OSS Society Salutes Leon Panetta

The OSS Society’s Gen. William Donovan Awards Dinner was held Oct. 25 at the Ritz-Carlton and gave its highest salute to Leon Panetta, President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, President Barack Obama’s director of the Central Intelligence Agency — and most recently, Secretary of Defense. Panetta was signing copies of his political memoirs, “Worthy Fights,” published last month. The spies and military prom is an annual honoring of Gen. William Donovan, leader of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, and OSS veterans. The OSS was the precursor to the CIA. The dinner is full of toasts, speeches, awards and bold-face names. Sometimes, it holds an eye-raising surprise, such as the year Gen. Petraeus was at the dinner and his erstwhile mistress Paula Broadwell was in the ballroom, too. This year, a student film spoof about Donovan and the OSS displeased Gen. John Singlaub so much that it moved OSS Society President Charles Pinck to issue an apology. Otherwise, the night was alight with tales of men and women, past and present, that made guests proud to be an American.

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