Panetta’s weak backtrack on Cheney comments

This is really, really weak.

From CNN:

A CIA spokesman is sharply downplaying Director Leon Panetta ‘s recent comments that appear to question whether former Vice President Dick Cheney is hoping for another terrorist attack against the United States.

“The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack,” CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in a statement to CNN. “He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama’s security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone’s motives.”

The statement comes days after the New Yorker published an interview with Panetta during which he said Cheney’s recent criticism of Obama – including the decision to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – show the ex-vice president “smells some blood in the water on the national security issue.”

“It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics,” said Panetta. “When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.”

Let’s look at Panetta’s original comments again, shall we?

“It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.”

And now the statement from the CIA spokesman:

The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack. He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama’s security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone’s motives.

So wait, Panetta doesn’t believe Cheney wants an attack, nor did he question anyone’s motives? Um, what? Did he not read his own remarks? That exactly what he did! What a weak backtrack by Panetta.

CIA Nominee

CIA Director Leon Panetta

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