Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at a Friday briefing:
"I've seen extraordinary examples of courage and sacrifice over the past year in the men and women that I've met in the war zones, in the wounded warriors that I've met here at home. They are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect our country. They deserve better than the threat of sequestration." "Too often today, the nation's problems are held hostage to the unwillingness to find consensus and compromise, and in the face of that gridlock, artificial devices like sequester are resorted to in order to somehow force action. But in the absence of action, sequestration could very well threaten the programs critical to our nation's security."
Read more coverage at IVN on the defense budget challenges: