MARTYR OR FOP?….So what’s going on at the CIA these days? Here’s the London Times on the firing of Robert Grenier, the CIA’s chief counterterrorism guy:

The CIA?s top counter-terrorism official was fired last week because he opposed detaining Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons abroad, sending them to other countries for interrogation and using forms of torture such as ?water boarding?, intelligence sources have claimed.

….Vincent Cannistraro, a former head of counter-terrorism at the agency, said: ?It is not that Grenier wasn?t aggressive enough, it is that he wasn?t ?with the programme?. He expressed misgivings about the secret prisons in Europe and the rendition of terrorists.?

Grenier also opposed ?excessive? interrogation, such as strapping suspects to boards and dunking them in water, according to Cannistraro.

Over at TPMCafe, here is Larry Johnson on the same subject:

Some outside the Agency see this as part of a political vendetta. Folks I’ve communicated with who are knowledgeable and have dealt with him say this is good news.

Before becoming the Chief of CTC, Robert Grenier (aka Bob) had been the CIA Chief in Islamabad during and after 9-11 . When the CIA started fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in October of 2001, Grenier was one of the foot draggers. I’m told he took the Pakistani position on everything and was at constant odds with the Chiefs of the Counter Terrorism Center (Cofer Black and Hank Crumpton) on key issues of the war. US military personnel who worked with Grenier during his time in Pakistan remarked that he was always a dapper dresser and worked banker’s hours. They joked that he was well rested during the war. His men, however, were in the office around the clock. Case officers I know and respect viewed him as personally ambitious and not a stand up guy. He would not take a spear in the chest for anyone.

So: fired for refusing to torture suspects with enough relish, or fired for being an indolent fop? Beats me, but I thought the competing storylines here were interesting. Stay tuned to see if Grenier says anything in his own defense.

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