CIA pick fits Obama's mindset
I understand why President Barack Obama has full confidence in John Brennan, whom he has nominated to head the CIA. Brennan's record of lawlessness, starting when he became chief of staff to CIA Director George Tenet in 1999, mirrors that of Obama's.
They share contempt for the Constitution's separation of powers, allowing the executive branch to ignore Congress and the courts in the name of national security. When Obama first became president, he wanted Brennan to head the CIA, but there was so much opposition.
Instead, the president appointed Brennan as his chief counterterrorism adviser, a post not requiring Senate confirmation. In this role, Brennan has been in charge of Obama's “kill list” of drone assassinations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, et al.
Now, for all of you who voted to re-elect Obama, here's what the president said when, on Jan. 7, he proudly declared his choice for CIA chief: “(Brennan) has worked to embed our efforts in a strong legal framework.”
Wow! This from a former teacher of constitutional law at the University of Chicago? It's no wonder that Brennan has always had direct, immediate access to Obama. They are united in their ceaseless suspension of our Constitution.
The New York Post's Michael A. Walsh summarizes with piercing clarity what the Obama-Brennan conspiracy has accomplished: “In effect — and especially as employed by the Obama administration — the CIA has become the president's private army, with a classified budget, contracts with some extremely dubious operatives and under-the-table relations with thuggish and oppressive foreign governments. With its fleet of armed drones, it regularly rains death from the skies on enemies (some of them American citizens).”
Getting back to what these benighted brothers have done and how it may continue to affect us as Americans for a long time, Suzanne Nossel, who is Amnesty International USA's former executive director, in an article in Foreign Policy, emphasizes that these Obama-Brennan crimes are taking place in nations with which we are not at war, reminding us: “The administration is now backed into claiming that a war exists because it has convinced itself that it cannot function without a broad license to kill. Short of al-Qaida suing for peace, this war may never end. The administration's reshaping of the concept of war risks, undoing over 100 years of evolution of the laws of war and the protections those laws have delivered.”
She also explains how we have allowed Obama and Brennan to outline America's values for the rest of the world:
“The next four years will define whether this rewriting of the rules becomes a bipartisan ‘new normal' in the United States — and implicit permission for the rest of the world to sidestep human rights. ... The bipartisan affirmation of drone use will make those weapons routine for the United States and any other government with a kill list of its own.”
Of course, Obama is delighted to have Brennan by his side for the next four years, with ever-greater authority to impose the American stamp of identity on these Hellfire missiles.
Nat Hentoff is an authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Waynesburg HS grad Rachel Rohanna wins Symetra Tour event
- Elites, media & character
- NASA head tells Pitt grads their generation will ‘walk the face of Mars’
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- Man fatally stabbed in Braddock Hills
- Fire caused $75,000 in damage to Beltzhoover playground
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired
- Gameday: Pirates at Cubs, April 27, 2015
- Young defensemen make case for future with Penguins