Counterterror Adviser to be Named Chief of C.I.A.

New York Times, By Scott Shane, January 7

President Obama will announce on Monday that John O. Brennan, his counterterrorism adviser and a career Central Intelligence Agency officer, is his choice to head the agency, two months after David H. Petraeus stepped down after admitting an extramarital affair, a spokesman for the National Security Council said.

Mr. Brennan’s nomination will be announced at 1 p.m. along with that of Chuck Hagel, the former maverick Republican senator from Nebraska, whom the president has chosen for secretary of defense, said the spokesman, Thomas Vietor.

In Mr. Obama’s first term, Mr. Brennan, 57, has played a central role in the oversight of Mr. Obama’s use of targeted killing of suspected terrorists using drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. He has become one of the president’s most trusted advisers, and administration officials had said that the C.I.A. job was his for the asking.

The president had considered naming Mr. Brennan to head the C.I.A. when he took office in 2009. But some human rights advocates protested, claiming that as a top agency official under President George W. Bush Mr. Brennan had supported, or at least failed to stop, the use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding that are widely considered to be torture.

Previously: Obama considering John Kerry for job of defense secretary.

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