Ralph Peters doesn’t like the Panetta pick, not one little bit. He says that it shows that Obama does not take intelligence “seriously.” I hadn’t thought of that description when I wrote my piece on the subject, but it does seem particularly apropos.
As Peters says, this is not a good time or venue for on-the-job training. It would help immeasurably to at least be familiar with the bureaucracy that forms the intelligence community, but Panetta is not. And Obama doesn’t seem to care:
To be a qualified D-CIA, a man or woman needs a sophisticated grasp of three things: The intel system, foreign-policy challenges and the Pentagon (which owns most of our intelligence personnel and hardware). Panetta has no background – none – in any of these areas. He was never interested.
Is Obama interested? One wonders.
This pick worries Peters, and it certainly worries me. It is an indication of a trend that was evident during the entire Obama campaign, which is that Obama seems to think qualifications and experience are not important.
Remember his preposterous assertion that he himself was as qualified (or more qualified) than anyone to make foreign policy decisions because he had lived in Indonesia as a child and traveled to Pakistan as a young adult (please see this to refresh your memory)? Perhaps that wasn’t just campaign hyperbole.
My current suspicion is that Obama believes it is true. If so, this a dangerous thing. The most ignorant person isn’t merely the one who doesn’t know, it’s the one who doesn’t know that he/she doesn’t know.