Washington: John Brennan, who President Barack Obama is poised to pick to lead the CIA after the fall of David Petraeus, is an agency veteran who spent the last four years devising White House counterterrorism strategy.
Brennan, a 25-year Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) veteran, is an Arabic-speaking Middle East expert who once said when asked about his work ethic: “I don’t do down time.”
Brennan may have lost out on the top spot at the CIA in 2009 over his support for the use of certain “enhanced interrogation techniques” under the administration of George W. Bush, an issue sure to co-me up at his confirmation hearing.
His appointment as deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counter-terrorism in 2009 did not require Senate confirmation and thus sidestepped congressional scrutiny.
Trained as a spy, Brennan rose quickly as a counter-terrorism analyst and manager in the Near East and South Asia branch of the agency’s intelligence directorate.
By 1995, he was executive assistant to George Tenet, the agency’s de-puty director at the time who later became the agency’s longest-serving director. Brennan also had moved on to become a CIA Middle East station chief in 1996.