After spending 16 years in congress, along with stints as director of the Office of Management and Budget, White House Chief of Staff, CIA Director, and – most recently – Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta says it has been “a hell of a ride, as they say, for the son of Italian immigrants.”
An Army official said this week there was not enough evidence to proceed with a rape prosecution against the man who killed two Santa Cruz police officers, fueling the debate over how the military investigates sex crimes.
Sen. Barbara Boxer questioned Wednesday whether the military erred when it dropped rape charges and discharged a soldier who later shot and killed two police detectives in Santa Cruz.
A lawyer for four servicewomen who sued the U.S. Department of Defense for the right to have combat duty said in San Francisco Thursday that she and her clients are “thrilled” that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the lifting of the combat ban.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has commuted on military aircraft to his home in the Monterey area more than two dozen times since he took over in July, paying about $630 per trip for a roundtrip flight that costs the Pentagon about $32,000.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense spoke at the Naval Postgraduate School and said he hopes the operation in Libya will end soon.
Friday’s move to end the military’s 18-year-old ban on openly gay troops will help remove a tremendous burden from gay and lesbian members of the armed forces.
News of his decision comes two weeks after top military leaders agreed that repealing the 17-year-old ban will not hurt military readiness.