News Release

Assessing Panetta at Pentagon, Petraeus at CIA


Reuters reports this morning: “President Barack Obama will nominate CIA director Leon Panetta as defense secretary and Army General David Petraeus as head of the American spy agency, officials said on Wednesday.”

MELVIN A. GOODMAN, goody789 at, ,
Goodman is senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. His most recent book is “Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.” From 1966 to 1990, he was senior Soviet analyst at the CIA and the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

He said today: “Petraeus would further militarize the CIA. … Obama has had a very weak national security team from the start. He kept Gates and put in Hillary Clinton in large part because of domestic politics. Jim Jones [who was National Security Adviser] and [former Director of National Intelligence Dennis] Blair were not up to their tasks. Panetta did not do anything to shake up the CIA, he gets captured by a bureaucracy pretty fast, which is what I’d worry about if he went to the Pentagon. I don’t think he has the energy, especially for a bureaucracy as big and complex as the Pentagon.”

Politico reports that “Goodman said known backers of significant Pentagon reforms, such as former assistant secretary of defense Larry Korb or former Navy secretary Richard Danzig, would be better secretaries.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167