Brennan on CIA – Refutes Report Conclusions, Definitions

Editor’s Note – John Brennan, CIA director had to take to the interview stage thanks to the furor raised over the release of the Senate Select Committee’s one-sided report on the CIA as presented by Chairwoman Diane Feinstein.

It was unprecedented and very rare indeed, but that is the level to which this explosive story had risen and he had to defend his agency and its work force.

What is torture? Why weren’t people at the CIA interviewed? What was the state of our security when the enhanced interrogation techniques were used?

Was any information from these interrogations useful? What is the damage now that the report was made public by Diane Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence?

Is this what you think was used at Guantanamo or at 'black' sites?
Is this what you think was used at Guantanamo or at ‘black’ sites?

These questions and more faced John Brennan, and therefore all of America and our allies, even our enemies. Then we have to consider the state of morale in the CIA and the intelligence community overall?

In addition, what will foreign nations’ intelligence and law enforcement services think, and how will they work with us in the future? These were some of the other question he faced from the press.

Ask yourself, do you really understand how the “trade craft” of the CIA really works? Throw out your Hollywood images and James Bond.

Also consider that only documents were used to create the report – all sans context, frame of mind, and interviews.

No court or self-respecting prosecutor in the land would ever enter this type of so-called evidence into a trial for a jury to decide but Diane Feinstein demands that you, the real jury, consider only her and the Democrats take on the issue.

In our opinion, we watched and came to the conclusion that Brennan comported himself rather well.

He acknowledged failures and mistakes while refuting implausible conclusions and the damage they have caused.

For a good summary on these questions and the speech/interview, please read on:

CIA chief challenges Senate torture report

By KEN DILANIAN – Associated Press/Washington Times

WASHINGTON (AP) – CIA Director John Brennan threaded a rhetorical needle in an unprecedented televised news conference at CIA headquarters Thursday, acknowledging that agency officers did “abhorrent” things to detainees but defending the overall post-9/11 interrogation program for stopping attacks and saving lives.

At the heart of Brennan’s case is a finely tuned argument: that while today’s CIA takes no position on whether the brutal interrogation tactics themselves led detainees to cooperate, there is no doubt that detainees subjected to the treatment offered “useful and valuable” information afterward.

BrennanInterview

Speaking to reporters and on live television- something no one on the CIA public affairs staff could remember ever happening on the secretive agency’s Virginia campus -Brennan said it was “unknown and unknowable” whether the harsh treatment yielded crucial intelligence that could have been gained in any other way.

He declined to define the techniques as torture, as President Barack Obama and the Senate intelligence committee have done, refraining from even using the word in his 40 minutes of remarks and answers. Obama banned torture when he took office.

He also appeared to draw a distinction between interrogation methods, such as water boarding, that were approved by the Justice Department at the time, and those that were not, including “rectal feeding,” death threats and beatings. He did not discuss the techniques by name.

“I certainly agree that there were times when CIA officers exceeded the policy guidance that was given and the authorized techniques that were approved and determined to be lawful,” he said. “They went outside of the bounds. … I will leave to others to how they might want to label those activities. But for me, it was something that is certainly regrettable.”

But Brennan defended the overall detention of 119 detainees as having produced valuable intelligence that, among other things, helped the CIA find and kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

A 500-page Senate intelligence committee report released Tuesday exhaustively cites CIA records to dispute that contention.

The report points out that the CIA justified the torture – what the report called an extraordinary departure from American practices and values – as necessary to produce unique and otherwise unobtainable intelligence. Those are not terms Brennan used Thursday to describe the intelligence derived from the program.

The report makes clear that agency officials for years told the White House, the Justice Department and Congress that the techniques themselves had elicited crucial information that thwarted dangerous plots.

Yet the report argues that torture failed to produce intelligence that the CIA couldn’t have obtained, or didn’t already have, elsewhere.

Although the harshest interrogations were carried out in 2002 and 2003, the program continued until December 2007, Brennan acknowledged. All told, 39 detainees were subject to very harsh measures.

Former CIA Directors Haydeon, Tenet, Goss, and Morell
Former CIA Directors Haydon, Tenet, Goss, and Morell refute the report as well.

