(CNN) - Then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates was “very uncomfortable” with the idea of a Guantanamo prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl when it was raised in 2011, a former senior Defense Department official familiar with Gates’ thinking told CNN.
The “fundamental discussion,” the source said, “was over the notion of negotiating with terrorists and hostage takers.” It was a position, the source confirmed, that was shared by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta-a powerful triumvirate.
Washington (CNN) – An update on a story "CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper" first reported in August, regarding the sex scandal that brought down former CIA director David Petraeus.
Jill and Scott Kelley, suing the Obama administration for alleged defamation of character during the aftermath of the Petraeus sex scandal, have added new defendants to their lawsuit, including the Department of State, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and outgoing FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce.FULL STORY
(CNN) – The Senate failed to garner enough votes Thursday to stop a filibuster against Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel.
Fifty-eight voted to move forward with the nomination, while 40 voted to hold it up. One senator, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, announced present, and Republican Sen. David Vitter missed the vote.
Washington (CNN) – In his final press briefing as defense secretary, Leon Panetta expressed concern over how the world will view the United States if it fails to avert steep budget cuts due to take effect in two weeks.
"What they (other countries) worry about is what I worry about, which is whether or not we can govern and whether or not we can face the tough decisions that have to be made and resolve those," Panetta said on Wednesday about the budget uncertainty.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified Thursday that the Defense Department didn't have enough time to get armed military assets to Benghazi to fend off a deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in September.
The attack left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Furloughed workers, reduced combat readiness, shrunken naval operations and cuts to Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta listed those consequences as he provided a stark warning Wednesday about the effects of impending budget cuts on the military. The result, he said, would be "the most serious readiness crisis" faced by the military in over a decade.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Sunday his "biggest concern" right now is the uncertainty over budget issues on Capitol Hill.
"If the sequester is allowed to go into effect, I think it could seriously impact on the readiness in the United States," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And that's a serious issue."
(CNN) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended Sunday former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, on CNN's "State of the Union." Hagel faced tough questioning at Senate confirmation hearings last week.
The top military officials also weighed in on the 2014 drawdown in Afghanistan, saying the troop withdrawal will largely depend on the strength of the country’s security forces.
(CNN) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Sunday that lack of intelligence information and logistical challenges made it difficult to respond quickly to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year.
Panetta said the administration had no warning about the attack, despite requests for more security from U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in the weeks leading up to the violence.