Three hours into John Brennan’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) cracked a joke about harsh interrogation techniques.
“I’ll be brief,” Burr told the nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. “I see you’re on your fourth glass of water and I don’t want to be accused of waterboarding you.”
Burr went on more seriously to ask whether Brennan thought harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding had saved lives. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) both pressed Brennan on this issue earlier in the hearing. Brennan said again that he believed in the past that those techniques did provide useful information, but that now, after reading a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the issue, he is unsure.