Tuesday, January 06, 2009

He Just Keeps Going, and Going, and...

Intelligence professional Tom Gjelten distorted the opposition to Brennan being appointed to the CIA back on November 26, 2008 and again on December 4, 2008 and - dang! - if he ain't at it again. Yesterday, he was on ATC to express the shock and surprise of Obama's choice for Leon Panetta to run the CIA.

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 horse's bunny's mouth...


Anonymous said...

Gjelten is a slippery little beastie. I'd listened to the interview with Greenwald a couple of weeks back, and in the end he seemed to finally back down (a bit), when Glen repeatedly called him on the issue of his contention that Teh Left Blogosphere was being totally knee-jerk re: the CIA (so why did we care about Valerie Plame, anyway?). Und nau, he's baaaaack.

Anonymous said...

I can only hope that I'm a more likeable (and more earnest) big pink fuzzy bunny than the Gelatinous One. Though I have played a bass drum, that was back in my high school days.

Porter Melmoth said...

Plus Tommy the Gelatinous Spook implied ageism as far as Panetta's being 70 is concerned. I seem to recall that NPR was a pretty tame haven for those who thought John McCain was ageless.

And big!pink!, not to worry - your batteries will long outlast those of this - this jelly-bean IMPOSTER!

Anonymous said...

My most ruddy, bountiful, downy, lupine thanks, Port.

NPR CHECK - I'd rather read it from you than hear it from "them."

Anonymous said...

No one cares what Gjelten thinks -- least of all Obama.

The funniest part of the Panneta choice is that Obama did not "consult" Diane Feinstein.

How's that for a slap in the face?

It's great that Obama has chose someone from outside the CIA to clean up the cesspool.

These people have been running a amuk for YEARS.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of The Cabinet of the Mighty One, apparently Sanjay Gupta is being considered for Surgeon General.
Please let this be a joke!
Gupta is a CNN spokesman, come on, there is nobody else who can be Surgeon General?
OK, let's have Lou Dobbs for Secretary of Commerce.


Anonymous said...

Gupta is the clown who supposedly "fact checked" Michael Moore's movie "Sicko" and then had to back off his claims when it turned out Moore was right.

I agree that Obama is scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one.

Anonymous said...

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?"

Intelligence insiders? professionals?

You mean like 27 year CIA veteran Ray McGovern?

The guy who prepared the President's daily briefing under 3 Presidents? The guy who, unlike Tenet and the other intelligence "geniuses" in the Bush admin actually got it right on Iraq?

Here's what McGovern says about Panetta:
In choosing Leon Panetta to take charge of the CIA, President-elect Barak Obama has shown he is determined to put an abrupt end to the lawlessness and deceit with which the administration of George W. Bush has corrupted intelligence operations and analysis.

Obama Picks a Conscience for the CIA

I'd take the advice (and word) of McGovern over that of Gjelten (or any NPR announcer clown) any day of the week. Gjelten, apparently has no clue what he is talking about in this case, the poor clueless sap.