September 11th, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Panetta suggests bin Laden book author could be penalized

A former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about his personal account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden could be penalized for not first seeking military approval of its contents before publication, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.
"I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we're not going to accept this kind of behavior," Panetta told CBS' "This Morning" program, which broadcast the interview on Tuesday.
"If we don't, then everybody else who pledges to ensure that that doesn't happen is going to get the wrong signal that somehow they can do it without any penalty," Panetta said.
Newly published "No Easy Day" was written by Matt Bissonnette under the pseudonym Mark Owen. The book was not pre-approved by the Pentagon.

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Filed under: Leon Panetta • Osama bin Laden
December 13th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

Panetta optimistic about Afghanistan

This year "will mark a turning point" in Afghanistan and other regions, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday.

In Afghanistan, "our troops have been able to obviously reduce the levels of violence there. We've seen the lowest levels of violence there in almost five years there now. They are successful in securing some of the key areas in Afghanistan," Panetta told reporters during a flight on his overseas trip.

He's visiting Djibouti, Iraq, Turkey and Libya, as well as Afghanistan, where war still rages. He'll meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, and Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

"Obviously, there is greater success in the Afghan military and police. The Afghan military is engaging in operations," Panetta said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq • Leon Panetta • Libya • Politics • Turkey • U.S.
November 10th, 2011
03:27 PM ET

Panetta calls for review of handling of troops' remains

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has called for an independent review looking into the handling of remains at the Air Force mortuary affairs operations at Dover Air Force Base.

Panetta's call comes after U.S. Air Force investigators found, according to the Office of Special Counsel, "serious misconduct" in the handling of remains of the nation's war dead at Dover.

A Pentagon official said this week that among the findings were several instances in which portions of remains from troops killed in action were lost or unaccounted for.

Panetta's move also comes after the Washington Post reported that the ashes of cremated body parts from some of the war dead were dumped in landfills until 2008, unbeknownst to their survivors.

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Filed under: Leon Panetta • Military