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If You Want a Friend in Washington...

If you worked at CIA Headquarters during Leon Panetta’s tenure as Director, you almost certainly saw or heard stories about Bravo, Panetta’s loyal Golden Retriever. Bravo came to work with the Director every day and could often be spotted during his walks around the compound. Bravo was such an integral part of Panetta’s life that he was immortalized, along with his owner, in Panetta’s official portrait in the Directors’ Gallery (as well his Secretary of Defense portrait in the Pentagon). Bravo died earlier this month.

As the CIA Director’s dog, Bravo was privy to many secret conversations, including the planning of the 2011 raid on Usama bin Ladin’s compound in Pakistan. 

Staffers described him as a level-headed fixture in the meetings. Bravo was a confidant and loyal companion to the Director, a source of calm amidst the struggles of leadership and a nation at war.

On Panetta’s last day as CIA Director, Bravo reportedly refused to get in the car and had to be cajoled into leaving. His memory will live on in the portrait in CIA Headquarters, and in the officers who had the pleasure of meeting him.


Posted: Dec 22, 2015 12:16 PM
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2015 12:26 PM