By Michael Morella |
President Barack Obama Monday nominated John Brennan as director of the CIA. Brennan has served as Obama's adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security since 2009, and is a 25-year veteran of the intelligence agency.
Obama selected Brennan to replace former Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned from the job in November due to an extramarital affair. The president said Brennan has been key to the United States's counterterrorism strategy, and his long history and knowledge of the agency make him the ideal choice for the position as the country winds down two wars and continues to face terrorism threats from abroad. In addition to his familiarity with the CIA and how the agency operates, Brennan's already established relationship with the president will facilitate collaboration between intelligence operations and the White House.
The president considered Brennan for the post back in 2008, but the idea did not go anywhere after human rights groups raised concerns about his involvement with the Bush administration's torture program. He eventually withdrew his name from consideration at that time, and human rights groups have again said they will oppose his nomination as director. They say his defense of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program disregards international law prohibiting torture, and his connection to questionable intelligence tactics should disqualify him from the job.
Stephen Soldz Professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
Heather Hurlburt Executive Director of the National Security Network