Feinstein Backs Down On Panetta

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009 at 4:17 pm

The sailing is suddenly much smoother for Leon Panetta’s reported nomination to head the CIA, as California senator and prior Panetta critic Diane Feinstein — who is also the incoming chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee — has just announced that the beef is squashed, The Associated Press reports. But why? She made a big stand off of the idea that an intelligence professional ought to be CIA director.

Feinstein says she spoke with Panetta, a fellow Californian, for about 20 minutes on Tuesday evening and came away confident he’d surround himself with good personnel at the agency.

Did Steve Kappes just save Panetta’s appointment? I’ve got a query out to Feinstein’s people.

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