John Brennan

Obama nominates mastermind of controversial drone strike programme as next CIA director

by TOBY HARNDEN, Daily Mail  |  published on January 8, 2013

President Obama today nominated the man who masterminded the expansion of the hugely controversial drone programme as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

John Brennan, 57, the current head of counter-terrorism, has also provoked ire on the Left because of his connection during the Bush administration, when he was a senior CIA officer, to ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ such as water-boarding, which many regard as torture.

Despite past controversies, the president today praised him as one of the nation’s most skilled and respected intelligence professionals while announcing his nomination.

‘In John Brennan, the men and women of the CIA will have the leadership of one of our nation’s most skilled and respected intelligence professionals,’ Obama said at the White House.

Alluding to the drone strike programme, Obama said: ‘Think about the results. More al-Qaeda leaders and commanders have been removed from the battlefield than at any time since 9/11.’

He added: ‘John is legendary even in the White House for working hard,” Obama said. “He is one of the hardest working public servants I have ever seen.’

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