For more than 40 years, Leon Panetta has split his life on two coasts: his home in California and his work in Washington, D.C. It's a career that included 16 years in Congress, stints as White House chief of staff for President Clinton, and as the head of the CIA and the Pentagon under President Obama.
As Panetta prepares to leave his job as defense secretary, he sat down with Rachel Martin, host of Weekend Edition Sunday, to talk about his years in Washington and serving in the Obama administration.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat, a congressional source tells NPR's Tom Bowman. The move opens up thousands of front-line positions.
Panetta is expected to announce the decision along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.
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Algerian Islamists attacked an oil and gas field at dawn this morning in the desert on the border with Libya. They claim to have taken nearly 200 people hostage. In addition to Algerians, they claim to hold seven Americans, as well as French, British and Japanese citizens.
NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris reports the hostage-taking appears to be the first act of retaliation for France's actions in Mali.
Journalist Tom Ricks talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'
"No one should leap to any conclusions" about whether the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan did anything inappropriate when he was communicating with a Tampa socialite, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters today.