Obama Can Redeem Panetta with Pat Lang as Deputy CIA Director
What we really needed at CIA is an expert in exactly the kind of intelligence that CIA has shriekingly failed to procure, which is to say human intelligence, and it would be frosting on that beautiful cake if we could also get a person of unquestioned integrity and generally good judgement in the bargain.
That person is Colonel (Ret.) W. Patrick Lang, who formerly supervised HUMINT operations worldwide for the Department of Defense, with a rank equivalent to Lieutenant General in the arcane hierarchy of Defense Intelligence.
He was the very first Professor of Arabic at West Point. At the Defense Intelligence Agency, he was the Defense Intelligence Officer (DIO) for the Middle East, South Asia and counter-terrorism, and first Director of the Defense Humint Service. He literally wrote the book on HUMINT with Intelligence: the Human Factor.
He was one of the few high-profile intelligence professionals who criticized the invasion of Iraq before it happened, and he later analyzed Bush/Cheney's distortion of intelligence to produce pro-war hysteria, in articles like "Drinking the Koolaid" for the Journal of the Middle East Policy Council. (Anyone who takes the trouble to read this linked article is likely to agree with the thesis of this diary wihout further ado.)
Pat Lang is a tough, brilliant, principled intelligence professional with high-level expertise and experience in exactly the places where the United States has to get it right , right now, after eight long years of blunders and lies. As Deputy Director of CIA, Pat Lang would allow Leon Panetta to deploy his outstanding political skills for the good of the Agency, instead of submerging them in the ocean of an arcane bureaucracy where he hasn't got a clue.
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