And the band played on: Pres. Obama, DCI Panetta, and Gen. Patraeus rearrange deck chairs. (screengrab of today's announcement)

Live right now (update: remarks have just concluded; the link will have a replay shortly), President Obama announces the already leaked shuffle of his national security team. DCI Leon Panetta replaces Bob Gates as Secretary of Defence; Gen. David Patraeus replaces Panetta as head of the CIA. Gen. John Allen will take over for Patraeus in Afghanistan.

Ryan Crocker, once US envoy to Afghanistan, will take over for Karl Eikenberry as ambassador to that country.

All these appointments require confirmation by the Senate.