[JURIST] The top US Central Intelligence Agency [official website] counter-terrorism official was fired last week because he expressed opposition to CIA rendition practices [JURIST news archive] in sending al Qaeda suspects to secret prisons for interrogation, according to intelligence sources cited in a UK Sunday Times report. Agency officials have said that Robert Grenier was terminated because he was "not quite as aggressive" as he should be in pursuing terror cells, but sources contend that Grenier, who was terminated after one year as the head of the CIA counter-terrorism center [official website], was let go because he openly opposed excessive interrogation methods. Sources claim that CIA Director Porter Goss [official profile] blamed Grenier for recent leaks from the CIA regarding secret interrogation sites in Europe where al Qaeda members reportedly were taken for questioning. Last week, Goss accused [New York Times op-ed] those disclosing information of hindering the CIA's ability to combat terrorism by saying:
I take seriously my agency's responsibility to protect our national security. Unauthorized disclosures undermine our efforts and abuse the trust of the people we are sworn to protect....Our enemies cannot match the creativity, expertise, technical genius and tradecraft that the CIA brings to bear in this war. Criminal disclosures of national security information, however, can erase much of that advantage. The terrorists gain an edge when they keep their secrets and we don't keep ours.The UK Sunday Times has more.