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NYT finds John Brennan's confirmation hearing answers 'frequently unsatisfying


John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director, isn't receiving the same degree of support that the New York Times gave Chuck Hagel.

After Hagel's defense secretary confirmation hearing, which was rough by almost all accounts, NYT said "he should be confirmed by the full Senate."

Following Brennan's hearing yesterday, the paper's editorial board wasn't so impressed:

Unfortunately, on Thursday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee didn’t always ask the right questions and the nominee’s answers were frequently unsatisfying.

Take Mr. Brennan’s refusal to describe the waterboarding of terrorism suspects as torture. Under questioning, he said the practice, instituted by President George W. Bush, was reprehensible. He promised that, if confirmed, waterboarding would never been reinstituted on his watch. It was incomprehensible that he did not acknowledge the obvious truth — as Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and a former C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, had — that waterboarding is purely and simply torture.

It was disheartening to hear him say that as a deputy in the agency during the Bush administration, when waterboarding and other brutal interrogation methods were approved, he was aware of the activities and voiced his objections to some of his colleagues but did nothing more to stop it because he did not have any oversight responsibility.

That said, the publication still says "the Senate should confirm him."

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