Former President George H. W. Bush, CIA director in 1976-77, supported the agency.

“I felt compelled to reiterate my confidence in the agency today, and to thank those throughout its ranks for their ongoing and vitally important work to keep America safe and secure,” Bush said in a statement.

Former CIA officials, including George Tenet, who signed off on the interrogations as director, have argued in recent days that the techniques themselves were effective and justified.

Brennan’s more nuanced position puts him in harmony with an anti-torture White House while attempting to mollify the many CIA officers involved in the program who still work for him.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the intelligence committee chairman whose staff wrote the report, conducted a live-tweeting point-by-point rebuttal of Brennan’s news conference, at one point saying that Brennan’s stance was inconsistent with the original justification for the brutal interrogations.

“EIT authority (was) based on vital, otherwise unavailable intel,” she tweeted during Brennan’s remarks. “Not ‘useful information.'”

At the CIA, Brennan spoke next to the stars engraved on a marble wall to memorialize fallen officers. He criticized the Senate investigation, saying, for example, it was “lamentable” that the committee interviewed no CIA personnel to ask, “What were you thinking?”

Seeking to put the controversy in context, Brennan stressed that the CIA after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was in “uncharted territory,” having been handed vast new authorities by a president determined to thwart the next al-Qaida attack.

“We were not prepared,” said Brennan, who was deputy CIA executive officer at the time. “We had little experience housing detainees, and precious few of our officers were trained interrogators.”

In starker terms than CIA officials have used previously, Brennan, a career CIA analyst, acknowledged mistakes when the agency took captured al-Qaida operatives to secret prisons and began using brutal methods in an effort to break them.

“In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all,” he said. “And we fell short when it came to holding some officers accountable for their mistakes.”

But he also said, “The overwhelming majority of officers involved in the program at CIA carried out their responsibilities faithfully. … They did what they were asked to do in the service of our nation.”

Brennan denied that the CIA intentionally misled lawmakers.

“We take exceptional pride in providing truth to power,” he said pointedly, “whether that power agrees with what we say or not and regardless of political party.”

He praised the CIA’s work to prevent terrorism on U.S. soil, and the fact that CIA officers were the first to fight and early to die in the Afghanistan war. The CIA, he said, “did a lot of things right” in a time when there were “no easy answers.”

Brennan said that while he personally believes brutal interrogations result in too much false information, he would not rule out that such tactics being used again.

“We are not contemplating at all getting back into the detention program using any of those EITs,” he said when asked whether “enhanced interrogation techniques” could again be employed. “So I defer to the policymakers in future times when there is going to be the need to be able to ensure that this country stays safe if we face a similar type of crisis.”

___

Associated Press writers Calvin Woodward and Nancy Benac contributed to this report.

Center for Security Policy – Experts Reject Brennan for CIA

National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan

Press Release from the Center for Security Policy

For immediate release – Contact David Reaboi | dreaboi@securefreedom.org| (202) 835-9077

Scroll down for important video.

Washington, D.C.: With the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence scheduled to vote tomorrow on John Brennan’s nomination to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has become clear that Senators simply do not have all the information necessary for an informed decision on so sensitive an appointment. In an effort to illuminate the nominee’s shortcomings that demand – but have yet to receive – close scrutiny, the Center for Security Policy convened a virtual press conference featuring video-taped comments by six of the country’s preeminent experts on, among other things, the threat of Islamism and Brennan’s blindness to it.

The video includes powerful statements by Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Chris Farrell, Vice President for Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, USA Ret., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and author of The Grand Jihad and Spring Fever; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.

The video, National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan, compliments the Center’s other efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers about the dangers of a possible Brennan tenure at the CIA, including a collection of Brennan-related resources and several investigative pieces.

Andrew McCarthy–who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh who, twenty years ago yesterday, conspired to blow up the World Trade Center–said:

Making John Brennan the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the most monumental mismatch of man and mission that I can imagine. The point of having our intelligence agencies is to make sure that we have a coherent, accurate idea of the threats that confront the United States. Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan’s career, and certainly the signature that he has put on the national security component of the Obama administration has been to blind the United States to the threats against us.

