January 7, 2013

"Obama to nominate counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan for CIA director."

"Brennan was considered to be a contender for the job four years ago when Obama was first assembling his intelligence and national security team. But he ultimately withdrew his name amid questions on the left over his ties to controversial CIA programs. "

Looking back at my own posts, I see that I believed that Leon Panetta had been chosen to head the C.I.A. "to appease the people who bellyached about Brennan." I was reading this in the NYT (from January 5, 2009):
The choice of Mr. Panetta comes nearly two weeks after Mr. Obama had otherwise wrapped up his major personnel moves. It appears to reflect the difficulty Mr. Obama has encountered in finding a candidate who is capable of taking charge of the agency but is not tied to the interrogation and detention program run by the C.I.A. under President Bush.

Aides have said that Mr. Obama had originally hoped to select a C.I.A. director with extensive field experience, especially in combating terrorist networks. But his first choice for the job, John O. Brennan, had to withdraw his name amid criticism over his alleged role in the formation of the agency’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Later, in 2010, when Obama appointed Brennan as Director of National Intelligence, there was criticism from the right. Here's The Weekly Standard (on May 20, 2010):
First, in prepared remarks in Washington, Brennan referred to his love for “al-Quds,” which happens to be the Arab revanchist name for the city that the rest of us call “Jerusalem.”...

At a conference in Washington, he said that the Obama administration is exploring ways to strengthen the hand of “moderate elements” within Hezbollah....

Earlier this year Brennan said that the 20% recidivism rate of the Gitmo detainees released up to that point was “not that bad.” See, he explained, the rate for American criminals sometimes approaches 50%. Well, yes, but—terrorists are not criminals.  Terrorists are by definition a special kind of mass murderer....

These are only a few of John Brennan’s greatest hits. His record of insouciance, political correctness, misleading statements and naivety is long and rich.

60 comments:

Pogo said...

Obama should hold out for someone who's also a Holocaust denier.

Paul said...

You get what you pay for.

Obama paid for Panetta and Hillary and got Benghazi.

Brennan will be worse as he is a true 'yes' man and will do whatever Obama wants, good or bad.

Political hacks, as we now see, will happily sell out people for expediency and even watch as the crowds tear them apart.

rehajm said...

Competence is out of fashion.

Cedarford said...

Could be worse. Could have been Eric Holder under consideration to bring Rule of Law and Rule of Lawyers to the CIA.

As for the Israel First crowd of Christian Zionists, AIPAC, and the Neocon Warmongers....
The public rejected them, by and large, last election. So they have a weak hand.

Hagel, Brennan, and Kerry will all get confirmed.

AprilApple said...

His record of insouciance, political correctness, misleading statements and naivety is long and rich.

Sounds perfect for the Obama party.

wyo sis said...

We really have a bunch of outstanding people in positions of power when the best that can be said of them is " it could have been worse."

Pogo said...

Wasn't Cedarford available?

AJ Lynch said...

The Imperial City- where all the fuckups tend to get promoted.

AprilApple said...

Support Israel's right to exist = You're a Christianist Zionist neocon warmonger.

The Palestinians are such wonderful people. They create all sorts of amazing inventions and they add so much love to our world.

Hagar said...

Obama's cabinet already was the weakest I can remember or have read about, and this takes it down a substantial notch farther.

Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan; you've got to be kidding!, but no, that's probably what we will be getting.

Maguro said...

al-Quds, really? Even Cedarford doesn't go there. Lol.

The Drill SGT said...

clearly an 'arabist' and no friend of israel, but on the other hand, he's a professional and i could see obama doing worse, much worse, like Donilon, or Clapper

MayBee said...

I remember Keith Olbermann, then at MSNBC, had the breaking news that candidate Obama's passport files had been broken into (electronically). It was an outrage.

Then it came out the snooper had also snooped into Clinton's and McCain's files.

Then it came out it was Brennan's company who did the snooping.

Then Obama buddied up with Brennan.

Brennan handled the FBI-snooping into Petraeus's emails.

Now Obama wants him at CIA.

Marshal said...

An interesting evolution of the Obama administration. What was once disqualifying is now accepted because everyone understands that Obama's opposition to Gitmo and interrogations was mere political opportunism.

Compare this to the leftists claiming principled opposition to Romney because his plans were insufficiently detailed. Obama completely misled the public in this matter which has to be worse than mere silence. Yet not one of the leftists claiming to be principled on this point even criticized Obama for his deceptions. I'm shocked to discover the leftists claiming to be principled are no such thing. Shocked.

edutcher said...

To the surprise of no one, Barry likes his yes-men (but no yes-women, shades of Cecil Rhodes).

