It would seem to be a fairly safe assumption to say that if presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wins the election, CIA Director John Brennan will not be continuing in his role in the new administration.
Brennan, who has already expressed his distaste for Trump, doubled down on his opposition to the candidate‘s suggestions that he would bring back interrogation techniques like waterboarding to use against captured terrorists in the fight against radical Islamic jihadism.
According to The Hill, in remarks delivered to the Brookings Institute on Wednesday, Brennan declared, “I’m not going to be the director of CIA that gives that order. I think they’re going to need to find another director.”
Despite the director’s adamant refusal to follow hypothetical orders from the next president relating to the use of waterboarding, he nevertheless defended the effectiveness of the practice when it was used during the Bush administration.
“The agencies’ detention and interrogation program, I believe, was instrumental in keeping this country safe in the aftermath of 9/11,” he said, according to The Hill. “There were individuals that were subjected to these (enhanced interrogation techniques) that subsequent to that provided information that was in fact credible and worthwhile for pursuit.”
It is worth noting that President Barack Obama classified waterboarding as “torture” in a 2009 executive order that was subsequently included into the following year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which bans the U.S. government from using torture on prisoners or detained enemy combatants.
It is also worth noting that the next president could just as easily declassify waterboarding as “torture” simply by revoking Obama’s executive order, effectively returning waterboarding to the toolbox of acceptable interrogation techniques, albeit on the “enhanced” and extreme end of the spectrum typically reserved for the worst of the worst in high-stakes situations.
“I know that there has been calls for waterboarding or worse or whatever else,” Brennan said, seemingly as a response to Trump. “As long as I’m the director of CIA, we are not going to go down that road again.”
The position of CIA director is one that has no specified term and is appointed by the president. Directors serve at the pleasure of the president and can be summarily dismissed for any reason or no reason at all, if the president so chooses.
Just in case unindicted presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton continues to stumble her way through the campaign and fails to stop Trump from winning the election, Brennan may consider getting his resume ready to go job hunting, as he will most likely not be serving in his current role in a Trump administration.