All the discussion has been about Obama's selection of Leon Panetta and what it means for the CIA, but the most significant part of today's announcement was the statement that leads off this video:
The United States does not torture. We will abide by the Geneva Conventions. That we will uphold our highest values and ideals.
Meanwhile, all the fussing about how folks in the CIA feel about Panetta's imminent appointment is put in perspective, I think, by Melvin Goodman of the Center for International Policy, himself an intel veteran:
DeYoung and Warrick disingenuously repeated the assertion of one senior CIA officer that the “agency was neither consulted nor informed” about the Panetta nomination. More balderdash! The CIA has never been consulted about the nomination of a CIA director nor should it. It is unlikely that Foreign Service Officers were asked to vet the selection of Senator Hillary Clinton as secretary of state or that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were asked if they would support the nomination of Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense in 2001. Civil servants have no role to play in the selection of senior officials of the government, and their professionalism requires support for their leadership, regardless of political beliefs. We certainly expect U.S. military officers, who are overwhelmingly members of the Republican Party, to support the national security policies of Democratic administrations. We should assume that CIA officers will do the same.
His piece is really about how the media -- and the Washington Post in particular -- are in fact being played by CIA operatives in their reportage on this.