Give David ("Svengali") Axelrod some credit: when President Obama needs a running play, he calls a running play. ABC News reports:
Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit
Tensions Lead to CIA Director's "Screaming Match" at the White House
By MATTHEW COLE, RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS -- August 24, 2009
A "profanity-laced screaming match" at the White House involving CIA Director Leon Panetta, and the expected release today of another damning internal investigation, has administration officials worrying about the direction of its... intelligence team ....Panetta erupted in a tirade last month during a meeting with a senior White House staff member[, reportedly] upset over plans by [AG] Eric Holder to open a criminal investigation of allegations that CIA officers broke the law in carrying out certain interrogation techniques ...Another source of contention... was today's public release of an investigation by the CIA inspector general on the first two years of the agency's interrogation and detention program. The report has been delayed by ...debate over how much of the report should be kept secret... One CIA official said colleagues ...were preparing for a far-reaching criminal investigation...
Several weeks ago, in a secret bunker at SEIU headquarters near K Street:
I understand you're upset, Leon. Rest assured, this investigation is in the best interest of the country.
What the hell are you talking about? Starting investigations of the CIA officers who kept this country safe after 9/11? What are you thinking??
Leon, how do you expect us to regain credibility with the Arab Street until we adhere to the lawful principles of prisoner detention?
Frankly, Eric, I don't give a damn! Now that I've been in this job a while and seen the results of waterboarding, it's crystal clear we saved scores of innocent American lives. Civilians, dammit, civilians!
I guess we'll just have to agree t--
Dammit, Eric, this is no game! You're a real piece of work, you know that? Freeing the FALN terrorists, freeing Marc Rich, and even defending the Gitmo terrorists --
Hey! That wasn't me, that was my law firm!
No matter, I'm lodging a complaint with the President. You're undermining my authority!
Beautiful, guys, beautiful performance.
Axe is going to leak this tape to the useful idiots at ABC and *voila* ... the health care debate is out of the news and Bush is back!
Mr. President, if you don't mind me asking, how much do you pay Axelrod for this stuff?
Ha! That, my friend, really is classified information!