CIA Director John Brennan defends CIA in wake of torture report

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — CIA Director John Brennan defended Thursday his agency, in the wake of the release of an explosive report outlining Bush era interrogation techniques, saying that following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks those involved were operating with national security in mind.

“There were no easy answers, and whatever your views are on [enhanced interrogation techniques], our nation and in particular this agency did a lot of things right during this difficult time to keep this country strong and secured,” Brennan said at a rare press conference at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Brennan shed light Thursday on the atmosphere at his agency, in the wake of the terrorist attacks and how the experience of holding detainees was new.

“The CIA was unprepared to conduct a detention and interrogation program, and our officers inadequately developed and monitored its initial activities,” Brennan said.

Brennan said of the report itself, “Many aspects of their conclusions are sound and consistent with our own prior findings.”

“Over the years, internal agency reviews, including numerous investigations by our office of the inspector general, found fault in the CIA’s running of the program,” Brennan said.

Brennan also fielded questions from the press, many of whom were getting their first chance to ask the CIA director questions live, on-the-record and on camera.

“I think there’s been more than enough transparency that’s happened over the last couple days. I think it’s over the top,” Brennan said in response to a question regarding whether more information would be released.

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