“We don’t elect people to survive in office,”Panetta said. “We elect them to govern.”
Capt. Swenson served one tour in Iraq and was on his second deployment to Afghanistan when members of the Taliban ambushed his patrol.
Prior to his post as second in command of the DoD, Carter served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from April 2009 until October 2011.
The decision by the Pentagon to enter into the private contract comes after the Fischer House Foundation decided to pay the death gratuities during the government shutdown.
The death gratuity program provides a special tax-free payment of $100,000 to eligible survivors of members of the armed forces, who die in combat.
The envoy will also facilitate the transfer of detainees from the controversial prison.
Secretaries Kerry and Hagel are in Japan to discuss an array of security issues, including North Korea’s missile threats.
“This seriously damages our ability to ensure the safety and security of our citizens,” said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that he is looking into ways to exempting more civilian DoD employees from the mandatory furloughs caused by the federal government shutdown, which took effect at midnight.