Panetta's Qualifications

Here's former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin:

"While intelligence experience is obviously desired, it is not absolutely essential. Other qualities are capacity to make decisions when there are no easy options and to take responsibility for them, situational awareness about the secondary and tertiary consequences of those decisions, good judgment about what is right, true, or advisable when presented with conflicting assessments -- a common situation in a field where you are almost always dealing with incomplete information.  An instinct for dealing with people -- at the core of the job.  The capacity to communicate clearly to a work force that needs an understanding of the larger picture in order to fit their discrete jobs into the broader mission. From what I know of Panetta, he should be good at most of these things."

It looks as if they're retaining Kappes as his deputy. But remember: the direct CIA experience thing has to be balanced against the torture inheritance. It was never going to be an easy balance, between continuity and change at the CIA. But I fail to see how Panetta-Kappes isn't about as good a combo as any.