If Drudge is to be believed (love the title by the way), there’s a “spook shuffle” being murmured about in the Intelligence and Defense Communities these days:
President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense and move Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, into the CIA chief’s job in a major shuffle of the nation’s national security leadership, administration and other sources said Wednesday.
The changes would probably take effect this summer. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already said he will leave this year, and the White House wants to schedule Senate confirmation hearings in the coming months.
All sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the changes haven’t been announced by the president.
We’re long overdue for Gates to move on; his damage is done… Panetta’s as well. Petraeus at Intelligence is a little more interesting. Is it a transfer based on failure? Is it one of reward for years of hard work and success… or at least having been able to do the best one can with several hands tied behind their backs?
Another possibility here would suggest that Petraeus is being groomed for CinC at some point down the road. Not so sure this president cares about anyone else’s career, but it’s a fair bet that “the system” takes care of its own, and once “IN” the system, it’s fairly difficult to “get out” of it.
In any of these scenarios, Petraeus at Intelligence can only be a good thing; someone with his street creds will certainly be able to bring a little “intelligence” into the Intelligence community, and getting Panetta into Gates’ seat can’t do any MORE harm than has already been done over at Defense.