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."
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.FULL STORY
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.FULL STORY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(CNN) – A CIA spokesman is sharply downplaying Director Leon Panetta 's recent comments that appear to question whether former Vice President Dick Cheney is hoping for another terrorist attack against the United States.
"The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in a statement to CNN. "He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama's security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone's motives."
The statement comes days after the New Yorker published an interview with Panetta during which he said Cheney's recent criticism of Obama – including the decision to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – show the ex-vice president "smells some blood in the water on the national security issue."
"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics," said Panetta. "When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."
Cheney's office released a terse statement from the vice president Monday responding to the comments, saying "I hope my old friend Leon was misquoted."
"The important thing is whether or not the Obama Administration will continue the policies that have kept us safe for the last 8 years," Cheney said.
Vice President Joe Biden also appeared to distance himself from Panetta's comments Sunday, telling NBC "I don't question [Cheney's] motive."
– CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report