Can't wait to see who replaces Turbo Tax Timmy.

LarsPorsena said...

Using BO's usual standards for national security positions, it doesn't look like he spent enough time at Fannie Mae, HUD, or the Department of the Interior to be qualified for the CIA...

Seeing Red said...

Hoover was a piker compared to this lot.

We get what we vote for.

Has the Professor figured out that she'll be waiting a very long time for the dems to own anything?

Michael K said...

"Hagel, Brennan, and Kerry will all get confirmed."

Well, they all represent this president's views.

Rough water ahead.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aridog said...

Brennan is as unqualified as Panetta was...so what's the worry?

edutcher said...

To the surprise of no one, Barry likes his yes-men ...

I'm still inclined to think the "yes man" is Obama himself, who kneels in private fellatio to multiple directors who allow him to prance about as a Prince in public.

Any man who can say we have no spending problem when our debt is in multiple Trillions is not really leading anything. He's a cheerleader.

However, shortly we will see our cheerleader-leader declare the debt ceiling raised by executive order fiat. His directors have already approved it, and in fact, it is fiat accompli since the ceiling was breeched last week and appropriations are still being made by Congress. In short, Congress has handed the power to the Executive Office and it's game, set, match.

The question we might want to ask is if the administration continues this fiat thing, and several fronts, who can stop them? At this point...NO ONE. The deal is already done, the rest is Kabuki.

Only an internal revolution within the Democratic power structure, not their mouthpieces like Reid or pelosi, can change it.

edutcher said...

I have no quarrel with what you say, sir, but I don't doubt for an instant that Barry is sufficiently vain that the word, "No", as it exists in his advisors' vocabularies, is a red flag.

jd said...

You all sound like idiots, criticizing anyone on Obama's foreign policy team, when Bush's team was full of self-absorbed dunces who thought they were a lot smarter than they were. Also, post-invasion Iraq was a bigger blunder/led to way more avoidable American deaths than Benghazi, so be equally upset and up in arms about that, please.

edutcher said...

jd projects much.

Michael said...

jd: Conservatives find it difficult to remain up in arms years after an event. Progressives are wont to point out equivalencies that are decades in the past. Many conservatives were in opposition to members of GWB's foreign policy team just as they are in opposition to BHO's. That does not make critics idiots.

Lucien said...

Assuming for argument's sake that a terrorist is by definition a certain kind of mass murderer, that doesn't map onto the population of all people previously held at Gitmo. Many of them were essentially Joe Taliban who were captured while fighting against people they viewed as foreign invaders. Bad as the Taliban are, that doesn't make every foot soldier a mass-murderer. There were probably some Gitmo detainees who were there because they were falsely accused by a neighbor with a grudge, etc.

If we could ever no the number of released Gitmo detainees who really were terrorists before they got there, it would not surprise me if their recidivism rate was far greater than 20%.

Robert Cook said...

Earlier this year Brennan said that the 20% recidivism rate of the Gitmo detainees released up to that point was 'not that bad.' See, he explained, the rate for American criminals sometimes approaches 50%. Well, yes, but—terrorists are not criminals. Terrorists are by definition a special kind of mass murderer...."

Why are terrorists a "special kind of mass murderer?" Murder is murder and mass murder is mass murder. The law does not (or should not, as written) distinguish between one type of murderer and another.

Also, the 20% "recidivism" rate is probably better than "not that bad" when one considers that most of those who were held in Gitmo for years were never terrorists to begin with, but were innocent men caught in a dragnet or sold for bounty by opportunists, as the military long ago acknowledged. In other words, it's possible many (of those who are claimed--as we have little to no proof--to have "returned to the battlefield") are probably not "recidivists" at all, but innocent men so angered by their unjust imprisonment that they were driven to become violent for the first time once freed.

jd said...

@ Michael -- the point is, conservatives sat by while the Bush team engineered the disaster in Iraq, treating the lives of American soldiers like they were figures on a Risk board. Sorry I never got over that--it was just such a disaster and terrible for sooo many people and I have a conscience. And then, only a few short years later, a disaster happens in Benghazi, only on a MUCH smaller scale, and conservatives suddenly presume to be the conscience of the nation. It's such horseshit, and SO TRANSPARENT, that it is idiotic go onto fora like this blog, or pretty much anywhere else, and talk with the disdain in your tones and the lack of logic in your position based on how much you really didn't care 10 years ago. You didn't care because of your political position. Many democrats don't want any investigation because of their political position. But you are all the same. Just spare the country indignant the fake interest in four American lives when you conveniently gave shit about the other thousands who died under a republican president.

Robert Cook said...

