Sunday, Apr 26, 2015Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

CIA nominee had detailed knowledge of 'enhanced interrogation techniques'

Published on Jan 30, 2013 2:12 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Mr John Brennan, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency (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 Mr Brennan was a regular recipient of CIA message traffic about controversial aspects of the agency's counter-terrorism programme after September 2001, including the use of "waterboarding".

How deeply involved Mr Brennan was in the programme, and whether he vigorously objected to it at the time, as he has said he did, are likely to be central questions lawmakers raise at his Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, scheduled for Feb 7.

After Mr Brennan temporarily left government service in 2005, he publicly disavowed waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, and other physically painful techniques that are often described as torture.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!