Here was the heart of his chat with Michele Norris:
"The Obama people felt they had no other choice but to go with an outsider. So many of the intelligence professionals, the insiders, were seen as being in some way tainted by some of the controversies that have surrounded the CIA in recent years: wiretapping, secret CIA prisons, coercive interrogation techniques. When it appeared for a while that the Obama people were heading toward an insider there was a firestorm of reaction, of criticism, so they apparently decided to go with someone from the outside."I have to hand it to Mr. Gjelten, he is indeed an intelligence professional. Notice how he turns flagrantly illegal domestic spying, kidnapping, and torture into reassuring "wiretapping, secret CIA prisons, [and] coercive interrogation techniques." He also (for the third time on NPR) distorts the reaction of progressive critics, claiming that "there was a firestorm" because "the Obama people were heading toward an insider." As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out [including in a lengthy interview with Gjelten] the opposition was focused on those insiders who explicitly supported and endorsed the illegal CIA activities listed above.
This kind of dishonest nonsense allows Michele Norris to query Gjelten, "So, those people who were stoking the fires of criticism, will they be satisfied by the selection?" That's a beauty, eh? In NPR-world citizens who give a rat's ass about their government spying on them or disappearing and torturing suspects are just "stoking the fires of criticism."
The real power of such sloppy and distorted journalism is obvious in this report. Instead of Gjelten and Norris asking if Panetta will be able to rein in the lawless and inhumane behavior of the CIA and make it an effective intelligence gathering agency, these two make sure that the story only reflects a "CIA insider's" perspective - right down to Norris wondering aloud, "You've been speaking to intelligence professionals. I'm interested in hearing a a little bit more about how they are reacting to this?" All she has to do is ask Gjelten to get it right from the