Lucien brings up an obvious and important point: who is a terrorist? Is it anyone we kill and then call a terrorist to cover our asses? Is it anyone we capture and call a terrorist to justify their imprisonment? Is it anyone who is fighting against foreign forces on their native soil?

As we do not give these men due process of law, we haven't even proved for ourselves (and can't) who of those we have killed or captured have engaged in actual terrorist actions.

By our own definition, all those staunch American youths fighting invading forces in RED DAWN (both versions) are terrorists, as they have the temerity and criminal savagery to actually try to kill people who are invading their town! Our vaunted forefathers who fought against the British to free the colonies from the King's rule were also, by this measurement, merely terrorists who deserved death.

cubanbob said...

JD all things considered Bush was a lightweight compared to Johnson (Vietnam) and Truman ( Korea).

cubanbob said...

RC war isn't a boxing match with rules of fairness. The enemy is bad. That's why will kill them.

jd said...

@cubanbob i have no loyalty to johnson or truman, so that's fine, thanks for pointing it out.

my criticism of the self-righteous conservatives these days comes from the fact that we all lived through the Iraq war only a few years ago--it wasn't from another generation, and yet following up on why that was such a disaster got a shrug and a "so what? amrrrrrrca!" from conservatives.

R. Chatt said...

While Bush and team were dunces at least there was a sense that they valued the US as a force for good in the world, whereas the Obama machine seems to hold the position that the US is not a force for good. This position is deeply ingrained in the Leftist psyche. The logical conclusion is that a weaker US and a weaker Israel will somehow bring about a more peaceful world. Choice between dunces and the self deluded? Counting on terrorists to behave themselves is not a reassuring picture.

R. Chatt said...

@Robert Cook The difference between "murder" and "terror" is that terrorists aim at causing as much civilian death, destruction, and fear as possible to advance their cause. If you don't appreciate the difference between living in a free society and living under a totalitarian rule and the reason we fight to defend freedom, then you won't see the difference.

jd said...

drop the "leftist psyche" bullshit.

there's no justifying the blunder that was the reckless and complete failure to plan for post-invasion Iraq. I refuse to engage anybody who thinks they're position makes them "better" or "realer" Americans. Sending young Americans to die en masse without a real plan for what they're doing or how they're going to get out is not patriotic.

The US scrambled to save Benghazi before Qaddafi destroyed the city, thus making it clear that Obama and his team saw the US as a force for good.

ken in sc said...

Cook, the claim that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, which you seem to be making, is not valid. Terrorists attack civilian soft targets with the intention of terrorizing them and undermining the population's support for the established government. Freedom fighters attack the armed forces of foreign invaders or an oppressive regime. Of course, it is possible to be both, but there is a difference.

Michael said...

JD: Unfortunately for you the Democrats voted for the war in Iraq as well so laying it on the Republicans is sort of wrong. But you knew that, living in the past as you do. So spare us the sanctimony of being always right. Give yourself a star, gold, and a hug. For being always right.

jd said...

@Michael--i'm definitely not always right, nor do I presume to be. But the ridiculousness of the conservative position apropos the GREATEST SCANDAL EVER, BENGHAZI, needs to be pointed out as a moment in which conservatives CHOSE to be scandalized because it comports with their political position.

R. Chatt said...

I thought we were just saving the oil wells to prevent the further collapse of the Libyan, Italian and Greek economies. Glad you agree the US has a role to play.

jd said...

i also love the new conservative thinking: don't live in the past, never question our position today when it directly conflicts with our position within the past 10 years.

So ridiculous.

Also, btw, a "vote for the Iraq war" was not a "vote for fucking up the post-invasion plan (which didn't exist because of an administration failure multiple times worse than benghazi)"

Robert Cook said...

"RC war isn't a boxing match with rules of fairness. The enemy is bad. That's why will kill them."

But who is our enemy? Who are we killing?

Michael said...

jd: OK, so let's talk about the past when the Democrat party was the party of Jim Crow. You defend. Thanks for playing.

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...By our own definition, all those staunch American youths fighting invading forces in RED DAWN (both versions) are terrorists, as they have the temerity and criminal savagery to actually try to kill people who are invading their town!

Been a long while since i saw the first one, and I never saw the second, but as I recall, it's the Russians/Cubans who shoot up the school, rape, pillage, torture, execute, and round civilians up in camps...

The Americans are killing soldiers in ambushes, not with suicide vests, IEDs, or by taking hostages of non-combatants.

I think you confuse 'terrorist' with 'militia', e.g. American citizens with guns and the backbone to keep them.

Michael said...

JD: Maybe you can teach your computer to do extra big caps so that you can really make your points emphatically. Very effective that capitalization technique. Compelling.

Robert Cook said...

