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“I will be as vigorous in protecting you, as you are vigorous in protecting the American people.”

Setting aside the usual rock star welcome,¬† President Obama’s remarks during his first visit to the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA offers still another extraordinary moment in the interplay between the presidency and public sector professionalism. Here’s an article in the Post and a transcript of the President’s remarks – and here’s the video from


Following up on Patrick’s post, Slate’s Fred Kaplan offers a reasoned defense of the Panetta choice. The difficult trade-offs seem clearly to have delayed the pick – and the roll-out was uncharacteristically bumpy, but the transition seems committed to calming the waters. In an important steo (and consistent with Patrick’s thought) the transition is signaling¬† it will retain the C.I.A Deputy Director Stephen Kappes. An agency veteran, Kappes was pushed out during the Goss era and returned to the CIA under Director Hayden. His returned was widely viewed as a boost to badly-damaged morale at CIA. Here’s what the Post wrote in 2006 about the return of Kappes to CIA: Read the rest of this entry »