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John Brennan, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the CIA, had detailed, contemporaneous knowledge of the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" on captured terrorism suspects during an earlier stint as a top spy agency official, according to multiple sources familiar with official records.
Those records, the sources said, show that Brennan was a regular recipient of CIA message traffic about controversial aspects of the agency's counter-terrorism program after September 2001, including the use of "waterboarding."
I have many questions and concerns about his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, especially what role he played in the so-called enhanced interrogation programs while serving at the CIA during the last administration," Senator John McCain, who was tortured during captivity in North Vietnam, said recently
If there is an emerging Obama doctrine to deal with the threat from al Qaeda and its allies, it is clearly a rejection of the use of conventional military forces and a growing reliance instead on the use of drones and U.S. Special Operations Forces -- and Brennan has been central to Obama's policy.
In an April 30 speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, Brennan laid out the rationale for the drone policy in more detail than any administration official had done publicly hitherto. He asserted that the drone strikes are legal both under the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress after the September 11 attacks and because, "There is nothing in international law that bans the use of remotely piloted aircraft for this purpose or that prohibits us from using lethal force against our enemies outside of an active battlefield, at least when the country involved consents or is unable or unwilling to take action against the threat."