Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Obama Intends to Keep Kappes

"A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment about whether [the C.I.A’s No. 2 official Stephen R. Kappes] had decided to stay in his current job."--New York Times (1-6-09)

[UPDATE] Fox News (1-9-09) reports:

The current CIA director, Michael Hayden, issued a written statement praising Panetta, advising staff that their new boss will learn from them about the CIA infrastructure.

"With a powerful record of leadership in two branches of government, he has a well-deserved reputation for insight, wisdom, and decency," Hayden said.

He said he and Deputy Director Steve Kappes met with Panetta and came away "deeply impressed."

Kappes, though, is seen as a critical component in smoothing over the concerns of lawmakers and others initially skeptical and surprised at Obama's decision.

The incoming chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reacted with disappointment after learning from the media, not the president-elect himself, that Obama had chosen Panetta. So did outgoing chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Both those senators have backed off their critical comments, but they still want Kappes, their original choice for the job, to stay on as Panetta's No. 2.

Sources told FOX News it is still an "open question" whether Kappes, who is popular among career CIA staff and has been critical to rebuilding morale under Hayden, will stay on.

Lowenthal said Kappes would be a "good backup" for Panetta as he navigates the new bureaucratic terrain.

He noted that Obama limited his pool of potential candidates by originally passing over John Brennan for the job, because of criticism on liberal blogs about his alleged involvement in Bush administration interrogation practices. (Obama has since tapped Brennan to head counterterrorism on the National Security Council.) Obama was then forced to look outside the intelligence community.

[See an earlier post about Kappes.]

The New York Times (1-6-09) reports:

Mr. Obama said Tuesday that [his nominee to head the CIA Leon E.] Panetta and other members of the new administration would be “committed to breaking with some of the past practices” that had “tarnished the image” of the United States’ intelligence agencies...

But transition officials said Mr. Obama also intended to keep the C.I.A’s No. 2 official, Stephen R. Kappes, a highly regarded former Marine officer and agency veteran...

A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment about whether Mr. Kappes had decided to stay in his current job. [Full text]

My opinion is that the CIA has kept us safe. President-Elect Obama, on the other hand, is tarnished in my eyes by his relationship with the Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. [Scroll down here.] According to author Jack Cashill, William Ayers was the ghostwriter for Obama's 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father.

President-Elect Obama is tarnished in my eyes because of his long association with the ignorant doofus Rev. Wright, who spread the despicable KGB canard that the U.S. made AIDS to kill black people.

The New York Times (11-5-87) reported:

Soviet scientists have disavowed charges in the Soviet-sponsored press that the AIDS virus was artificially cultivated at a secret American military base.

The scientists, Roald Sagdeyev and Vitali Goldansky, publicly distanced the Soviet Academy of Sciences from the accusations about American responsibility for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. They said they had protested the appearance of Soviet articles that repeated those contentions.

The disavowal was contained in Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper...

The U.S. Information Agency (June 1992) reported this public admission by KGB foreign intelligence chief General Primakov in Izvestia (3-19-92):

The head of the Foreign Intelligence Service [KGB General Yevgeni Primakov] made a number of really sensational announcements. He mentioned the well-known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing the U.S. scientists’ 'crafty' plot against mankind were fabricated in KGB offices. In revenge for this, the U.S. special services cooked up their own version of the attack on the Pope in the early 1980s, accusing the Soviet Union of organizing this terrorist act.” [See also a State Department document (1-14-05) about the Soviet role in spreading the AIDS canard.]

The United States Information Agency (June 1992) disputes Primakov's claim that the U.S. government accused the Soviet Union of the attempt of the Pope:

Primakov's claim was clearly impossible because charges of Soviet involvement in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II began to appear in 1981 and 1982, well before the USSR's AIDS disinformation campaign began. (The original AIDS charge, planted in the KGB-founded Indian newspaper Patriot in July 1983, went unnoticed by the world until October 1985, when the Soviets began to replay it in a concerted media campaign.) Even if the U.S. government had wished to respond to the AIDS disinformation campaign in kind - which it did not - it could not have retaliated for something that had not yet occurred. Furthermore, charges of Soviet involvement in the attempted papal assassination were the result of investigations by independent journalists, not the U.S. government, which never blamed the USSR for this event.

I can't speak for Mr. Kappes, but I hope he does not stay at the CIA because his reputation may lend credibility to the hobbling of the Agency and to a tarnished President who has had long relationships with the anti-American propagandist Rev. Wright and the terrorist bomber Bill Ayers.

I hope Mr. Kappes will tell the tarnished President-Elect Obama to take a hike.

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