U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has sworn in Leon Panetta as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Panetta, a former chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton, has no direct experience in intelligence, unlike many of his predecessors.  Instead, he is known for his executive and organizational skills.

Biden called Panetta a person of exceptional capacity and capability who will lead the intelligence community during a time of great challenge.

Before swearing him in, the vice president told Panetta - "We expect you to tell us the facts as you know them, not what you think we expect to hear."

Senators confirmed Panetta last week.  During confirmation hearings, Panetta answered lawmakers' questions on Guantanamo detainees, harsh interrogation practices and the policies of the Bush administration.

Panetta said the United States will continue to send foreign detainees to other countries for questioning, but that he would seek assurances they will not be mistreated.

Critics alleged that under the Bush administration, prisoners were deliberately sent to places where they would be tortured, outside the confines of the U.S. judicial system.  Bush administration officials had said the United States does not conduct or condone torture.