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Petraeus assures Senate on CIA role

Gen. David Petraeus said Thursday that if confirmed as CIA director, he would arrive alone at the agency's Langley, Va., headquarters, leaving his Army uniform and extensive military staff behind, as he shifts to the head of the "silent service."

Petraeus assured senators that he will not impose a military hierarchy at the CIA and will encourage a culture of constructive give and take. His comments were aimed at those who feared a replay of what happened under previous directors, both military and civilian, who brought their own staffs and spurned the agency's culture.

"I wanted this job," he told the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying he had discussed it with the Obama administration for months.

Petraeus signaled he would defend the agency work force, saying it was time to move beyond some of the agency's controversial policies and its mistakes after the Sept. 11 attacks. He alluded to the ongoing Justice Department investigation of former and current CIA employees who were linked to deaths of detainees who underwent interrogation.

Petraeus said he would work to hone CIA analysis, as he had sometimes found it too negative and, at times, too positive.

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