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John Brennan
  • John Brennan in Trouble for Knowing Arabic

    To date, most of the opposition to President Obama's nomination of John Brennan to serve as the next director of the CIA has come from liberals, who argue that Brennan's  defense of arbitrary detention and unlimited drone warfare should disqualify him from such a post. They see him as another David Petraeus, but with a face that says, "I will definitely not be the subject of a sex scandal."

    Nevertheless, it wouldn't be an Obama nomination without some opposition from the right. Writing in the Washington Times — the newspaper whose sole positive purpose is to remind the Atlantic of what can happen when you get bought out by a cult — Frank Gaffney comes up with the most creative reason to oppose Brennan…

    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.

    Yes, knowing anything at all about your subject brief is now grounds for suspicion. Of course, Gaffney's theory explains how the Bush administration selected its cabinet-level officials. They had to pick horse expert Michael "heckuva job" Brown to lead FEMA because if Bush had selected someone with actual experience in disaster management, that would have suggested the nominee was pro-hurricane.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: CIA, Islam, John Brennan, Washington Times
  • White House Official: Don't Be Afraid of the Terrorists or They Will Kill You

    Oh, good! I was wondering when the new administration was going to start embracing yet another of the least attractive aspects of the Bush administration

    In an oped in USA Today, John Brennan — Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism — responds to critics of the Obama administration's counterterrorism policies by saying "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda."

    Yeah, because anybody who would use "politically motivated" rhetoric to show a rival in an unfavorable light is an obvious terrorist. In fact, that's one of the main weapon of the terrorists: politically motivated criticism and dirty bombs.

    Brennan writes that, "Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill."

    Actually, I kind of wish they were 100-feet tall. It'd be a lot easier to spot them in airport security.

    Although, that would probably open up a big debate about dimensional profiling.

    Tags: Homeland Security, John Brennan, Terrorism
  • 12/25/09 May or May Not Equal 9/11/01

    UmarFaroukAbdulmutallabRemember last year, when this guy tried to blow up a plane with his underwear? Well, sorry to disappoint anyone who might be planning a run for office by nine elevening twelve twenty-five: according to President Obama's counterterrorism advisor, the numbers don't add up

    John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the security breakdown in the failed bombing of the Northwest Airlines flight was different from the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    "It's not like 9/11," Brennan said, adding that the "system didn't work as it should have" due to "lapses" and "human error."

    "There wasn't an effort to try to conceal information," he said, referring to the well-chronicled competition and turf wars among security agencies prior to the 2001 attacks, which was later blamed for the failure to prevent them.

    Plus thousands of people didn't die and no buildings collapsed, but then again…

    [T]he Republican chairman of the 9/11 commission said Brennan was "wrong when he says this wasn't like 9/11."

    Thomas Kean, a former governor of New Jersey, said both events occurred because the U.S. intelligence community failed to piece together various bits of information it already possessed in the weeks and months prior to the attacks.

    In other words, that time you failed calculus because you didn't remember the formula you'd written in your notebook just two weeks before the exam? Pretty nine eleveny, according to Thomas Kean. Mere "human error," according to John Brennan.

    Either way, the important thing is that we never forget how to use 9/11 for political accusations and fearmongering. Never, never forget.

    Tags: 9/11, John Brennan, Terrorism, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
  • From the Pork Barrel: Turns Out Torture's Bad For You After All

    * Pulling out of the running for Director of the CIA must be torture for John Brennan.

    * Secretary of Defense Robert Gates only known American to keep job through the year.

    * AIG isn't blowing money like it's coke. AIG is still blowing money like it's coke.

    * Assumption confirmed: Republicans like assholes.

    * GOP ad man went out of his way to avoid racism in anti-Obama ads. How racist!

    * Michael Bloomberg sticking around this shithole we call New York City after all.

    * Wanna hear a good one? McCain 2012.

    Tags: AIG, Barack Obama, CIA, John Brennan, John McCain, Michael Bloomberg, New York, Obama Administration, Pork Barrel, Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gates