Steve Emerson, one of the country’s preeminent counter-terrorism experts added:

John Brennan, CIA director nominee, is uniquely unqualified to be the CIA director as evidenced by him being the architect of the outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as well as in the Middle East. In the course of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we discovered that there were at least four hundred visits in the three years between 2009 and 2012 to the White House of radical Islamic groups, some of whom were unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism trials, but all of whom had been involved in establishing radical Islamic rhetoric, including support for Hamas, Hezbollah, denigrating the US, calling this a war against Islam by the United States.
Zuhdi Jasser, a leader of anti-Islamist Muslims in America, warned that:
…The reports put out from [John Brennan’s] counter-terrorism office at the White House…did not recognize the [Islamist] ideology. They noted a “radical ideology,” but didn’t name what it was — even though the word ‘ideology’ was mentioned twenty times. Our American-Islamic Leadership Coalition, that includes over 20 different reform-based organizations that are anti-Islamist, were not consulted. And, you can see from the report, that it seems to be very similar to things put out by groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America. Unfortunately, John Brennan has had a very cozy relationship to these groups and has often used their talking points when speaking out about Islam, Islamism, jihad, and the threat…. In every position Brennan has been it, he has been more a facilitator of Islamist groups rather than a counterweight to them, in order to oppose them and confront them.

The Center today also released a letter signed by fifteen conservative leaders – many of whom have extensive experience with national security policy making and practice – calling on congressional leaders to launch a bicameral select committee to investigate the Benghazigate scandal. John Brennan’s involvement in the run-up to the murderous attack on September 11, 2012, his conduct during that seven-hour engagement and his role in the subsequent cover-up must be addressed before he is allowed, as Rep. Trent Franks recently put it “anywhere near the CIA, let alone running it.”

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Brennan convert to Islam? Rumors and sources say yes

Editor’s Note – Is the nominee for CIA Director, John Brennan actually a Muslim? That is the latest rumor, and here at SUA we believe that he is because several trusted and highly placed sources have indicated that this is true. Our sources are independent from the article below, so please read and judge for yourself.

The rumor is not new however, its just comes out now because he is the nominee for the top intelligence slot for the United States. If he is a Muslim, how does that effect his ability to investigate or control work at CIA on extremist Muslims who wish to tear America down?

He has said some pretty outrageous things regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and more that many see as an indicator that he does not have a clear head on the subject, and those of us who study Islam and Jihadist activity know that all true Muslims must believe and foster the goal of world domination under sharia law. That is the core of their prophet’s teachings. Therefore, SUA believes that he would not be disposed to keep America’s interests first and is therefore totally inappropriate for this job as well as the one he has held for the past few years under Obama.

Barack Obama’s choice for CIA chief ‘converted to Islam’ former FBI agent claims

  • John Guandolo claims John Brennan converted while in Saudi Arabia
  • Former FBI agent says Mr Brennan visited Mecca and Medina during Hajj

By KERRY MCDERMOTT – Daily Mail Online UK

The incoming head of the CIA converted to Islam while working as a station chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, a former FBI agent has claimed.

John Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008, said in a radio interview that John Brennan – who has been nominated by Barack Obama as the new director of the CIA – visited the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina accompanied by Saudi officials who may have persuaded him to convert.

Accusations: John Brennan (right) has been nominated as the new Director of the CIA by President Barack Obama.

Mr Guandolo’s tale echoes elements of the plot of hit show Homeland, in which U.S. Marine Nick Brody converts to Islam while being held prisoner by al-Qaeda, only to begin working for the CIA after his release.

Mr Guandolo told the Trento Radio Show via Skype that Mr Brennan visited the holy sites during the Hajj season – in sees hundreds of thousands of Muslims converge on the cities to perform a series of rituals – while serving as CIA station chief in Riyadh between 1996 and 1999, a report on Al Arabiya News said.

Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering Mecca, and are not permitted to enter the city centre, or sacred core, of Medina.

