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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:50 PM

Obama pays tribute to Leon Panetta at the Pentagon chief’s farewell ceremony

Source: Washington Post

President Obama paid tribute Friday to outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, hailing him for presiding over victories against terrorists and the expansion of opportunity in the U.S. armed forces.

In a speech at Fort Myer, Va., for the “Armed Forces Farewell Tribute” to Panetta, the president called the Pentagon chief “a man who hasn’t simply lived up to the American dream but has helped to protect it for all of us.”

He told Panetta, who served as CIA director before taking the helm at the Pentagon, “Your leadership of the CIA will forever be remembered for the b lows that we struck against al-Qaeda” and for “delivering justice to Osama bin Laden.”

Obama added: “Because we believe in opportunity for all Americans, the tenure of Secretary Panetta” as defense chief “will be remembered for historic progress in welcoming more of our fellow citizens to military service.” He referred to the 2011 repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that barred openly gay people from serving in the military, and to the lifting last month of a ban on women in combat positions.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-pays-tribute-to-leon-panetta-at-the-pentagon-chiefs-farewell/2013/02/08/9f37b396-721f-11e2-ac36-3d8d9dcaa2e2_singlePage.html

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