Senate panel endorses Panetta's nomination as defense secretary
June 14th, 2011
02:08 PM ET
3 years ago

Senate panel endorses Panetta's nomination as defense secretary

Washington (CNN) - The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday endorsed Leon Panetta's nomination to become defense secretary when Robert Gates steps down at the end of June.

A brief statement from committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin's office said a unanimous voice vote sent Panetta's nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Committee approval was widely expected after Panetta, the current CIA director, received bipartisan support during last week's confirmation hearing.

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Filed under: Leon Panetta • Senate
Sources: Panetta to Congress – Pakistan either incompetent or involved
May 3rd, 2011
06:38 PM ET
3 years ago

Sources: Panetta to Congress – Pakistan either incompetent or involved

Washington (CNN) - CIA Director Leon Panetta told House members Tuesday that any way you look at it, Pakistan's role in Osama bin Laden's whereabouts was troubling.

According to two sources in a closed door briefing, Panetta told lawmakers "either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be."
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Filed under: Congress • Leon Panetta • Osama bin Laden
Obama shuffles familiar faces in key security roles
April 28th, 2011
03:24 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama shuffles familiar faces in key security roles

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday shuffled familiar faces in his national security team to deal with the pending retirement of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, reflecting a desire for continuity and the changing nature of modern warfare.

Obama named Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta as his nominee to succeed Gates, with Gen. David Petraeus chosen to succeed Panetta at the CIA.

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Filed under: David Petraeus • Leon Panetta • President Obama • Robert Gates
Obama selects Panetta for defense secretary, Petraeus for CIA
April 27th, 2011
02:42 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama selects Panetta for defense secretary, Petraeus for CIA

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In the most extensive reshaping of the Obama administration's national security team to date, the president will name CIA director Leon Panetta as his nominee to succeed Robert Gates as defense secretary, a senior defense official and another U.S. official said Wednesday.

It took a meeting with President Obama to convince Panetta to accept the job, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN. Panetta has been happy serving at the CIA, but "believes strongly in public service and answering the call from the commander-in-chief," the source said.

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Filed under: David Petraeus • Leon Panetta
Obama selects Panetta for defense secretary
April 27th, 2011
08:06 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama selects Panetta for defense secretary

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will name CIA Director Leon Panetta as his nominee to succeed Robert Gates as defense secretary, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

An administration official said this month that Obama is considering Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, as the next possible CIA director.

Full story


Filed under: Leon Panetta
June 27th, 2010
03:08 PM ET
4 years ago

State of the Union: Candy Crowley's Crib Sheet for June 27

In her Crib Sheet, CNN's Candy Crowley wraps the news from Sunday's political talk shows.
In her Crib Sheet, CNN's Candy Crowley wraps the news from Sunday's political talk shows.

9 YEARS LATER…

Since he’s Director of the CIA, we should have expected Leon Panetta to be inscrutable in sizing up the situation in Afghanistan.

EG: “We are making progress.”

“I think the Taliban obviously is engaged in greater violence right now.”

“In some ways, they’re stronger, but in some ways they’re weaker…”

That settles that.

As the Senate Armed Services Committee prepares to vet the nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the new commander in Afghanistan, panel member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) warned that the situation in Afghanistan is so difficult, the U.S. could win militarily and “still have a very ugly victory.”

Basically, it just doesn’t sound good.
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June 27th, 2010
10:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Panetta: Afghan war has problems, but progress being made

Washington (CNN) - CIA Director Leon Panetta said Sunday that the war in Afghanistan had "serious problems," but the U.S.-led mission was making progress.

"It's harder, it's slower than I think anyone anticipated," said Panetta, the nation's top intelligence officer, in a rare media interview with the ABC program "This Week."

He cited governance problems, drug trafficking and the Taliban insurgency - all in a tribal society - as the major challenges to the goal of "making sure al Qaeda never finds another safe haven from which to attack this country."

"Winning in Afghanistan is having a country that is stable enough to ensure that there is no safe haven for al Qaeda or for a militant Taliban that welcomes al Qaeda," Panetta said.

Updated: 10:25 a.m.

Full story


Filed under: Afghanistan • CIA • issues • Leon Panetta
May 31st, 2010
06:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Who wants to be U.S. intelligence chief?

Washington (CNN) – Now that Dennis Blair has packed his bags after 16 months as the nation's chief intelligence officer, finding a new director to lead the 16 agencies of the intelligence community is turning out to be a tough sell.

CIA Director Leon Panetta is a top choice of the Obama administration for the new director of national intelligence, said administration officials, but with three directors coming and going within five years, some, including Panetta, appear wary of the position.

Panetta would likely face little opposition on Capitol Hill. Key congressional leaders who would have to sign off on a new DNI have been singing his praises. Panetta had been a controversial choice to lead the CIA because of his lack of intelligence related experience. However, intelligence committee leaders on both sides of the aisle have singled Panetta out for his leadership at the CIA and working closely with Congress.

But Panetta is "very happy" at the CIA, finds the job "rewarding and challenging" and has told the White House he has no interest in becoming the director of national intelligence, said a U.S. intelligence official, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to talk about the issue.

Another prominent name on the list is retired Lt. Gen. James Clapper, the current undersecretary for intelligence at the Defense Department. But his prospects appear pretty dim on Capitol Hill.

FULL POST


Filed under: Dennis Blair • Leon Panetta
July 16th, 2009
10:27 AM ET
5 years ago

CIA claims disputed program was 'never fully operational'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A counterterrorism program the CIA concealed from Congress was never put into full effect and played no significant role in the conflict with al-Qaeda and other extremists, the CIA said Thursday.

"The program (CIA Director Leon Panetta) killed was never fully operational and never took a single terrorist off the battlefield," CIA spokesman George Little said in a written statement.

"Those are facts he shared with Congress. We've had a string of successes against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and that program didn't contribute to any of them."

At issue is Panetta's testimony in June to a congressional committee that he was told former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the intelligence agency to withhold information about the secret program from Congress. Several key Senate and House Democrats have argued Cheney acted inappropriately in issuing such an order.

Panetta terminated the program when he found out about it last month.

Panetta briefed lawmakers on June 24 on the unspecified program, according to a publicly released letter from seven House Democrats to Panetta. The June 26 letter characterized Panetta as testifying that the CIA "concealed significant actions from all members of Congress, and misled members for a number of years from 2001 to this week."

The letter contained no details about what information the CIA officials allegedly concealed or how they purportedly misled members of Congress.

–CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report.


Filed under: CIA • Congress • Leon Panetta
July 8th, 2009
10:30 PM ET
5 years ago

House Democrats: Panetta testified that CIA misled Congress

Panetta told Congress the CIA misled lawmakers since 2001, according to a letter to the agency head.
Panetta told Congress the CIA misled lawmakers since 2001, according to a letter to the agency head.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – CIA Director Leon Panetta recently testified to Congress that the agency concealed information and misled lawmakers repeatedly since 2001, according to a letter from seven House Democrats to Panetta made public Wednesday.

The letter to Panetta, dated June 26, was published on the Web site of Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-California.

"Recently you testified that you have determined that top CIA officials have concealed significant actions from all members of Congress, and misled members for a number of years from 2001 to this week," said the letter, signed by Eshoo and six other House Democrats - Reps. John Tierney of Massachusetts, Mike Thompson of California, Rush Holt of New Jersey, Alcee Hastings of Florida, Adam Smith of Washington and Janice Schakowsky of Illinois.

The letter contained no details about what information the CIA officials allegedly concealed, or how they purportedly misled members of Congress.

FULL POST


Filed under: CIA • Congress • Leon Panetta
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