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Leon Panetta


Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current Secretary of Defense of the United States. He took office in 2011. He is a Democratic politician, lawyer and professor.

Before taking charge as the Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Professional Career

  • Member of the United States House of Representatives - 1977 to 1993
  • President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff - 1994 to 1997
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget - 1993 to 1994
  • US Secretary of Defense - President Barack Obama announces the nomination on April 28, 2011
  • Assumes office as Secretary of Defense - July 1, 2011

Panetta is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. He served as Distinguished Scholar to Chancellor Charles B. Reed of the California State University System and professor of public policy at Santa Clara University.


2012 September tour to Asia

Leon Panetta embarked on a three-day trip to Asia to strengthen the partnerships with Asian countries. The tour came at a point when there were tensions between China and Japan over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands.

Panetta would tour to Japan, China and New Zealand. He will meet Japanese counterpart and the Japanese foreign minister. From Japan, he would travel to China and then to New Zealand. Panetta is all set to become the first US Secretary of Defense to visit New Zealand in over 30 years.

Warns the threat of "cyber-Pearl Habor"

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned the possibility of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor". He said that the U.S. is getting increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers. Through cyber hacking, nation's power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government could be dismantled, he warned on 11 October 2012. Panetta spoke at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on the Hudson River in New York.

On 12 December 2012, Leon Panetta made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to discuss the future U.S. troop levels required in the country. Panetta would meet the top U.S. commanders and with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai during the visit. The meetings come in the back drop of White House contemplating to reduce the war troop numbers.

Leon Panetta, on 14 December 2012 said that Al Qaeda still is the most important threat to the United States. He finished his unannounced trip to Afghanistan. The Defense Secretary said that the US will continue to target al Qaeda to weaken its network.

Leon Panetta in News

Judicial Watch Obtains Previously Classified CIA Inspector General Report Strongly Condemning Agency Handling of Briefings and Interviews With the Entertainment Industry
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 28, 2015) - Judicial Watch announced today that it has received a previously classified December 2012 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) strongly condemning the agency’s handling of “briefings, interviews, visits, and other support” given to the entertainment industry

Oracle OpenWorld 2015 Delivers the Ultimate Cloud Experience
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Judicial Watch: Defense, State Department Documents Reveal Obama Administration Knew That al Qaeda Terrorists Had Planned Benghazi Attack 10 Days in Advance
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - May 18, 2015) - Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified "Secret" documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S

Oracle Names Leon Panetta to the Board of Directors
(NYSE: ORCL) - The Oracle Board of Directors today announced that it has unanimously elected the Honorable Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to the company's Board of Directors. The election is effective as of January 19, 2015 and increases the size of the Board to 12 directors.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Join Program Line-Up at the Reagan National Defense Forum: Building Peace Through Strength for American Security The Reagan Library, November 15, 2014
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation has announced that United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be delivering the closing remarks at the upcoming Reagan National Defense Forum, to be held on November 15, 2014

Reagan National Defense Forum: Building Peace Through Strength for American Security to Be Held at the Reagan Library, November 15, 2014

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2013
Judicial Watch today released its 2013 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

The Honorable Leon Panetta Joins Panelists at the Reagan National Defense Forum: Building Peace Through Strength Through 2025 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; November 16, 2013

MMRGlobal CEO Featured in Newsmax as Retrial to Free Dr. Afridi Is Scheduled to Continue Today
MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCQB: MMRF) today called attention to a Newsmax article entitled "'American Hero' Languishes in Jail," profiling in part the humanitarian and philanthropic efforts of MMRGlobal CEO Robert H. "Bob" Lorsch and Company spokesperson Kira Reed Lorsch to free Dr. Shakil Afridi, the man who confirmed the location of Osama bin Laden for the U.S

Reagan National Defense Forum: Building Peace Through Strength Through 2025 to Be Held at the Reagan Library, November 16, 2013

Judicial Watch Sues CIA for Guest List From 2011 bin Laden Assault Awards Ceremony Where Panetta Revealed "Top Secret" DOD Information
Judicial Watch announced today that on June 21, 2013, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seeking access to records identifying attendees at a June 24, 2011, awards ceremony for individuals involved in the search for and killing of Osama bin Laden

"The Invisible War" Premieres on Independent Lens on Monday, May 13, 2013 on PBS
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, "The Invisible War" is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military

Makers of Groundbreaking Documentary The Invisible War, Exposing Epidemic of Rape in the Military, Recognize Efforts Discussed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS but Call for More Actions
Statement by THE INVISIBLE WAR director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering:

Pak-US need to deal together to destroy 'common enemy' Haqqani network: Panetta
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has made it clear to Pakistan that both Washington and Islamabad need to work together to deal with the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.

'U.S. paying thrice the amount for NATO supplies after Pak blockade'
Moving supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan through Central Asia costs three times as much as routes through Pakistan, which Islamabad shut seven months ago in response to a deadly NATO air raid along the Pak-Afghan border which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, a senior U.S. officer has said.

Top U.S. commander to press Pak on action against Haqqani network
A top U.S. commander leading foreign forces in Afghanistan, will be visiting Pakistan this week amid renewed pressure by Washington to eliminate "terrorist sanctuaries" from the tribal belt.

