Correction: Former Top Spy story
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In a story March 14 about former CIA Director John Brennan’s speech at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, The Associated Press misidentified the subject of Brennan’s comment in the fifth paragraph as Mike Pompeo. He was speaking about Gina Haspel.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Ex-CIA chief: Trump’s CIA pick needs ‘appropriate scrutiny’
A former top intelligence official says U.S. Senators should give “appropriate scrutiny” to President Donald Trump’s nomine to run the CIA for her role in the agency’s waterboarding of terror suspects
By MICHELLE L. PRICE
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. senators should give “appropriate scrutiny” to President Donald Trump’s nomine to run the CIA for her role in the agency’s waterboarding of terror suspects, the agency’s former director said Wednesday.
Former CIA Director John Brennan said in a speech at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City that the Senate intelligence committee that will vet nominee Gina Haspel should be fair but ensure Haspel did not inappropriately overstep her authority in the interrogation program.
Haspel, who is now deputy CIA director, oversaw a secret CIA prison in Thailand from 2003 to 2005 where top terror suspects were waterboarded. She later helped carry out an order to destroy waterboarding videos.
Trump nominated Haspel on Tuesday after firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to take Tillerson’s job.
Brennan, who served as CIA director under President Barack Obama, said in the speech in Salt Lake City that Haspel is a respected leader and exactly the type of nonpartisan officer who should lead the CIA.
“The CIA, the intelligence community, needs to be led by independent-minded individuals who are not going to take a loyalty oath to the president,” Brennan said.
He also described Haspel as a role model for women in the CIA, which he described as a “bastion of white male dominance.”
Brennan did not offer details about Haspel’s role in the agency’s interrogation program.
He said generally that the CIA should never have used certain interrogation techniques like waterboarding.
Some CIA officers who abused their authority were dismissed, Brennan said, but a number of officers who were trying to carry out their responsibilities and protect the country are now being tarnished because of their involvement.
Brennan, who joined the CIA in 1980, became the agency’s director in 2013 and served until January 2017.