John Brennan

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CIA Chief: 9/11 '28 Pages' Should Stay in Vault

He says information would cause people to wrongly blame Saudis

(Newser) - Some 28 pages of classified information believed to link Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 attacks are in a guarded vault —and that's where CIA Director John Brennan says they should stay. On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Brennan said the documents contain "a combination of... More »

CIA Chief: I'd Refuse Orders to Waterboard

Even if they come from the president

(Newser) - If Donald Trump wins the presidency, he'll need a new CIA chief. In an interview with NBC News , John Brennan says he would defy presidential orders to waterboard prisoners. "Absolutely," he said. "I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again."... More »

FBI: Hacker Who Targeted CIA Director Is Just 16

'Cracka' reportedly arrested in England

(Newser) - Remember the hacker who broke into CIA Director John Brennan's personal email as well as the accounts of other high-ranking US security officials? Turns out he's just 16—or so police believe. British authorities and the FBI say they arrested alleged hacker "cracka" in England on Tuesday... More »

CIA Chief Blasts 'Hand-Wringing' Over Surveillance

Debate renews over whether government spying is a necessary evil

(Newser) - Civil liberty advocates are worried that a spate of ISIS attacks will bring a renewed push for more-intense government surveillance, and comments by CIA chief John Brennan won't make them feel any better. Following the downing of Flight 9268 , last week's suicide bombings in Beirut , and Friday's... More »

Hacker: I Breached CIA Director's Personal Email

And found official docs there, he says

(Newser) - An anonymous hacker claims to have breached CIA Director John Brennan's personal email account and has posted documents online, including a list of email addresses purportedly from Brennan's contact file. The hacker, who didn't reveal his name or where he lived, spoke to the New York Post... More »

CIA's Brennan: We Got a Lot Right, Made 'Abhorrent' Mistakes

Director offers up defense of torture program as Feinstein fact-checks on Twitter

(Newser) - CIA Director John Brennan offered up a spirited defense of his agency's torture program today, saying that "our nation and, in particular, this agency did a lot of things right during this difficult time to keep this country safe and secured" in the aftermath of 9/11, and that... More »

CIA: Sorry, We Did Snoop on Senate Staffers

Chief John Brennan apologizes for monitoring computers

(Newser) - Back in March, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of illegally snooping on Senate staffers, agency chief John Brennan said this, recalls the Washington Post :
  • “When the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort
... More »

Citing Nat'l Security, CIA to Recall Workers

Furloughed employees crucial to 'core missions' will return

(Newser) - Looks like even more furloughed workers are headed back to the office. This time it's the CIA, which plans to begin calling back thousands of employees today, reports the Washington Post . The agency's director, John Brennan, says the move is a response to "potential adverse cumulative and... More »

Gov't Seized AP Reporters' Phone Records

AP calls it an 'unprecedented intrusion'

(Newser) - The government secretly seized two months of phone records from the Associated Press, according to the AP itself. The Justice Department took records for 20 separate phone lines, including incoming and outgoing calls, the length of each call, and reporters' personal phone numbers. "These records potentially reveal communications with... More »

Brennan's Likely Pick for Top Spy Job Has Torture Ties

CIA's mystery woman highly qualified, tainted

(Newser) - A woman who helped run the CIA's detention and interrogation program after 9/11 and green-lighted the destruction of interrogation videos is in line to become the new chief of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, the Washington Post reports. The woman, who is undercover and thus not named, is... More »

Obama to Irked Dems: Hey, I'm No Dick Cheney

Obama says he would have objected to the policy as a senator, too

(Newser) - If Barack Obama were still a senator, he too would have "probably objected" to the White House's reticence at sharing its legal justifications behind its drone policy, he admitted during a closed-door meeting with the Senate Democratic conference on Tuesday. But Obama sought to defend himself and the... More »

Rand Paul: 'This Debate Isn't Over'

Senator says his filibuster just the start of pressure over drone strategy

(Newser) - Rand Paul recounts his 13-hour filibuster in the Washington Post today, writing that while he didn't set out to speak that long ("I would've worn more comfortable shoes"), he's not going to shut up about US drone strategy now. "This debate isn’t over,... More »

Senate Confirms Brennan for CIA

Rand Paul's filibuster delayed it but didn't derail it

(Newser) - John Brennan has won Senate confirmation to head the CIA after a late struggle that had more to do with presidential power to order drone strikes than with the nominee's credentials to lead the spy agency. The vote this afternoon was 63-34. Brennan will replace Mike Morrell, the acting... More »

Rand Paul Shows Senate How It's Done

Kentucky senator used filibuster for principle, not partisanship

(Newser) - Rand Paul's old-fashioned talking filibuster may not derail John Brennan's nomination, but pundits are almost universally praising the Kentucky senator's moxie. Here's what people are saying:
  • "It became clear as the Kentucky Republican talked (and talked) that he was creating a major moment for a
... More »

13 Hours Later, Rand Paul's Filibuster Ends

He ended it with a joke

(Newser) - Rand Paul made it nearly 13 hours: The Republican senator/Tea Party favorite ended his old-style filibuster shortly after midnight today, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would continue to oppose confirmation of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director. Paul's performance, which centered on questions about... More »

Rand Paul Staging Old-School Filibuster

Senator holds up vote on CIA nominee over drone strategy

(Newser) - It's possible the Senate will get a chance to confirm John Brennan as the next CIA chief tomorrow—unless Rand Paul's voice holds out. The Kentucky Republican began a genuine filibuster about 11:45am today, reports USA Today . That is, he's not taking advantage of the modern... More »

Dems, GOP Duke It Out Over Sequester

Everybody hates it, but no solid ideas how to avoid it

(Newser) - With five days to go before a little thing called the sequester kicks in, there are a lot of fingers being pointed at and from both sides of the aisle. A look around the Sunday talk show dial, as per Politico :
  • Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine : "We laid a plan
... More »

Graham: I'll Block Brennan, Hagel Over Benghazi

Wants White House to 'fess up on what happened

(Newser) - Lindsey Graham says he's ready to block the confirmations of both Chuck Hagel and John Brennan if President Obama isn't a little more forthcoming with what he knows about the Benghazi consulate attack. "No confirmation without information," he said today, adding that the confirmations shouldn't... More »

Cheney: Obama Cabinet Picks 'Second Rate'

That means you, Kerry, Brennan, Hagel

(Newser) - One guy not real thrilled with President Obama's second-term Cabinet picks? Dick Cheney. And the onetime veep isn't exactly being shy about it, telling a group of Wyoming Republicans last night that the president's choices for his national security team were "dismal," and that "... More »

CIA Drone Strikes Are Just Educated Guesses

Dexter Filkins: Information used to select targets 'nowhere near adequate'

(Newser) - The recent drone headlines , along with the testimony of CIA nominee John Brennan, prompt Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker to reiterate a key point about drone strikes he learned first-hand from reporting overseas: The CIA can never be positive about the targets it strikes. "Our ignorance is not... More »

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