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Friday
Jun242011

Senate Questions CIA Nominee Gen. David Petraeus

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- At his confirmation hearing Thursday to become the new CIA director, Gen. David Petraeus told Senate lawmakers that his current role in Afghanistan will have no bearing on how he'll assess the war as chief of the nation's top spy agency.

Petraeus, who commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said, "I have sought to provide the most accurate view possible.  My goal has always been to ‘speak truth to power’ and I will strive to do that as director of the CIA."

The four-star general also told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he has no plans to bring "my military brain trust with me."

Petraeus already has close ties with the CIA when he organized so-called "fusion cells" with the agency to strike at al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Once he's installed as CIA chief to replace Leon Panetta, the new defense secretary, Petraeus pledged to continue a "relentless" pursuit of al Qaeda operatives.

On another issue, Petraeus acknowledged that President Obama's decision to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer may be "more aggressive" than what he preferred but admitted that the president had more considerations beyond military plans.

“The fact is, there has never been a military commander in history who has had all the forces that he would like to have, for all the time, with all the money, all the authorities, and nowadays all the bandwidth as well,” Petraeus said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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