POLITICS

CIA Staff 'Disgusted' By What Happened To Brennan

01/07/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Anyone connected to post-Sept. 11 "enhanced interrogation measures," no matter at arm's length, is apparently disqualified to run Barack Obama 's spy agency.

Hence the immolation of former National Counterterrorism Center chief John Brennan, the president-elect's closest intelligence adviser, as the lead candidate to run the spy agency.

The left-wing hit job on Brennan showed that liberals may have a taste for covert action after all, the spooks chuckle.

"Almost anyone working at the agency since [Sept. 11] is tainted," says retired CIA veteran Milt Bearden, a former Pakistan station chief, expressing the facts of life.

...

Can anybody who could do the job, get the job?

"Beats me," said a well-wired former senior intelligence official. "Brennan's hands were not very dirty at all. He was apparently thrown under the bus because some ill-informed bloggers thought they were [dirty] and the transition folks didn't have the will to explain that they were wrong."

A former national security official and friend of Brennan, who asked not to be identified, is disgusted by what happened.

"Ninety-nine percent of" what the CIA has been doing since Sept. 11 "is not related to torture, but now everybody is tarred with this brush," he said.

Read more on CQ Politics

Suggest a correction