Obama’s CIA pick Brennan: Chose a life in the same dirty business, just a different cloth
Obama’s CIA pick chose spycraft over priesthood
John Brennan was headed for the priesthood when, while sitting idly on a bus as a student at Fordham University in the 1970s, he stumbled on a recruiting ad for the CIA. Now, after years of poring through intelligence, trekking with Mideast tribesmen and overseeing some of America’s most controversial and lethal counterterror missions, he’s pursuing a calling with just as much responsibility and arguably a lot more stress as the nation’s top spy.
It’s the second time that Brennan has made a run for the job as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The stern-looking man who nonetheless salted a few wry quips into his brief comments Monday at the White House pulled himself out of consideration in 2008 after being accused of supporting a terrorist interrogation program that critics called a form of torture. Within weeks, however, President Barack Obama ensconced Brennan as his top homeland security and counterterror adviser, giving the veteran intelligence officer a far broader portfolio — and grasp of power — than he would have had at the CIA.
Now, the White House says Brennan has since helped end the harsh programs, and wants to send him back to Langley, Va., where the CIA is headquartered outside Washington. "Leading the agency in which I served for 25 years would be the greatest privilege as well as the greatest responsibility of my professional life," Brennan, 57, said in accepting the nomination. He promised to make the agency’s highly secretive programs as transparent as possible, without risking security, to preserve public trust in spy games.
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