Panetta in Thailand ahead of Obama visit

AP News
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 1:23 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has arrived in Bangkok for talks with senior Thai officials in advance of President Barack Obama's visit this weekend.

Panetta flew Thursday from Perth, Australia, where he was dogged by questions about the Pentagon investigation of Gen. John Allen, the top American commander in Afghanistan.

During the flight, Panetta issued a statement expressing disappointment that the Senate failed to pass new cybersecurity legislation. He said that if the U.S. fails to take new steps to defend against cyber attacks, the consequences could be "devastating."

Panetta is the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Thailand — a U.S. treaty ally — since 2008.