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Panetta Hearing: Panetta’s Opening Statement

You can read it in full here, but here are some interesting excerpts.

He’s actually experienced in intelligence matters — “I began my public service career in the Army as an intelligence office”; and his youngest son is a Naval intelligence officer just back from Afghanistan — and heavily praises agency operatives in order to earn some good will. Then he gets into some questions styled like an intel analyst:

We know that Al Qaeda has reestablished a safe-haven in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We know they want to hit us again. But we don’t know where that next attack will come from, and we don’t have answers to a range of important questions. How do we deny Al Qaeda its safe haven? How do we effectively operate against this target and their command structure? Where are Osama Bin Laden and his top deputies hiding?

And there’s more in that vein — on Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq.

His big credential? “In a word … 40 years of experience … a broad range of experiences to this job. I know Washington. I think I know how it works. I also know how it fails to work.”

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