Mediaite: CIA Director Leon Panetta testified to Congress today of a “strong likelihood” that Egyptian PresidentHosni Mubarak would step down by the end of the day. The report of his impending resignationwas only eclipsed by the news that Mubarak would NOT be stepping down as Panetta had indicated to congress. The worse part isn’t that Panetta was basing his statement on on media reports (and not intelligence.) [...]
According to a report by Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti for the NY Times (emphasis mine):
Mr. Obama watched Mr. Mubarak’s speech on board Air Force One, returning from a trip to Michigan, the press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said. As soon as he arrived at the White House, Mr. Obama huddled with his national security aides. The administration appeared as taken aback by Mr. Mubarak’s speech as the crowds in Tahrir Square. 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, which began circulating before he sat down before the House Intelligence Committee. But a senior administration official said Mr. Obama had also expected that Egypt was on the cusp of dramatic change. Speaking at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, he said, “We are witnessing history unfold,” adding, “America will do everything we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy.”
Wait, what? The head of the CIA was giving information to congress that he was getting from the “teevee”? Hmmm…I could have done that.
We all could have done that and some of us who read many news sources probably could have done better. How much money does the United States spend on the CIA and their whole intelligence gathering operation and this is what we get? Leon Panetta sitting at home in his PJ's listening to TV News?
Where are all those angry lefties who were wetting the bed over the Bush administration's handling of intelligence? Surely they cannot find real clowns like Panetta and Clapper an improvement.
In these dire economic times, the TEA Party House Reps are demanding bigger cuts, Mr. Panetta would do wise to at least look like he is worth his salary.