President Barack Obama is expected to nominate John O. Brennan as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, according to reports.
Brennan currently serves as Obama's top counterterrorism adviser and is a 25-year veteran of the CIA. The nomination is expected to be announced formally by the White House on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.
The president is also widely expected to nominate Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary during on Monday. Brennan and Hagel, if they are nominated, and Obama's pick for secretary of state, John Kerry, will all need to be confirmed by the Senate.
The Associated Press reported that both Brennan and Hagel are "potentially controversial picks" for a second-term national security team.
Brennan was considered for CIA director in 2008, but withdrew his name after questions were raised about his connection to the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques under the Bush administration. Brennan spoke out against the tactics and denied any involvement.
However, a White House official speaking to CBS News explained that they don't expect Brennan to face the same kind of trouble.
"The issue has been removed from the debate because the president and John Brennan, as his top counterterrorism adviser, brought those techniques to an end," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said.
Hagel, meanwhile, has faced criticism from congressional Republicans who complain that the former senator does not take a tough enough stance against Iran and is anti-Israel. The White House disagrees, claiming that Hagel's positions on Iran and Israel have been misrepresented.
The nomination will also be controversial because of Brennan's stance on drone warfare.
In April, Brennan defended drone strikes as legal and ethical weapons to use against Al Qaeda.
"The United States government conducts targeted strikes against specific Al Qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft, often referred to publicly as drones," Brennan said during a speech a the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, according to Agence France-Presse. "The constitution empowers the president to protect the nation from any imminent threat of attack."
Glenn Greenwald, a political reporter for Salon, wrote in May that in the years Brennan has served as Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, he's been caught "peddling serious falsehoods," including a claim that there hadn't been civilian casualities during a previous year of the drone program.
Brennan's comments were responsible for the narrative that Osama bin Laden "engaged in a firefight" with US forces entering his house and "used his wife as a human shield" during the raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader, according to The New York Times. The White House later changed its account of the event, saying that bin Laden had been unarmed, and that a woman killed during the raid was shot on another floor of the house.
The internet is already buzzing about Obama's impending announcements. Here's a look at the conversation:
[View the story "More drones? More torture? " on Storify]More drones? More torture?
Twitter responds to Obama's controversial nomination of John Brennan as CIA director
Storified by GlobalPost· Mon, Jan 07 2013 04:42:33