely necessary — move the CIA out of Washington, get it away from the politicians, get the CIA out of covert action once and for all, and pay CIA employees what they deserve for the hard work demanded of them. [Emphasis added.]
We do tend to forget that for all the mystery and intrigue that surrounds the CIA, it is--in some ways--just like any other government agency.