Central Intelligence Agency Director-designee Leon Panetta on Thursday pledged to Congress to reverse Bush administration-era CIA policies such as waterboarding, extraditions of prisoners and scattershot consultation with Congress.

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Panetta said he wanted to improve relations between the agency and the Senate. The former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton said the Bush era left "frayed relations" between executive and legislative officials.

"I want to put that era behind us," Panetta said.

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To that end, Panetta pledged to committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that he would consult with the committee more often, and fully respond to requests for appearances or information.

A former California congressman, Panetta called himself "a creature of Congress."

Panetta also flatly agreed with committee Democrats that he would ban the uses of waterboarding, and illegal extraditions of prisoners to other countries. Under questioning from Feinstein, he also said he would reverse the agency's increased reliance on using outside contractors.

Panetta made clear, however, that he did not believe CIA agents should be prosecuted for past deeds, saying that they acted according to legal advice that they had been given that harsh interrogation methods were legal.

- J. Taylor Rushing