And none of them are the fact that he converted to Islam.
Excerpted via John Brennan as CIA chief would serve his own interests, not America’s | Foreign Policy Journal. h/t to commenter Winghunter
by Michael Scheuer – former CIA intelligence officer
…John Brennan—who for nearly 15 years has ensured both that the above-described growth in the Islamists’ power has occurred, and that most Americans have no idea that a still-growing part of the Muslim world is at war with the United States.
…there are at least four substantive reasons to deny Mr. Brennan the job of heading the CIA. The following are those reasons, and one would think that if the Senate does not ask him about them, it will have failed to do its job.
1) 1996: When, in December, 1995, the Agency set up a unit to dismantle al-Qaeda and capture or help the U.S. military kill Osama bin Laden, one of that unit’s first actions was to ask Mr. Brennan—who was then what George Tenet has described as “CIA’s senior officer on the Arabian Peninsula”—to secure from the Saudi intelligence service some very basic information and documents about bin Laden. The Saudis did not respond, and so the bin Laden unit sent frequent messages to Mr. Brennan asking him to secure the data. When we finally received a response from Mr. Brennan, it was to tell us that he would no longer pass the bin Laden unit’s requests to the Saudis because they were annoyed by them. DCI George Tenet backed Mr. Brennan’s decision, and when I resigned from CIA in November 2004, the Saudis had not delivered the requested data.
Comment: I speak on this from firsthand experience, as I was the chief of the bin Laden unit at the time. The messages from Mr. Brennan refusing to push the Saudis on bin Laden are in the archives of several government agencies, but, more important, they are in the archive of the 9/11 Commission. (NB: I know the documents are there because I supplied them to the Commission.) In the latter archive, the messages have been fully redacted to protect the CIA sources and methods and so ought to be easily available to the Senators and to the media via a Freedom of Information request.
2) May, 1998: For most of the year between May, 1997, and May, 1998, the bin Laden unit—with fine support from too few other Intelligence Community agencies—prepared an operation to capture Osama bin Laden using CIA assets. During the preparatory work, none of the bin Laden’s unit’s bin-Laden-specific information requests to the Saudis were answered, and given Mr. Brennan’s above-noted attitude, the unit was not ever sure the requests were passed to the Saudi intelligence service. Just before the capture operation was to be attempted, Mr. Brennan convinced Wyche Fowler—then U.S. ambassador in Riyadh—and DCI George Tenet that the U.S. government should cancel the capture operation. Although the Saudis had yet to lift a finger to assist U.S. efforts to counter bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and because it is the merest commonsense to know that Afghans never obey orders from any foreigner, Mr. Brennan, Ambassador Fowler, and DCI Tenet all assured then-National Security Adviser, Mr. Sandy Berger, that the capture operation should be canceled. Mr. Berger cancelled the operation, only to demand—through his assistant for terrorism Richard Clarke—that the operation immediately be restarted 75 days later when bin Laden’s al-Qaeda destroyed the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania.
Comment: I also speak on this issue from first-hand experience, as I was the chief of the bin Laden unit at the time, and also traveled in early May 1998, with DCI Tenet and the then-chief of CIA’s Near East Division to hear Mr. Brennan explain why this ludicrous reliance on the thoroughly unhelpful and often obstructive Saudis was a better way to protect Americans than by using CIA’s capabilities. Again, however, it is more important to note that the papers documenting this entire episode—including notes from Mr. Brennan, Ambassador Fowler, and DCI Tenet to Mr. Berger urging the cancellation of the capture operation—are in the archives of several government agencies, but, more important, they are in the archive of the 9/11 Commission. (NB: I know the documents are there because I supplied them to the Commission.) The latter archive the messages have been fully redacted to protect the CIA sources and methods and so ought to be easily available to the Senators and to the media via a Freedom of Information request.
3) May, 2010: In a speech at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), John Brennan told Americans it is incorrect to attribute the words “jihad” or “jihadists” to the war being waged on America by bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and their allies. In the Obama administration, Mr. Brennan explained, we refuse to “describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community….” Brennan said it would be “counterproductive” for the United States to use the term, as it would “play into the false perception” that the “murderers” leading war against the West are doing so in the name of a “holy cause. Moreover, describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism—that the United States is somehow at war against Islam.” Bearing out Mr. Brennan’s testimony about the Obama administration’s position are a host of government documents—including Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points on the recent death of four U.S. officials in Benghazi, Libya—which refer to al-Qaeda or other Islamist militants not as “Muslims” or “Islamists” but in the Orwellian and deceiving term “Violent Extremists.” And, not surprisingly, the Committee on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last week validated that Messrs. Brennan and Obama are following its orders by claiming that the word “Islamist is a stealth slur. It exists as a piece of coded language.”
