Panetta Hearing: No More Powell Moments
How would CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta prevent the next dubious intelligence-based public presentation, a la then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s 2003 disgrace on Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction before the United Nations?
“I promised the president of the United States that if I was fortunate enough to be able to be honored with this position, what I’d present him with is the very best intelligence and I would provide it straight to him whether he wants to hear it or not,” Panetta said. “If by chance someone goes out and strays from that position, [or] indicates something that is contrary to the position that I have stated, I would not only bring it to the attention of that individual, I would bring it to the attention of the president of the United States.”
You can’t have “a group of yes-people around you,” Panetta continued. “The truth is something that sometimes depends on a particular perspective, but you’ve got to have a series of perspectives … Dissent is something I would encourage.”