CNN Graphic Demotes Panetta to 'Former Aide'; Net Lets Bill Burton Smear Him

October 8th, 2014 3:26 PM

On Tuesday afternoon, a graphic at CNN described Former Obama administration Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as a "former aide."

Tuesday evening Eastern Time, the network, in video seen after the jump, also let long-time Obama loyalist Bill Burton smear Panetta as "sad," "dishonorable," and "small and petty." Burton also came within inches of accusing Panetta of betraying his country because we are now "at a time of a lot of instabilities around the world." It appears not to have dawned on Burton that President Obama's policies have at a minimum created the power vacuums which have caused those "instabilities" to arise.

First, here's that graphic:


Now to the video of what Bill Burton said (HT the Weekly Standard):

Transcript (bolds are mine):

On Secretary Panetta he is a guy who has had a long and storied career in Washington and has really served his country well. And it is kind of sad that in its twilight he's done such a dishonorable thing by -- at a time -- by going after the president that he served at a time of a lot of different instabilities around the world.

I think it's — if you ask the question, "Do you think that Leon Panetta's book helps or harms our interest, or help or harm the credibility of this administration as the President is conducting the job of foreign policy and keeping our nation safe?" It's hard to say, hard to say yes.

On the substance, this president has shown his leadership time and again. He's made some tough calls. He's advanced our interests in very real ways. He got Osama bin Laden. He got our troops out of Afghanistan. He has moved this country in the right direction. And to attack his leadership I think is small and petty."

For the record, U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan — and unlike in Iraq, the plan is to leave a residual force there.

"Credibility"? The guy the administration clearly sent out to smear Panetta isn't even a current member of the administration. Apparently no one in the White House had the guts to go on TV to say what Burton said.

Cross-posted at