Inside Politics: Panetta hints punishment for bin Laden book author

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Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is suggesting that a retired Navy SEAL be punished for writing a book giving an insider’s account of the U.S. raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Asked in a network interview if he thinks the writer should be prosecuted, Mr. Panetta replied, “I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we’re not going to accept this kind of behavior.”

Mr. Panetta was referring to the newly published account of the SEAL raid that led to bin Laden’s killing in May 2011 in Pakistan. The book was written by a retired SEAL under the pseudonym of Mark Owen. He was subsequently identified in media accounts as Matt Bissonnette.

In the interview, broadcast Tuesday on “CBS This Morning,” Mr. Panetta told co-host Norah O’Donnell that if the Defense Department failed to take any action in response to the book, “then everybody else who pledges to ensure that that doesn’t happen is going to get the long signal, that somehow they can do it without any penalty to be paid.”

Asked if the revelations could put future such operations at risk, Mr. Panetta said, “I think when someone who signs an obligation that he will not reveal the secrets of this kind of operation, and then does that and doesn’t abide by the rules, that when he reveals that kind of information, it does indeed jeopardize operations and the lives of others that are involved in those operations.”

OHIO

Biden loves Buckeye State, visiting often

CHILLICOTHE — He buddied up with bikers, posed for countless pictures at a pizza place and downed an ice cream cone at a Dairy Queen.

Joseph R. Biden loves Ohio.

The only question now is whether Ohio loves him — and President Obama.

The vice president toured the state by car over the weekend and said rural southern Ohio reminds him of his hometown of Scranton, Pa. Mr. Biden will be back in Ohio on Wednesday, when he campaigns in Dayton — his third trip to the state in two weeks. Besides formal speeches, Mr. Biden also made informal stops at a diner, ice cream shop and restaurant.

Ohio is a crucial battleground in the race for president. Polls show a tight race in the state, with Mr. Obama narrowly ahead of Republican Mitt Romney.

HOUSE

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