Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters on Monday that he's getting at least some of his news on the CIA scandal surrounding disgraced former director David Petraeus the same way you are: by reading the papers.
"You know, I don’t know the answer to that," the Weekly Standard quotes him as saying after being asked about when Petraeus's affair started and if he would be prosecuted. "I guess, I’m reading the papers like you are to determine just what the committees finds out, what the ultimate investigation determines on that issue. We obviously are going to watch this closely to determine just exactly when that took place. But I think right now my view is lets see what the investigation turns up and what the congress, these committees are able to determine just exactly what took place."
Panetta, however, is not a complete outsider to the agency. Many will remember that he preceded Petraeus as the CIA director. And now considering the entanglement of one of his active generals, John Allen, in the scandal, Panetta could be getting more hands on information than he expected.
"With regards to the future, you know, having served there the first 2 years of this administration, I think its really important to continue to have the CIA stay on track doing the job that is absolutely essential to our national security," he added. "They have very important mission focused on intelligence and intelligence operations and I think it’s very important to get someone strong and capable and dedicated to be able to continue that effort. This is a critical time to make sure that with all the threats that we’re dealing with in the world, that we maintain a strong intelligence operation."