Leon Panetta

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McCain: ISIS Is 'Winning and We're Not'

But US effort still in 'early stages': Susan Rice

(Newser) - "They're winning, and we're not," says John McCain in his assessment of the American effort against the Islamic State. "The Iraqis are not winning. The Peshmerga, the Kurds are not winning." The Arizona Republican wants American boots on the ground to better coordinate airstrikes,... More »

Panetta: Obama 'Lost His Way,' 'Lacks Fire'

Ex-CIA, DoD head describes frustration in new memoir

(Newser) - The man who ran the CIA from 2009 to 2011 and the Pentagon from 2011 to 2013 has got some pretty scathing things to say about his old boss in his new memoir, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, and in interviews with USA Today and... More »

The Most Amazing Artifacts From the CIA's Museum

Closed-off collection includes secret cufflinks, dead rat

(Newser) - One of the country's most fascinating museums is just a few miles outside Washington, DC—but most of us will never get access to it. The CIA's museum is inside the agency's Langley headquarters, and it's got some 26,000 items related to the intelligence organization'... More »

Clinton Wasn't Real Keen on Bergdahl Deal

Inside the administration debate

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton offered a less-than-ringing endorsement of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap yesterday, calling the administration's no-man-left-behind ideal "noble," but adding, "I think we have a long way to go before we really know how this is going to play out." Which isn't surprising,... More »

How US Kept bin Laden Raid Records Secret

They were shifted from Pentagon to CIA

(Newser) - US officials ensured that files from the Osama bin Laden raid would stay secret by slipping them into the hands of the CIA—which is allowed to keep its records quiet. Adm. William McRaven, the leading special ops director, had the files removed from Pentagon databases and handed over to... More »

Panetta Leaked bin Laden Raid Details: Report

Zero Dark Thirty writer heard classified info at event

(Newser) - If the Justice Department is worried about leaks, it might want to place a call to a certain former CIA director/secretary of defense. Leon Panetta revealed a variety of classified info about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden—including the names of the ground commanders involved—at an event... More »

Pentagon Drops Drone-Pilot Medal

Award angered veterans, drone opponents

(Newser) - The Pentagon has nixed a new medal for drone pilots before anyone was nominated for it. The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced by Leon Panetta just before he left the Pentagon, angered veterans as well as those taking issue with drone tactics, the Washington Post reports. A veterans' petition hit the... More »

GOP Blocks Nomination of Hagel, for Now

He's still expected to become defense secretary, but after Senate recess

(Newser) - The Chuck Hagel drama continued on Capitol Hill today, as Republicans refused to allow a final vote on his confirmation to become defense secretary, reports the Hill . Hagel is expected to prevail eventually—but now it can't happen until lawmakers return from the Presidents' Day recess. Expect the next... More »

Pentagon Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Couples

But DOMA prevents it from going all the way, Leon Panetta says

(Newser) - The Pentagon has decided to begin extending to same-sex partners many of the same benefits it offers married couples, Leon Panetta announced today. "It is a matter of fundamental equity that we provide similar benefits to all of those men and women in uniform who serve their country,"... More »

Pentagon Leaders: We Wanted to Arm Syria Rebels

Panetta, Dempsey suggest military disagrees with White House decision

(Newser) - The response seemed to catch even questioner John McCain off guard, notes the Washington Post : When he asked Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey whether they supported a plan last summer to arm Syrian rebels, this exchange followed:
  • "We did," said Panetta.
  • “You did support
... More »

Panetta: Curb Military Pay

Defense secretary also fears 'readiness crisis' ahead of sequestration

(Newser) - Leon Panetta is poised to recommend that military salaries increase just 1% in 2014, thanks to "budget uncertainties," insiders tell CNN . This year, military pay was increased 1.7%, and last year, President Obama took military pay cuts off the table—so Panetta's recommendation will be interpreted... More »

Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

Panetta announcement expected this week

(Newser) - In another big step forward for gay rights in the military, the Pentagon is planning to extend certain benefits to the same-sex partners of military personnel. The new benefits are expected to include housing benefits and access to facilities like spouses' clubs, but many more benefits will be out of... More »

Panetta to Allow Women in Combat

Defense chief is lifting the military's ban

(Newser) - Defense chief Leon Panetta is scrapping the military's ban on women in combat roles. The AP has the early scoop, saying the decision opens up hundreds of thousands of positions in front-line and commando units. Panetta is expected to announce the decision tomorrow, and the military branches have until... More »

Fresh Fear: North Korea's New Mobile Missile

The KN-08 no longer seems like such a fake

(Newser) - With a new generation of intermediate-range rocket being moved around the country on mobile missile launchers, North Korea is increasingly worrying American intelligence agencies, reports the New York Times . US officials don't expect the KN-08 missile to be ready for operational deployment in the immediate future, but the realization... More »

Americans Taken Hostage in Algerian Attack

Seven believed to be among 41 taken at BP gas field

(Newser) - Americans were among the foreigners taken hostage today in an attack on a BP natural gas field in Algeria, US officials have confirmed. An al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retaliation for France's incursion into Mali, Reuters reports. The militants are still occupying the... More »

France Launches Mali Ground Offensive

Troops will be fighting Islamist rebels within hours, military says

(Newser) - France has launched a ground operation in Mali, and its troops should be in direct combat with radical Islamists "within hours," military officials tell the AP . The incursion began overnight, with troops pressing from the capital into rebel-held northern territory. France also announced yesterday that it was boosting... More »

Obama Taps Hagel, Brennan for Pentagon, CIA

He praises both men at White House event

(Newser) - President Obama officially announced his nominations of Chuck Hagel as secretary of Defense and John Brennan as CIA director today, praising both men for their records of service at a press event in the East Room of the White House. Hagel, Obama said, "knows that war is not an... More »

US to Send Missiles, 400 Troops to Turkey

NATO force to defend against Syrian missile threat

(Newser) - The Pentagon says it will send Patriot air defense missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order today en route to Turkey from Afghanistan, a rep says. The... More »

Panetta Downplays Syria Chemical Weapons Fears

Says there's no new intelligence pointing to their preparation

(Newser) - Non-news has never been so satisfying: Leon Panetta this morning announced that there's no new indication that Bashar al-Assad is preparing to use chemical weapons, explaining that related intelligence has "really kind of leveled off. ... We haven't seen anything new indicating any aggressive steps to move forward... More »

Ex-Spy Chief: Get Ready for 'Cyber 9/11'

Mike McConnell says we've had our warning

(Newser) - First, it was defense secretary Leon Panetta warning of a " cyber Pearl Harbor ." Now, the former director of national intelligence says it's time to prepare for "the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack," the Financial Times reports. Recent attacks on big banks like... More »

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