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October 27, 2011

Leon Panetta’s expensive New Year’s toast, thanks to Osama bin Laden

The oldest bottle in his friend’s restaurant? an 1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Years ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made a bet with a restaurateur around his CIA-led mission to find Osama Bin Laden: If Panetta’s team caught Bin Laden, Ted Balestreri would open up a bottle of wine that predates the first automobile. Now that time’s come. With Bin Laden dead, Balestreri will uncork that 141-year-old bottle around New Year’s Eve. Did we mention the bottle costs between $10,000 and $15,000? Careful to walk a line, though, one of Panetta’s spokespeople notes that this gesture isn’t meant to celebrate Bin Laden’s death. “Secretary Panetta has had New Year’s Eve gatherings with toasts with friends for years and this year there will be a special toast,” noted Douglas Wilson, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. source

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22:51 // 2 years ago
July 9, 2011
We’re within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda and I’m hoping to be able to focus on that, working obviously with my prior agency as well.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta • Claiming that we’re close to taking down al-Qaeda for good — which, let’s face it, is a pretty bold thing to say going into a job like Defense Secretary. “Now is the moment following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them,” he continued, “Because I do believe that if we continue this effort that we can really cripple al Qaeda as a threat to (the United States).” Do you think he’s right? Or is it simply a symbolic victory at this point? source (viafollow)
10:34 // 2 years ago