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John O. Brennan

Political Figure / C.I.A. Director

Born: 22 September 1955
Birthplace: North Bergen, New Jersey
Best known as:

 

The director of the C.I.A. since 2013

Name at birth: James Owen Brennan

John O. Brennan was appointed to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the United States Senate on 8 March 2013. Brennan is a career C.I.A. man.  The story is that he applied for a job with the C.I.A. after seeing a classified ad while on his way to class at New York's Fordham University. He earned a degree at Fordham in 1977, then went to the University of Texas for a graduate degree in government and Middle East studies, finishing in 1980. With the C.I.A., Brennan rose to be the Saudi Arabia station chief, and during the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he served C.I.A. director George Tenet as chief of staff and then deputy executive director (1999-2005).  Out of the agency for a few years as a consultant in the private sector, Brennan was picked by President Obama to be the C.I.A. director in 2008, but it didn't work out. His connection to the Bush policies of torture and prisoner detention was a political obstacle that led Brennan to withdraw himself for consideration. Instead, he advised President Obama on counterterrorism until January of 2013, when Obama nominated him again to be C.I.A. director. Although he came under fire during his Senate confirmation for his significant role in drone warfare, Brennan was eventually confirmed by a vote of 63-34.

Extra credit:

 

John O. Brennan speaks Arabic… Brennan took his oath of office on an original copy of The Constitution, rather than the traditional bible.

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