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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 is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times and writes a weekly column for the Op-Ed page on the policy and politics of Southern California. Newton came to the Los Angeles Times in 1989, having previously worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as a clerk at the New York Times, where he served as columnist James Reston's assistant from 1985-86. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the recipient of numerous local and national awards. He was part of the Los Angeles Times' coverage of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and the earthquake of 1994, both of which were awarded Pulitzer Prizes to the staff. Newton also is the author of two critically acclaimed, best-selling biographies, "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made," and "Eisenhower: The White House Years. "



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