From NBC's Joel Seidman
Vice President Joe Biden presided at a ceremonial swearing-in for the new CIA director, Leon Panetta, at the intelligence agency's headquarters in Langley, VA, where he was cheered by employees.
Biden said as one of the agency's "leading customers" that he demanded the "unvarnished truth." He said that the CIA must "look around corners" and "imagine the unimaginable."
And the vice president underscored that a hallmark of this administration's foreign policy and diplomacy would be engagement, which he characterized as "active and aggressive."
In his remarks, Panetta said he wanted the agency to re-establish a working relationship with Capitol Hill. And he vowed, "We have to be honest."
Panetta also said that he was grateful that Deputy Director Steve Kappes was staying on in that role.
The new CIA director said that integrity and respecting law were the main missions of the agency. He said that the primary goal on his watch would be to provide leadership -- too often, he said, "we have governed largely by crisis."
Last week, Panetta issued a memo to CIA employees promising to "speak honestly" to his colleagues, coworkers, constituents, and the president.
The note pays tribute to his employees, saying their work is "a calling for the dedicated, those who find reward not in public acclaim, but in silent duty."
"The CIA is called to do great things for our country -- advance its interests, promote its values, oppose its enemies, and aid its allies. I look forward to working with all of you to make our mission America's hope for a better and safer tomorrow."