Bad day for the “Intelligence Community” here in Washington. CIA chief Leon Panetta opined that Mubarak was very likely going to resign in a few hours, while DNI (Director of National Intelligence) General James Clapper declared the Muslim Brotherhood “largely secular” and has “eschewed violence.” These analyses from our mastodontic Intel establishment no doubt encouraged the president to gush about living through an historic moment in world history, and to proclaim that young people were primarily to praise for the epic events of the day.
Except that Mubarak didn’t resign, and the Brothers aren’t secular and have long embraced and practiced violence, and we don’t yet know exactly what history is being made, let alone who is making it.
In recent decades the CIA has become thoroughly political and bureaucratic, and at the same time has become incompetent. I doubt this is a coincidence. We ought to junk the whole thing and start over.
UPDATE: OMG, the director of the CIA testified to the House of Representatives based on what he’d seen on the news:
The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, testified before the House of Representatives on Thursday morning that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr. Mubarak would step down by the end of the day. American officials said Mr. Panetta was basing his statement not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts, which began circulating before he sat down before the House Intelligence Committee.
President Obama is right, we are witnessing history unfold. This administration is inventing a whole new kind of incompetence.