Comment: No one expects clarity or complete honesty from a politician, but when a senior U.S. bureaucrat speaks in public to Americans—who are, after all, his/her employer—about their nation’s national security, one has a right to expect that the speaker at least be in honesty’s ballpark. Mr. Brennan’s words above are—when considered objectively—as close as it is possible to come to a complete lie. Far more than 90-percent of the references to “jihad” in the Koran and the Hadith—the verified collection of the Prophet Mohammad’s sayings and practices—are martial in nature, and the one Hadith that provided the basis for Mr. Brennan’s lie has never been verified, is not included in the authoritative/verified Hadith collections, and is mainly used to mislead Americans by such apologists for militant Islam as the leaders of CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, and academics like Georgetown’s Professor John Esposito. The Senate, one would think, should ask Mr. Brennan to explain his lie, as well as to explain why the administrations he has served as a senior adviser—those of Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama—have completely ignored the words spoken and written by Osama bin Laden and other Islamist leaders, even though there is a remarkably high correlation between the motivations and intentions they express and the actions they take in their religious war against America and its allies. A Senator might even find it appropriate to remind Mr. Brennan that the United States made a mistake similar to his in the 1920s when it ignored the motivations, intentions, and prescriptions for actions found in the words of former corporal in the Kaiser’s army.
4) 2013: Since May, 2001, when Osama bin Laden was marvelously killed through cooperation between the CIA and the U.S. Navy Seals, Mr. Brennan has consistently told Americas that the Obama administration’s policies have yielded a substantial reduction in the power, reach, and capabilities of al-Qaeda and its Islamist allies. To be fair, President Obama and Republican leaders repeatedly have said the same thing; most recently, President Obama said as much as he met Afghan President Karzai to finalize plans for America’s abject defeat in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s return to power in Kabul.
Comment: During his confirmation hearings, the Senators should display two maps for Mr. Brennan. The maps should be simple and clear political maps of the world—no rivers or mountains to make viewing arduous. One should represent September 2001, and the other should represent Spring 2013. The one for 2001 will show al-Qaeda and its allies overwhelmingly domiciled in their Afghanistan stronghold, along with a scattering of small cells around the world. The map for 2013, on the other hand, will show al-Qaeda and other Islamists still active in Afghanistan, but also has having established other large enclaves—where training, arms caches, and operational planning can be easily accommodated—in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, across North Africa, Nigeria, and, as noted above, in northern Mali. Given that even a cursory comparison of the maps will show the Senators and all Americans that the post-9/11 al-Qaeda-Islamist movement has grown significantly in numbers and geographical reach, Mr. Brennan might reasonably be asked to explain why he, as well as the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations he served, have invariably misled Americans by asserting that the Islamist threat is receding.
The Senate did fail to do its job during the confirmation hearings. Will they fail the American people and confirm John al-Quds Brennan al-Amriki?
More from a commenter (4 1/2 years enlisted in Army Intelligence Arabic linguist and PhD in Islamic history) who lost his job due to the Islamophilic likes of Brennan, Brennan and CIA: All Eyes and No Sight When It Comes to Islam:
Brennan’s view has been encapsulated for some time in the CIA’s “Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program” [PISAP] which is described on the agency’s website thusly: PISAP “was established in 2004 in recognition that forces that have have not traditionally been studied, in a comprehensive manner, by the Intelligence Community needed to be examined as they affect the national security interests of the United States. The effort does not focus on Islam as a religion or on the worldwide Muslim community; rather, it examines those organizations that use religion for political purposes and use religious ideology to attempt to change the existing political, social, or economic order….” [emphasis added].
So according to the next CIA director, and the analytical arm of his agency, Islam per se is off-limits as a subject of study, yet the Islamic concept and 1,400-year-old politico-military policy of jihad is Islamic-except when a noted non-Muslim like John Brennan says it’s not?
Brennan’s misapprehensions, or misrepresentations, of jihad have been meticulously documented and critiqued already, most notably by the very able and knowledeable Patrick Poole-so there is no need for me to revisit that ground except to note the following: if violent jihad has no legitimacy in Islam, then why are 31 of 51 FTOs (Foreign Terrorist Organizations) on the State Department list Islamic? And why do such groups invoke, as both justification and motivation, the jihad-waging examples of not just “prophet” Muhammad but (if they’re Sunni) the first four caliphs, the Abbasid caliphs, Salah al-Din and the Ottoman sultans or (if they’re Twelver Shi`i) Ali, Husayn, the Safavid shahs and the “martyrs” of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran?
John Brennan, according to his bio, has a M.A. with a specialization in Midde Eastern studies from the University of Texas-Austin; speaks Arabic; and was the station chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. Unless UT’s academic program is far less rigorous that those of us in the field have been led to believe, Brennan would have had to study some Islamic history, and thus would know full well the quintessentially Islamic nature of jihad, as well as its supreme importance in Muslim religious, military and political history. (For Allah’s sake, the Ottoman Empire officially issued a fatwa [Turkish “fetva”] of jihad against the World War I Allies in 1914!) Assuming that this is the case-then why does he pontificate so ahistorically and inaccurately? Some think that this is part of a clever strategy by the Obama administration both to 1) drive a wedge between jihadists and the rest of the world’s Muslims, and 2) force (or at least entreat) Muslims, especially within the US, to re-think their own religion’s doctrines, starting with the thorny jihad one-and, ultimately, to disown it. So our only options would seem to be that this administration’s counter-terrorism policy-which is, de facto if not de jure an anti-ISLAMIC terrorist agenda, since we don’t have legions of Predators spanning the globe and launching Hellfire missiles at congeries of “right-wing extremists,” soccer hooligans or Tea Partiers (at least not yet)-either is woefully ignorant of Islamic history and doctrines, OR that it is, on the contrary, well-informed about them but intentionally duplicitious for strategic reasons.
Read it all.