The United States is prepared to chart a new course on foreign policy, Vice President Joe Biden said today at the swearing in of new CIA Director Leon Panetta -- a man he said has "the experience, the independence and the judgment to lead this agency," and to help it depart dramatically from the legacy of the last eight years.
"[President Obama] issued an executive order to reverse the policies that -- in my view and the view of many in this agency -- caused America to fall short of its founding principles, and which gave al Qaeda a powerful recruiting tool," Vice President Biden said before administering the oath. "As a result of these orders, we will close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. We will have a single standard across the government for interrogation in armed conflict. And we'll ensure the Red Cross access to all those who are detained in armed conflict."
He called on the new Director to "harness the energy and idealism and capacity of a whole new generation of intelligence professionals" -- and to those agency employees assembled at the event, he expressed gratitude and admiration.