CIA Director John Brennan–the “deputy President,” as military officials call him–pushed back against “intentional misrepresentations” of the agency’s drone program in a Q&A published in GQ Monday.
“To think that we, people who are involved in counterterrorism, do not care about civilian casualties or deaths or injuries, is just totally, totally wrong,” Brennan told the magazine in a February interview.
Brennan said that he was disappointed that during his Senate confirmation hearing, he was unable to fully explain to groups protesting his nomination that their impression of the drones as wanton murder machines is wrong.
“I don’t think the people who are out there—the people who have come to my house with placards and posters showing mutilated women and children—understand the agony that so many people go through in the counterterrorism community to make sure they don’t make a mistake,” he added. “Either a mistake of omission or a mistake of commission. And they both weigh heavily on one’s mind. Because inaction can have tremendous consequences, just the way an inappropriate action can.”