Israel, U.S. planning largest-ever military drill
Israel and the United States are set to hold their largest-ever missile defense drill in October, local media said on Monday.

Panetta rules out much-awaited apology for Pak saying 'time to move on'
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ruled out an apology over an air strike in Salala last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and set back efforts to improve U.S.-Pakistani ties, saying it was "time to move on."

Iran will be able to nuke weapon within four months: Experts
Iran is producing enriched uranium at faster speed, and could produce enough fissile material needed for a nuclear weapon within four months, experts have claimed.

US to significantly increase military presence in Kuwait following Iraq pull out
The United States is planning to significantly increase its military presence in Kuwait with 13,500 troops, according to a congressional report.

U.S. tells Pak new Afghan-U.S.-India forum 'not aimed against it'
A trilateral forum, which brings the United States and India in a new arrangement with Afghanistan, is not directed against Pakistan, a senior U.S. official has said.

India does not want to get involved militarily in Afghanistan, says defence expert
The news of the Taliban praising India for not bowing to American tactics is being viewed with caution by experts.

U.S. defense chief calls Egypt's military leader for continued political transition
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday called Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, leader of Egypt's ruling military council, to urge for a continued political transition in the country.

McCain slams Obama administration for antagonising Pak with 'in your face attitude'
Leading American Senator John McCain has reportedly slammed the Obama administration for damaging the relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

Pak FM says governments doing 'terrible job' in tackling militancy in Afghanistan
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has accused governments of doing a "terrible job" at working together to tackle militancy in Afghanistan as she called for a more unified approach.

Pak, U.S. working on sorting out 'issues': Foreign Office
The Pakistan Foreign Office has admitted that an unconditional apology for the Salala attack and drone strikes were bigger issues than the price for reopening of NATO supplies in resetting Pakistan's relations with the United States.

Panetta calls for setting conditions for Pak aid
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the U.S. should examine setting conditions for aid to Pakistan but not cutting it off, as he disclosed that Islamabad's closure of supply routes to the Afghan war costs American taxpayers millions of dollars a month.

Pak NATO routes closure costing U.S. 100 mln dollars extra a month: Leon Panetta
The U.S. is spending an extra 100 million dollars a month to transfer supplies into Afghanistan because of Pakistan's closure of key transit routes into the war zone, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said.

No unauthorized info leaked to Bin Laden filmmakers: Panetta
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that no unauthorized information was offered to filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Fresh Pak-U.S. 'reconciliation' talks end in abject failure
Crucial talks between Pakistan and the United States have led to no significant progress, with the negotiators stuck on the issue of an apology by the U.S. over last year's November NATO air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

'Pakistan has own 'well thought out' anti-terror strategy'
Pakistan has sent out a crystal clear message to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that it is following a well thought out strategy to eradicate the menace of extremism and terrorism and will follow its own timeline, regarding "safe havens" in Pakistan.

Zardari attributes Panetta's scathing anti-Pak comments to election year politics in U.S.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, while playing down the recent harsh comments by the U.S. Defense Secretary, has said the same were made due to "political reasons".

US deals with entire Pakistan government, including military leadership: Clinton
The United States engages with the entire Pakistan government, including both civilian and military leadership, in its wide-ranging relationship with the country, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Intensified CIA operations in Pak 'taking serious toll' on Al-Qaeda: Panetta
The stepped-up pace of CIA operations in Pakistan "is taking a serious toll" on terrorist group Al-Qaeda's operational abilities, the spy agency's director, Leon Panetta, has stated.

CIA finds security lapse led to Afghan suicide attack that killed 7 agents
A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer was reportedly warned that the Jordanian double-agent who blew himself up at a remote US base in eastern Afghanistan in January, killing seven officers of the agency, might have been working for al-Qaeda, but he failed to pass on the information to his bosses.

US says Egypt has agreed to 'end crackdown on rights groups'
The United States has said that Egypt has agreed to halt raids on the offices of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Iran vows to hunt down more US spy planes 'violating airspace'
A senior Iranian military official has warned that Tehran would hunt down more US surveillance drones if America continues to 'violate its air space'.

Taliban contests US claims of winning war in Afghanistan
The Taliban has dismissed US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's claim that the US is winning the 10-year war in Afghanistan, saying international forces have "not achieved even one percent success". aliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Panetta's two-day trip was aimed at boosting the morale of American troops, but it was the insurgent fighters who were in fact gaining strength.

Pakistan communicating again with US-led coalition: NATO
A top NATO commander in Afghanistan has said there are signs of Pakistan taking steps to gradually lift its communications blackout imposed on the US-led coalition following the recent NATO attack that killed Pakistani 24 troops.

US to continue drone campaign along Iran-Afghan border despite 'setback'
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the stealth drone campaign along the Iran-Afghanistan border will definitely continue despite the loss of a valuable surveillance drone to Tehran.

Panetta to meet Karzai today to reaffirm America's commitment to Afghanistan
US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta is to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai today after arriving in Kabul to reaffirm America's commitment to Afghanistan.

Stable US-Pak ties crucial for Afghanistan's future: Panetta
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has expressed confidence that Washington can improve its strained relationship with Pakistan as it is very crucial for winning the ten-years-old war in Afghanistan.

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