Talk About Politicizing Intelligence! Meet John Brennan, CIA Chief Designee
2013-01-11 0:00

By Russ Baker | WhoWhatWhy.com

John O. Brennan, nominated by President Obama to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is a crafty character. Not surprising for a spy.


The Washington Post says that his nomination may generate a debate about the policy of using drones to kill terror suspects, and that there’s some dispute about what Brennan’s position was on the use of torture during his lengthy career in the spook business. But the fact that his own role in the torture debate is even subject to disagreement is just the beginning of this gentleman’s craftiness.


It actually gets much, much more interesting. Brennan’s nomination is a great time for the public—and its elected representatives—to demand answers to a host of questions, not just about Brennan’s values and activities, but about whether the resources of the presidency are routinely used for nakedly political purposes.


Man From R.I.Y.A.D.H.


As Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, Brennan played a central role in two episodes that provided the President with much needed image-boosts. In one, Navy SEALs bagged the numero uno prize, Osama bin Laden. In the other, Navy SEALs rescued a young American woman from Somali pirates.


As we noted here previously, neither of these operations is free of controversy. You can see some of the issues we raised on the Abbottabad raid, shortly after it took place, here, here, here, and later here.


With the bin Laden operation, Brennan has provided a shifting panoply of details concerning what went on that have never been rationalized, and that raise fundamental questions. In that linked article, we reported that


Brennan…was the principal source of incorrect details in the hours and days after the raid. These included the claim that the SEALs encountered substantial armed resistance, not least from bin Laden himself; that it took them an astounding 40 minutes to get to bin Laden, and that the White House got to hear the soldiers’ conversations in real time.


[snip]


Almost all that turns out to be hogwash—according to the new account produced by The New Yorker three months later. An account that, again, it seems, comes courtesy of Brennan. The minutes did not pass like days. Bin Laden was not armed, and did not take cover behind a woman. And the commandoes most certainly were not on the ground for 40 minutes. Some of them were up the stairs to the higher floors almost in a flash, and it didn’t take long for them to run into and kill bin Laden.


Perhaps the most troubling of many troubling assertions was the final explanation Brennan provided for why Osama bin Laden’s body was hastily dumped in the ocean—rather than being made available for autopsy and identification procedures, or buried somewhere unknown to the public but where the body could later be exhumed if necessary (a common occurrence when identity issues arise). ). Here’s what Brennan said: he consulted the Saudis on what to do with the body, and they said sure, good idea to toss the terror leader into the deep.


Brennan, it should be noted, has close ties to the Saudi leadership from his years running the CIA station in Riyadh, 1996 to 1999. (He then returned to Washington and was CIA deputy executive director at the time of the September 11 attacks.)


There’s a great deal of irony in taking advice from the Saudis on deep-sixing a valuable piece of evidence, given questions about the Saudi leadership’s knowledge of what was afoot with the 9/11 hijackers. For one thing, there’s the well-known rapid departure of Saudi royals from around the United States immediately following the carnage in New York and Washington.


But there’s a meatier, documented Saudi connection. If you’re not familiar with it, be sure to read our multi-part piece here. As we reported, in the weeks prior to the attacks the alleged hijackers were hanging out at the Florida house owned by a top lieutenant in the Saudi hierarchy. Is Brennan not interested in that? Shouldn’t some Senator ask him about it?


And why did the SEALs kill the unarmed bin Laden, when it would have seemed strategically wiser to exert every effort to capture him alive? Imagine what stories this Saudi black sheep could tell! To explain why he was summarily killed, we were first told that he was armed, then we learned he was not, then that his fate was left up to the SEALs themselves.)



[...]

Read the full article at: whowhatwhy.com





Critics of US drone programme angered by John Brennan’s nomination to CIA



Brennan has been a key supporter of the drone programme, though officially, the CIA does not admit it exists.







Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

China’s stock market is crashing, and the Chinese are trying to do the exact same thing America did in 1929
2015-07-07 19:36
‘While European attention is focused on Greece, China is having a serious market meltdown. After exploding earlier in the year because of deregulation, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite has collapsed a crazy 29% since the highs of early June. China’s other stock markets have had similarly steep falls. Bloomberg notes that the crisis is closely mirroring the 1929 Wall Street crash, which led ...
Oregon Is First State to Charge Drivers for Each Mile They Drive
2015-07-07 19:18
When he's not riding his bicycle, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, said he's driving a fuel-efficient hybrid, and that's a problem, because it means he's not paying his "fair share" for highway maintenance. Blumenauer says that's why he signed up for OReGO, the nation's first program to charge drivers based on the number of miles they drive. The program launched on ...
Burger King sells gay pride Whopper
2015-07-07 19:06
Burger King has concocted yet another way to have it your way: a gay pride burger. The Proud Whopper, as it's called, comes wrapped in a rainbow colored wrapper with this inscription: "We are all the same inside." It will be sold through Thursday at one Burger King restaurant on San Francisco's Market Street, that was at the heart of the ...
EU official: Migrant boats also carrying IS fighters
2015-07-07 19:06
The European Union's top prosecutor said Monday she has been told that smugglers' boats bringing migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe are also carrying Islamic State group fighters. Michele Coninsx, head of the EU's judicial cooperation agency Eurojust, told reporters she received the information as part of the organization's efforts to help EU nations jointly respond to illegal immigration, terrorism and ...
Human molar scaffolding
2015-07-07 18:45
The loss of a tooth is a minor deformity and a major pain. Although dental implants are available, the healing process can take months on end, and implants that fail to align with the ever-growing jawbone tend to fall out. If only adult teeth could be regenerated, right? According to a study published in the latest Journal of Dental Research, a ...
More News »