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.



In an interview aired on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose lectured former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on criticizing President Obama in a new memoir: "There are those who say, you know, he appointed you to two of the highest positions that this country has to offer, just wait until he's out of office before criticizing."

Panetta pushed back: "Do you know what? It's exactly because I am very loyal to this president and because I want him to succeed that I think it's important to raise these issues now....And besides that, I don't think you put a hold on history. I think the American people are entitled to understand history and what's involved in the policy decisions that this country makes..."



Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta should have at least waited until after the 2014 midterms to publish his memoirs, seeing as they contain sharp criticisms of President Obama, Hardball host Chris Matthews argued on his October 7 program, lamenting Panetta's lack of "loyalty" to the administration. "Why's he doing this?!" Matthews whined.



During an interview with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer cited Panetta's criticism of President Obama in a new memoir and made a surprisingly tough observation: "So did the President put the vital interests of the United States on a lower priority than fulfilling a campaign promise to end the war and pull out all troops?"

Panetta tried to soften the accusation: "No, you know, I wouldn't say that about the President. I think he really did want to try to do what was right. But his feeling was if [former Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki doesn't want it, you know, why should we keep pushing on this?...But the fact was, unless we had that presence there, we would lose the leverage on Maliki to keep him in the right place."



On her Thursday Fox News show, Megyn Kelly interviewed the State Department's Jen Psaki.

Psaki's thankless and impossible task was to defend the administration against former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's assessment that U.S. troops completely left Iraq too early. Video and the damning portions of the transcript follow the jump:



Starting Friday night, CBS began previewing an exclusive 60 Minutes interview with Leon Panetta, which aired on Sunday night, where the former Secretary of Defense said he had advised President Obama to arm the Syrian rebels as early as 2012. Despite Panetta’s criticism of President Obama’s strategy to combat ISIS, ABC and NBC have ignored the story altogether despite having multiple opportunities since the preview for the interview first aired on Friday’s CBS Evening News w/ Scott Pelley



Hard to believe, but Rachel Maddow once engaged in something resembling journalism in response to the attack in Benghazi.

It came on her MSNBC show only two days after the jihadist onslaught that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans last September, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Maddow described how security in Benghazi had deteriorated for months-- while she inadvertently damned the Obama administration for not providing adequate protection as conditions worsened.



On today’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough repeated the fib that our country is currently operating without a secretary of defense. After playing a clip of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) explaining the Republican ill will toward nominee Chuck Hagel, Scarborough unleashed his venom:

You know... for the 66,000 troops currently serving in Afghanistan and for the families all across America this morning, I'm sure they're glad to know that we don't have a secretary of defense in place and we're not going to because of a seven-year-old political grudge.



Updated below page break: Politico covers for Reid with an update to their story | Responding to a NewsBusters.org telephone inquiry, a senior Defense Department official reacted to the claim made earlier today by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that at noon today the office of Secretary of Defense would be vacant.

Panetta would remain on the job until such time as his successor was both "confirmed and sworn in," noted the source. This directly contradicts the claim made earlier today on the Senate floor by the Nevada Democrat as he complained about a possible Republican filibuster of the nomination. Reported Politico at 10:35 a.m. EST (emphasis mine):



"You really wonder if Democrats would win any elections if we had an honest media in this country."

So marvelously stated conservative author Ann Coulter on CNBC's Kudlow Report Thursday (video follows with transcript and commentary):



While the NBC and CBS morning shows on Friday both covered troubling Thursday testimony from outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that revealed President Obama's lack of engagement during the Benghazi terrorist attack, ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story. In addition, none of the networks mentioned the testimony on their Thursday evening newscasts.

Friday's CBS This Morning provided the most coverage, with a full report by correspondent Nancy Cordes, who explained: "Panetta revealed that he briefed the President at the start of the attack, but the two men did not speak again that night....Republicans say it's a sign that the President was disengaged the night of the attack. Panetta said his aides and the President's were in touch, but he said as well that he did not speak to Secretary Clinton the night of the attack either."



Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer made a scary statement Tuesday.

Appearing on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor, Krauthammer said, "China is developing a huge and sophisticated navy which it never had. And it is quite clear what the objective is: to expel the United States from its coastal waters in the Western Pacific where we have been the prevailing power for the last 50 years since the fall of Japan."