John Brennan in March Getty Images

LANGLEY, Va.— John Brennan is starting to tuck into breakfast, including black coffee and bacon, when he decides he hasn’t finished chewing on a rather tender subject for the director of the Central Intelligence Agency: politics.

“I am neither Democrat nor Republican nor ideological,” he told a Wall Street Journal reporter recently over a 7:15 a.m. meeting at CIA headquarters. “I’m an equal opportunity offender.”

Partly as a result, relations between the CIA and Congress are more fraught than at any point in the past decade. The source of the tension is the Senate intelligence committee‘s classified report on the CIA’s controversial post-9/11 interrogation program—and the agency’s response to it.

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EXTRA CONTENT (March 2014 Brennan Speech to CFR)