[Congressional Record: February 12, 2009 (Senate)]
[Page S2253-S2254]

                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  Mr. BEGICH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to executive session to consider Calendar No. 17, the 
nomination of Leon Panetta to be Director of the CIA; that the 
nomination be confirmed and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the 
table; that no further motions be in order; that any statements 
relating to the nomination be printed in the Record; that the President 
be immediately notified of the Senate's action; and the Senate return 
to legislative session.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The nomination considered and confirmed is as follows:

                      central intelligence agency

       Leon E. Panetta, of California, to be Director of the 
     Central Intelligence Agency.

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today as chairman of the Select 
Committee on Intelligence on the Senate's confirmation of Leon Panetta 
to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
  Mr. Panetta is well-known to many of us for his long, distinguished 
record of public service, including eight terms in Congress and service 
as a presidential chief of staff.
  Mr. Panetta knows well the inner workings of government at the 
highest levels. He has an impeccable reputation for integrity, and I am 
confident that he is the right man at the right time to lead the CIA.
  Leon Panetta is a product of my home State, California, born in 
Monterey. His parents, Carmelo and Carmelina, ran a local cafe and 
later purchased a walnut ranch, which he still owns. He majored in 
political science at Santa Clara University, where he graduated magna 
cum laude in 1960.
  In 1963, he received his JD from Santa Clara University as well. 
After law school, he served in the United States Army from 1964 to 
1966, and attended the Army Intelligence School.
  In 1966, Mr. Panetta joined the Washington, DC, staff of Republican 
Senator Thomas Kuchel of California.
  In 1969, he served as Director of the Office of Civil Rights in the 
Office of

[[Page S2254]]

Health, Education and Welfare in the Nixon Administration.
  From 1970 to 1971, he worked as the executive assistant to New York 
City Mayor John Lindsay. Afterward, he returned to Monterey, to private 
law practice.
  In 1976, he ran and won election to the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and he served in the House for 16 years. During that 
time, he also served as chairman of the Budget Committee.
  In 1993, he joined the Clinton administration as head of the Office 
of Management and Budget. In July 1994, Mr. Panetta became President 
Clinton's chief of staff.
  He served in that capacity until January 1997, when he returned to 
California to found and lead the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for 
Public Policy at California State University Monterey Bay.
  Mr. Panetta and his wife, Sylvia, have three sons and five 
  It is very fair and safe for me to say that he has a reputation for 
intelligence and integrity.
  In speaking with Mr. Panetta and President Obama multiple times, I am 
convinced that Mr. Panetta will surround himself with career 
professionals, including Deputy Director Stephen Kappes. He has 
committed to keeping the senior leadership of the CIA in place, but at 
the same time has vowed to bring new policies and new leadership to the 
  I know Mr. Panetta has immersed himself in CIA matters since being 
nominated, and his top priority, if confirmed, will be to conduct a 
complete review of all the Agency's activities.
  Moreover, I strongly believe that the CIA needs a Director who will 
take the reins of the Agency and provide the supervision and oversight 
so that this agency, which operates in a clandestine world of its own, 
must have.
  President Obama has made clear that his selection of Leon Panetta was 
intended as a clean break from the past--a break from secret detentions 
and coercive interrogations; a break from outsourcing its work to a 
small army of contractors; and a break from analysis that was not only 
wrong, but the product of bad practice that helped lead our Nation to 
  President Obama said when announcing this nomination that this will 
be a CIA Director ``who has my complete trust and substantial clout.''
  This is a hugely important but difficult post. The CIA is the largest 
civilian intelligence agency with the most disparate of missions.
  It produces the most strategic analysis of the intelligence agencies 
and it is the center for human intelligence collection. It is unique in 
that it carries out covert action programs, implementing policy through 
intelligence channels. The Intelligence Committee held confirmation 
hearings on Mr. Panetta's nomination on February 5 and 6.
  Our responsibility was clear: to make sure that Leon Panetta will be 
a Director who makes the CIA effective in what it does--but also to 
make sure that it operates in a professional manner that reflects the 
true values of this country.
  The committee did its work. It questioned Mr. Panetta on a broad 
array of issues he will confront as Director of the CIA, and it 
submitted followup questions, all of which were answered.
  These questions, and Mr. Panetta's answers, can be found at the 
Intelligence Committee Web site.
  I urge all Members of the Senate, as well as the public, to review 
them in order to obtain a better understanding of his views about the 
office to which he has been nominated.
  I am pleased to report that yesterday the Intelligence Committee 
voted unanimously to report favorably the nomination of Leon Panetta to 
be the Director of the CIA. He has the confidence of the committee, and 
we believe we will be able to work closely with him during his tenure.
  Leon Panetta will mark a new beginning for the CIA as its next 
  He has the integrity, the drive and the judgment to ensure that the 
CIA fulfills its mission of producing information critical to our 
national security, without sacrificing our national values.


[Congressional Record: February 12, 2009 (Senate)]
[Page S2256]


  Executive nomination confirmed by the Senate, Thursday, February 12, 

                      central intelligence agency



[Congressional Record: February 13, 2009 (Senate)]
[Page S2316]                       

                          PANETTA CONFIRMATION

  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I support the confirmation of Leon 
Panetta to be Director of the CIA. His integrity and independence, his 
managerial skills, his broad experience in both the executive and 
legislative branches, and his testimony during his confirmation hearing 
suggest he is exactly the kind of CIA Director our country needs right 
  First, his statements, in his meeting with me and at his confirmation 
hearing, provide assurances that he will put CIA activities squarely 
within the law and refocus the brave and dedicated professionals of the 
Agency on what they do best, and on what we need them for the most. Not 
only did he express his commitment to ending an illegal and ineffective 
interrogation and detention program, but he clearly indicated that the 
CIA would not conduct extraordinary renditions to secret detentions. 
Congressman Panetta also committed to ending the Bush administration's 
practice of using ``Gang of Eight'' briefings to evade its legal 
responsibility to brief the full congressional intelligence committees, 
thereby thwarting oversight. And he assured me that the CIA would 
cooperate with the Department of Justice as the Department reviews 
interrogation, detention, rendition and other matters that raise legal 
questions. These statements, along with his previous condemnations of 
torture and of warrantless surveillance of Americans, suggest a 
personal commitment to the law and to our Constitution that will be 
needed as the CIA faces the challenges ahead.
  I have long been concerned that intelligence resources have not been 
sufficiently allocated toward long-term and emerging threats in places 
like Africa, and was pleased that Congressman Panetta testified that he 
shares these concerns. More importantly, he has committed to conducting 
a review of CIA operations and resources in light of these concerns and 
to working closely with the committee in the course of that review. 
Finally, he testified that he agrees with the goal of developing 
strategies that integrate clandestine collection with the information 
obtained openly by our government, particularly through diplomatic 
collection. Last year, the Senate Intelligence Committee passed 
legislation creating an independent Commission to make-recommendations 
on how to achieve this integration and Congressman Panetta has 
committed to working with me on that legislation. These commitments 
give me confidence that Congressman Panetta will work to refocus the 
CIA on its central mission of protecting our national security.