CIA Torture Shake-Up
Team Obama flexed when it nominated intelligence outsider Leon Panetta as CIA director. He's a former Chief of Staff in the Clinton cabinet, former director of the OMB (Office of Managment & Budget), former Congressman, and teaches at a Jesuit-run university, Santa Clara.
Feinstein and Rockefeller, the new and departing Senate intelligence committee chairs, were kept completely cut out of the loop. Both Senators, known for their support of torture policy under the Bush Administration, issued injurious public responses. You can imagine what they and their staffers said in private. Rockefeller blabbed his "concerns" to the papers, the LA Times among them. Feinstein, who will run the confirmation hearing, voiced her opposition. Team Obama views Feinstein and Rockefeller as part of the problem, and bulldozed them. Within 24 hours the intelligence chairs rolled over and played nice.
It's frosty and clear. Panetta has been deputized to go in and perform the intellecutal cleansing routine on anybody who supported torture, or extraordinary rendition, enhanced coercion, special KKK, and whatever other embellishments it went by. If you're pissing off Rockefeller and Feinstein, you're starting off right. It would suck to be the CIA right now. Yay!
(Danger Room and The Cable have some insider quotes. And Americablog speculates here.)