Obama tags Panetta to head CIA

January 5, 2009 2:19:17 PM PST
Two Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the CIA. Panetta was a surprise pick for the post, with no experience in the intelligence world. An Obama transition official and another Democrat disclosed his nomination on a condition of anonymity since it was not yet public.

Panetta was director of the Office of Management and Budget and a longtime congressman from California.

He served on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that released a report at the end of 2006 with dozens of recommendations for the reversing course in the Iraq war.

Panetta currently directs with his wife Sylvia the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay a university he helped establish on the site of the former U.S. Army base, Fort Ord.


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