Panetta Says His Dog, Unlike Petraeus, Proved Soul of Discretion

Photograph by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with his golden retriever dog Bravo, during an interview at the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today suggested his dog Bravo turned out to be a better keeper of secrets than David Petraeus, who resigned in disgrace as CIA director last month after acknowledging a sexual affair.

Panetta appeared surprised when asked at the National Press Club why Petraeus had to resign instead of accepting a lesser punishment.

“In this town, with that kind of e-mail, do you think he could have survived as director of the CIA? I don’t think so,” Panetta said during a luncheon appearance. The Petraeus affair was exposed after the FBI discovered e-mails he wrote to his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he had an extramarital affair.

While Petraeus couldn’t keep the affair secret, Panetta touted the discretion of his own golden retriever, who he said sat in on many of the top-secret meetings that focused on planning the raid that killed terrorist Osama bin Laden last year. Panetta was CIA director when the raid occurred.

The dog “used to come to the office when I was CIA director,” Panetta recalled. “And Bravo sat in on almost all of the meetings involving the operations against bin Laden. And you know, to this day, he hasn’t told a damn soul what happened.”

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