Senate independent: CIA leaders should come from outside the agency

Senate independent: CIA leaders should come from outside Sen. Angus King (Maine), an independent member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says future leaders of the CIA should come from outside the agency.

{mosads}King, who caucuses with Senate Democrats but flirted with the idea of joining the GOP conference next year, says there’s no question the CIA mislead Congress and argued that appointing a civilian to lead it in the future would provide another layer of oversight.

“I think there was misleading of the committee,” King said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“One of the things that shook me about this because of the misleading of Congress is how do we conduct our oversight function if we can’t fully believe what we’re being told,” he said. “I think as a general rule it would probably be a good idea in the future to have leaders of the CIA come from outside of the CIA, just as we have a civilian always in charge of the Pentagon.”

King said CIA Director John Brennan should not “necessarily” resign and praised him for admitting that his agency made mistakes.

At a press conference last week, Brennan said some of the interrogation tactics used on suspected terrorists were “not authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all.”

“And we all fell short in holding some officers accountable for their mistakes,” he said.

King noted Brennan still has the support of President Obama.

He said Brennan “stepped up” this week by conceding it was “unknowable” whether harsh interrogations produced actionable intelligence that may have saved American lives.

Tags Angus King CIA report Sunday shows

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