Al-Qaeda to Osama bin Laden: Please Save Us We've got them reeling, says CIA chief Leon Panetta By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 17, 2010 4:31 PM CDT 16 comments Comments A file photo of Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo) (Newser) – The US assault on al-Qaeda has crippled the group so severely that one lieutenant has pleaded with Osama bin Laden to step in and provide leadership, says CIA chief Leon Panetta. In an interview with the Washington Post, Panetta says the US strikes in Pakistan have driven bin Laden and other top leaders into deep hiding and stripped the group of any meaningful direction. "It's pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling," says Panetta. "And that we really do have them on the run." A CIA missile strike last week killed one of the top 20 leaders, an operative credited with planning the deadly suicide attack on an agency base in Khost in December.