The ex-FBI agent told the radio station Mr Brennan was ‘unfit’ to take charge of the CIA, and claimed U.S. government officials based in Saudi Arabia during that period ‘were direct witnesses to his growing relationships with individuals who work with the Saudi government and they witnessed his conversion to Islam’.

Mr Brennan, 57, has spent more than three decades working in intelligence.

He was nominated as the new head of the CIA on January 7 by President Obama, after predecessor General David Petraeus was forced to resign amid a scandal surrounding an affair with his biographer.

In the critically-acclaimed series Homeland Lieutenant Nick Brody was ‘turned’ by his captors during an eight year stint as a prisoner of war.

Upon his release he is welcomed back to the U.S. as a war hero and soon attracts the interest of high-level politicians who encourage him to run for Congress. But the newly devout Muslim is secretly working for terrorist Abu Nazir.

The second season of Homeland sees Brody forced to begin covertly helping the CIA in its hunt for Nazir after his cover is blown by agent Carrie Mathison.

The CIA is yet to respond to the MailOnline regarding Mr Guandolo’s claims.

VIDEO: Ex-FBI agent John Guandolo on CIA nominee John Brennan: (More video here on his interview.)

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For additional proof, watch this video as well. Brennan and his own words:

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Willful Blindness to Lead CIA – McCarthy Warns Us to Oppose Brennan

Editor’s Note – In what SUA and many others consider to be just another bad decision on appointments to the highest posts in the land for his second term, President Obama has nominated John Brennan to the post of Director for the Central Intelligence Agency.

As we have posted often, this nominee along with Chuck Hagel to the post of Secretary of Defense and John Kerry, already confirmed as Secretary of State, comprise a three legged rickety stool placed in front of the door to America to bar threats to the security of our nation. In the attached piece, Andy C. McCarthy shows us why this third leg may be the weakest. When you are so blatantly and arrogantly ignorant, or willfully blind of who our enemies are, how can this man be charged with the task of handling America’s intelligence at this most crucial time?

Oppose Brennan for CIA Director

Posted By Andrew C. McCarthy

To cut to the chase, a country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service.

Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions. They do not erect barriers impeding their intelligence services from understanding an enemy’s threat doctrine – in conscious indifference to Sun Tzu’s maxim that defending oneself requires knowing one’s enemies. All of these malfeasances have become staples of Obama policy, under the guidance of Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism guru.

Click on the image to buy a copy of the book at Amazon

Still, the installation of a Beltway operator whose métier is misinformation as director of central intelligence would be an epic mismatch of man and mission. It would expand unseriousness to new frontiers of self-inflicted peril.

The reason is as elementary as it gets: The purpose of intelligence is to see what your enemy is trying to hide, to grasp how your enemy thinks, and how he cleverly camouflages what he thinks. That, to be certain, is the only security against stealthy foes who specialize in sabotage, in exploiting the liberties that make free societies as vulnerable as they are worth defending.

Mr. Brennan, to the contrary, is the incarnation of willful blindness. His tenure as Obama’s top national security advisor has been about helping our enemies throw sand in our eyes and thus enabling the sabotage.

As I detail in The Grand Jihad, which recounts the Muslim Brotherhood’s history, ideology, and self-proclaimed “civilization jihad” against the West, sabotage is the Brotherhood’s defining practice. Indeed, “sabotage” is the word the Brothers themselves use to describe their work. It appears in an internal memorandum, which elaborates that the organization sees its mission in the United States as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Besides that long-term goal, the Brotherhood’s network of American affiliates have pursued the more immediate aim of materially supporting Hamas, a formally designated terrorist organization to which the provision of material support is a felony under federal law.

None of that is new. It was not merely well known but had been proved in court by the Justice Department a year before Obama took office. I refer to the Justice Department’s 2008 Hamas financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case. Yet, counterterrorism czar Brennan remains undeterred, a driving force of the Obama administration’s “Islamic outreach” – a campaign to give Islamist organizations influence over U.S. policy. That several of those organizations were proved in the HLF case to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network is clearly of no moment.

Two such organizations are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). They were among a slew of Islamist groups who wrote to Brennan in October 2011 to demand a purge of information about Islamist ideology that was being used to train U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agents. Much of that information was developed in federal investigations that have led to the convictions of violent jihadists. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has slavishly complied (see, e.g., here and here).

