The CIA last month named a woman to head its clandestine service for the first time in the agency’s history — but she may not get the job permanently.
The veteran officer, who works undercover and cannot be named, enjoys broad support within the agency, The Washington Post
reports. She was named on an acting basis after her predecessor retired last month.
But the officer helped run the CIA’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and backed the 2005 decision to destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to treatment that critics have called torture, The Post reports.
Her ties to those efforts have led new CIA chief John Brennan to carefully consider whether to name her to the job permanently as he seeks to move the agency away from those controversies, The Post reports.
In his own confirmation hearing, Brennan himself endured harsh congressional questioning on water-boarding and other tough interrogation techniques used when he was a top CIA official.
But on this decision, Brennan has assembled three former CIA officials to evaluate the candidates for the clandestine service job.
“The director of the clandestine service has never been picked that way,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official told The Post.
The move has aroused speculation that Brennan may be seeking political cover for a decision that could be complicated by the re-emergence of the interrogation issue and the acting chief’s role in it, The Post reports.
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