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Leon Panetta's first career, beginning as an army intelligence officer and including 16 years in the House of Representatives, lasted thirty-five years and culminated in his role as Clinton's budget czar and White House chief of staff. He then "retired" to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife of fifty years, Sylvia; to serve on the Iraq Study Group; and to protect his beloved California coastline. But in 2009, he accepted what many said was a thankless task: returning to public office as the director of the CIA, taking it from a state of turmoil after the Bush-era torture debates and moving it back to the vital center of America's war against Al Qaeda, including the campaign that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. And then, in the wake of bin Laden's death, Panetta became the U.

About the Author

Jim Newton

Jim Newton, a longtime editor reporter, editor, columnist, bureau chief and editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, now teaches at UCLA and edits Blueprint magazine. He is the author of two critically acclaimed biographies and collaborator with Leon Panetta on the former CIA director and Secretary of Defense's memoir. His forthcoming biography of Jerry Brown, "Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown," will be released on May 12, 2020.

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