Barack Obama's former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, says the president has a "responsibility" to act in Syria.
“The president of the United States, as commander in chief, has the responsibility to protect our vital national security interests. There’s no question that the credibility and the leadership of the United States in a troubled world is extremely important to our national security,” Panetta tell NBC, according to Politico. “Having drawn a clear red line that Syria should not use chemical weapons, same kind of red line that we’ve drawn on Iran, with regards to the use of nuclear weapons, it is absolutely important to our national security interest that we back up that word and take action when that line has been violated.”
Panetta adds, “I think we have a responsibility as a result of that to take action. I recognize that the American people are exhausted by war, we all are. But at the same time we continue to have a responsibility to exercise leadership in the world. ... It would be nice if the U.N. acted. It would be nice if our allies acted. It would be nice of others were willing to take that action. But when that line has been drawn and action needs to be taken, then the U.S. ultimately has to do that for the sake of the world and for the sake of world peace.”
Washington D.C. is big on tradition, and one of those traditions involves official portraits of top government officials. The Defense Department just awarded a $31,200 contract (frame included) to Portraits, Inc. for an official portrait of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:
America’s military presence in the Persian Gulf serves as deterrence to Iran, reassures our increasingly nervous Arab partners, maintains peace, offers stability to our ally Israel, and has many other benefits.
The White House left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith on their own on September 11 in Benghazi. That is the upshot of today’s Capitol Hill hearing featuring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
Neither the secretary of defense nor the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to the secretary of state during the 8-hour attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. At a Thursday hearing in the Senate, Republican Ted Cruz asked both Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey, "In between 9:42 p.m., Benghazi time, when the first attacks started, and 5:15 am, when Mr. Doherty and Mr. Woods lost their lives, what converations did either of you have with Secretary Clinton?"
"We did not have any conversations with Secretary Clinton," Panetta responded.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted in a Senate hearing Thursday that no military assets, individual soldiers or aircraft, sent in response to the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Watch the video below:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:
Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o'clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, "up to us."
Two officials from the Obama administration are on the hot seat today on Capitol Hill: John Brennan, who is the president'a chief counterterrorism advisor and who has been nominated to lead the CIA, and Leon Panetta, the retiring defense secretary. For Brennan, the issue is whether he should be confirmed to be the next CIA director; while Panetta will be on Capitol Hill to answer questions about the September 11 terror attack in Benghazi that led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The U.S. military announced today that instead of keeping mulitple aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, only one would be kept there. The reason offered? Uncertainty surrounding budget cuts.
"The secretary of defense has delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and the USS Gettysburg (CG-64), which were scheduled to depart Norfolk, Va., later this week for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility," says the Pentagon in a press release announcing the big move.
For over two decades, I have been arguing against the idea of placing American women in combat or in support positions associated with direct ground combat. I base my position on three factors. First, there are substantial physical differences between men and women that place the latter at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to ground combat. Second, men treat women differently than they treat other men.
President Obama has released a statement supporting Secretary of Defense Panetta's decision on women in combat units! "Today, by moving to open more military positions—including ground combat units—to women, our armed forces have taken another historic step toward harnessing the talents and skills of all our citizens." Indeed, the president is confident this decision "will strengthen our military, enhance our readiness, and be another step toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals of fairness and equality."
On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the U.S. military would lift its long-standing ban on women in combat. The national media, as can be expected, is popping the champagne corks in celebration.