John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, got his start in espionage by responding to a newspaper ad.
"There was an ad in The New York Times and it said the CIA was looking for a few good people," Brennan, 57, told the Bergen Record newspaper
The New Jersey native developed a desire for public service after graduating from two Catholic institutions — Fordham University in New York and the former St. Joseph’s High School in West New York.
Brennan’s travels overseas while at Fordham to Asia and the Middle East "got the wanderlust in me" — and he talked to a CIA recruiter, he told the Record.
The Record’s interview took place when President Barack Obama had named Brennan as deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism.
His first job was at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Brennan has since spent 25 years serving as a spy overseas, as well as an intelligence analyst and executive in the United States.
He has served as station chief in Saudi Arabia, intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton, and top deputy to CIA Director George Tenet in the George W. Bush White House, the Record reports.
Brennan now is Obama’s top terrorism adviser — and he is central to the president’s strategy of using drones and U.S. Special Operations Forces in battling al-Qaida and other terrorism targets.
Recent drone strikes have killed top Taliban and al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan and Yemen, CNN reports.
"There is nothing in international law that bans the use of remotely piloted aircraft for this purpose or that prohibits us from using lethal force against our enemies outside of an active battlefield, at least when the country involved consents or is unable or unwilling to take action against the threat,” Brennan said in an April 30 speech in Washington, CNN reports.
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