April 28th, 2012
01:41 AM ET

Panetta: 'No kind of silver bullet' to destroy al Qaeda

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said there is no question that the United States is safer with Osama bin Laden, the architect of al Qaeda, dead, though he said there is no way to completely destroy the network.

Panetta's assessment came just days before the one-year anniversary of the U.S. commando raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that ended a manhunt for the al Qaeda founder that began following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"Having been involved in operations even before bin Laden, it was clear that there is no kind of silver bullet here to suddenly be able to destroy al Qaeda and that includes going after bin Laden," Panetta told reporters Friday after a meeting with defense counterparts in South America.

"The way this works is that the more successful we are in taking down those that represent their spiritual and ideological leadership, the greater our ability to weaken their threat to this country."

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security last week warned of the possibility of terrorist attacks leading up to and after the anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of bin Laden. There is no specific, credible terror threat, the agencies said.

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  1. drap

    There may be no silver bullet for Al Qaeda...But I never get tired of the thought that Bin Laden is de@d... .!

    April 28, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Detached Duty

    Ops! I thought I should add that the name I chose does not signify anything beyond the fact that I was feeling detached from the situation (thanks to our Armed Forces for that) and felt that I could view the situation with a bit more objectivity than someone in the thick of it.
    I am not affiliated with any government office, dept, or other agency, including the DOD, CIA, NSA, or anything like that. The closest I could come to anything like that would be the fact that I have an uncle who does not speak to me who does training or used to on some base several hundred miles away.
    So my opinion does not in any way, shape, or form represent the opinion of any employee of the U.S.Government, any government at all for that matter, and if someone still wants to make a big deal out of my username they can go take a flying leap somewhere. I felt it was my duty as a U.S. Citizen to propose a viable option for our common defense worldwide for all people who would like to live their lives without a bunch of crazies having freedom of movement and access to anything sharp. Well, you get the picture I hope. Those extremists should not be allowed to mingle with the general population of any area on Earth. (just had to preach it again there.)

    April 28, 2012 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Thomas

    Nicely put, and its really too bad you dont work for one of those government divisions. Sounds like you might be an asset!

    April 28, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Glenn Speck

    Makes perfect scence... .

    April 28, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. big tobacco says

    Still feels strange to have a department of homeland security. Even the S.S reports to the head of the department of homeland security. Back in the fear of commie days, didn't Russia have a department of motherland? Then Russia spent 10 years in Afghanistan and Chernobyl happened. Don't hear to much about the motherland anymore. With all the oil Russia has it is easier to keep the elite in power without all the noise.
    In fact, corporations spend a lot of money when casting about for a name of a new subsidiary or spin off.
    The point is, the name was ill thought out. We finally had the guts to do away with the color code thing. Is there any chance of getting a new name for this massive government appendage?

    April 28, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. noworries

    Sure there is...its called annihilation...that's why we don't win wars...we don't have the kahonas to use it

    April 28, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. This CNN story LIES

    THis report states that the manhunt for OBL began after 9/11. Lie. Osama Bin Laden made the FBI's most-wanted list in 1998, the actual year of the manhunt beginning. The FBI, nor any US judge for that matter, EVER officially wanted OBL for anything related to 9/11. Most just assume they did, erroneously, based on old-west style 'Wanted: OBL Dead' posters that began circulating after Federal Judges refused to charge OBL for 9/11 based on there being zero evidence he was involved, other than a videoshopped video of an "OBL" claiming he did it, as if we believe suspected terrorists before we actully arrest and question them.
    Interestingly, almost half of all American adults now smell something fishy 9/11, up from about 1% 10 yrs. ago. At the current rate, sometime within the next 10 yrs. or so virtually everyone will be curious.

    April 28, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. RUFFNUTT ( beer drinking , turkey hunting , trailer trash from belton missouri )

    if we could infect al Qaeda members with the werewolf virus...a silver bullet might work..

    April 28, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Your logic is made of good old fashion back-bone, country-hick smoking ... trailer trash RUFFIE ! 😉 Guess that's why I feel a *kinship* with you. he he 🙂

      April 28, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    @big tobacco...The true purpose of this massive government appendage will become more apparent to you in the near future.
    Right after 9/11,the largest increase in Congressional prison funding in US history financed the construction of some 160 DHS Homeland Security Prisons, with the first one being built in Tacoma, WA, said to be for housing the thousands of terrorists that were sure to be arrested. Who were all those prisons really built for?

    April 28, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    I'd like to play connect the dots today.
    Taking this statement from the article
    "The way this works is that the more successful we are in taking down those that represent their spiritual and ideological leadership, the greater our ability to weaken their threat to this country."
    Question: How could a Government make American citizens *want* to give up their "spiritual and ideological freedoms?"
    They (Governments of the world) have to CREATE a seemingly REAL THREAT. Hence ( not in your imagination) but in REALITY ... an invasion of flying Saucers. Remember, the WHOLE WORLD has to be in a PERCEIVED state of THREAT.
    Or *Global Threat
    Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, TERRORISTS, etc.
    Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights Because of *fear of enemies* and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    April 28, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    I knew my stuff would get deleted! Keep your dirty old hands off my words Cnn!

    April 28, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. How to spot fascists

    Fascists, and particulary 'corporate fascists' give clues before the dominateyou. Here begins a short-list of them, based on the behaviors of fascist regimes throughout history:
    1.) Massive prison building programs begin not long after a national emergency is declared.
    a.) You may recall history's account of the massive Fatherland Security Prison system building program that began in Germany right after terrorists burned-down The Reichstag.[German Parliment Bldgs] Adolph Hitlers campaign platform was "I will make Germany strong and go-get those terrorists that torched the 'Stag. Look! I have a plan to build many prisons for the terrorists! My opponents think I had something to do with the Reichstag fire! Conspiracy theorists all! Look! I am America's TIME Magazines 'Man of the Year'! They even nominated me for the Nobel Peace Prize! Obviously then, Adolph is your kinda guy.
    b.) your comment

    April 28, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. How to spot fascists (cont)

    2.) Along with massive prison construction programs began when crime rates were relatively flat, deep cuts in the funding of education and the arts are made.a.) your comment

    April 28, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Avg. ignorant college grad

    Education funding wasn't cut. My government backed my student loan and now I'm looking for a job with 36K student loan debt hanging over the mortage on my parents house, or possibly over the taxpayer if President Obama released me from my contractual obligations.No doubt this is how my first employer will deal with me, if I find a job. The unemployment rate among recent college grads is 50%. Try facing THAT you 8.9%ers.

    April 28, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. 10 ways you can spot a fascist on the way

    True, education funding was actually increased slightly by the Bush/Congress, roughly 3.5%, a decrease if you consider inflation and student loan debt interests, penalties, and that good old-fashioned 'monkey on your back' feeling when you find yourself as an FOX studio office boy running errands, all the while still owing 20K for that fancy liberal arts degree hanging on your wall.

    April 28, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
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