Understand: CAIR and ISNA, though never indicted, were proved to be conspirators in the Brotherhood’s Holy Land Foundation scheme to promote and finance Hamas. In fact, the FBI formally cut ties with CAIR as a result of the HLF case (although why they had ties with CAIR in the first place remains baffling). The training materials the Islamist groups insisted be removed include documentation of the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is driven by an ideology rooted in Islamic scripture.

That this irrefutable fact makes us uncomfortable renders it no less a fact. Maybe the State Department and the White House press office have the luxury of trading in convenient fictions in order to reduce international tensions. Not intelligence agencies. The point of intelligence – a bedrock of national security – is to see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.

Here is how it is: Islamic supremacism, the sharia-based ideology of Islamists, is an interpretation of Muslim doctrine that is entirely mainstream among the world’s Muslims. That is why Islamists are winning elections in the Middle East even as they are found aligning with violent jihadists. Islamic supremacism is, in fact, widely promoted by the Brotherhood, and by such tentacles of its American network as CAIR and ISNA, when they are not otherwise deceptively disavowing its existence.

This Islamist ideology is incorrigibly anti-Western and anti-Semitic. It is deeply hostile to principles of equality and individual liberty (free speech, freedom of conscience, privacy, economic freedom, etc.) that undergird our Constitution, the American conception of civil rights, and the West’s conception of human rights. Understand Islamist ideology and you will readily understand the ferocity of Islamic resistance to American efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East – not merely jihadist resistance but broad Islamic resistance.

Yet, in a propaganda campaign reminiscent of those waged by the Nazis and the Soviets, Islamists and their fellow travelers (Brennan-types who might be thought of as “anti-anti-Islamists”) purport to be champions of human rights. When it suits them, they even feign reverence for individual liberties (particularly when it comes to the rights of Muslim in America … but don’t you dare ask them how non-Muslims fare in, say, Saudi Arabia).

The counter to such a propaganda campaign is a job for intelligence agencies. The point of having a sprawling intelligence community on which American taxpayers annually lavish $55 billion – far more than the vast majority of countries spend on national defense – is precisely to see through the deceptions of those who mean us harm, to perceive the threats against us for what they are. That the competent performance of this essential function may be fraught with political complications is supposed to be a challenge for our politicians, not our intelligence agents. The latter’s mission of unearthing hidden and often excruciating truths is hard enough.

Brennan’s agenda is the antithesis of the intelligence mission. His goal has been to portray our enemies as a small, unthreatening fringe of charlatan “violent extremists,” who kill wantonly and are unconnected to any “legitimate” Islam. Thus, he maintains for example that the only “legitimate” interpretation of the “tenet of Islam” known as jihad is: a “holy struggle … to purify oneself or one’s community.”

Even taken at face value, Brennan’s assertion is absurd. There is between Islam and the West no common understanding of the good, and thus no consensus about “purity.” In Islam, to “purify” something means to make it more compliant with sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework. Sharia is anti-freedom and anti-equality, so to purify oneself in an Islamic sense would necessarily mean something very different from what we in the West would think of as struggling to become a better person.

But there is an even more fundamental reason not to take Brennan’s remarks at face value: they run afoul of what mainstream Islam itself says about jihad. Have a look at Reliance of the Traveller, the popular sharia manual (it is available on Amazon). It is quite straightforward on the matter: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” Reliance, you should know, has been expressly endorsed by al-Azhar University in Egypt (Islam’s center of learning since the tenth century) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (the Brotherhood’s America-based Islamist think-tank). It is a lot more authoritative than John Brennan’s wishful meanderings. Maybe the president actually thinks Brennan knows more about Islam than do these scholars who have spent their lives steeped in Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence. I have my doubts … and, judging from the profound influence of these scholars, so do many millions of Muslims.

In Brennan’s world we’re to believe that holy war is not much different from the struggle to remember to brush after every meal. In Brennan’s world, there is also no need to fret over anti-American terrorists who return to the jihad with alarming regularity once they are released from Guantanamo Bay. After all, Brennan observes, common criminals have high recidivism rates, too. Mass-murderers, pick-pockets … as they say in the administration, “What difference does it make?”

