CIA's Panetta Goes to the Dogs

The spy chief took his licks at a ceremony for the Security Protective Service.

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By Alex Kingsbury, Washington Whispers

At CIA headquarters last week, spy chief Leon Panetta was presiding over a quiet ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Security Protective Service, the agency's police force, when things went, er, to the dogs. "For our agency, you form the first line of defense," the director told the assembled crowd in remarks that were shaping up as pro forma, says one intelligence insider. Panetta then paid tribute to the elite SPS K-9 corps, calling its dogged efforts at tasks like bomb detection"indispensable." (The pooches are so skilled that they're often called into special service at events like the Super Bowl.) At the end of Panetta's remarks, Bob, a chocolate Labrador retriever, trotted forward carrying on his collar a special commemorative badge for the director. As Panetta leaned over to give Bob a pat, the dog unexpectedly jumped up and slathered the boss with a big kiss. Panetta, the proud owner of an Irish setter, chuckled in good humor.

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