Petraeus and the Agency

There are more than just rumors now: General David Petraeus, currently the commander of forces in Afghanistan, is being “seriously considered” for the job of CIA director. The news comes from NPR, which cites “several sources” that say Petraeus is on the radar and would accept the post if it was offered. The Obama team will in theory do a little shuffle: Leon Panetta, currently at the chief of the CIA, is at the head of the line to take over for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Petraeus would then slip into Panetta’s role. There’s minimal indication that Petraeus, who should wind down his time in Afghanistan this fall, is being considered to replace Mike Mullen as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down yesterday with Israel’s Shimon Peres. The two spoke to press about the “true friendship” the U.S. and Israel share. The Israeli president will meet with President Obama tomorrow to talk about “issues pertaining to Israel's security” and the peace process in the shadow of the “storm” that is sweeping the region. On Wednesday, he’ll sit down with members of Congress and then will round out the week in New York with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In a letter to Congress, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked lawmakers to hurry up and raise the debt ceiling. He warned that on or before May 16, the United States will reach the limit of the amount it can borrow and will face defaulting on its debt. As Geithner put it, “The longer Congress fails to act, the more we risk that investors here and around the world will lose confidence in our ability to meet our commitments and our obligations.” Republicans are attempting to use the debt limit as leverage in an ongoing budget battle.

And yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney continued the administration’s admonitions of the recent Koran burning and the protests it sparked. “We absolutely condemn the burning of a holy text. We think it is un-American and inappropriate,” he said, but “absolutely nothing” justifies the subsequent riots in Afghanistan that have killed over twenty people.