And then there’s the skill of offending our friends while enabling our enemies. Brennan refers to Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, as “al-Quds.” That is the name used by Islamists who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist, who claim Jerusalem and the rest of Israel as their own. In fact, as Brennan undoubtedly knows, it was Ayatollah Khomeini who denominated Iran’s annual ritual of anti-Israeli protest as “al-Quds Day.” Moreover, the Islamic Republic, which has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map, calls its most lethal terrorist operatives the “al-Quds” forces.

Brennan’s sense of outrage, unnoticeable in response to slights against a faithful U.S. ally, is instead reserved for the “ignorant feelings” of Americans riled by jihadist attacks against our country. For Brennan, Americans’ anger at Islamists, our perception that the ideology that breeds terrorists is just as much a problem as the terrorists themselves, is “Islamophobia” – a smear cleverly concocted by Islamists to deflect examination. Brennan claims to have seen Islamophobia rear its racist head in the public reaction to the Fort Hood attack – the worst jihadist mass-murder in America since 9/11, but one the Obama administration prefers to think of as “workplace violence.”

Brennan claims that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror militia, is a “very interesting organization,” whose “moderate elements” have evolved it from “purely a terrorist organization” into a political party whose members now serve in the Lebanese government. This, again, is rose-tinted nonsense, bespeaking breathtaking ignorance about the history and operations of jihadists who, until 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror network. Hezbollah has never been “purely a terrorist organization.” Like the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Brennan-influenced Obama administration similarly sees as “moderate” (even “largely secular”), Hezbollah has always seen terrorism as one item in a varied menu. For three decades, it has also specialized in media campaigns, social welfare work, lawfare, infiltration of academe, and political activism. Its objective – again, like the Brotherhood’s – is to advance the Islamic revolution at the expense of non-Muslims by any method that shows promise under the circumstances.

Hezbollah is part of the Islamist vanguard waging a global campaign against liberty. But with their Brennan blinders on, the Obama administration chooses not to see it. They see “moderates” committed to participating in a “political process.” This same thinking has led the administration to issue a visa to an admitted member of the Blind Sheikh’s terrorist organization (the Islamic Group) so he could come to the White House with other newly minted Egyptian “parliamentarians” to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East. This mindset also explains why the administration negotiates with the Taliban, just as it negotiated with the terrorists who murdered American troops in Karbala – ultimately releasing the ringleader, Ali Mussa Daqduq.

There may be a place in government, even in the intelligence community, for discrediting our enemies – for conducting operations that highlight their excesses and making them appear illegitimate in the eyes of those whose allegiance they seek to win. There is no place, however, for deceiving the American people by politicizing intelligence. That Brennan specialty, an exhaustive effort to miniaturize the threats against our nation and appease the president’s Islamist allies, is the antithesis of what we have a CIA for.

To be sure, I have no illusions that Senate Republicans will do the right thing by the country and block Brennan’s nomination to run the CIA. This is not Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party. That was a party that looked at America’s enemies and said, “We win, you lose”; a party that was unafraid to wage ideological battle against enemy ideologies, regardless of the inevitable caterwauling of the enemies’ sympathizers. Today’s very different Republicans vote to arm and fund the Muslim Brotherhood; they endorse sharia constitutions as “democracy”; and they get exercised not over the infiltration of pro-Islamists in our government but over the temerity of a bare handful of conservatives to raise concerns about that infiltration.

Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week only bolstered concerns that he is utterly unfit to serve as secretary of defense. Yet, some Republicans have announced that they will vote for him anyway, and some others who purport to oppose him have signaled that they have no intention of mounting a filibuster, the only procedure that could derail him. Consequently, they’ve ensured that he will be confirmed. So let’s not kid ourselves: Senate Republicans who will let Hagel take control of the Defense Department, and who just joined Democrats in a 94-3 landslide confirmation of John Kerry – a devotee of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood empowerment strategy – are not going to put up a fight over Brennan.

