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Panetta: Obama Damaged U.S. Credibility

Wow. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is on a tear. Not only is he blaming President Obama for botching Iraq by pulling out all our troops, but in a new interview the Katie Couric of Yahoo News, he charges that Obama squandered “the most important thing” he possesses: the credibility of the United States.

I can tell you that this is particularly damning because Panetta, who is promoting his memoir, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, is regarded in on both sides of the aisle Washington as a relentlessly straight shooter, efficient operator, and smart guy. He is one of the most respected men in town, which is why Bill Clinton made him his chief of staff when his White House was in turmoil in 1994 and Obama made him CIA director and then Pentagon chief.

Panetta told Couric:

The president of the United States in the commander in chief. The most important thing the president has is the credibility of our word. That carries an awful lot . . .

When he drew the red line in Syria . . . then, I think, the credibility of the United States is on the line. So once they used chemical weapons and 1400 people – men women and children – died as a result of using chemical weapons, then it was important for us to stand by our word and go in and do what a commander in chief should do.

Not doing that . . . sent a mixed message, not only to Assad, not only to the Syrians, but to the world. And that is something you do not want to establish in the world, an issue with regards to the credibility of the United States to stand by what we say we’re going to do.

In a separate interview on CNN, Panetta said Obama “never really came to a decision” about whether to arm the Syrian rebels:

I think it basically sat there for a while and and the got to the point where everybody just kind of assumed it was not going to happen.

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26 Responses to Panetta: Obama Damaged U.S. Credibility

  1. The “red line” is where he thinks MrO went wrong? Oh, brother, no wonder he is held in high esteem by both sides; he is/was an enabler of the worst of President’s worse actions.
    While most of us think MrO went off the rails back in 2009 with his apology tour that must surely have given our enemies lots to ponder, MrPanetta is stuck on a verbal gaffe, a bravado dare that only added to MrO’s lack of leadership, and Presidential gravitas.

    Making accusations of failed policy, of inept leadership long after one leaves the arena might sell books to some, but won’t make the US safer in this world.

    • This is being done for Hillary Clinton. They’re afraid that she won’t make it because Obama is such a dud and a danger. So, Panetta and Clintons are trying to trick us. You’ll see — when Hillary runs, Panetta will support her 100%, even though she is responsible for the murder of our Ambassador and the three other men in Benghazi. What Panetta is saying about Obama is so true but this is about political schemes and trickery for the American public so that they can get Hillary Clinjton in and she’s a liar so many times over and refused to help the Ambassador when he begged and begged and begged for help and then lied again in front of the Ambasador’s coffin and coffins that it was a video that caused everything. If she wins, well, it will be the final straw for America, no more Republic, just a third-world commie nation. Thats what Clinton wants too just like Obama. Panetta and the Clintons — evil schemers for the election of Hillary Clinton. Now how does Obama like being thrown under the bus for a change? l

  2. Everything Panetta says is true, but his motive for revealing all of this NOW is questionable. I say Hillary Clinton has Leon Panetta out there attacking Obama on foreign policy while she is sending her husband around the country attacking Obama on the economy. If Obama was so bad–and I agree that he was and is–why didn’t Panetta and Clinton speak up when it was so important to do? Why didn’t they speak up or else resign?

    Sorry, Keith, I don’t buy both sides of the aisle viewing Panetta as a “relentless straight shooter, efficient operator and smart guy . . . one of the most respected men in town”. He is a great political operator, not a great American. Of course, we often read that Wall Street and other establishment Republicans will settle for Hillary Clinton.

      • I don’t agree, either, with both sides of the aisle viewing Panetta that way. Back in the Clinton days, he was a relentless partisan hack – the Republicans, justifiably so, did not like him one bit. For me, the intervening years have not changed anything in that regard, even though he’s made an effort to mask it.

      • Someone as Panetta and Hilla., If these two would have come out with the truth, while they were in office, would they get in trouble? That would have been two people who were hero’s if they came out back than. To much has happened, that unless they were threatened by law, or life they should have spoke up.
        Panetta possibly kept all this under his breath, so he could finish his book. That in itself is selfish. I can’t even begin to guess why Hilla. kept her mouth shut, unless she was at fault as well regarding Benghazi. If Panetta would explain why he waited so long, I may pay a little more attention to what he is saying at this point. Hilla., I have heard enough.

  3. I was thinking about this. By virtue of service Panetta is an experienced guy. But this — this is shoddy. He should have done the right thing — spoken up and out after resigning. This is all about pimping the book and pimping Hillary and it has damaged him greatly in my eyes.

    He’s just another WDC grifter — just more credentialed and higher up.

  4. Another Leon, Leon Russell, famously sang ‘up on a tight rope, one side’s fire and one is ice.’ . . . ‘it’s a circus world for you and me.’ And we, the audience, are supposed to succumb to the illusory magic circus of politics and politely applaud at every opportunity. Always follow the money because this Leon just wants to sell books and line his personal coffers. Notice his squirmy body language and rocking and bending forward like he was ready to cough up a fur ball.

  5. Panetta was absolutely glowing a few days when he answered a reporter’s question and said “Hillary would make a GREAT president”~
    That remark alone would keep me from purchasing his book.

    • Not surprising he would say that. The ’90s wasn’t that long ago…he hasn’t changed at all since then in regard to his lockstep support of anything Bill and/or Hillary.