« Inconclusive Report Leaves Debate | Main | Integrity test lands two officers in prison »

Confirmation Hearing for CIA leadership focuses on contrasts

Thursday's beginning of the confirmation hearing of Leon Panetta as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency focused on his leadership as it would contrast to the doctrines and practices of the George W. Bush presidency, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported.

President Barack Obama has set out new rules of interrogation, but Panetta said that he would request approval from the administration to use methods outside of the outlined rules, if he believed interrogators were not able to extract information from a suspected terrorist, the Times reported.

Panetta said he believes that the CIA can collect information to protect the country and still abide by the law, the Times reported.

Panetta, a former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton said he believes waterboarding is indeed torture, although he said that government employees who carried out waterboarding upon being informed by the government that it was legal should not be prosecuted, the Journal reported.

Panetta was also asked about his flights on the airplane of an individual under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee and the Internal Revenue Service, the Journal reported.