Senate Confirms Panetta as CIA Chief
hosted.ap.org — The Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as director of the CIA, placing the nation's top spy agency in the hands of a government veteran valued for his skills as a lawmaker and policy manager rather than an expert at intelligence-gathering and analysis. During two days of confirmation hearings last week, Panetta told senators that the Obama administration would not prosecute CIA officers who participated in harsh interrogations even if they constituted torture as long as they did not go beyond their instructions. However, he would not say whether charges would be sought against those who authorized the treatment. Panetta also said that the Obama administration would continue to transfer foreign detainees to other countries for questioning but only if U.S. officials are confident that the prisoners will not be tortured.