The CIA must close the door on the Cold War and "warn and protect" against new threats to the United States, George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday at his confirmation hearing.

Tenet, nominated by President Clinton to head the CIA and guide the nation's other intelligence organizations, told committee members he would keep them informed and would bar partisan politics in intelligence gathering. The CIA must shift from watching superpower enemies to guarding against threats that can as easily come from criminal groups and terrorists as foreign countries, he said."Ultimately, leadership at this moment means closing the door on the Cold War and embracing the challenges and opportunities of a new era," said Tenet, acting CIA director since John Deutch's departure in December. "You are not hiring me to simply observe and comment. You will be hiring me to warn and protect."

Tenet is the president's second choice to head the CIA after Anthony Lake, former national security adviser. Lake withdrew in March under intense scrutiny.