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Leon Panetta
  • Tucker Carlson Is Very Confused About Women in Combat

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Obama administration will lift the ban on women serving in combat units, finally allowing the law to confirm to the long-standing reality that women have been operating on the front lines of America's endless wars. Panetta's decision will make women eligible for another 238,000 jobs in the military and open up a whole flood of stupid from the likes of Tucker Carlson.

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    Tags: Department of Defense, Leon Panetta, Military, Tucker Carlson, Twitter, Women's Rights
  • From the Pork Barrel: Leader of the Choom Gang

    * According to a soon-to-be-released book, teenaged Barry Obama spent his free time smoking pot amongst other activities. Just kidding. There were no other activities.

    * Hey, who's that white guy next to Obama? Must be William Ayers!

    * Here's an interesting new strategy: "Please, Please, Please Call Me a Racist™" Good luck with that.

    * Has the DNC actually discovered a rare electable Arizona Democrat?

    * Don't forget to download our Election Companion App for iPhone and iPad and follow along as we liveblog Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on this Sunday's This Week on ABC.

    Tags: Arizona, Democrats, Department of Defense, Drugs, Hawaii, Leon Panetta, Marijuana, Pork Barrel, Racism, Richard Carmona, Senate, William Ayers
  • Defense Secretary Really Sorry About Costing Fed $800,000 on Airfare

    As former CIA Director and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has learned, working at the Pentagon during two unpopular wars can be really emotionally taxing. So it's important to go home for some R & R every now then.

    Even if those trips cost the government a million dollars

    Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Monday that he regrets that his frequent flights home to California on a military jet have cost taxpayers more than $800,000 since July. He gave no indication, however, that he would end the weekend commutes…

    Under government rules established by President George W. Bush, the defense secretary is required to fly on military aircraft, which are outfitted with secure communication links to the White House and Pentagon…

    The AP calculated that the expense of operating Panetta's military aircraft — usually an Air Force C-37A — totaled about $860,000 for those trips.

    It's OK, though, because Leon Panetta feels so bad about costing the government a million dollars for his fancy military flights. He's so sorry, in fact, he's going to keep doing it for the foreseeable future.

    Come on. Look at that little face. He's so sad. (Or just old?) He's crying big crocodile tears. Well, with a million dollars, they're more like designer crocodile-skin tears.

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: CIA, Department of Defense, Leon Panetta, Money
  • At Least Barack Obama's Stop Offline Piracy Act Is Working

    A Navy SEALLast night as Barack Obama stepped into the House chambers to deliver the State of the Union, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta standing in the crowd and said, "Leon, good job tonight, good job tonight."

    What could the president have possibly meant by this bit of coded Saul Alinskyite communication?

    U.S. special forces swooped into Somalia on Wednesday and rescued an American and a Dane after a shootout with pirates holding them hostage, in a rare raid into the Horn of Africa nation to free foreign captives. The aid workers, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagen Thisted, were kidnapped from the town of Galkayo in the semi-autonomous Galmudug region in October while working for the Danish De-mining Group (DDG).

    "This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement.

    Man, why does the president keep apologizing for America? If we keep on apologizing at this rate, we're going to need to open more munitions plants, instead of the tire factories that we were promised last night.

    There's also an important lesson here for foreign travelers. When going to a dangerous region, do yourself a favor and bring along an American. Preferably, a white, photogenic, female American, but almost anyone with a U.S. passport will do in a pinch. If you get in trouble, Navy SEALs will come and apologize for your ass the way they have for 50 years — with helicopters and assault rifles.

    Photo by John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Leon Panetta, Pirates, Somalia
  • Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy Takes Effect

    If you woke up this morning and the air smelled a little gayer, but also a touch safer, it wasn't thanks to the Broadway show tunes that lulled you to sleep last night. More likely, it was because as of 12:01 this morning, the policy known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell was formally consigned to the dustbin of irrationally prejudiced history.

    Turns out the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward fabulousness

    The 18-year-old "don't ask, don’t tell" policy officially ended at midnight and with it the discharges that removed more than 13,000 men and women from the military under the old ban on openly gay troops. To mark the historic change, gay rights groups are planning celebrations across the country while Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will usher in the new era at a Pentagon news conference.

    The other side will be heard, too: Elaine Donnelly, a longtime opponent of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, has already said that "as of Tuesday the commander in chief will own the San Francisco military he has created." Two top Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee — the chairman, Representative Howard P. McKeon of California, and Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina — have asked the Pentagon to delay the new policy, saying commanders in the field are not ready. But the Pentagon has moved on.

    I have so many questions about this "San Francisco military" and the "Rainbow Warriors" who may now serve openly.  Will feather boas become mandatory accessories to the Army Combat Uniform? Will the score to La Cage aux Folles replace morning reveille? Will nefarious San Francisco values displace the martial virtues that keep us safe? A letter sent by top commanders to U.S. Army soldiers provides some guidance…

    For over 236 years, the U.S. Army has been an extraordinary force for good in the world. Our Soldiers are the most agile, adaptable and capable warriors in history — and we are ready for this change…

    Accordingly, we expect all personnel to follow our Values by implementing the repeal fully, fairly and in accordance with policy guidance. It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect, while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks. Doing so, will help the U.S. Army remain the Strength of the Nation.

    Sounds like business as usual. Except now, when gay soldiers do the difficult work of defending Congressmen McKeon and Wilson's rights to be petty and bigoted brats, they can do so while being true to themselves. Progress.

    Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: DADT, Elaine Donnelly, Howard McKeon, Joe Wilson, Leon Panetta, LGBT, Mike Mullen, Military