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Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’

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A liberal feel-good policy that will backfire the first time a female soldier/soldiers is captured, raped or killed.

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said on Wednesday.

The groundbreaking decision overturns a 1994 Pentagon rule that restricts women from artillery, armor, infantry and other such combat roles, even though in reality women have found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, where more than 20,000 have served. As of last year, more than 800 women had been wounded in the two wars and more than 130 had died.

Defense officials offered few details about Mr. Panetta’s decision but described it as the beginning of a process to allow the branches of the military to put it into effect. Defense officials said Mr. Panetta had made the decision on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Women have long chafed under the combat restrictions and have increasingly pressured the Pentagon to catch up with the reality on the battlefield. The move comes as Mr. Panetta is about to step down from his post and would leave him with a substantial legacy after only 18 months in the job.

Mr. Panetta’s decision came after he received a Jan. 9 letter from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who stated in strong terms that the armed service chiefs all agreed that “the time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.”

But there was a note of caution. “To implement these initiatives successfully and without sacrificing our war fighting capability or the trust of the American people, we will need time to get it right,” General Dempsey wrote.

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This administration just can not admit al-Qaeda was involved because it goes against Obama’s false narrative that al-Qaeda is on it’s heels.

The Associated Press reports, via Fox News:

The Pentagon on Tuesday stopped short of saying Al Qaeda North Africa affiliate is definitely to blame for the deadly Algeria terrorist attack, but it said there is good reason to believe the group had a leading role.

“When it comes to terrorist attacks of this sort in North Africa, AQIM has to be at the top of the list of suspects, I’ll put it that way,” said Pentagon press secretary George Little, referring to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The White House said the Obama administration is working with the Algerian government to learn more about what happened and did not echo concerns expressed by the British defense minister over the Algerian government’s collaboration.

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that the blame for this lies with the terrorists,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Little told reporters there are “strong indications that AQIM, “had a hand” in the assault on an Algerian natural gas plant that left dozens of hostages and militants dead, but he would not be more specific.

“AQIM does what terrorist groups do — they plan and carry out attacks. I’ll leave it at that,” he said.

The State Department has said three U.S. citizens were killed in last week’s hostage standoff, while seven Americans made it out safely.

The State Department has not definitively declared that AQIM was responsible for the attack, but it has suggested the group played a leading role. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has blamed the broader Al Qaeda network.

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Cough…war on women!

Maybe they should demand free birth control to draw more attention to their lawsuit (see Sandra Fluke).

From The Hill:

Four women are suing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, alleging that the Pentagon’s policy excluding women from combat roles is unconstitutional, according to a report in Stars and Stripes.

The lawsuit charges that the policy, which keeps women from serving in combat, limits their careers in the U.S. armed forces.

All four women have been deployed to Afghanistan, and two have been awarded Purple Hearts. One of them, Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar of the California Air National Guard, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after her helicopter was shot down in 2009.

“The ability to serve has very little to do with gender,” Hegar said, in the lawsuit. “It has everything to do with heart, character, ability, determination and dedication. This policy is a disservice to those women who put their lives on the line for their country.”

The plaintiffs, two of whom are Marines, also allege that a related policy that requires Female Engagement Team members to return to a forward operating base every 45 days to withhold them from missions further endangers their lives.

“To accommodate the policy, the women were forced to travel to and from the base on dangerous roads, and they were often taken out of crucial missions, sometimes for a week’s time,” says the suit.

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Jump to 10:17

From Daily Caller:

On Tuesday night’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that major news networks might have secret emails proving that the White House canceled plans to assist the besieged U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Gingrich said that the bombshell emails could be revealed within the next two days.

“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich said. “But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action. If that is true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that is true and comes out, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, and Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And that is, I think, very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”

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The cover-up continues.

From WFB:

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is demanding answers from four senior United States military officers about whether there was advance warning of terrorist threats and the need for greater security prior to last month’s terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

However, an aide to the chairman, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, (R., Calif.), said the office of secretary of defense Leon Panetta blocked the senior officers from providing the answers last night.

