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Former CIA Director Leon Panetta (center) is greeted on Capitol Hill on June 9 by Sens. Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn as he arrives to testify before a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing on his nomination. The Senate approved Panetta as defense secretary on Tuesday.

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Panetta approved as Pentagon chief

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the nomination of Leon Panetta to be the next Pentagon chief, handing him a crowded agenda of overseeing the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, tamping down congressional unrest over the Libyan conflict and cutting the budget.

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