Protesters from CODEPINK, a social justice group opposed to U.S. funded wars, disrupt the start of a Senate Intelligence Committee’s confirmation hearing for John Brennan, the top White House adviser on counterterrorism and nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite) -by U.S. News & World Report
Nominated to head the CIA, John Brennan told a protest-disrupted Senate confirmation hearing that every US drone strike ordered is considered in depth, and that he no longer sure that waterboarding ever garnered “valuable” information.
Mr Brennan declined several times to say whether waterboarding is torture, but he did say it is “something that is reprehensible and should never be done again.”
He also conceded that after years of intelligence work he is uncertain whether the use of the technique in interrogations has yielded valuable information.
In hours of questioning from the Senate Intelligence Committee, Brennan made repeated general pledges to increase the flow of information to members of the panel, but he was less specific when it came to individual cases.
Brennan is a veteran of more than three decades in intelligence work, and is currently serving as Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser in the White House. Any thought he had of becoming CIA director four years ago vanished amid questions about the role he played at the CIA when the Bush administration approved waterboarding and other forms of “enhanced interrogation” of suspected terrorists.
The hearing was interrupted repeatedly – once before it began and then four times before Mr Brennan had completed his preliminary remarks.