“The chairman is disappointed that the administration won’t respond to this basic request for information,” the aide said.

“It is nearly unprecedented that the office of the secretary of defense would prohibit a member of the uniformed military from answering direct questions posed by the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.”

Pentagon spokesman George Little told the Free Beacon: “We received the letters last night and are working expeditiously to provide a response.”

The chairman’s letters are dated Thursday. They were sent to Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, which is responsible for military activities in Africa; Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command; Vice Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, director for operations at the Pentagon’s Joint Staff; and Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

McKeon asked the officers to provide answers to questions about security threats by the close of business Friday.

The questions reveal that there may be information within the military revealing warnings about terrorist threats and the need to increase security that were ignored by the State Department or other civilians within the Obama administration.

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Once again, Romney says something about Obama’s weakness on foreign policy and Obama goes out of his way to show his “toughness.” Where are the howls from left-wingers who would scream bloody murder had this been a Bush action?

BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to bolster that country’s military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria,Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.

Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. The troops are also building a headquarters for themselves.

But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.

It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria’s borders and become a regional conflict.

“We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what’s happening in Syria,” Panetta said.

The development comes with the U.S. presidential election less than a month away, and at a time when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has been criticizing President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, accusing the administration of embracing too passive a stance in the convulsive Mideast region.

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Lies, lies and more lie. The story continues to change and the Obama regime continues to lie. Obama says one thing then another when giving his UN speech. They have called it everything from spontaneous to a mob action. They call it a terrorist act then Obama blames a video for the planned attack. They claimed they had no idea about security threats, then removed a memo from the State Department website. The cover-up is being done to hide the facts from the voters.

Looks like Obama shot first and aimed later.

From ABCNews:

Even before Defense Secretary Leon Panetta contradicted the initial story about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, today, Obama administration officials told ABC News they were concerned after the White House began pushing the line that the attack was spontaneous and not the work of terrorists.

Events were too uncertain, and suspicions had been aroused, officials said.

Panetta today said that the attack that killed four Americans on the anniversary of 9/11 was not only carried out by terrorists — it was pre-meditated.

“As we determined the details of what took place there and how that attack took place,” Panetta told reporters, “it became clear that there were terrorists who had planned that attack.”

The White House first suggested the attack was spontaneous — the result of an anti-Muslim video that incited mobs throughout the region.

“Let’s be clear, these protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on September 14.

When ABC News pressed Carney on whether that included the Benghazi attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American men were killed, Carney said, “we certainly don’t know. We don’t know otherwise. We have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack.”

On THIS WEEK on September 16, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said, “our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated. We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons… And it then evolved from there.”

White House officials acknowledge that assessments have changed over time as intelligence has been confirmed, but they insist that no information was given in bad faith and there was no attempt to downplay the attack.

But sources told ABC News that intelligence officials on the ground immediately suspected the attack was not tied to the movie at all. The attackers knew where to get Ambassador Stevens after he’d fled to a so-called safe house half a mile away. That building was hit with insurgent mortars — suggesting the terrorists knew what they were doing.

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Obama and his goons are doing all they can to circumvent the US Constitution, and Congress, to act like dictators. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta just informed Congress that Team Obama will seek “international permission” should they decide to enforce a no-fly zone against Syria. The U.S. Constitution says a President has to seek advice from Congress and receive its authority to put our military into harms way. It is truly unbelievable to watch an administration blatantly violate the U.S. Constitution.

Obama used the U.N. to bomb Libya. He “informed” Congress sending them a letter while in Chile telling them he was already lobbing cruise missiles into Libya. Then he violated the same War Powers Act he quoted as his reasoning for circumventing Congress to bomb Libya. Now they are openly telling Congress and Americans that they will ignore the Constitution and use international permission when attacking another country. This is what they will do if they get the military involved with Syria.

The silence from those who ranted about Bush, who sought Congressional approval, is deafening.

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