"Cook, the claim that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, which you seem to be making, is not valid. Terrorists attack civilian soft targets with the intention of terrorizing them and undermining the population's support for the established government. Freedom fighters attack the armed forces of foreign invaders or an oppressive regime. Of course, it is possible to be both, but there is a difference."

You're missing (or ignoring) the point: who are we killing? How do we know they're terrorists? What criteria are we applying to determine who we're killing and why we're killing them? Our government will blithely claim we killed "terrorists" in this military operation or that drone bombing, but we're never informed how they know the people we're killing are terrorists? How do we distinguish between actual terrorists and those who simply wish to resist and repel foreign troops in their lands?

Robert Cook said...

"The Americans are killing soldiers in ambushes...."

How do you know? And how are bombs shot by drone aircraft at targets in public places any different than sending in suicide bombers to the public square?

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...
"The Americans are killing soldiers in ambushes...."

How do you know? And how are bombs shot by drone aircraft at targets in public places any different than sending in suicide bombers to the public square?
----------

I was referring to the Wolverines in red dawn.

As for the Obama Drone policies, i think he's out of bounds when it comes to a number of areas, e.g. targeting Americans

Robert Cook said...

The Drill SGT. said:

"I was referring to the Wolverines in red dawn."

I stand corrected on that point. Still, how do we determine--or know--whether the people we're killing or imprisoning are suicide bombers and the like or merely nationalist freedom fighters wishing to repel foreign invaders, (us)?

I doubt very much the government is taking any pains to make such distinctions, and simply finds it expedient to label any and all whom we kill or capture as "terrorists."

Aridog said...

Robert Cook said ...

Our government will blithely claim we killed "terrorists" in this military operation or that drone bombing, but we're never informed how they know the people we're killing are terrorists?

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the government we have today the one you voted for and supported?

The answer to your question is simple: we don't know for sure diddly squat, and Obama loves the mystery of the drone program because when it gets lucky and hits a known evil doer, he can jump up and cheer and take credit.

And when and if it kills a bunch of innocents he can simply dead pan: "what drone?"

BTW...how do you, or anyone else not actually participating in the raid, know that Bin Laden is dead? I heard he was alive and living it up in Paris! :-))

Sam L. said...

The moderate Palis are those who just want no Jews in the middle east, instead of wanting to kill them all.

EMD said...

You're missing (or ignoring) the point: who are we killing? How do we know they're terrorists? What criteria are we applying to determine who we're killing and why we're killing them?

Why are you asking us?

Email your Senator/Congressperson and demand answers.

Heck, I agree with a lot of your points, especially on the ROE and objectives in Afghanistan.

Bob said...

I enjoy the irony when Democrats lecture Republicans on getting into bad wars fought with ill conceived plans and high US body count. Viet Nam folks, remember? 58,000 dead. The Democrats such as Kerry and Hillary voted for Iraq before voting against it. I do respect the ones who voted against it from git-go.

R. Chatt said...

The reason why some Americans have confusion over who are the "terrorists" is because American policy since GWB is to not identify Islamic jihadis with anything related to Islam. Instead they have been called "terrorists" and "insurgents." In fact, 9-11 terrorists were performing jihad. Bin Laden was leading a jihad against the West, etc.

Because we lack the understanding of the motivation of these fighters we have these discussions about terrorists and freedom fighters and the founding fathers of the US all being the same thing. The founding fathers were fighting for the right of individuals to self govern, to not be subjects of the King, to live under principles of freedom, equality, justice for all.

The terrorists or Mujahideen employ any and all tactics of terror against anyone they see as an obstacle to the imposition of Islamic law, which is their duty as Muslims, according to a strict reading of the Koran.

R. Chatt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. Chatt said...

I just surfed into this perfect example of American policy by Brennan: Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'

R. Chatt said...

For the version of this jihad ideology Israel faces on a daily basis see: Palwatch.org

Robert Cook said...

Aridog asks:

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the government we have today the one you voted for and supported?"

No. You are incorrect, sir.

Aridog said...

Robert Cook said...

No. You are incorrect, sir.

My bad. Sorry about that. :-(

I suspect I've reached that point where, sometimes, everyone seems like the the enemy or supported the enemy.

Robert Cook said...

"The terrorists or Mujahideen employ any and all tactics of terror against anyone they see as an obstacle to the imposition of Islamic law, which is their duty as Muslims, according to a strict reading of the Koran."

How do we know this is who we are killing?

Robert Cook said...

""The terrorists or Mujahideen employ any and all tactics of terror against anyone they see as an obstacle to the imposition of Islamic law, which is their duty as Muslims, according to a fanatical reading of the Koran."

I adjusted your remarks for accuracy.

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