But that will not alter reality any more than Brennan’s whitewashed Islam alters the reality of Islamic supremacism. The fact will remain: If intelligence is to be politicized so that we let our guard down, then the United States would be better off with no CIA than with a CIA headed by John Brennan.

A world without America – GAFFNEY

Obama Cabinet nominees want to manage U.S. decline

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. – Washington Times

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly declared that “a world without America is not only desirable, it is achievable.” While that sentiment won’t be embraced in President Obama’s inaugural address next week, all other things being equal, it seems likely to be the practical effect of his second term.

Of course, Iran’s regime seeks a world literally without America. More to the point, Mr. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Tehran are working tirelessly to secure the means by which to accomplish that goal. Specifically, they have or are developing the ability to engage in devastating electromagnetic pulse attacks, biological warfare and other asymmetric terrorist strikes.

For his part, President Obama seems to have in mind bringing about a world without America in a geostrategic sense. As Mark Steyn notes in a characteristically brilliant essay in National Review Online, that would be “Obamacare’s other shoe.” It would amount to a “fundamental transformation” of America’s place in the world, evidently intended to be the president’s second-act counterpart to the socialist transformation of this country that dominated his first term.

This agenda is strongly evident in Mr. Obama’s choices for key national security positions: John F. Kerry at the State DepartmentChuck Hagel at Defense and John O. Brennan at the CIA. The three are, like the president, imbued with a post-American, post-sovereignty, post-constitutional, transnationalist outlook. In his administration, it would appear that their mission would be, as the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka puts it, to manage the United States’ decline.

Having addressed previously in this space the serious problems with the judgment, records and policy proclivities of Mr. Hagel and Mr. Kerry, let’s consider those of John Brennan to further illustrate the syndrome.

Mr. Brennan is a textbook example of a U.S. official who has “gone native.” He speaks Arabic and was formerly the top CIA officer in Saudi Arabia. He has shown himself to be deeply sympathetic to Islamists — for example, excusing and dissembling about their commitment to jihad and the necessity of not offending them.

After President Obama himself, Mr. Brennan is, arguably, the single most important enabler of the Islamic supremacists’ agenda in government today. In his role as homeland security adviser to the president — a position that does not require Senate confirmation and that he was given as a consolation prize when it became clear that he might not be confirmable as CIA director back in 2009 — Mr. Brennan has helped legitimate, empower, fund, arm and embolden them abroad, and embraced and appeased them here at home.

Of particular concern is the fact that Mr. Brennan has presided over the policy of engaging the Muslim Brotherhood, which has consequently been portrayed by a politicized intelligence community as “largely secular” and “eschewing violence”; the shredding of training briefings and the proscribing of trainers that might upset Muslims by telling the truth about Shariah and the jihad it commands; the penetration of U.S. agencies by Muslim Brotherhood-associated individuals as employees or senior advisers; and misrepresentations to Congress about the true, jihadist character of the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi this past Sept. 11.

Also of great concern is the prospect that Mr. Obama’s second-term team will, if confirmed, be even more insistent than its predecessors on engaging Iran. Make no mistake about it: The practical effect will be to buy the regime in Tehran the last few months it evidently needs to achieve what it has sought for decades: the means to have the world not only bereft of America’s leadership and stabilizing force, but to neutralize and perhaps eliminate the United States as a 21st century society.

Ordinarily, a president should be given wide latitude by the Senate to appoint those he wants to staff his administration. This is no ordinary time, though, and this is no ordinary president or administration. The circumstances are such that a Team Obama that is pursuing so dangerous a policy course must be challenged and impeded, not encouraged and abetted.

The Senate’s constitutional responsibility to confirm senior executive branch appointees is one of the few it hasn’t compromised or allowed the president to expropriate. It must exercise its authority to assure “quality control” with respect to his picks for top national security Cabinet posts.

Indeed, the fact that Mr. Obama seeks not one or two but three individuals who share his determination to achieve the radical and dangerous national security transformation he seeks in his second term demands that senators defy him. After all, should the Senate fail to object to this trajectory by rigorously debating and defeating any — and preferably all — of these problematic choices, its members risk not only allowing but becoming party to the realization of a world without America.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.