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Here is Panetta testifying before congress:

“I have the same information you do,” Panetta told lawmakers. “There is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening;  which would be significant in terms of where, where the, hopefully, orderly transition in Egypt takes place.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper defended the U.S. intelligence committee, which he said has been steadfast in monitoring events in the Middle East, but which appeared surprised by the protesters in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

and where did Panetta get that information:

According to a U.S. intelligence official, “The Director was clearly referring to press reports alluded to by Chairman Rogers.”

But here comes the money:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper defended the U.S. intelligence committee, which he said has been steadfast in monitoring events in the Middle East, but which appeared surprised by the protesters in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

Watching CNN is not the same as monitoring events in the Middle East. I don’t need thousands of .gov bureaucrats spending millions of dollars to develop the intel about what is on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight; Cox Communications has already done the legwork thanks.

I think we need a Reynolds, “The country is in the very best of hands” here.

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